I’m not posting often these days, and that’s mainly because don’t know what to post. I’m often confused about where we are at, and it seems to change too quickly for me to be able to name wherever we’re at when I think I know. I can write about the confusion, though.
So here’s what I do know:
I’m a submissive woman and lover, and always have been in my primary relationship, long before I could put a name to it. I’ve made my peace with this. I long to connect with my partner often and deeply, and to love fully, giving all of me to someone who is worthy and who wants to take on all of me, and will love me in return. I know I wither and get really anxious when I can’t have that for long periods of time. I know I thrive with external accountability, and that I can create some of that by myself, but most I can’t.
I know that my husband Xander is a dominant man, and that he loves me. I know that he’s kind and generous to a fault – it’s really hard for him to say “no”, even when it would be better for him to do so. The counsellor called it self-sacrificing. I know he’s burnt out from working in a toxic work environment for years and that he has not recovered from that yet. I know he’s got a frozen shoulder and that takes a lot out of him, and I know that most days, most hours, he’s not feeling even a little bit dominant because he’s struggling just to get through the day, and I know this because he told me so. I also am reasonably sure that there’s an element of depression in the mix which may or may not be caused by physical reasons. I do know that as soon as he started supplementing his testosterone, “my Xander” started coming back. He had more energy and was emotionally more responsive to me. I know he still needs a lot of alone time, and that he’s uncomfortable with some of the expressions of dominance that I find hot, especially with giving direct verbal orders and overtly taking control. I know that he doesn’t feel ready to start consistently being “my dominant” and holding me accountable again, and that he currently has no idea what I actually mean by “D/s” for us, also, because he told me so.
And I know I don’t do things halfway. I’m all in or not at all, and I don’t know how to be measured in my emotional responses or in anything else, really. And that’s where being married, submissive, and trying to please my man gets very confusing these days. Allow me to back up a bit more to explain.
I introduced D/s to Xander about three years ago, and in the first two years, I more or less told him what I wanted from him and he wanted to to give me what I wanted, and in the process learned to spank really well. Just as before D/s entered the scene by that name, he made all the big decisions, and he provided and looked after all of us. I learned to obey him and to treat him with respect, and I discovered just how happy and peaceful my mind got and how much I got done when he was actively dominating me in some way. I trained myself to behave in a submissive way so his inner dominant could come out into the open. Unfortunately, the latter didn’t really happen, at least not in the way either of us expected. There were moments, and they were glorious, but that big shift from “Mr Nice Guy” to “Mr Domly Dom” that I’d dreamed of and he’d hoped for never really happened. (I’m coming to think if that shift exists as such, it’s likely to be a lot more subtle than a personality transplant…). I stopped interrupting him or offering unsolicited advice and learned to be mindful of my tone. He liked that he could stop an argument with “Enough!” (and I mostly heeded it), but more often, it didn’t occur to him to use the power I’ve given him. And all of it, he said, never felt “natural” for him, not even after two years of often daily spankings. But oh, did I EVER swoon when he got those dominant looks and moves just right…
I did a really stupid thing over those two years, though, and that’s coming back to bite me in more ways than one now: I used to provide the lecture that he wasn’t giving when he spanked me for broken rules – in my head. He definitely spanked me like he meant it and like I needed it, but I’d mentally add the stern words that would help me improve my behaviour or mindset. I thought he’d say these things if he knew how to, and that sooner or later he would, so wasn’t this just harmless fun (because stern is sexy), and helpful? Turns out, neither. Firstly, Xander didn’t know I was doing this, so based on my thanking him for my discipline and my subsequent behaviour changes, he could only assume that what he was doing – spanking me mostly silently – was all I needed, and that he was doing it just right. But what’s worse, the brain doesn’t know the difference between real experiences and intensely imagined experiences, and it keeps changing with repeated experiences. Basically, I tricked myself into seeing Xander in a more dominant light than where he was at the time, and when reality intruded in a way I could no longer ignore, I thought that he’d been pretending all along. But while he was indeed trying to “fake it till you make it”, I’d been doing most of the the pretending myself. I had been really happy, though, until then. I really thought and felt we were “progressing” beautifully on our D/s journey. (And my memory is probably smoothing out the bumps in our road, too.) What happened instead was that we were growing together in some aspects, and apart in others.
When at the end of last year, both Xander and I were so exhausted that there was no power to exchange, I pulled the plug on our D/s as we’d been doing it until then. I’d been putting a lot into it without getting enough out for it to be sustainable. And, even if it was in glimpses only, we both knew by then that Xander is dominant, but that the outer expression of that dominance is very blocked. But I couldn’t settle for “imitation D/s” anymore. I really want to submit to him as my leader, because I know how sweet life is when he does lead us, and because it wears me out and makes me anxious when I have to be in the lead for too long. And because I truly believe that he’ll be happier, too, when he can freely express his masculinity in more direct ways than now. But we’re not there yet.
But, underneath, in those two years, the ground under our feet has shifted. Though we never got to where it was all natural for both of us, we both couldn’t go back to being entirely vanilla if we tried. I feel awful when I speak disrespectfully to him (and he can’t abide it anymore either). I can’t not try my best to obey him. I want his explicit permission for a thousand things. I crave his guidance, and I still run to him when my mind runs amuck, because I know that even three minutes on the phone calm me like nothing else. I tell him every time I’ve cried in his absence, and when he’s in the house I go to him when I need to cry (it used to be a rule). I want to serve and delight him and make his life better.
I love him. I want to give him what he needs and wants. I want to make his life more peaceful, not more problematic. And I want to submit to him. And right now, those aren’t entirely compatible. In the last year, before he started getting a handle on his health, he was in no position to be anyone’s dominant, so I pulled up those uncomfortable big girl panties as best as I could and did what I could without spankings, accountability or dominance. But now… he’s coming back, and because I can’t do things halfway, or “ease into things”, my inner submissive is roaring and craves all the dominance from him as soon as he gives me just a hint of Dominant Xander. Even just a sexy spanking flips my switch to “full-on submissive craving” while at the same time my heart cautions me to not even go there, as he said he’s not ready, and because I believe that unwelcome submission would be yet another burden on his already overloaded shoulders. I just don’t know how to be with all that. I don’t know how to honour myself when I crave with every fibre of my being to submit deeply and fully to him RIGHT NOW when the loving thing is to not push him into a role he said he can’t fulfil yet.
I don’t know if it ever does get easy to “lean into the dynamic in times of stress” rather than back off it, but for us the point is moot anyway as we’ve not yet gotten to the point where it ever was easier for both of us. Currently, what makes my life easier makes his harder. And I don’t know how to balance my needs with his when I can’t trust that he’ll say “no” or “not now” to me when he really should to protect himself from emotional or mental overload. I can’t relax into enjoying feeling submissive and that “all is right in my world because my Dom’s got me” in response to his newly emerging signals of dominance as I have to anticipate that tomorrow or the day after that, he’ll be back to not being able to be that. And yet, one spanking, and I’m on cloud nine for a day or two. And then I get resentful if he’s not stepping up to pull me back in when my mood slips again.
As I said, it’s confusing.
So far, I got nothing but “wait and hope and love him and communicate as best as I can” for the meantime. Helpful suggestions are welcome.