Our first household rule:
Do NOT interrupt each other. It is disrespectful, and we both need to stop doing it.
Consequence (if I break the rule):
Ten licks with the wooden paddle.
Last night, we had a disagreement and I kept interrupting him. He made a comment about it, but instead of backing off, I started acting like a disrespectful brat. We both got pissed off and said some mean things. I walked off to the bedroom, and I thought he had walked outside. Within seconds, he decided to follow me into the bedroom, and after a brief discussion about what just happened, he made a decision.
"You are going to get 10 licks with the paddle for continually interrupting me. This is one of the reasons we start arguing and we are going to change it."
He is right about the interruptions. I tend to do it when I think he is wrong and not listening to me. Then he gets hurt because I'm refusing to listen to him. From there, it usually spirals to him walking off and not wanting to see or talk to me for a while. I absolutely hate that reaction. I'd rather him stand there and yell at me than have him walk away. When he chooses to walk away and the argument hasn't been resolved, I get this sense of feeling abandoned and it can be horribly overwhelming.
After he came in and told me that I was going to be punished, I calmed down. Oddly enough, so did he. I even ran around the bed and gave him an early Valentine's Day present! (It was a denim jacket with an internal liner for work - I swear I wasn't trying to get out of the punishment!) In fact, the mood had shifted so much that we were both laughing and smiling even before he went to retrieve the wooden paddle. I guess my eyes got big when I saw the paddle because he chuckled and said, "Yes, this is going to hurt."
He came around behind me and I leaned over the end of the bed. I handled the first three holding my breath. Thank goodness he let me keep my jeans on! The fourth and fifth caused me to whimper and then I promptly lost count in my head.
He asked, "Does it hurt?"
I replied, "Yes," because "Duh! What do you think?" didn't seem like an appropriate answer.
"It hurts me when you interrupt me and don't let me finish. It makes me feel like you don't care about what I'm saying and that you don't respect me." I felt an internal barricade break and fall.
The next couple were harder and I was trying to push myself further into the bed while crying out. A few tears leaked out with the next couple of swats (I had been on the verge of crying since the argument).
The last one was the hardest and then I felt myself relax. He asked, "Are you OK?" I nodded my head while he rubbed my back. It felt wonderful to be taken care of and loved.
At some point, we talked more and he said that if we both stop interrupting it would prevent a lot of the arguments we have been having lately. I told him that it probably would also save me some heartache from what generally comes with arguments (angry words, cussing at each other, walking away).
He replied, "Yes, it will also save you some ass-ache." I laughed and we proceeded to have a wonderful evening together.