Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Hiding out and then Break through......

After my first post of 2017, this is me. I sort of went into my hiding place. I needed some space and time to think things through. I thought I had communicated effectively some of my concerns but honestly felt that some that responded were frustrated and so naturally going into my defensive mode... I felt hurt and shut down. I have since then given careful thought to those responses and also spent some time in quiet reflection.
This is me with nearly every conversation that Sir and I have. Really you say? Yes. Our conversations almost always end with me saying just this. I feel like Sir is yelling at me with his responses but if you were to ask him, he says he is simply having a discussion. How can two people be so much on opposite ends of a conversation and feel so differently about what has transpired?
So I have read over and over again how important communication is with TTWD.  We do not have such good communication. Or rather from Sir's perspective... there is no respectful communication.
I thought about that statement for awhile and today.... I carefully asked Sir if he had a moment to answer a few short questions. And he did, and here is what I learned from listening to his responses.
My question was simple.... Please tell me what Respectful Communication means to you.
His response... "Accepting the answer I give you is final"  Goodness. I had to swallow hard there.
Guilty as charged. I can truthfully say that no matter what we are discussing, large or small issues, I always have to have the last say. I got a bit teary eyed as he said this very matter of fact like. I felt like a devine revelation had just been sent my way. I then asked.. Sir how can you tell whether respectful communication is going on between us. Sir responds simply.. body language & tone.
You mean like this? I think in my head..... or perhaps this......
How many times in our 40+ year relationship have I heard Sir say this to me and I just keep ignoring him? Sadly more times than I care to admit to.
Then I found this saying.... very appropriate. It's not necessarily been about our differences with our conflicts but more like the wrong tone of voice that is used in handling these conflicts. Just a quick thought here as I process this statement.. I am more likely to be guilty of this.. but what happens when you believe your HOH is also guilty of this? I asked Sir this question and he does not feel in most instances he is guilty. He states that once he raises his voice it is because I have tuned him out and am not responding to his statement. Humm. so two wrongs do not make a right I am thinking.... but I stay silent to learn a bit more.

So just as I am thinking through this information, Sir says... it is not what you are saying to me it is
your tone of voice and how you are saying it that is the issue. More information for me to think about. Right now I am really practicing active listening skills here.
Then I find this little reminder.... I think the picture is becoming ever so clear to me now. 65% of what is perceived in a conversation comes from non verbal cues we are sending whether intentional or not. Ok I buy that and am willing to admit that maybe 50% of the time my non-verbal cues are intentional as I am frustrated, but to be fair, there is probably 50% of the time when I may not be aware that I am providing negative non-verbal cues that Sir does not appreciate.
As I continue to think about what Sir has just thoughts are interrupted with this statement from him. If you are to be submissive, you can not be the boss. You must be open to hear what is being said and not try to change my mind."  Oh my.. those were some of the most powerful words I have heard in a very long time.
Ok. So now I am feeling emotional. So I simply thanked him for answering my questions but now
I need to remain calm and think things through. I truly felt this less then 10 minute talk we had gave me so much information to process.
Ok. I picked this picture just because Meredith frequently recommends "leaning in" I think I now understand what she means here, side note here.. wished we looked as young as this couple!!
So today this was a good conversation for us and went well because I purposefully practiced every good listening skill I had and managed to keep my mouth closed.
So I will need much help in the upcoming weeks to practice the art of keeping my mouth closed and my ears open in order to learn a bit more about Sir's preferences.
Saw this today and felt it was most appropriate. Interesting to note that communication and trust are listed here as one of many things that help make a happy marriage. Thought you might enjoy this saying as well.
Ok... so while I have been quiet for awhile, of course playful, silly little spankings are still occurring in our house. We, too, of course have a croc pot full of wonderful cooking utensils and the one above is Sir's most favorite to grab when in reach. Recently after a quick little session in the kitchen I asked Sir why did he always have to grab this one? He stopped and said with the most serious of all expressions.. it's quite simple.. this has weight, width, length and most importantly.. "swingability"
Is that even a word I wondered. Anyway.. just thought I would share that laughable moment with all of you even at the expense of a sore bottom for the day.

So to end this post, my goal for at least this week is to watch my "tone of voice as well as my body language." I know it won't be easy after a lifetime of doing what I have been doing. Since Sir and I don't typically sit down for official conversations as some of you might do, I may just find some of the answers I may be looking for just asking thoughtful questions when the time is right.
If you have made it to the end of this long post without falling asleep I appreciate your staying with me. As always I welcome your feedback if you relate to these same issues.


  1. Annabelle,
    Watching my tone, active listening and keeping respectful ........ all three helped me weather the car door situation. You are right there demonstrating to Sir all three. You go, girl.

  2. Annabelle,
    Wow, I can relate to this post! I feel you are doing a GREAT job trying to sort out what your Sir considers respectful communication!! Now please don't hate me for this suggestion but you could share your struggles with these with him, and here is the tricky part ask him to help you develop these skills. Since you've said he already gives you verbal admonishment such as "watch your tone" ... maybe you need more to help you make those changes you crave. Perhaps if he guides you to stand in the corner encouraging you to take a minute to think about how you'd like to speak to him. Even just asking you if you need a minute to think about your tone, etc. might help. I know for me having my husband completely stop our conversation and give some quick attention to my behavior helps me. That said it is never easy to ask for their help like that I know. The first time my HOH stopped talking about the topic at hand to focus on me that way I was in shock, but it really helped me. Oh goodness I am sorry I didn't realize the time - I need to run now, but I will check back on you. No matter whether you ask for his help or not I hear you and you are definitely making progress. Well done, Annabelle!!

  3. I love this post, Annabelle. It is honest and from the heart. Hard for me is being an active listener and not just thinking of what I going to say next. Your Sir has given a lot of insight here, and it is that kind of discussion that helps me renew my goals of submission.

    It also helps me to keep a personal journal about how I am doing with my goals. Putting it in writing gives the perfect time to really reflect.

    Hugs From Ella

  4. Nice hearing from you and I do agree about tone of voice. Both hubby and I seem to escalate silly issues just because of tone of voice.