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Once the husband has decided to spank his wife for an infraction, it's not uncommon for the wife to try to negotiate down the severity of the forthcoming spanking, or negotiate herself out of the spanking entirely. She may start negotiations by saying something along the lines of, "This mistake wasn't that bad, honey. I mean, it's not that big of a deal...", or "At least I didn't do (something more serious) which would have been much worse...", or "I did a really good job of handling the spanking last time so you should give me a little break for that. This spanking shouldn't be as bad as the last one since I handled the last one so well..." She's trying to downplay the severity of the infraction, or find reasons to persuade the husband to lighten up on the severity of the spanking. I can't say I blame her, but it's important the husband put a stop to this as soon as it happens.
|Image courtesy of sheknows.com.|
We're trying to keep things productive through this process, not make things more difficult for both spouses. Negotiation attempts from the wife make things more difficult and create unnecessary problems. Plain and simple.
The wife most definitely is NOT all to blame in this situation. The biggest reason something like this happens in the first place is because the husband inconsistently enforces the rules. Inconsistent enforcement of the rules sends the message to the wife that she has influence over how the rules are enforced, and how the punishments will be administered. When she has this mentality, she believes her influence will lessen her husbands perception of the severity of both her infraction and subsequent punishment. This belief in her is where her negotiation tactics are born. So, husbands, this is just another reason why consistent enforcement of the rules is crucial in a Domestic Discipline marriage. Her bothersome negotiation tactics are likely a result of you being inconsistent.
How do I address my wife's negotiation tactics?
It starts with the lecture. At some point during the lecture process, the wife started deflecting the severity of her offense. The husband needs to stop those deflection attempts before they begin. "We both know a major mistake was made, so I don't want to hear anything about how this isn't a serious problem. I'll tell you before we even get started that you're negotiation attempts aren't going to work, so I wouldn't even try if I were you. That would just make this harder for us both."
Even with the upfront warning, the wife may still attempt to negotiate her punishment. As soon as this happens, it's recommended the husband immediately interrupt the lecture and punish for it. I recommend starting with corner time and escalate as needed from there. Once the corner time punishment is carried out, pick up the lecture where it left off and continue on with the spanking process.
It's important that both spouses remember this fundamental DD principle - the wife chooses the behaviors, the husband chooses the consequences. If the wife chooses to negotiate her punishment after being warned not to do so, the husband then chooses what punishment ensues for that infraction. She was given a choice, and her choice was to ignore her husbands warning and attempt negotiations anyway. The wife needs to understand that her negotiation tactics aren't going to influence how her punishment will be carried out, and the best way to ensure that is by the husband initially warning her during the lecture that they won't work, and punishing immediately after if she attempts to negotiate at any point during the spanking process.
This was the second installment of the "Addressing Spanking Issues" series. For the first installment, click on the link below.
- First Installment: Addressing Spanking Issues - Hesitation