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PERSONAL

The Worst Kind Of Punishment

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.

12 replies on “The Worst Kind Of Punishment”

Hi May,
Ben is from a wonderful family. From the moment I met his parents and sister and saw the way they act with each other I could understand why Ben is so balanced and such a good man. He grow up in a very loving stable environment and it shows. I did not suffer in any way as a child, but there was definitely an element of instability that has effected me as an adult. I do feel like Ben has become an anchor in my life.

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Ben is chilled. He definitely is. He can get tired at times, but he has a very demanding job. But he is better at switching off his stress or dealing with issues so that they do not effect our home life.
I think I am on the whole chilled. I don’t often get upset. But I can get tired, like everyone else. I am more emotional or insecure than Ben. So when I am tired, and someone says something the wrong way – I can take it as an injustice or as a rejection. The person (sometimes Ben) might not have meant what they said harshly, they were just being a bit forceful with their words. I find a hurt from deep within rises up and overflows and for some crazy reason my reaction is to flee. I feel like I need to run away. Usually that is just to the next room. I rarely express my hurt vocally because I actually hate anger. So if I am hurt I don’t want it to come out like anger. The danger is the hurt I feel makes me want to run.
I think Ben has figured a lot out. I just read your email Dave. Mel is one of the people who kept me going in my darkest moments and she seems to have insights into the inner me that have helped me to know myself better and understand why I react to hurt the way I do.
I don’t blame my parents, but at the same time, I don’t think I grew up seeing disagreements being resolved. I did not have an example in front of me of how two people who have had a misunderstanding go about making peace. Other than watching Sesame Street or a teacher at school getting me and a classmate to apologise to each other, I did not really see the process of maintaining relationships. I think I have been fortunate in that not a lot has upset me. I had a ten year relationship with my first boyfriend largely because I did not get upset about anything….until….well, I guess until I saw my brother full of pain and rage and lashing out at everyone. And until I saw my boyfriend and I could not reconcile on some of our views on key issues. Our differences were making us grow further apart. We began squabbling and he could be insulting towards my intelligence and it became obvious to me at that point that I needed to escape. I did not know how to compensate for the rifts that were opening up between us so I fled the relationship. I think he was shocked. He was as lovely a boyfriend as a young woman could ask for. He really was. But in our mid-twenties I think I was with him because for ten years he had provided me with constant attention and affection – a security I longed for. But when I saw how different we were, I began to find fault. I blame myself in so many ways for not knowing how to discuss what was hurting me and allowing things to fester between us. He did not want the relationship to end. I felt as if I was being suffocated.
But I still feel huge gratitude to him and respect him enormously for the way he cared for me for those ten years. It’s painful to say a bad word about him because he does not deserve that.

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Just sent you an email. I am ok-ish. Ben is fighting to make sure I can join him.

I am afraid of a repeat of last spring. He went away for a two week project and it became the whole of spring! It frightens me that huge distance. It’s the feeling of helplessness and anxiety that something could happen, not just the pandemic, an earthquake, a war – all sorts of possibilities start racing through my mind. Ben says he finds the same thing. He will keep arguing that being anxious about me will effect his concentration on the work he has to do.

How are you Dave? Did you have a good day?…xx

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What a wonderful read. Thank you. And I think Ben sounds amazing. Honestly, silent treatment is also my idea of the worst possible punishment. Thanks for sharing x

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❀ Thank you Katie. ❀
I love Ben so much, this is the first time I have ever lived with my lover. It is over two years that we have lived together. I learnt a lot about myself those first six months. I also came to appreciate Ben's wonderful qualities and patience and how much he loved me to put up with my immaturity.
I still find that if I am hurt, I need him to give me a little time to get my thoughts together, but Ben always makes sure we work things out.

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Love this article and think Ben sounds fab. Honestly, silent treatment is also my worst form of punishment – I hate it. Thanks for sharing

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