Keep It Simple, Stupid!
We've tried rules over the years of us being together as just a set list of things or tasks that Berkson must follow, but it always turned out to be too much or too hard to keep track of... Berkson would stop listening or obeying rules and Eiren would stop enforcing rules and correcting disobedience, and things would drift back to what they before the rules. Sometimes, this happened quickly like after an argument or just from a lack of our trying, and sometimes it would happen over months, but it always ended up happening one way or another.
The over complication made our lives all together too hectic, and eventually failed. This time around, we both believe we're prepared. We have both recognized that before, there was just so much to what we both were expecting from each other, and one or both of us were getting overwhelmed with the way our lives flowed with an excess amount of rules. So now, we believe we have developed a better system of learning to suit our needs, one that we hope can be kept "simple, stupid!" and in alignment with how we both think: Expectations, Rules, & Commands!
What are Expectations?
Expectations are, in their very essence, the peak of our relationship. They are the things that regardless of what is happening in our life we can always expect will be static and constant. Be it a fight, hurt feelings, bad days, a difficult scene, or even during a punishment, we can expect that these will remain unchanging.
By adding new expectations to our relationship over time, we feel that it eliminates the possibility of backtracking, because once something becomes an expectation, it is set in stone, and altogether hurtful and game-changing for it to be trespassed against.Ultimately, it is permanent.
Rules can sometimes not work for both parties, and feelings can be hurt because a rule didn't work as intended, or was deemed unnecessary, or was broken, rules are at their core a system of learning and experimentation, as well as a structure for training. In other words, sometimes they will fail.
An expectation will never fall into this category because of how essential it is for the survival of the relationship, as well as how difficult it will be for something to enter this category at all, and that's the way we want it to stay. Hard to get into but essential to our relationships health.
If a rule doesn't yield desired results over time, and doesn't feel essential, the rule can be deemed temporary or as a training tool and removed, if necessary.
The goal is for all rules to make it to the stage of an expectation, but the reality is that most rules may not if they don't work for us as a couple or are only temporary in nature, such as a rule made to punish disobedience or inspire more self discipline.
What are rules?
Rules are a list of policies and instructions that Berkson must adhere to as a part of his training (as a human being, not as Eiren's submissive), and that Eiren must enforce and punish for disobedience and/or improper followership.
In the past, our rules were overbearing and expected too much too quickly. The list would grow and grow, even when the current rules weren't yet being followed, and one or both of us would become burnt out from our combined lack of input and forethought. We'd forget the roles we had made, or only one of us would write them down, with the other forgetting eventually or simply not caring about the rule in general.
This applied to both of us, a lack of dicipline and dedication to our rules. This made us both bitter and resentful at trying again, even though we knew it was what we wanted. Out Mantra really shines true right here for us, because we've always struggled particularly with rules & protocol.
We recognize now that if we can keep our rules simple, and slow, learning to follow and enforce rules on a manageable basis, then we're sure success is attainable. It is worth nothing again that a rule can eventually become an expectation. Given enough time, we've decided that once a rule has been followed perfectly and accurately, without fuss or misgivings, it is more beneficial to see the rule as expected rather than as policy and more sincere to be followed than to be instructed, even if this would be very hard to achieve.
We believe this can have a motivational factor as well, that can ultimately train both of us into seeing that rules, followed and enforced over months or years, can become so ingrained to us as a couple that we can add it to our coveted list of expectations, and that our relationship is growing even stronger over time.
What are commands?
Commands are audio or visual queues, such as a word or hand gesture, to which a certain action or procedure must be performed by Berkson. Command's are different than Expectations & Rules, in that they will always remain the same: a command.
While after a certain amount of time, an already learn't command will be expected to be preformed, it is not meant to be a point of hurt or contention, as much as it is meant to be of training, good will, and ultimately... fun!