Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The HoH: Great Privilege and Great Responsibility

We have all heard the quote "With great freedom comes great responsibility" -- Eleanor Roosevelt

Well, it's true. And with great privilege comes great responsibility.

When our husbands took on the role of Head of House, they took on an amazing coat of responsibility. I don't think either of us could have fully understood the depth of that responsibility. The HoH is the leader, protector, rule maker, rule enforcer, emotions monitor, and all around rock of the relationship. 

No pressure, right? 

When our HoH's mess up...the foundation shakes. A shaky foundation is SCARY. I am the one who messes up. I make mistakes...not him. When he does fail--when not if--because he WILL, he is human, I can feel lost and confused...unsure of everything. 

He holds my trust because he has earned it. He earns it every day. The role he plays in my life is a great privilege-- one I have granted him. 

My H takes that responsibility seriously. And honestly, rarely does he flub it up. I mean, of course he says something here or there that he shouldn't and he apologizes and all is fine...but rarely has he really shaken the foundation. 

Unfortunately, that happened last weekend. He messed up, and it sent me into a tailspin. It wasn't earth shattering and it wasn't so drastic...but it shook me up nonetheless. We spun right back to over a year ago, pre-dd, and fought like we haven't since then. I said hurtful things, he said hurtful things. I stormed upstairs and he let me. He silently went to bed, fell asleep, and I lay there...crushed. 

How did that happen so quickly? How did we tailspin backwards a year...all the progress of the last year gone in the blink of a disrespectful conversation. 

I got up from the bed, walked out of our room and went downstairs...fully expecting him to call out to me at any moment. He never lets me walk away angry. I normally can't get up to use the restroom at night without him waking up and asking if everything is ok. 

Yet, nothing. He just let me go. 

I was devastated.

Oh the many things I wanted to say to him. The forbidden "J" word came to mind often (Jerk--which he HATES). I almost used it just to see if he would snap out of wherever he had taken himself...almost..apparently I did have some small sense of self preservation left. 

Today we talked...I told him how shattered I was. That he is the HoH, and I don't know what to do when he acts like that. He said I was too angry and he was too angry. He said I was being defensive and disrespectful. I shot back with whose fault is that??? If I am too much for you to handle just tell me. 

Where was this coming from??? Who was this person??? I told  him, you are the HoH, you don't get to act like that. You don't get to make mistakes like that. 

SC: You expect me to be perfect.

No, I don't ....not perfect...well, maybe close to perfect...

SC: You expect my emotions to be bulletproof.

Wait. He may have a point. I guess I do. I don't often leave him any room for error. I have established in my own mind what is "HoH worthy behavior" and nothing less is acceptable.

And I told him not such a respectful way...I told  him his behavior was not "HoH worthy."

I was harsh. 

I have given him the gift of my submission and I expect him to treasure it. To guard it. And he does...but that doesn't mean he won't mess up. It doesn't mean he doesn't get angry and do and say the wrong things sometimes. 

Perhaps my expectations are slightly askew. Perhaps I don't offer him enough grace...(telling him I am about to go Spencer plan on him isn't very graceful is it?!?!)

In the end he did apologize, and I did get spanked...and we did restore our relationship back to its rightful place...but I spent several days still slightly afloat. The foundation was still intact but the shaking left me unsettled. It took several days of serious consistency and him not missing a thing for me to feel settled again...He held me close...just where I needed to be.

My HoH is an amazing husband, and a fantastic Head of House...but he is not perfect nor should I expect him to be. He has been given a great privilege with my submission, and I expect, and he delivers...great responsibility.   

When they mess up, we don't get the privilege of spanking them. In fact, when they mess up we usually get spanked because of how we respond to their mistake...

It's hard. But it is what we have chosen. They mess up, we get angry, we get spanked, all is well. What if we changed the pattern? What if I changed the pattern? What if he messed up, I forgave him, and all was well...(skip the disrespect and spanking part!) Offering grace and forgiveness...but they deserve it. My H deserves it.

He treats his great privilege as a great responsibility...and to me, that is a great treasure. 


  1. This kind of thing rarely happens at our house, but when it does it rocks the very foundation of our life. This is an excellent post to keep in mind when things get shaky and they ocassionally do. Thank you

  2. Seriously, this post just made me a bit emotional (tell no one!) I do the same thing, and I know I should, and will be more gracious with my forgiveness. You are absolutely right, they do deserve it.

    This is one of the best posts I've ever read, and I'm so happy to call you a friend! HUGS

  3. Cole,

    Hey, this is the first time for me commenting on your blog. This was an interesting post and I thought I might have a couple things to say, being an HOH myself.
    I think that despite the fact that part of you sees your HOH as your solid rock who never goes astray, you instinctively know he’s not perfect. I don’t think the answer is simply to have a balanced view between these two things.
    I think being an HOH has to do with your choices to lead or not lead, and not necessarily who you are or what your personality is like. I say this as one who has an easier going personality and often doesn’t really want to lead. But I am able to lead because I chose to do so, flailing and imperfect as it is. The more I do it, the more naturally it comes.
    When you told him his behavior wasn’t “HOH worthy” you very well may have been correct. You have a right to say that, even if it is harsh. Sometimes, for a man, the consequence of being told something like that is very humbling. It is worse than any spanking that could ever be given, but in the end will lead to being a better leader.
    However, when you said “You don’t get to make mistakes like that” – statements like that can be damaging. It implies that when he isn’t perfect that he’s lost, or might be able to lose, his right to be HOH. And honestly, I don’t think that’s something you want to question. You really don’t want him to question himself about it either.
    To me, the idea in the DD relationship is an acceptance of your roles regardless of how your spouse is actually performing in their role. That gives us a much more solid place to stand on, as this acceptance leads us to want to perform better when we fail.

  4. They do have a lot on their big strong shoulders don't they. Glad all is well now.


  5. Wonderful post Cole. I do the exact same thing. I struggle forgiving and letting things go and feel he should do no wrong. I need to change that pattern also.


  6. WOW! What a really thought provoking post. It's made me thing about a lot of the little interactions between H and myself. Thankyou!