I like taking part in the writing memes, and 4 THOUGHTS or FICTION is one of my favourites. But the current theme challenged me – “Discipline/Punishment”. (*SEE FOOTNOTE) It’s not an aspect of my relationship with Ben. Ben and I are not in a relationship which we define by anyone else’s code. So although I enjoy being submissive to Ben, I do not label myself as a “submissive”. Ben is not domineering or dominating – he is just gorgeous! But he is also wiser and more experienced that I am in many ways. There is just a lot of love and mutual attraction and truly prizing each other. We have awesome sex and enjoy all sorts of kinks and fetishes. We don’t need labels or definitions beyond that.
However…there is one kind of punishment which sometimes we are both guilty of – but more so me. Silent treatment! It doesn’t start out intentional. It’s pure immaturity. I am hurt by something, I do not know how to react. So I put space between us. I go to another room, because I don’t want to say something I regret. Only, it continues. Ben gets into bed beside me and I pretend I am asleep. He tries to wake me gently because he wants sex. I groan and tell him I am exhausted. Next morning, I won’t make eye contact with him. When he tries to give me a morning kiss I turn away, so his lips meet my cheek. He asks “What’s wrong?” I say “Nothing”.
Well, that used to be the way, but thanks to Ben, it is rare now. Ben could not live like that. Now, if he sees I am hurt, (and he understands and respects that my way of dealing with hurt is to move myself to another room because I don’t want to explode with anger) he will wait a little, allowing me some time to collect my thoughts. Then he will come after me with a cup of tea or a glass of wine. He has a very charming way of saying, “Let’s work this out.”
Ben is very good at making it easy for me to express why I feel hurt. He sometimes has had time to come up with some leading questions because he has a hunch already of why I am upset. But he dignifies me, with helping me work out in my own head that I do not want this disagreement to become a huge issue. We may just have a difference of opinion, it does not mean we don’t value each other.
Although Ben is very diplomatic and eloquent on the whole, he has a more direct way of communicating. I go round in circles, especially on issues I find difficult. At times, Ben has made a comment without meaning to hurt me and it has knocked me sideways. It does not happen a lot, but when it does I react! The last time we had a significant disagreement was when we were away last September. We had a stressful situation effecting us. A couple of Ben’s colleagues resisted his feedback on their work being to an inferior standard and his request for them to do that work again. Disrespectfully, they started goading him, insinuating they and others had been shagging me. When Ben asked me if I had contributed to the situation I blew my top! I interpreted his question the wrong way. I stormed out of our accommodation and hotfooted it as fast I could.
Ben came to find me. I was still in the grip of my silent fury cold shoulder phase. I did not want to hear another word from him. Ben had to wait and endure me turning my back on him because I was so mad I did not want to look at him. When he did speak, he softened his words. I remember him saying that I am vivacious and that I have a good rapport with everyone (yeah, maybe I am flirtatious!) I laugh and I joke with the guys and get on with them as well as I do their wives/girlfriends. He just wanted to know if the two guys who were causing this trouble had ever said anything suggestive to me and if so how I had reacted.
Eventually I calmed down, and so we talked honestly and openly. Peace was restored. Ben made it clear that as far as he saw it, those two guys were slandering me. He just wanted to know if there had been any joking about between us that had emboldened them to think they could be so rude about me and that I would take it in good humour. Then came the reparative reassurances to each other and the making up making out.
Ben does not presume everything is ok. After a disagreement, he keeps reassuring me and telling me how much he loves me until he can sense things have returned to our happy place.
In our first few months together there was a lot of sex, but also there were a lot of misunderstandings. Ben found it unbearable that I would give him the silent treatment when I was hurt and would sometimes keep it up for much longer than was fair, shunning his attempts to address the misunderstanding. So he proactively raised it as something we needed to discuss. He did not want the silent treatment to be a regular feature of our relationship – I remember him describing it as “the worst kind of punishment”.
This is one of the reasons I love Ben – we are not perfect – we have misunderstandings, we can hurt each other – but Ben will not allow us to punish each other. It has taken some discipline – and I mean by that training – but now when there is an upset between us, thanks to Ben, we have a better way of dealing with it.
I have learnt a lot from Ben. He is my superior in so many ways, and yet he cherishes me. He is a very chilled, very content person who is at peace with himself. I have become more balanced and more at peace, especially due to Ben’s influence on me. But there is still an element of emotional insecurity in me that has the potential to do damage. Ben has grown to understand me, sometimes I think he knows me better than I know myself.
One reason I found it hard is that I have been through very low places in my life when I severely disciplined my body to be excessively thin and during periods of depression at times I punished my body with injuries. I am not at all comfortable with anyone embracing and celebrating forms of deliberately injuring their body or allowing someone else to. I try to show appreciation for the honesty of other writers and especially those who understand their own emotional make-up and express themselves in a way that dissipates my fear for their wellbeing,
I do understand the appeal of erotic spanking in sex and foreplay. Ben and I enjoy erotic scenes with me bent over and him lightly slapping my behind. I understand some of the kinky side of bowing to a superior or serving their desires. Sometimes my horror at the thought of harming someone physically inhibits my enjoyment of the accounts other bloggers share of their relationships. The thing I dread to see or hear of is actual physical injuries that will take a long time to heal. In truth it sickens me. But maybe it is like a recovered alcoholic finding he does not feel comfortable watching a movie which features drunkenness or alcohol dependence. After six months on WordPress I can now see I need to be selective in my reading material and avoid content that celebrates mutilating the body.