Pleasing you, pleasing me?

When give and take in a relationship becomes a finely tuned thing, it is interesting to see how that plays out. When you decide to put the needs of each other before your own, gone are the days of the power struggle and the tit-for-tat. Instead you become more focussed on deriving your own satisfaction and happiness from the pleasure you get in pleasing your partner. A power exchange relationship is beautiful in its simplicity and it is not only in the bedroom that you notice it. In a 24/7 dynamic, it stretches to most things and becomes as natural a thing for me to hand him the shinier of the two coffee cups and the larger of the two glasses of wine, as it is for him to hand me the Snack-a-Jacks caramel rice cake whilst I notice he is having the Tesco one himself. (The difference is small but one has slightly more flavour and is slightly less cardboardy that the other!
I think that those small acts that show your thought and consideration for the other become not only a normal part of what you do, but can also form as important a part as the bigger gestures do. It is a constant reminder that your partner is thinking about you and putting you first and it is a conscious choice for you to reinforce your own mindset by responding in kind. For the most part, doing this works really well for us: I look after him and he looks after me; I am happy that I have pleased him and he is happy that he has pleased me. But sometimes, situations are a bit more complex than choosing to spend the evening watching a documentary on TV that the other person is interested in. Sometimes you have to make a decision about whether or not to do something and the odds are not evenly stacked, so to make the choice in the other’s favour will lead to you both making separate choices.
We are in one such dilemma at the moment. We have been asked by my parents to attend an event with them and the rest of my extended family – a weekend in Paris to celebrate a special birthday: lovely! Unfortunately this only includes some of our children (mine), and not others (his). We see ourselves as one and are really quite a strong unit. We have all worked hard to achieve this and the kids have played a huge part as they have forged very strong relationships with each other as siblings rather than as people who have been forced together by circumstances. Because we see ourselves as one family and so do the children, it is difficult when others on the outside don’t do the same. My daughter actually feels very strongly about it, and I have to say that it is currently not helping her relationship with her grandparents.
While I understand that having the whole of our family there may change the group dynamic, it feels wrong that we have to split. Apart from the logistical difficulties this will cause, it also means that Sir is expected to put aside the hurt that he feels at their exclusion in order to celebrate along side me. That is not something that I would ask him to do. In addition, I am fiercely protective, as most mothers are, and I would never knowingly put any of my children in a situation where I feel that they are not really wanted, so I do not want to insist that they come along. Hence my feeling that despite the fact that I wish to please my parents and put my true feelings aside in order to make things more special for them, my loyalties are first of all with my husband and with our children. My leaning therefore, is that we should not attend.
The flip side to this is that HisLorship wishes to put my needs first. Although he is disappointed that the event will exclude the boys, he knows that my parents are important to me and that they have been hugely supportive of us both in other ways. They are usually inclusive of our family group and have a positive relationship with his kids. He also knows that my sisters, who have traditional families rather than out more complicated blended variety, will both be there and I will be the one who is conspicuous in my absence so he would rather put his own feelings of disappointment aside, and embrace attending as he thinks that will be the easiest thing for me.
So rather than both fighting to get what we each want for out selves, we find ourselves in a situation where both party wishes to put aside their own feelings in order to support the other and meet what we see as being their needs. This is not the first time this has happened and it will not be the last, I am sure, but it makes reaching a decision a tougher thing I think and it makes you feel that you are in a bit of a no win situation. So whether we go to Paris or not, it will be hard to feel as if we have really met each others’s needs fully. And I suppose that is why there has to be give and take, even when you both want to be the one to give. So we found ourselves at a rather subdued impasse during the discussion phase.
Of course the other aspect of a power exchange dynamic is that I have deferred the decision making to Sir so ultimately it will be his call, but our agreement means that we discuss things fully first, and he will listen to what I think, as I will listen to him. This leads to an acceptance of the decision so we are able to move forward, but accepting that by following his will, I have pleased him, even though I know that he has made a sacrifice for me is not always easy.  Easier often to be the one to give, rather than be the one to take, and so I will draw on my submissive mindset and shift my perception so that whatever the outcome I respect his decision by playing my part as well as I possibly can.
Without knowing yet what his decision is, I know that it will require me to move forward and embrace the outcome without going back over old ground. I will find this hard and will have to draw on my more recently found ability to actually bite my tongue and let things pass in a more gracious fashion than I ever would have done in the past. And whether we go or whether we stay, I will try to control any negative feelings that I have about the situation, and lean closer into him, rather than leaning away and sharing my thoughts elsewhere.

Posted in Submissive Journal and tagged , , , .


  1. I am in a blended family. To me you have two choices. Go as an entire family or don’t go. Either way it signals that you are one unit and don’t wish to be considered as anything else. My choice would be to take the whole family over.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts michael. I agree with what you are saying. I’m not sure taking everyone is an option though. But we could say that is why we aren’t going and see what sort of response that gets. ?

      • That would be my choice if we all couldn’t afford to go. Paris isn’t cheap. But when you work so hard to blend families it isn’t feasible to me to allow them to be damaged like this. Good luck with your decision. I’m sure your Sir will do what’s right for the family. I know he wants to support you, but sometimes family must come first.

        • My parents are paying for it so the cost isn’t part of the decision. What you have said really helps though. Sometimes it’s hard to keep perspective when you are the only one in that position and you are right that we do need to protect what we have built. Thank you.

  2. Thank you for sharing this…I really appreciate what you wrote about how you will have to accept his decision no matter what it is and not go over old ground. This act of acceptance has improved my marriage greatly. Wishing you luck?

    • Thanks Nora. I can’t say I am always great at it but I do try. It has greatly improved things for us too and for me personally as I am terrible for going over old ground. ?

  3. If it was me….I’d say either you all go or you all don’t. And I’d offer to pay towards the cost of HL’s children going. My feeling is that when you marry you join two families together, and having had a decades-long family rift caused by children (myself and my brother, aged 4 and 2 at the time) not being wanted at a family wedding, I really strongly feel that it’s important to be wholly inclusive.

  4. I think your last paragraph says it all. It’s his decision ultimately, and whatever one he makes, you need to support. Having said that, I agree with the rest of the comments. A family is all together in this case.

  5. You gave me two thoughts actually.
    First is in regards to the loggerhead that can exist within this realm. Let’s say that you are “sharing” the flu. Each wants to comfort the other. You wish to care for and obey him. He wishes to care for you and has the advantage of being able to tell you to sit and make it stick. Perfectly fair as that would be my first inclination in that moment. The downside comes in that you care for ALL parts of those you lead. That includes promoting their desire to care for their leader and allowing that act as a lesson in shared humanity and humility. You may lead but you are still a fallible human with a runny nose.
    Grrrr…., these decisions can keep you up at night. Especially once you realize that her sweet, loving compliance came at a cost and should have been handled differently. This thought process is not to imply error on the gentleman’s part. It merely gives alternative illustration to the trickiness of the responsibility that comes with the power.
    In regards to this situation, I agree with those above but from a different angle. I’ll admit to having my own religious beliefs and allow that the color my thought to a degree. You are a couple, a family, joined by law in marriage. You work hard to integrate disparate past into a cohesive, positive future. Unless one of the children (be they his or yours) has done something that would make them objectionable company, you all stay or you all go. You do not send a negative message to a child. You do not tell a child you love them and then show that love has less value than a holiday.
    The parents need to understand that your love of ALL of the children is a gift worth more than a holiday. Further it needs to be shown that this is not about you and them, him and them, your kids and them or his kids and them, it is about your children (all of them) seeing that they are an equally loved unit that can not be bargained away. None of this implies a mistake on anyone’s part, it is merely point out that Job #1 is supporting and parenting as best you can through every situation.
    A possible option (should it come to it) is for the lot of you to take your own short holiday to Paris. Make it known that you are there and you would love to meet up. The kids get the enrichment, enlightenment and fun regardless in this way. More importantly they see that you stood for them and you tried to reach out and you were willing to compromise in a way that benefited everyone.
    Please pardon the lengthy reply but this type of thing gets me talkative. The gentleman has shown creativity and wisdom thus far so I bet he steers y’all well no matter what. Thank you for listening and good luck ma’am.

    • Thank you for your response and I appreciate you spending time to express your thoughts. I agree completely with what you say about the role of the leader. Is may be difficult sometimes to keep quiet and follow graciously but that is far easier than the responsibility that he has in leading. Thankfully the communication beforehand often means that the decision becomes apparent anyway. ?

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