Why Punishment Spankings Works

There’s been spanking and then more spanking at our house, but none of it has been the fun variety. I know there’s a lot of talk on all sides about punishment, does it work, should it work, how it works, why it works. It works for us.

It used to work in the first few years to enforce rules and change behaviors. Somehow for some of us there is a connection between the bottom and the brain and a punishment spanking somehow causes synapses to fire and information to be processed in a new and effective way. It can reinforce positive change if a girl wants to change. Sometimes a punishment just reins me in and puts an end to an emotional episode that has brewed and is spilling unchecked. We always talk things through, either before or after, or even sometimes during. (Yes, I am quite gifted and can argue even while in the midst of a hard spanking if I am mad enough!)

Sometimes, more often now, a punishment spanking is a closing statement at the end of an essay. It brings closure to what has happened, is a physical communication about our roles and responsibilities, an acknowledgment of what went wrong and what needs to be put right. It allows us to address an issue, process it and let it go.

I believe this is such a powerful and worthwhile thing to have in a marriage, a system of seeing and saying what is wrong quickly, an agreement to take the time to speak about it, and a ritual to express the disappointment and regret, and then to reconnect and work past the problem.

How many marriages outside of Dd ones have anything like that in place? I can’t think of any system that I see working consistently for anyone I know of. It’s too easy to pretend the hurt or wrong was not so bad, to push down the negative feelings, to ride out the bad times, waiting for separate healing to occur, and then just forget it and go on, the issue often un or only partially addressed and ultimately un or only partially resolved.

Grant was away for 4 nights over last weekend and I just missed him terribly. I guess coming back from 3 weeks off has left us to suddenly have lots to deal with on the home and work fronts…lots of catch up and stress. For me it was pretty overwhelming. I also have some real life stuff happening that are all about changes. Change at my work, change with the kids, and changes with some ugly extended family business that I am forced to deal with now.

I think I did not realize how I was holding my breath until Grant came home. I just wanted him here with me, to let me lean. And of course he has his own stresses. He was to come home Monday night and then got delayed until Tuesday. I had told him my state of need and he heard me, was responsive, was on his way. He even left at 5:30 am to make the long drive, so as to have time with me. He walked in expecting a mid-day reconnect, and I was there, happy and waiting, expecting a nice midday reconnect as well…and then, within 5 minutes he did one wrong thing, something seemingly innocuous but it truly set me off, and within 15 minutes there were words, a door slam (by me) and I was dressed and out the door to an errand and then work. Oh, and there were a few angry texts too. I was really angry and this was clearly his fault.

Except… when I had time to calm down and think, really think, I got that niggling feeling that there was something else going on.  I recognized my behavior was uncharacteristic and perhaps over-emotional. When I had time to consider and begin to sift through what was happening on the inside, and to get a grasp on some of the stressors and fears that I finally admitted were getting overwhelming, I realized  that this drove my anger. Very often for me, anger masks fear. In the late afternoon I was finally able to call a Dd friend and work through more of the what and why with someone who could listen and understand. I figured out this was me. My neediness, my feelings of vulnerability over that, my fears of being alone with my feelings, understanding that those fears are for no good reason except that I spent much of my childhood emotionally alone, and those feelings come back to haunt me at times.

Grant told me before dinner that I was “in trouble”. No big surprise there. And interestingly, while I was not looking forward to the reckoning, I also in some ways was. I needed it and knew it. Maybe even WE needed it. I don’t know. But I do know that at times when we have been apart, when I am dealing with emotional shakiness inside, feeling those walls that our Dd marriage provides, the boundaries, feeling them stand strong and having him pull me back from the abyss of my fears and loneliness and our disconnect is exactly what I need. If nothing else a punishment spanking brings me right back to the center of who we are, what we do, what the expectations and agreements are, and the knowledge that he will keep us on the right track even when I falter. It provides security and protection of me and us.

I took myself into the bedroom after dinner just to have some quiet alone time to think. I was able to go deeper into what was driving my insecurity and then able to talk to him when he came to find me. I was able to apologize, meaning it, with no attempt to get out of what was due. In fact when he said he thought he needed to punish me, I told him I agreed. He apologized for his small part in things too.

The act, the ritual around all of this is terribly important for us. He spanks for punishment in a particular place in our bedroom and in a particular position. This time he told me to take off my pants myself. He talks and expects answers. The spanking, the literal intensity, the pain, is not really where the impact of a punishment spanking comes from for us. This is not about being beaten into submission or causing more pain than I can manage…whether there are tears or not comes most often comes from the pain in my heart not my bottom. Don’t get me wrong, a punishment spanking is hard and hurts a lot. But it is the emotional and physical actions, the submission and dominance acted out, baring myself, going over his lap, his scolding, and the true acceptance of all of that on my part, his spanking, the words, his and mine, taking responsibility for my wrongs that brings us back to a place of togetherness. He dominates and I submit. It all seems to bring out an incredible tenderness in him as well, as he forgives and comforts and always shows me his love. I am left feeling cherished.

We talk and process things together. We try to understand what went wrong and why and how we both feel about things. We try to leave nothing left unspoken, ignored, misunderstood, or pushed away, only then to resurface between us another day. There are times when I think ALL of that, this process, is what made us who we are together, has allowed us to be who we have become as a couple.

Punishment spanking in marriage is such an odd and mostly misunderstood concept. I think all couples hurt each other, they sometimes strike out. They punish each other with actions and words. They just don’t often catch it, examine it, figure out how to do better next time. They don’t so often take responsibility. They don’t usually name their power dynamic for what it is either, admit who is in charge and how that will work. Most couples fall into who they are and how they do things largely unconsciously, and for the most part never spoken out loud.

We do things very differently and I know that might shock or scare some people, but it has worked for us. Years ago this unfortunate homecoming might have resulted in hurt feelings, lots of angry words, more argument and perhaps, if it escalated, even several days of discomfort with walls built between us. In a matter of hours we were able to communicate, set things to rights, and reunite as a loving couple. I’ll take the spanking any day!

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