As promised, here are the answers to the questions you guys gave us. We answered them apart and without discussing them so that we could learn more from each other's answers. :)
EsMay's answers are in pink, the Duke's in blue.
Kenzie - I have a question for the both of you, what has been the biggest challenge so far when it comes to TTWD, and what do you want to work on the most this next year?
This year I really hope to work on gathering submission exercises, and apply them to my daily living. The Duke already knows this, so it won't surprise him, but I'm making a list of things he can ask of me too for submission exercises. I've been looking online, and doing a lot of thinking. Have not found much, but I think any ideas will be very helpful to him. He really wants to do this, but creativity is not his strong suit, and that is okay. :) These exercises are not for him to keep me constantly submissive, that is my job to work on, but they can help, but can also help him feel more in control as well. If any of you have any ideas I might be able to add to the list, I would SO LOVE them! :) I want to learn to be more submissive, more soft, more sweet.
I would say the biggest challenge for me this year was staying consistent especially at times where I was tired or stressed from work. I would just want to come home and relax and it is a challenge to work on TTWD when I do not feel that great. So I guess the next year I would like to work on pushing on when I feel tired or unhappy and still enforce rules as an HOH.
Jennelle - My question.. What's the one thing you wished you did differently? and what's the one thing you're most proud of?
On thing I wish I hadn't done was challenge and provoke the Duke. There were times I flat out challenged his ability to lead... and I am SO ashamed of that. And you know, of course, it back fired. My challenging him did not get him to step up and take the lead, no, it made him question the progress he'd already made, made him wonder if he was growing at all, doing any good. I made him question his masculinity, and his ability to step up. Instead of challenging, I took the rug out from under his feet. I wish I'd know that that could happen before... and to this day, I'll take the rug out from under him from time to time without even meaning to, but now we know how to get past that and keep working on growing.
The thing I'm most proud of is that I actually look for ways to please the Duke now. When we started, I was so low on love, all I could do was seek to take. But now after fighting to make our marriage work, using strength I didn't think I had, I now have love coming in so that it's much easier to give love out. I now am happy to go out of my way to do things that will help or please the Duke. I am eager to please him, and make him proud of me. I always hoped I would be, but part of me always doubted I would grow into that part of the role. I am very glad I have, so much so that sometimes the Duke will ask me not to help, and I'll fight to help, and then I have to remember to be obedient over helpful. Case in point, he shovelled the driveway last night, and I was not allowed to help, even though I wanted to, even if it would have made his job easier, I was to stay inside,and except for running up the street for some pop he wanted, that is just what I did. It was hard, but being obedient was worth it.
I guess I wish I was more consistent overall in enforcing rules in punishments since I did find it hard at times. I am most proud that we are still doing this after this amount of time. I was worried that it was just going to be one of those things that we would lose interest in as a couple over time but we have found it a lot more useful than I would have guessed.
Clara Baker - What day to day ways do you two use to keep your "roles" from slipping? Especially you EsMay, when you want to be in a mindset of obeying and following but you feel like day to day issues are pushing that aside is their something that helps keep you there?
Clara... that is a hard one. If I'm PMSing, no matter what I do, unless I have the Duke's help, I find being submissive on my own very hard, and when I try it, I actually feel like I'm the one in control, instead of feeling the submission sink in. During those few days, try as I might, the more I try to be submissive, the more I feel doing so means control.. go figure. Other than that, I try to put what the Duke needs ahead of what I need. When I want to blow up, I ask myself what I really want to get out of a situation. Does blowing up really get me closer to my goal? Not usually, so a reminder in submission and going about it in a more diplomatic approach is called for. I am starting to come home and change into a thong and a dress to help me feel submissive. I am a nanny who gets down and plays with the kids, so this attire is not suitable for work, but I am trying to remember to change as soon as I get in the door. I will also do my hair. For some reason, adjusting the physical on me changes my mindset a lot, which I never thought before, and so paid very little attention to how I looked. I'll also remind myself that I want to be submissive, that I want to please the Duke, that I want to give him control. I am still learning ways, and as I said in my first answer, want to devote my year this year to learning ways to do this better. :)
I have a hard time keeping my roles from slipping in the day to day, I guess because in my normal life I’ve always been passive and more of a follower. I guess just trying to remember how important this is and how hard it is to regain ground after you slip is the way I try to keep from slipping.
George K - If you and the Duke were magically transported back in time to say the 1840's, what occupation would the Duke have and if you also wanted a job, what would it be?
Perhaps y'all would be a couple like Marshall Dillon and Miss Kitty in Gunsmoke or maybe Hallie Stoddard and Tom Doniphon in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance? Or maybe neither!
Do you think that the DD lifestyle would be more accepted as the natural way back in those days?
Hmmm, what job would the Duke have? The Duke does not believe me, but he has an alpha male in him, it was just severely tempered by his mother while he was growing up. I honestly see him running a ranch, and having several hands underneath him. I see him knowing what he wants, what needs to be done, being sure of himself, and taking crap from no one, not even his brat of a wife. ;) I see him smiling, teasing, yet knowing when to be firm. I see him loving, and helping those less fortunate with his extra time and money. I guess I would see him a lot like McLintock! which is partly how he got his name here. He knew what he knew, and he did his best, and made mistakes, and grew, and loved, put his family above his worth, and did what he felt was right, minus the large amount of alcohol. Lol
And I'm not sure, from what I've read and seen in movies, a man leading his home, and discipling was more widely accepted, especially letting your man lead the home, but I'd have to actually be back then to see if the discipline side of it was more accepted. I would hope so... and really, hope that in the future, a future I can see, that it will be again. I think we should be striving as a society to make more types of marriages known, and finding what works best. Marriages are falling apart way too often, and we should be allowing the information get out there so that more people can find solutions that they had not known of before.
I am not a student of history but I would assume that DD was seen more often in the past, but possibly not the way we do it. I read Liberty Valance but have never seen the film adaptation. I would like to, I like both John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart. The 1840’s was a long time ago. Maybe I would have been one of those soldier’s making their last stand in the
Leah Q - I always like to hear the husband's perspective: what does the Duke see as the advantages of DD?
Well, I'll leave this one to the Duke then. ;)
The advantages I feel is that it brings us closer as a couple, it sets more clear guidelines for the roles in the relationship, and I think it makes it so I know now what I can do in certain situations or how I can act that would help my wife. I think I have a better understanding of my wife’s needs through DD than I ever would have otherwise
And thank you all for your questions, we really had a fun time answering them. :) Feel free to ask more if you have any. :) - The Duke and EsMay