I think you’re on the right track with planning out to discuss this and also considering that a valid option is to use the pacifier privately without the involvement or acknowledgment of your partner, but I also feel that a portion of your frustration is misplaced by falling under the belief that pacifiers are a component if the typical CGL relationship structure. I think these are some more realistic things you need to consider before your discussion.
Remember, the relationship is not based on items, and that includes toys, soothing devices, furniture, and even articles of clothing. No littles needs
these items to be a little. The dynamic does not mean pacifiers are included into anything with anyone.
I think that a lot of single, unattached littles utilize certain items to find comfort in not having a Caregiver. These items would include attachment items that give them the feeling of being loved, taken care of, or soothed. Pacifiers, stuffed animals, and even sound devices or recordings of lullabies or bedtime stories fall into this category.
Pacifiers are typically used so that babies do not use bottles or the breast to excessively suckle on when trying to feel comfortable and soothed. They aren’t always given to babies and can damage the parent bonding experience, appropriate feeding, and dental development.
When it comes to being a little, would you prefer to cuddle with a stuffed animal or with your Caregiver? Would you prefer to play by yourself or with your Caregiver dutifully watching over you? Would you prefer to listen to a recording of a stranger read you a bedtime story or have your partner sit beside you and read you the story, Would you prefer to make all decisions for yourself and maintain all responsibility or would you prefer your trusted, proven Caregiver happily alleviate you of those stressors at times?
What I’m trying to say is that many “common” objects, such as pacifiers, that many littles and adult babies choose to use are ways they’ve figured out how to temporarily faux-parent themselves while single and in need of feeling lovingly soothed. It could
be compared to things a bachelor owns prior to settling down into a serious commitment.
Caregivers are quite naturally parental. That is very important to recognize. This is often reinforced by their littles telling them they want the Caregiver to basically be their parent to some degree, handle certain situations, and make decisions they feel are best for the little.
A special part of becoming a parent is the power to make parental choices for your child. Parents daydream while preparing nurseries and buying baby items about decisions they’re going to make for their baby.
As a related example, plenty of parents do not give their babies pacifiers and that’s a very socially acceptable choice that a parent has the right to make. All babies still like to suckle, but not all parents choose a pacifier as an appropriate soothing device to fulfill that desire for their babies.
For understanding realistic age comparisons you may also like to know pediatric dentists recommend limiting pacifier time once a child is 2 and eliminating it completely before age 4. So, your partner isn’t wrong to associate them with, well, babies versus young children.
By wanting him to consent and using an item he rejects in front of him you are, in a way, stripping him of typical parental choice under the guise that it’s a “part of the CGL relationship dynamic”—when it isn’t. Items are not a part of the relationship. We aren’t actors who need props.
In a way, pushing to keep talking about this when he has...:
- Already clearly said “no”
- Given you reason why his preference is his preference
absolutely pressuring him to do what you want anyway
. It’s like a child who keeps asking their parent until the parent wears down and finally gives into what the child wants.
This would be personally conflicting as a Caregiver when you’re also being told that the little wants to follow your lead, accept your decisions, and allow you to maintain some level of control in their life.
It may be more appropriate to approach your Caregiver with something you’ve identified as needing fulfilled in yourself and giving them the opportunity to consider what options they would like you to try versus asking them directly for a specific choice you’ve already made.
Ultimately, objects are not what the dynamic between a Caregiver and a little is about. No items are required to experience that replicated parent/child bond. The bond is developed and grown between those people by the little allowing the Caregiver to parent them, and the Caregiver allowing the little to naturally relax into their regressive mood (*items not necessary).
I suggest you reconsider how you view what a Caregiver is, and consider how you should allow your Caregiver the right to make some harmless parental choices for you when with them. It may be a wise option to use the pacifier when without your Caregiver and in need of that sort of soothing but respectfully allowing your Caregiver to make their parenting decision by not using it when around them. After all, training yourself to seek soothing directly from them in some way when they’re with you may make your relationship stronger anyway.
Best of luck.