Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Who Really Carries The Responsibility?




I have done a lot of thinking about something that should be really obvious. Who carries the responsibility of keeping a ttwd marriage on an even keel? 





I work each day to keep things smooth. I know it is my emotions, those high and lows that cause problems. I know I distance when I feel unheard. I know the distancing can continue when I am upset.  One word answers are a telltale sign. I know I go on and on when I still want to be heard. I know that flipping out causes problems. My submission is great except when it isn't.

When things are smooth, my world is humming right along. I share my perspectives and opinions. We listen to one another and enjoy the conversation.  However, when things are rocky, who was responsible for upsetting the ttwd applecart? 

So being a brave ttwd wife, I asked Jack what he thought about all this......... who is responsible for upsetting the smoothness? Who rocks the ttwd boat? Without the slightest hesitation, he replied that it would be me. We agreed on the things we wanted. He hasn't changed a thing about what he likes, wants and enjoys. The smoothness is up to me. I do the distancing, flipping out, the emotional highs and lows, the lack of submission, the inability to let things go and the list goes on. 

Jack does say that things have so improved and things are usually smooth. He says he is always ready for the bumps and emotional turbulence that comes along. His words work so well to calm his wife and so does some time over the bed if his words are not working. The sexual fireworks we enjoy are wonderful after so long a marriage. That is why he says we will never give this up. He says once a ttwd husband finds out how ttwd works, not one of them would ever give this up. 

So there you have it. You now have Jack's point of view. Interview your husband and tell us what he says. Who carries the responsibility of keeping things smooth in your ttwd marriage? 

Meredith

23 comments:

  1. We don't do TTWD enough to matter or really have an answer to this question. So I asked a friend of mine.

    I think it's half and half. Cassie's job is to keep herself safe and mind what I tell her. My job is to step in if she doesn't do these things. Most of the time, Cassie does the best she can. When she falls short, it's time for me to take care of my half.

    Tom Duff

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  2. Based on our blog name, Eric takes 51% of the responsibility and I take 49%. We came up with that formula because it described our vanilla relationship but in actuality, I think it fits here too. Eric is working late tonight so I can't ask him until later but I have to tell you, I have a voicemail saved from a few months ago when Eric was traveling and I was questioning everything under the sun. You should hear his message. "Amy Lynn! I just listened to three minutes of boo hooing and you need to mark my words. NOTHING CHANGED. Are you listening? NOTHING HAS CHANGED." It goes on and on about my emotional roller coaster, etc. but every other sentence repeats NOTHING CHANGED. Maybe Eric and Jack have something in common - wives like us! :)
    Amy

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  3. Bboth carry the responsibility for fulfilling their roles. Yes, the wife is responsible for her behavior but the husband is responsible for stepping up and reigning her in when she's out of line. Both have to fulfill their parts in order to keep things running smoothly.

    Of course, this is just my opinion, which along with $1 will get you a cheap cup of coffee or a small soda. ;)

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

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  4. Hi Meredith, I am afraid I don't agree with Jack on this one. In any marriage, ttwd or otherwise it is both people's responsibilities to work at it all the time. I feel quite cross with Jack right now and as I am too far away for him to do anything about it you can tell him I said so.....
    love Jan, xx

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  5. Hi Meredith, this is a great question. I agree with Cat, both partners have the responsibility to maintain their role in a ttwd relationship.

    Hugs
    Roz

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  6. Hi Meredith, :) I did ask Rob, but I already knew what his answer would be. It was the same as mine. It is both of us who work hard to keep things running smoothly. There have been positive changes made on both sides. We both continue to work to meet each other’s needs with love, through all that life throws at us. Rob has really grown in his leadership, and I in my submission. The bottom line (just had to say it) is that we both try hard to do the things that make each other feel loved and special, every day. We aren’t perfect at it, and we never will be, but the effort that we both continue to put in to both ttwd, and our marriage, has been so incredibly worth it. Many hugs,

    ❤️Katie

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  7. I don't have to ask, I already know the answer. It is Ray.

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  8. This is interesting, because here it is the very opposite. While of course both of us are fully responsible for communicating, being honest about where we are at, treating each other respectfully...blah, blah, blah...it is my husband who carries 100% of the responsibility for when we are not on an even keel. From his point of view, as the leader and the one who, as cheesy as it sounds, desires to guard my heart from all harm, he carries it all. If I am off kilter in some way, he's forever figuring out what happened, what I needed that he didn't give or where he didn't pay enough attention. I often think he owns more than he ought, but it's the way he sees it.

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    1. I see what you and Willy are saying here, Susabelle. And I agree that those times when I am not meeting up to my part of ttwd, it is Rob’s responsibility to bring it to the table... or perhaps the spanking room. He does. At the same time, there are times when our fellas can “rock the boat” too. They simply aren’t perfect- we’ll they may seem perfect to us, but you know what I mean. Rob made, and makes changes, grows too. We are in this five years now. It’s not so cut and dried. Does that make sense? Nice to hear from you.

      ❤️Katie

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  9. Okay ... at the risk of sounding like I am jumping on the Susie/MM train the same thing here ( without the cheese lol). Seriously though Barney sets the tone for the day in our house, I follow. If for some reason he cannot/does not then eventually I set the tone; sometimes for good, but mostly it ends up with us being derailed.

    I am, like Susie 100% responsible for communicating, and respectfully where my mind and heart are at, but it is Barney that is the one who claims responsibility for where they are. This by no means means he is the CAUSE of where my mindset is, confusing I know, but he deems it his responsibility to fix it. Meh, probably because MM was his confidant when we first started out.

    I often try to fix things myself, but generally that has me distancing which is the biggest pet peeve Barney has. I was the one who asked for ttwd so I have always maintained I should be the one who works the hardest at it, but Barney continually sets me straight on that- painfully so at times.

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    1. Let me take a stab at what I mean when I say I am responsible when things go off the rails. I must confess though,I didn't have this mindset when we first started ttwd as MM did. I used to believe that what I said goes (still do) and if Willie didn't follow it she was solely to blame. After all she wanted ttwd, and to submit, she should be happy to right? Truth be told she chooses her own actions, but since starting ttwd I have learned a few things about my wife. If she is angry and lashes out, chances are she has been hurt by someone. If she is quiet and distance she is usually worried, anxious, or stressed.

      Willie at her core is submissive. She, no doubt like many here, thrives when she can, as she puts it; just be. This however doesn't mean she is free of responsibility, personal or family or doesn't make any decisions. She defines 'just being' as her authentic self. No walls or barriers.
      Curt, snippy, QUIET are not words I would use to describe her, so if I see these traits rearing their ugly head I know she is starting to feel insecure about something. It is my job to ensure she feels safe to 'just be' with me and within our home. Therefore if she is feeling this way I have failed in my responsibility.
      Life doesn't always hand you situations you can control or fix, and I am human more than I like to admit. I can't always provide for Willie the environment that lets her just be, but I feel it is my responsibility to do so when and if I can so the applecart does not tip. And if it does tip, as difficult as it is feeling responsible for letting it get to that point, I still 'tip' her over so we can start again on our journey. lol

      Barney

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  10. MM here. Susie is absolutely right, regardless of whose "fault" is may be when our relationship has an issue, it is my (and only my) responsibility to take care of it. To me the key word is "responsibility". What we really decided when we started This Thing (lo those many years ago now) was that I would be the responsible party. I am the one to take the lead, and if there is an issue, it is my issue. It's pretty easy to see when I'm not doing my job, and in all honesty I have a pretty forgiving audience.

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    1. Hi MM, :) I hear what you say here. I think that we might be talking about different things. I agree with you there. Rob is the leader in our relationship. I follow. I’m caught up on the language I guess. When Meredith said that Jack’s said that she’s always the one who rocks the boat, I had trouble with that. In day to day living as we do now, sometimes it’s Rob. Sure, how that is handled is different- as he would apologize etc. Depending on the situation, perhaps i would meet the spatula(or “cheeseboard”). That is how we live. We choose it, and love it. My point is that it is not only me all the time. I suspect that this is true of others as well. As far as the rest goes, we both have responsibility to each other. Rob as leader, me as submissive. We are also, within the framework, a team. We respect each other’s opinion and work hard to listen, and put each other first. After almost 30 years of marriage, we love how this all works. We both have responsibilities to keep things that way- do our part. That might be more clear.

      Nice to hear from you and Susabelle! 😊
      ❤️Katie

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    2. Right. Agreed. We both have responsibilities. I think I was inadvertently going one step further in Meredith's question in trying to describe what it looked like here. We of course can both both rock the boat and both have full responsibility for our attitudes and actions. I'd be curious what Rob would say if you asked him how much energy he gives to preventing you from ending up in the middle of a bad day. I bet that he does things on a daily basis that like us, have just become part of the fabric doing life together, but a much less stressful life than before ttwd.

      So much of what MM does is like what Barney described. He looks for cracks long before they are obvious. I know who I am and who I want to be. I also cannot be that woman on my own. Work, anxiety, stress, family--all the things we each deal with distract me from being my authentic self. I count on him to create an atmosphere at home which is so safe and nurturing that it gives me all the energy I need to go out and do what I've been called to on a daily basis. I'm a better leader for having a leader who literally considers my well being to be his responsibility. I am still, 7 years in, not great at many aspects of a submissive heart, but I am spending more and more time as the authentic me. It's very empowering for both of us.

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    3. Susabelle, I did ask Rob your energy question. His answer was something to the effect of "not more than usual." By that he means what you say above- about things on a daily basis, becoming part of the fabric of life together now. Rob just knows. He knows me. He knows when I'm exhausted and need to go to bed, he knows when something is bothering me, he knows when I need to step away from my looms, or my camera, because I have worked (not work to me- fun) long enough, and do not have a stop button. The list goes on. He's always been good at reading me. He's the kind of guy that notices little things. "This is how we live- it is just a regular part of our day." That was another thing that he said. The quote isn't verbatim, but it is what he said.

      What are we doing here? Aren't we paying attention to each other, and working to meet the needs of the other, making them feel truly loved? Even the above things that you referred to as "blah blah" are important pieces of that kind of intimate love. When we feel that way, both from giving and receiving, doesn't that lead to true happiness in the relationship/marriage? When we are happy, feeling loved in such a way, aren't we able to get out there, and take on the world? Pass on our happiness to others? We make our own happiness, is something that one hears about. I believe that is true. To get there together, with the one that you love, in whatever way works for each couple, is a pretty special thing.

      So glad that you are spending more time as authentic you. I'm happy for you and MM, Susabelle. Many hugs,

      <3 Katie

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  11. We both carry a huge responsibility and a deep commitment to our ttwd marriage for it to work well and benefit us both. We know our 'roles' well and consistency is spot on, so when it comes to answering your question Meredith, about who carries the responsibility of keeping things smooth the answer was easy for both of us. It is me.
    As my guy says, we both know the whys and how's of how we deal with things and we both know the expectations, so if the applecart is upset in any way then it's because I've fallen short somehow, somewhere or with something. Thankfully when that does happen my guy picks me up and sets me on the right path once again. It's such an interesting thing this ttwd, my guy would agree with Jack that there is no going back. This is a very interesting question Meredith and it definitely has me thinking. Thanks for writing this one!

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  12. Meredith,
    Don't believe I will be the only one who thinks this may be one of your best posts ever. I was blown away when I read it early this morning, and even more so after hearing all the responses tonight.

    Sam and I needed to talk about such a thoughtful question, and it came at such a good time for us. When we first embraced ttwd, we spent many hours exchanging ideas and exploring how we each felt. Shaping ttwd for us. In blogland we often hear how individual each couple's approach is to this way of life.

    Due to my medical problems lately, ttwd could easily be something that got pushed to the side, to be picked up whenever we both felt things were "back to normal." Instead, it has been a central focus for us as we struggle with the disappointments and reality of searching for some answers.

    Sam's response to this question was overwhelming, and will become a post of its own. After reading and then rereading both your question and Jack's answers plus all the revelations from your readers, I can only say "Well done."

    You once bemoaned a worry you had that perhaps you had told all the stories you had to tell and that it was time to step away from blogging. Thank goodness that I and others argued that point, Mere. You continue to share your heart and your mind, and we all grow with ttwd every day.

    A Very Thankful Ella

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  13. Hi Meredith, :) I agree with Ella! Super thought provoking post! Great conversation. Laurel’s lovely comment made me think some. Nice to hear from two blogging couples from the past, as well. Maybe we are all saying the same things, in different ways? So interesting. I’m looking forward to reading Ella’s post.

    An old post of mine, “He’s Got Me” comes to mind. Rob does. In many ways, I just had to let him. Perhaps that’s still the case, so does that mean it’s my responsibility to let him, as well as Rob’s to lead? So interesting to ponder! Many hugs,

    ❤️Katie

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  14. I realized after I went on and on last night, I really should have just said: My goal/responsibility is to not have to react to Willie, which is what I did the first 3 years of ttwd. I fixed things after the fact. I don't want to step up after the fact and bring her back. I want her to BE where she needs to all the time. Basically as she once posted on her blog, it is my responsibility to cultivate her submission more often than it is to haul her back into it. So along with watching and assessing I have her perform submissive exercises etc. to keep her where she needs to be.

    Barney.

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  15. Wow. Such an interesting, thought provoking post and replies. Again, we are newbies - not so much in time at it, but more in the way we are moving slowly, slowly, slowly together in this journey. So I'd say for us, it's both of us. I am pretty naturally submissive. Does that make me sound like a big wimp? Oy. I just mean that I am a "people pleaser" and truly feel horribly guilty when I've upset the apple cart. The other side of this, however, is that I tend to take charge when nobody else does BUT I DON'T WANT TO! I'm tired. I'm emotional. So in that sense, I am hoping my hubby will step up a little faster and take some of the burden - which he does much more often these days and I am grateful, but need more consistency to feel safe and cared for. So, I guess with us it's both of us. I need to stop taking the reins and he needs to take them from me. What I've mostly learned from everyone's comments and your post is that we all have different relationships, but TTWD improves them. Tremendously.

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  16. Also wow! Great conversation! Thank you, Meredith. This reminds me of the amazing comment streams on Susie's blog a few years ago--literally dozens and dozens of them! So helpful for a newer [year 3] TTWD wife!
    In our dynamic, John also has said it is my emotions that cause all the trouble...much like Jack! And I recognize that some little slight or offhand comment can cause me to be hurt or offended and withdraw emotionally. Then there is a period of time when he doesn't realize we're not in sync. Like Meredith said, one word answers provide a clue eventually! He has a certain male reluctance to "step in", it seems! Can't blame him, really! A wife's emotions are not natural territory for a lot of men! But at this point in our lives [60's!] I hate to waste any time! I have told him I need his help with my emotions, which is humbling. And when he does act to reset, I am grateful and we are so wonderfully close again!
    We have come so far since starting this lifestyle, and have had plenty of ups and downs, but neither of us would ever go back, that's for sure!
    Thanks again, Meredith, for the wonderful topic!

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  17. Wow, this has given me pause. We are still figuring out the whole responsibilities aspect, but with time we have both learned so much about how we relate to one another in this dynamic. Everyone is different, but he takes a lot on his shoulders, he shields me from a lot or at least tries to LOL. Silence is usually the marker of when things are off, and it always leads to him looking for the root cause, but he still expects accountability. He is quick to apologize for any part he might have played but I am expected to own my submission. Maturity has provided us with true understanding and insight,but submission is a funny thing. As you said its great until its not. Such an interesting and thought provoking post.
    Mignon

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  18. Meredith, what a fascinating debate you've sparked off here! I think the variations in the responses show there is no 'one size fits all' answer to your question. In our house, Harry and I work together to keep things running smoothly. Yes, it is more likely that I'll be the one that rocks the boat but the captain and mate take joint responsibility for regaining an even keel through open communication. Ultimately, that might result in the mate being marched to the brig to be reminded whose hand is on the tiller but that's not always so.

    The one thing I think we all agree on is that none of us wants to go back to life before ttwd.

    Rosie xx

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