My motto as a writer and the message I aim to share is that if something is broken, it can be fixed. It doesn't have to stay broken.
By sharing our story, I hope you can see why I say that. J and I didn't have an easy road when we chose to be together. There was a lot that contributed to our journey being difficult. But, we made it, are making it, and DD has helped us tremendously with our goals as a couple.
My aim is to inspire but I also want to be cautious...
J and I don't support abuse, and I want to emphasis that when I encourage fixing a broken relationship I am referring to one of value.
Not all things in our lives are good for us and you need to be careful when evaluating which is which. Some relationships may be toxic and unhealthy. It's up to you to decide where your relationship lies. If there is value though, and you both truly love each other, I encourage you to put in the work needed to repair it. It may take time, tears, and pain, but it's worth it!
This month is the month of our 16th wedding anniversary- a milestone, at one time, I didn't think we would reach- and happily at that!
So here is the story of how J and I met, married, and first heard about and implemented DD. Part of it has been taken from a previous post I wrote. I hope you'll bear with me as I reflect and that our story inspires and brings you hope. Enjoy!
I was nineteen when I met him. I wasn't expecting to that day in early September, eighteen years ago. When I got out of my car and headed across the parking lot to the party supply shop the last thing on my mind was love. I was a woman on a mission...
I had just finished writing my first novel-length story and friends and I were going to make some fun teasers for it. I was heading in to buy the props we'd need.
When I walked in the door, there he was, walking towards me. He wore a red boa around his shoulders and carried a clipboard in his hand- busily putting away items and taking inventory.
"Well, look at you, already dressed for Halloween," he teased, referring to the black cloak I wore around my shoulders. That in addition to my dyed red hair was enough to grab the attention of most. I cringe to think of it now. Still, he was intrigued by my eccentricities.
"No, I'm just fighting a cold," I stated, to explain why I was wearing warm apparel in late summer.
He smiled and I went along to do my shopping.
Somewhere along the way, I needed help finding items and went back to him to ask for assistance. As he walked around the store with me, pointing out items along the way, I talked about the project I was working on, and he talked about the video broadcasting courses he was taking at a local college. He was also a writer, and we exchanged numbers, planning to meet again when he was off work.
A couple days went by and he called. He offered to pick me up and when he did, we went to a nearby park, each with our writings, and sat on the hill to read to each other.
I had figured out by this point he was single, and I was already falling for him hard. Something about him made me feel safe and cared for. Maybe it was the way he opened the car door for me or the way he helped me down the hill when I tripped over my own feet while we walked back to his car, but I knew I liked him.
Something about me- I didn't trust easily. I hadn't dated anyone in the past two years after being hurt in another relationship. I refused to get interested in anyone unless I felt something was different about them- I knew I would know whatever that was when I found it.
After that first date, we made another, and many more followed. Soon, we had completely lost focus of the book project we had originally set out to work on.
We shared more of our writings and he showed me the video projects he put together. We began spending most of our free time hanging out and the rest is history...
We dated for a year before he asked me to marry him. In the rain, he proposed to me, kneeling in his suit underneath my umbrella. I was ecstatic and, of course, said "yes."
The first time J and I stumbled upon Domestic Discipline was when we were engaged and back then our reaction to it was the more typical one. We thought it was absurd. There was a part of me that wanted to submit to J, out of love- but this- spanking your girl if she disobeys shit- just seemed to be repressive.
We tried it though and the first time J threatened to spank me for having an attitude with him I told him off- and that was the end of that.
He backed off and I never submitted to him. We were the typical, "girl runs the show," couple. Truthfully I hated it and I think J did too. At the time though, he felt it was more loving to let me have my way, so he did.
A year later, we got married. I wish I could say that things were bliss, but the truth is, we experienced many ups and downs as a newlywed couple.
I struggled as a young wife to trust J fully and I knew there was something keeping me from connecting with him in our early years of marriage. I wasn't able to fully let go and trust another person even though he'd never given me a reason not to trust him. The whole love and respect cycle was off for us and nothing seemed to help us fix this problem. Marriage called for my trust to be on a whole deeper level, and I wasn't ready for that yet. I hadn't realized that would be hard for me. Because of some deep hurts that still lingered from my childhood, I struggled to give myself fully to J. He didn't understand it, and in time began withdrawing from me.
We were both hurting, but we loved each other... so we stuck it out.
Our days were long- J worked long hours so I could stay home with our kids, and I attending school part-time working towards my teaching degree.
Fast forward a few years- our family had grown and our oldest children had aged and entered school.
I accepted a position working with special-ed kids- But something happened during this point in our story that caused us to take a look at our relationship and make a change. Finally, we had to come to terms with things not being right between us.
My parents had decided to divorce, and it shook me. I hadn't even realized things were going wrong between them- had been for some time. Although my relationship with my father had been strained growing up, I didn't want them to divorce and I tried everything I could think of to encourage them to stay together.
If they could desire a divorce, although things seemed fine, would our marriage wind up in trouble- one that obviously had its weaknesses?
J and I embraced each other and began experiencing a reawakening in our marriage. After struggling for years to feel connected with him, we finally began to grow close again. I began to desire him in a way I hadn't in a long time. Sex became frequent- like every night, and I began needing his leadership in a way that I didn't understand.
But when I realized there was nothing I could do to help my parents, I became depressed. I'd work all day and come home to my husband and kids, cook dinner and do chores, only to kill the pain drinking once the kids were put to bed for the night. Sometimes, I even bought cigarettes- something J hated.
He couldn't stand it, but I couldn't stop. I just wanted to escape and feel better.
That's when I remembered hearing about Domestic Discipline (DD)...
(Please visit back next week for Part 2 of our story)