Monday, 17 October 2011

dominance and obedience

A couple of weeks ago I published an email question here on Uncle Agony. I was a little surprised to see it generated only one comment whereas the previous post had provoked a much larger response. Clearly some questions are seen as more interesting than others or can give rise to more ideas of support.

Perhaps it was because the question seemed to be more of a domestic issue than a D/s issue. However for me there were some key D/s points.

To summarise briefly signed loving has fallen out with her husband's (also her Dominant) family. He wants her to go and make up with them. She finds that difficult. Her husband rather than instructing her to do so has not pushed her but wants her to resolve it when she is ready.

I think there is an issue as to whether in a domestic discipline situation her husband should instruct her to resolve the problem. It is clearly distressing to him and she has promised obedience. So should he not just tell her to sort things out and expect it to be done. He seems to be being very reasonable, recognising the consequences of forcing an issue that might be very important to his wife. However isn't the point of a domestic discipline relationship that the husband takes responsibility and should decide what needs to be done and instruct it to happen?

Also from the wife's point of view as she wants to please her husband and not spoil the "bliss" of their current relationship - should she not instigate what is necessary to resolve the situation from her own initiative? Does she not have a duty to bow to her husbands wishes rather than putting her own feelings first?

It just seems to me that the response to the question might be different in a domestic discipline relationship as opposed to in a vanilla relationship.

Any thoughts?


cuddlykitten said...

I think there are some things you can order and some that has to come from the heart. If he forces her to make up with his family, likely she will only end up unhappy...which in turn would make him unhappy (one would assume).

Depending on the issue at hand, it may be a bridge that she may not be able to cross. Should he force her to do so, it's very possible she might leave.

She is his responsibility, and if he forces her to do something that will ultimately make her unhappy, then he's not really doing his job.

I understand family is important. In a perfect world, you want your spouse and your family to get along. Realistically, it just might not happen.

So I guess it comes down to the two of them talking things through. Could he handle going to see his family on his own, knowing that they may not be completely with that option? Is the issue such a problem that she can't move past it?

There are plenty of other options, but they need to talk about it with each other. However, I don't think commands and obedience has a place in this decision. From what it sounds like, he realizes this.

I guess the only advice I can give her is to talk to her husband. Let her concerns be known. He very likely wants to know all that she's thinking and feeling.

Anonymous said...

I had real mixed feelings about the original post on Uncle Agony. In my mind, there is a delicate balance in any relationship that keeps it working. When it is out of balance, compromises become more difficult and resentment grows where once there was joyful submission.

As well, this involves her relationships with others, albeit others that are important to him. However, she only owns half the solution here. How she chooses to respond will not just be a by-product of her relationship to him, but also be impacted by how the other family members relate to her. For example, I wondered if they were making things difficult for her.

Having said that, in her position, I would go out of my way to be conciliatory out of respect for him. But depending on what caused the rift and how much they are willing to to put into making peace would also impact whether the relationships ever progressed beyond polite and cordial.

He should also consider the cost of what he is asking of her and whether pushing her towards reconciliation with the other family members will push their relationship out of balance. If the other family members do not acknowledge and value the conciliatory efforts she makes, this could foster resentment.

I also hoped that their relationship is more important to him than his relationship with the other family members. If not, they could be headed for trouble as a couple.

Pygar said...

cuddlykitten and SubRosaNoMore - than you so very much.

Your suggestions are so thoughtful and insightful. They take into account factors that do not jump out from the original post (well at least to me as a mere man!).

Rather than rushing to a simple suggestion you have each come up with some very considered advice that I hope signed loving finds very helpful.

Again - thank you

P xxxx

Heather1 said...

I have to agree with both of the ladies. It depends on the situation. If the cause of the problem was not her than she should not be the one forced to make up to his family. He should be talking to them, making them apologized to her.

I have some insight into this type of problem but it is my family so my husband doesn't have a problem with not being around them. He knows what kind of people they are and knows that they make me unhappy so he doesn't want me around them.

So sometimes leaving things the way there are is best.


Pygar said...

Thank you Heather1. As with cuddlykitten and SubRosaNoMore you speak a lot of sense and I don't disagree with any of you. The advice to me seems spot on.

However the advice seems to me to be exactly the same as if it was not a domestic discipline relationship. Perhaps that is as it should be with this kind of issue.

I suppose I was wondering if anyone would come out and say that either of them should have behaved differently because of the nature of their relationship - that obedience and a desire to please her Master should have come first.

Thanks to you all

P xx

Alice said...

I realize I'm a little late to this issue, but I thought I'd add my own thoughts as they are a little different (not much though).

I agree that it all depends on the circumstances. The answer might be one thing if she was at fault, and completely different if they were at fault, and then it's also different depending on the couple.

That said, unless she was nearly totally at fault for the relationship rift, then I think her husband should actually be protecting her. Chess and I had a similar situation about a year ago. His family had taken things I'd said (not to them or about them, just in general) and twisted them behind my back making me into some horrible person. When it finally came around to us I was very hurt and did not want to speak to any of them for a long time. Chess handled it very well I think, he spoke to his family and made it clear where his loyalties primarily lay now (with me). Although no upset was caused between him and his family, he respected that I was hurt and did not want to speak to them. Eventually I was able to forgive them even though they had not apologized and now, though our relationship is different than before, we have reconciled. I was glad that Chess gave me time to heal from the hurt they'd caused, and that he understood he couldn't push the issue.

We've also been on the other side too, in which I had hurt his family and in that instance he did require me to go to them and apologize and attempt to reconcile with them.

I don't know that there is any difference dealing with a situation like this when you're in a D/s relationship versus a vanilla one. My main thought is that if she is not at fault for this rift in the relationship then he needs to be supporting her, and standing by her, letting her know that he understands her hurt or pain and give her time to heal from it, imo.

Anonymous said...

Makes me think about the little guy who didn't want to sit in his chair. When his teacher finally made him sit his comment was, "I might be sitting on the outside, but I'm standing on the inside."

Some amends, if and when they are necessary, need to come from the heart. If they are forced they can seem disingenuous.

Pygar said...

Thank you Alice and Anonymous for your further comments to this discussion. Yet again - such thoughtful and sensible advice. Family problems like this can be so very difficult - involving conflict for one at least between those people closest to them.

So yes - extra support and understanding is needed and as Anonymous says - if amends are forced rather than from the heart then ultimately the issue has not been resolved.

Thank you all.

- P