Thursday, June 05, 2008

Another Whine, I'm Afraid

Frankly, I'd rather whine on the blog than risk messing up this tender little shoot of FLR that I'm attempting to cultivate. I say "I'm attempting" because at moments like this it seems pretty clear that this is all in my head. So if it's not, we need to communicate better.

I was thrilled when my beloved got home last night. I missed her just the way I used to when we were new at this, and that was bittersweet. I can grasp at straws that as she was walking in to the house, arms loaded with stuff, she said "There's a bag and a backpack in the car." Not an order, not even a request, but I could take it that way and did, happily. But by the time I got back for a second trip for the other stuff, her arms were loaded with junk for her second trip. So much for expectations. I did get to help though.

Somewhere in the process while I was getting the computer unpacked and the dinner made, she unpacked her bag in the bedroom, so it was my unpleasant surprise to find that when I finally got upstairs. So much for expectations.

This morning's routine was knocked off-kilter by her commitment to make sandwiches and drinks for an affair. Her commitment, I did it since she had been out and mentioned that she'd been stressing about it. There were some pleasant moments last night as I was figuring out how to make 10 gallons of drink and she was reading a magazine, but it was slender consolation for the suitcase thing.

By the time I got the sandwiches done this morning (I would have made them last night but she suggested they'd be fresher if made this morning, and I've finally learned not to disagree on points like that), she had made the coffee (which maybe was our "gateway service", so though nice, that hurt. So much for expectations.

And I head the clothes washer going and casually asked our daughter if she'd started a load. As she said she hadn't, I know my beloved has. I swear, there wasn't even enough clothes to make up a load, so I'm frustrated. I'm NOT going to get in to this passive aggressive if-there's-one-piece-of-clothing-then-do-a-load thing. So much for expectations.

Frankly, in the context of an FLR that was "working", I don't think any of this would be an issue. I expect we're still going to be a team, and there will be times when things work best when she picks up what wouldn't otherwise get done until later. But right now, I need (yes, I need) some kind of acknowledgment of what she's doing. Even something like "Here's your coffee, I figured you couldn't get to it" communicates the expectation that I make the coffee. Rather than "Here, I'm a little out of practice." I suppose there might have been a snappy rejoinder to that which acknowledged an expectation, but I'm not good at snappy rejoinders.

I've never been comfortable with submissive male bloggers' posts where they parse their wives' statements - "She said please" or "She didn't order me, she asked me" types of things. But now I think I get where they're coming from. It's about the expectations, not the words. It's about the acknowledgment of what's going on. It's about communication and what means what.

Glad to have a blog where I can vent. We'll talk about our relationship this weekend, and by then this little rant will have cooled a lot, which will be a good thing.

But the happy homecoming, though happy, has been a little more difficult for me than I expected.



All For Her said...

I think it's hard to "unlearn" things. It may be that your wife does things becuase that's what she has done for years and she is in the habit of doing them.
Also she may not totally understand the importance to you of her NOT doing those things and wanting you to do them instead.

It's funny what you said about the coffee. That was the first thing that my wife latched onto my doing. It's something small, but apparently it makes her mornings much easier. I don't actually "make" it for her, but I have it all ready to go so that she just turns it on when she's ready. If I forget to set it up she lets me know. I think it's one of the things that makes this REAL for her.
On the other hand there aretimes when I would like her to ask me to get her something and she doesn't. What I've come to understand is that sometimes it's just easier for her to do it herself or she just WANTS to do it herself for whatever reason. I've come to accept this and just enjoy the times I get to do things for her.
Good luck with your talk this weekend!


whatevershesays said...

If it's any consolation, when my wife gets back into town, I'm all revved up, ready to be her houseboy/sexslave etc etc. LOL

The problem is that she is tired, she's thinking about a million other things except our sex life. Is this fair, probably not, since she knows we've struggled in this area.

However, that is the way it is so I've learned to forgo anything sexual after trips.

Marriage and sexuality are a 2 way street. I wish you the very best. Keep blogging and whine if you want to. We all "get" it.

Anonymous said...

Like making the "coffee" mine was making breakfast and bring it to the bedroom. In the early days whilst Jane was happy that I did this, she was uncomfortable with me serving it to her whilst she just lay there, and would sometimes show her annoyance. Now however she just accpets that I will bring her breakfast in bed each morning and will now even stipulate a different time on the weekends the night before that she will want to be woken up with it.

She justs accpets/expects me to now give her an extra pillow so she can sit up, and for me to hand her a drink and her cereal. She could ask me to take things away or to hand her other items but she chooses not to treat me in that way. Being in control and being pampered is one thing, having a slave or servant is completely different.

As far as being told to do things, rather than asked, it will take time. Although Jane understands to some extent my need to submit to her and I think is starting to relax more about her position of power she still finds it difficult to give me an "order". For example, last night we came in after a walk and Jane said, "I think we will have some tea now", she wasn't offering to make it and just went to sit down to watch TV, she was actually telling me to do it for her, but still finds it difficult to just tell me what she wants me to do for her, and trys to avoid making it sound like an order. I just accpet that it may not be realistic to expect Jane to order me around like her servant all the time, but I still know that the expectation is their because I know what she is really saying.

Jamie said...

Thanks for those - it means a lot to know that other people can relate - but I've probably said that already, haven't I????

I think "all for her" hit on a bigger issue when you referred to "unlearning things." One of the things we've learned is how to "be" with each other, and suddenly I'm asking her to change that for what probably aren't very obvious reasons to her. That will be an interesting conversation.

"Whatever She Says", I'm concerned to what extent she views this as just about sex. I'm coming to realize that though the sex is great, for me this is much more about relationship and feeling loved and acknowledged - I'll get tired of using that word soon, I hope.

So when any couple is apart, the kiss or the hug upon the return is a reaffirmation of that connection. And I want/need a reaffirmation of the "she's in charge" connection after either one of us has been away. I think that's what the rituals so many couples indulge in around this are really for. But those don't work unless they're meaningful for both people. And I wonder how much my beloved wants to acknowledge this aspect of our relationship at all. That's a post I'm writing.

"At all times", can I be snide and envious and say you have it so good? Which is not to say that there aren't some things you want from Jane that you're not getting - the acknowledgment (there's that word again...) piece in particular.

*IF* you can keep up the level of what you're doing with the level of feedback you're getting, then I suspect you'll be in a good place to ask for what you need in that department, which is a good thing.

Over on, someone suggested that the subs go on strike, parading "We demand that management acknowledge it's role" Everybody got a good laugh.


Tom Allen said...

It's about the acknowledgment of what's going on. It's about communication and what means what.

And it also means that in order to communicate, then you're going to need to overcome your fear and risk upsetting that "tender little shoot." if only to validate that whatever level of FLR you have isn't simply in your own head.

This is one of the problems with "stealth submission" which has been espoused on several other groups. It's a lot like masturbation: you can fantasize all you want, but if what you really need is some validation, then you're going to need to open up and talk.

Unfortunately, talking means risk. You might discover that she has not put one minute's worth of thought into it in the last three months; some people think it's better to at least pretend that there is some interplay rather than to face the reality that there is none.

Jamie said...

Thanks, Tom. I think you're 100% correct, especially about "stealth submission." It's one of the reasons that I don't think that's a viable model.

I am all about communication, even though it's hard. And right now, for myself, I'm all about not pretending, about knowing what the real truth is. If she's not in to this and there's no way she's going to be, then we, a couple, married people, having a life together, are going to have to figure out how the rest of our lives work together.