Thursday, January 03, 2008New year, new contract
We've had a very vague contract in play for the last two years--really it was just a written set of rules including Gabriel's once-famous "tell me what I need to know to make good decisions." Other things like that, very open-ended so as not to put pressure on pet in any way.
Turns out, I think I did more harm than good to us that way. Especially in the last six months, things have been stressful for pet so I backed way off of my expectations and truly my own desires in order to let him handle his business in peace. Which wound up causing him a LOT more stress.
I think what I forgot was that pet is a submissive. DUH. He doesn't need freedom and space, he needs tightening down when he's stressed, literally and figuratively. But it is my nature to be kind as well as, you know, dominant. When I'm stressed, I want the demands on me to decrease not increase. But pet wants more specificity, more direction, more of everything to keep him on track when his mind is spinning.
So we're going to try it. I wrote out a more complex, much longer contract mainly concerned with specficity--but it still isn't probably what you would imagine...
He has to get regular haircuts and massages
He has to take one night a week off of service
We take one night a week to do my pedicure and other things that are service-related
I will schedule his household chores more specifically--especially on weekends
He still has to tell me what I need to know to make good decisions but now we have a weekly meeting to discuss such things
All this has room to grow and change, of course. We're flexible. But adding LESS flexibility seems to have reduced stress and increased connection. We'll see how it goes long term.
Much thanks for the support and advice--I'm taking notes :)