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Domestic Discipline: Communication is a Key to DD

Domestic Discipline Communication Article
A Domestic Discipline style of lifestyle takes time to cultivate. Too often one partner pushes the other to "GET IT" before they're ready. This can leave one partner looking like a deer in the headlights and their partner is a Mack truck filled with information and ideas ready to plow them over! Not always, but more often then not, the potential submissive TiH partner reveals this consensual lifestyle to their potential HoH partner after reading and learning and reading and reading and reading... (you get the picture) and reading about Domestic Discipline as a lifestyle. It usually takes the TiH awhile to gain the courage to share this realization, and then right after the submissive partner finally divulges their need for leadership in the relationship... they take over!

Even though it's the leadership and guidance they want from their partner, it's they who then take control and try to lead from a submissive position. In the open lifestyle community, this is known as a form of "topping from the bottom " This of course is confusing for the HoH. The whole idea of leading, spanking, and keeping their partner accountable might be completely new for them. But, the submissive partner has probably been thinking about this for some time and studying the subject. The TiH partner has been reading about the positive parts of what other DD couples are doing and of course they want the same. This can be overwhelming for the brand new HoH.
If you look deeper, you'll notice that the newer couples whose TiHs lead, struggle more. How many times have you read a post in a discussion group or on a blog that is from a TiH unhappy with their HoH. Too often. But, those who have been living this lifestyle for awhile understand that it takes time, especially in the beginning few years. Yes, I said YEARS! The first 3 months are just a feeling out period. The next 9 or more months are spent getting the communication dynamic right for your individual relationship. I've worked with couples who've been married over ten years and when I said they would need to both let go of past grudges and give themselves completely to one another in their new leader and support roles... there have been a few that looked at me like I was an alien! Otherwise, you'll be right back where you were before and nothing will have changed, and nothing will be changing in the near or distant future.

Domestic Discipline as a consensual lifestyle is something that takes love, patience and time. This isn't the lightning round of a game show! lol  There isn't a quick fix when you start, and if you keep feeling the need to continually start over in the first few months, then there might be a reason. It's not completely uncommon to have the feeling that you're restarting over and over in the beginning, it's ok, but you might be pushing yourself or your partner too hard to "get it." The DD lifestyle isn't a race and there is no "finish line." There isn't a one size fits all way explaining how to do this correctly for everyone. There is a place and time for everything and in the beginning DD takes time, a basic structure and the right place in your life. It's not uncommon for couples to have their ups and downs along the way as they learn and continue to grow. Those who persevere will find the tranquil home they have been striving toward. Each partner has to learn at their own pace even if it's too fast or slow for the other. They'll begin to find that tranquil balance for a few weeks or months at a time in the beginning. Then communicating more and finding the right balance will lead to longer and longer periods of peace and happiness in the home. One of the beauties of a DD lifestyle dynamic, is that it promotes communication which leads to more knowledge of your partners needs. 

Some General Tips:
  1. The goal of effective communication skills should be mutual understanding and finding a solution that is understood by both parties, not ‘winning’ the argument or ‘being right’.
  2. This doesn't work in every situation, but if you’re having a conflict in a DD relationship it helps to hold hands or stay physically connected as you talk. This can remind you that you care about each other and genuinely support one another in any situation.
  3. Keep in mind that it’s important to remain respectful of the other person, even if you're unhappy with their actions.
  4. Keep in mind that the final decision is the HoHs, but both partners ideas and opinions are important while gathering information to make the best decision for the relationship and household.   

Here is some advice gathered elsewhere while researching this ADDS article.

  1. Stay Focused: Sometimes it’s tempting to bring up past seemingly related conflicts when dealing with current ones. Unfortunately, this often clouds the issue and makes finding mutual understanding and a solution to the current issue less likely, and makes the whole discussion more taxing and even confusing. Try not to bring up past hurts or other topics. Stay focused on the present, your feelings, understanding one another and finding a solution.
  2. Listen Carefully: People often think they’re listening, but are really thinking about what they’re going to say next when the other person stops talking. Truly effective communication goes both ways. While it might be difficult, try really listening to what your partner is saying. Don’t interrupt. Don’t get defensive. Just hear them and reflect back what they’re saying so they know you've heard. Then you’ll understand them better and they’ll be more willing to listen to you.
  3. Try To See Their Point of View: In a conflict, most of us primarily want to feel heard and understood. We talk a lot about our point of view to get the other person to see things our way. Ironically, if we all do this all the time, there’s little focus on the other person’s point of view, and nobody feels understood. Try to really see the other side, and then you can better explain yours. (If you don't 'get it', ask more questions until you do.) Others will more likely be willing to listen if they feel heard.
  4. Respond to Criticism with Empathy: When someone comes at you with criticism, it’s easy to feel that they’re wrong, and get defensive. While criticism is hard to hear, and often exaggerated or colored by the other person’s emotions, it’s important to listen for the other person’s pain and respond with empathy for their feelings. Also, look for what’s true in what they’re saying; that can be valuable information for you.
  5. Own What’s Yours: Realize that personal responsibility is a strength, not a weakness. Effective communication involves admitting when you’re wrong. If you both share some responsibility in a conflict (which is usually the case), look for and admit to what’s yours. It diffuses the situation, sets a good example, and shows maturity. It also often inspires the other person to respond in kind, leading you both closer to mutual understanding and a solution.
  6. Use “I” Messages: Rather than saying things like, “You really messed up here,” begin statements with “I”, and make them about yourself and your feelings, like, “I feel frustrated when this happens.” It’s less accusatory, sparks less defensiveness, and helps the other person understand your point of view rather than feeling attacked.
  7. Look for Compromise Instead of trying to ‘win’ the argument, look for solutions that meet everybody’s needs. Either through compromise, or a new solution that gives you both what you want most, this focus is much more effective than one person getting what they want at the other’s expense. Healthy communication involves finding a resolution that both sides can be happy with.
  8. Take a Time-Out: Sometimes tempers get heated and it’s just too difficult to continue a discussion without it becoming an argument or a fight. If you feel yourself or your partner starting to get too angry to be constructive, or showing some destructive communication patterns, it’s okay to take a break from the discussion until you both cool off. Sometimes good communication means knowing when to take a break.
  9. Don’t Give Up: While taking a break from the discussion is sometimes a good idea, always come back to it. If you both approach the situation with a constructive attitude, mutual respect, and a willingness to see the other’s point of view or at least find a solution, you can make progress toward the goal of a resolution to the conflict. Unless it’s time to give up on the relationship, don’t give up on communication.
  10. Ask For Help If You Need It: If one or both of you has trouble staying respectful during conflict, or if you've tried resolving conflict with your partner on your own and the situation just doesn't seem to be improving, you might benefit from a few sessions with a therapist. Couples counseling or family therapy can provide help with altercations and teach skills to resolve future conflict. If your partner doesn't want to go, you can still often benefit from going alone.

People who have lived this lifestyle for years will tell you it's not a magic wand. The "GET IT" moments can take some time, but there will be a time when the first of may "GET IT" moments happens and you leap forward toward an even more full understanding of one another. Just as a light bulb being turned on gives more light, the "GET IT" moments illuminate our understanding of our individual DD lifestyle dynamic. You'll begin to understand that DD is a foundation that your daily lifestyle is built upon. Building a strong foundation is so important in supporting the rest of what comes later and what you decide to include upon your DD foundation. Through the years it still takes attention and effort to successfully sustain any style of relationship. 

                                                      A Gift that Keeps Giving!

Where does your DD style communication begin and just as importantly, how does one sustain communication? There are many links to wonderful blogs that can be found right here on this ADDS page. I suggest you find at least few that "speak to you."  And, I strive to include useful information within the posts and articles presented here on this ADDS blog. I suggest slowly pacing yourself through using a resource that has been developed over fifteen years and has been built to foster a cohesive union for a HoH & TiH. It is a process that can be used over and over to start, re-start, reset or revitalize your Domestic Discipline Lifestyle relationship dynamic. At the top of every page, and at the top of the Labels list (an below on this post), there is a link to a series that was introduced free to anyone who would like to use it as a guide to open your DD style communication and provide a common language and a basic structure that promotes discussion. I methodically developed and refined this process and it's not found online or anywhere else. No, I'm not selling you this info in a book, I'm offering this as a free resource to include with other resources that work for you. As you read each article, you'll notice it's an open template and not a set of rules to follow with some arbitrary time limit. It's a progression of  ideas presented through articles that helps you develop your own DD dynamic through the use of shared terminologies, communication tools and a basic foundation that is meant to be solidified and built upon. I'll also be here for you as a resource to answer questions and reply to your supportive suggestions for others who will be following in your footsteps and beginning their process in the future. After all, we live in A Domestic Discipline Society that is a community of supportive people sharing their knowledge with one another. :)

                      Leave your comment, ideas or advice then  Click the ADDS banner!

Related reading and research

Where to Start: Beginning your DD Lifestyle Together > ADDS Free DD Lifestyle Guide
Coming Out about Spanking & Domestic Discipline Desires
How to Start DD Research (Series)Domestic Discipline Marriage: Beginning A Domestic Discipline Marriage 

This article is the latest in a continuing series titled: KEYS to a Domestic Discipline Relationship
All of these below also make excellent SitDD topics.
1) Communication is a Key to DD
2) Domestic Discipline Honesty
3) Domestic Discipline Confession
4) Domestic Discipline Aftercare
5) Domestic Discipline Forgiveness
6) Domestic Discipline Relationship Characteristics: Ethics are a Key to DD
7) Domestic Discipline Key to DD: Patience


  1. Great post!
    There is no question that communication is the cornerstone to the lifestyle and patience is the mortar.

    1. Thank you Lillie! I like the cornerstone & mortar analogy. I've always spoken of the similarities of DD as a foundation and the individual ways people live it as their household that is built up it :)

  2. Anonymous11/03/2012

    I have been using the DD posts you talk about here as a "how to guide." for a month. It is working! We have the TIH List and HoH Rules in use and have 2 Sit Down Discussions every week. Communication has never been better and it is finally working after almost a year of trying! Thank you

    1. That's wonderful to hear! Keep coming back and passing on your ideas and knowledge to those starting the process after you :)

  3. Ward and I actually had this conversation not too long ago, or should I say we have it often when friends ask for advice - there is no arrival, it is a journey, not a destination. We are always learning and growing and changing. We can't be stagnant, stagnancy creates a climate where it is too easy to take our partners for granted.

    We constantly work on our communication, and constantly challenge each other to make sure we are being completely open and honest. Every relationship should be one where the harder work starts after you win your prize, but so many think you can stop trying once you 'catch' your partner.

    1. So true June. I agree that any relationship is an ongoing quest for knowledge of one's self and their partner.

  4. We all know people where the relationship ends through a lack of communication. They are living separate lives concurrently. Even though we really don't practice a traditional dd, we espouse many ideals that are encouraged. I love that ttwd has helped us work on bettering our communication.

  5. It's so nice to see when people are in a DD style relationship dynamic of any kind, their communication skills do open up and get stronger.

  6. Anonymous11/11/2012

    I am starting your process of revitalizing a DD relationship. I am embarrassed to admit that I was misled by a blog that has now been revealed as a fraud to make money. I even bought an online ebook thing that was stolen from free online information. My wife has lost some confidence in my ability to lead our DD marriage all because I was suckered in by someone who didn't have a clue. Thank you for giving all of us a free place to learn and sharing everything for free.

    1. I'm so sorry you were having difficulty and I'm glad to hear you're finding your way back and honored that you're using this site to assist you in revitalizing your DD relationship. I think of it this way... We don't charge our friends when we share our opinion with each other, or if someone asks for some friendly & experienced ideas. I don't personally have anything against anyone who honestly sell things from their site. I buy stuff from them! But anytime someone says they're trying to help others from a friendly & altruistic place, they do it for unselfish reasons and they don't ask for anything in return. There's a difference and I am so happy people like yourself have begun to see that difference. Just sad you had to go though what you did first.

  7. Anonymous11/14/2012

    Thank you for the many years of great DD advice! And thanks for being the original DD go to guy lol

    1. Ah ha! It looks like we have another member from an ADDS discussion group who found their way here! :)
      Thanks for the compliment, but there are many people who have been sharing about the DD lifestyle for a long time.

  8. Anonymous8/04/2013

    one of the ladies in the chat room earlier today suggested I look into this post....THANK YOU!!! This is one that I will need to read over and over to absorb all the helpful points.

  9. Anonymous6/14/2016

    I have never practiced a DD relationship but I feel like it would suit me best. I have alexithymia (difficulty experiencing, expressing, and describing emotional responses) and it prevents me from building relationships with others. Or just makes very difficult. Is there any advice you could give me? Or is it not worth trying?


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