Saturday, June 28, 2008

Back in the Saddle Again?

So today we were snuggling in bed and my beloved reached up and fingered the chain I wear as a commitment to not masturbating without her permission. I asked her if it meant anything to her, since we seem to have left all the FLR stuff behind.

She said she'd feel so betrayed if I cheated on her that way, because she'd feel like a fool - she believes that I will hold to this agreement because I said so. I was releived to hear that, since, after our last conversation, I was ready to belive that none of this made any difference at all to her.

I don't remember how the conversation went, but she (I think) said we'd have to do something about my list of obligations around the house, since she can't remember them. I was surprised because I didn't think we had an arrangement any more.

She commented that it had been a bad moment there, and not to read to much in to it.

I told her that the comment that kills me the most is when she's doing something that I am "supposed" to do, and I either thank her for it or try to help, and she says, "Oh, that's OK." That's the killer for me. If it's OK, then why the fuck am I trying to do it?

We talked about this some, and realized that my apologizing for not doing things doesn't work for her - it's an issue that I apologize too much, a character flaw on my part. I agreed, and said that I've been trying for "I'd like to do that" as a response to the observation that she's doing something I feel I should do. Or "I was intending to do that." We also identified three possible reactions of hers to that, each of which communicates better:

1) I want to do this, so I'm doing it

2) Good, then do it

3) I don't think so, or you would have done it. Go do something else.

This last is the "punishment" option - the not being able to serve her as the incentive to stay on top of things. I think we have more work to do around this - for example, I expect I'll mess up and apologize, since it is an ingrained habit. And while we never punished our kids, there were consequences for undesirable behavior. We haven't come up with any consequences for my behavior, so we may just not go that route, other than inability to serve.

We also realized that if we're going to do this, we need to talk about it a lot in the early stages, as we set our expectations and learn what works and what doesn't. I also commented that it becomes real when it is inconvenient - Her loving response is to say "Oh, you were tired, so I did it." While my response is to say, "I want you to remind me to do it, or tell me to do it even though I am tired." Her relaxing and my working is one of my little fantasies, and the small handful of times that that's happened have been very fulfilling.

So she did tell me to wash her feet which I gladly did. And later to shave her legs, which I gladly also did. At which point she indicated she wanted oral sex, which I also gladly performed - her with the comment "You could do that for hours" (which would please me just fine). No indication of sex for me, which is also fine. But I actually do worry that this is all about sex for her.

No question but that sex is involved, but "all about" would be skewing the thing a bit. We'll see how that evolves.

I mentioned that the idea is to help her feel entitled, which, just as apologizinging is a charcacter flaw for me, not feeling entitled is a character flaw for her - she's bad at asking for things. So in this way, we both work on ourselves.

Later in the day at a reception, I was happy to offer to get her wine and hors d'oeuvres. IT was a little thing, but satisfying.

We'll see where things go from here - perhaps a converastion during tomorrow's long car ride.
Here it is after tomorrow, so "perhaps not."

The total insanity of our lives has settled down a little bit for a couple of days. I will motivate a conversation about all this before the end of today - I need to know that the conversation we had a couple of days ago means something. And we'll see where that leads.


All For Her said...

Great post.
I agree with you that open dialouge is crucial when figuring out exactly what your arrangement will be. You also have to both be very flexible as you find some things work and some don't.
My wife was very excited at first with a scoring system for my activities. She soon found that it was actually work for her and that she preferred just enjoying a clean house, not grading it. So she ended up dumping the system, even though it really appealed to her at first.

Jamie said...

Thanks, AFH. As you'll see in the subsequent post, we are figuring out what works. I think if one can't get far enough out of one's own fantasies to see that things work differently in real life, then the prospects of doing this successfully are probably pretty slim.