Hamlet Needs a Spanking: DD and Indecision

When I was in high school, I was fortunate to have one of those wonderful teachers who genuinely loved and understood Shakespeare and knew how to get her students to love and understand it as well.

As a result of her teaching, I'm one of the those fortunate few who laughs at all the right places during Shakespearian plays not because the person next to me does, but because I actually get the jokes -- a gift I'm forever grateful for.

The tragedies were my favorite and I was fascinated at the idea of the fatal flaw that undoes the classic hero. I understood about Othello's jealousy and Macbeth's ambition, but when my teacher suggested that indecision was Hamlet's fatal flaw, I was stumped.

How in the heck could indecision rank up there with jealousy and ambition as something that could wreck your life?

I don't know where that teacher is now, but if I did, I'd email her and say, "Oh, I get it now." No wonder Hamlet's the most famous of Shakespeare's tragic heroes. I'd take jealousy or ambition over indecision any day.

After yet another long separation, I spent the last two weeks with my partner. Predictably, despite all our problems and my doubts about the future of our relationship, all it took was about five seconds in the same room with him and I fell in love all over again (and predictably, suffered total amnesia about all of our problems). And all it took was one "welcome back" spanking for me to remember why I'm going through all this trouble to keep this relationship in the first place. We may suck as a contemporary couple, but we kick *ss on the DD front when we're doing it right.

But it's becoming more and more clear to me that, at least for us, this long distance thing isn't going to work. I suspect a couple has to be much further down the road with DD, and have a much more solid foundation of trust and good communication, for long-distance DD to work. And as regular readers know, we've got anything but that.

So I'm now faced with the decision: to stay where I am, snug in my little mountain hideaway, safely distant from the everyday dramas of a relationship that may not work out but without the possibility of using DD to make things better, or do I go back and try to work through that murky pit of past trouble that I wrote about in a prior post.

And that's where I began to realize the perils of indecision, because of course, every time I decide one way, I realize what I'll be giving up and so I swing the other way. I've been doing that for weeks now, if not months. It's driving him crazy, and honestly, it's driving me crazy, too. (too bad spankings don't make me more decisive)

As I was shifting back and forth (and back and forth) again this afternoon, trying to figure out what to do, I realized with abrupt clarity how many of my decisions are motivated by a need to avoid pain. And in the next instant, I realized another reason why DD is such a potentially healing and powerful force in my life.

The trigger that causes me to swing one way or the other on this decision and other major life decisions comes when the excitement of the positive parts of the decision momentarily give way to the mourning for whatever it is I'll be losing. And that pain is so scary that I immediately swing the other way to make it go away. Which is does, for a little while, until the relief of having reclaimed what I had lost goes away and the pain of the loss on the other side seeps through. Then it's back the other way I go. (For those of you who are wondering, this will eventually lead back to DD.)

Looking back, I'm realizing only now how much of my life has been mismanaged out of a desperate desire to avoid pain -- irresponsible spending ("I have to have it now!"), quitting school - twice ("School is boring."), walking away from worthwhile projects and professional opportunities ("This is taking way too long and I hate getting up early."). But the end result of avoiding short-term pain is suffering far greater long-term pain -- be it too much credit card debt or unfulfilled educational or career goals.

And that's where DD comes in. (See, I told you I'd get back to the topic.)

DD is all about experiencing short-term pain to avoid long-term pain. Spankings and other discipline hurt now, but they keep things from building up, both personally and in the relationship, that will hurt a lot more for a lot longer if they're not dealt with.

And predictably, even though I know this to be true, I dread discipline of any kind, and when the time comes to accept it, I'll do whatever it takes to stall and avoid it. (My partner, to his credit, is beginning to figure out that he's not doing me any favors by allowing me to get away with these tactics.)

To have the life I want, I have to learn to let go of things, to make sacrifices for long-term goals, to do all the things that, in short, grown ups know how to do, but that I was never taught as a child because no one ever discplined me when I got lazy, put things off or quit when the going got tough.

I believe that, whatever the problems in our relationship, DD will help me to learn those things. Often, I think I focus too much on whether or not DD is helping the relationship, and I forget how much it's helping me.

Tonight, I'm pretty sure it's time to go home -- largely because I want to be the person that I am when DD is in my life, and I can't have that where I am now. Tomorrow, I may feel differently. But DD is teaching me that the ultimate decision needs to be based on what I want overall in my life, not on avoiding the inevitable short-term pain that comes with picking one option over another.


  1. I've got the Hamlet disease myself Vivian. It's not a fun one to have. I tend to not make any decision at all to avoid making the wrong one, often choosing to self-destruct instead of forging a path through difficulty.

    But the confidence I get through DD IS actually helping with that. Anything worth having, I'm finding, requires SOME type of sacrifice, some type of discomfort.

    I wish you luck with this one.

  2. Anonymous03:00


    My wife and I are the same also, attempting to avoid decisions for fear of making the wrong one and losing the benefits that have to be sacrificed when a decision is made.

    Yours is a difficult situation, and I feel for you. You want the DD to help drive your life forward, and yet in your route to this is a relationship which you think flawed. To make matters worse you love him!

    I cannot possibly hope to offer advice, only sympathy, and I hope that is of comfort.

    With love


  3. Anonymous10:37

    We are mammals first, human second; everyone is biologically driven to seek pleasure and avoid pain. Luckily, our brain and will can influence that somewhat, but not without doubt or pain.

    Maybe it will help if you assume a happy, healthy DD relationship in your life. You will have that because you want and deserve it. If you are not fearful that this is the only really good DD relationship you will ever have - is it still good for you? Is it good for you whole life, for you as a whole person or only that part that DD makes secure? Nothing and no one is perfect, but if you are struggling most of the time, don't hold on out of fear - you deserve more.

    If it is right, jump - take the steps to make yourself happier. Life is short, and the only mistake that can never be corrected is to let it pass you by.

  4. Anonymous08:54

    Just a suggestion, how about you think about it in terms of what you are giving to the relationship to be together not what you are "giving up" to be together. You're not really losing anything at all..............


  5. How I wish I had seen this when it was first posted, before indecision had nearly ruined my life, and the lives of three others.

    Funny that I only discovered this by chance, as the top post from an idle Google search for "spanking feminist".