I'm capable of tough love, too. And even our big, bad Dominants need that from time to time.
Nothing Made Him Happy
Daddy has this ability to take a not-so-bad problem and make it seem not-so-great.
"They didn't have the coffee I wanted. And yeah, they gave me a free dessert and a coupon. But I'm still not happy."
We call this grousing. It's sometimes how I tease him out of a bad mood. He'll say something like this, and I'll just respond with, "Grouse, grouse, grouse" in my best grumpy voice. That usually breaks the tension and gets him to smile.
This time, he groused about little things, but my teasing didn't work at all. He was decidedly down in the dumps.
(Side note: at this point, no one wants his computer fixed more than I do.)
On our evening walk...
"At least they're sending you a new motherboard, free of charge. It'll probably be here by the time we return from our trip. That's good, right?"
"Well, yeah. But what's the point? Maybe someone's trying to tell me I shouldn't move forward with our business plans. Maybe this is all a bad idea."
I stopped walking and stood still. In a bit of shock.
"Are you trying to say that if your computer died and we hadn't made plans, you wouldn't fix it?"
"Well, no. Of course not!" He sounded a bit affronted.
"Exactly. No matter what, you need a working computer. This is just a temporary setback - as annoying as it has been for both of us." I took a deep breath. I was about to go out on a limb. "Daddy, this is more than a grumpy, grousy thing."
He looked at me, defeated, miserable, shoulders slumped.
"Ever since this damn computer thing, you've been completely off."
He nodded. We kept walking. And I kept talking.
"First of all, even without our plans, we would fix your computer. And the damn thing will get fixed if it means we're buying a brand new one off the shelf. You need your computer, and you'll get one.
He took a deep breath. "This is about more than a computer." He looked at me. "Everything has been off lately."
I Tell Him Like It Is
The conversation continued a bit, but he put a stop to it with a few simple words. "I'll tell you more about it later."
That night, in the shower, his face had never been longer. The look in his eyes was a mix of worry, sorrow, and something that looked like defeat. I didn't like it.
"What is really going on?"
He finally started talking. He admitted to feeling off, to stressing about his own dominance, to letting stress get in between him and our relationship. The kinky fuckery had died down a bit and I was getting away with a lot of sassy behavior.
(For the record, he had continued to be great from my perspective - loving, caring, amazing.)
He finally said what I think had been on his mind the whole time.
"What if I don't always feel Dominant? Can you handle that?"
That's when the real discussion began.
"You are always a Dominant, even when we're not being kinky. You're dominant because I submit. Always. I defer to you. I ask your opinion. I seek your guidance." I stared into his eyes, long and hard, determined that he understand this. "You stop being my Dominant when I stop submitting, and that's not going to happen."
I reminded him about all the ways I submit that have nothing to do with sex. All the rules I follow, without being told. All the tasks I complete, without being asked.
"I don't know where your confidence has gone, but I am completely yours. There has yet to be anything you've asked of me that I won't do." He nodded. I continued. "My submission is freely given, and yours to take. Whenever you want."
The conversation continued as we dried hair, put on clothes, listened for cranky little boys downstairs.
"Maybe my lack of domination has been why you've been walking the line between sassy and bratty, babygirl." That gave me pause and made me think for a moment.
"I never intend to act bratty, but I can admit that if it happens, it's for one reason, and one reason only." Another deep breath. "It will be a subconscious push for you to deal with me."
I emphasized subconscious, because the idea of purposefully acting bratty actually makes me sick to my stomach. (I'm kind of a goody-two-shoes, good girl, lol.)
I Shocked Myself
I'm kind of an in-your-face girl when I know I'm right. I'm plainspoken, no nonsense, no bullshit. I tend to be assertive in that mode.
I'd never been that way with Daddy. Not to that extent.
After we talked. After he admitted I'd given him something to think about. After the sorrowful look finally left his face, I wrapped my arms around his neck and leaned in close.
"I didn't make you mad, did I, Daddy?"
"I wasn't too blunt?" I was really concerned that I'd crossed a line.
"No, babygirl. You gave me exactly what I needed."
We held each other for a while, warm and quiet.
Because I can't stand things to be quiet and somber for too long, I leaned back and looked into his eyes. "That's me, the Tough Love Queen."
He laughed, which was my goal all along. "Yes you are. And thank you, babygirl. You did the perfect thing for me."
The next day, we talked more, and he reiterated that I'd given him exactly what he needed - a verbal kick in the ass.
It felt strange to do, but it was important. I reminded him that our relationship is based on taking care of each other, and that I'm not afraid of be tough with him when I know he needs it.
"For that, babygirl, I thank you."
I share this story for several reasons, but the main one is this...submission isn't just about meek voices, lowered eyes, and bowed heads. Sometimes the best way to take care of a Dominant is to find the thing that will snap him out of the bad, destructive mood he's in. For us, it's plain speech and a lot of tough love.