Thursday, 4 February 2016

When a D/s marriage turns to abuse

A long time ago I wrote about a woman who had contacted me to say she had realised that her D/s marriage was not really D/s but was in fact abuse. Part of her coming to that level of awareness was through reading this blog. My recollection is that they had not been part of a scene and most of what she knew about D/s and BDSM she had learned from her husband. The last I heard from her she had divorced her husband, had a couple of Dom friends and was enjoying her life.

Recently another online friend has left her Dom husband and is currently seeking divorce. The situation is similar to the first in that much of her knowledge of D/s had originated from her husband though she has more recently been eagerly reading more. They were both quite young when they married. This case is slightly different in that her husband's behaviour has recently clearly changed from domination into abuse and she has been able to recognise that a line has been crossed.

We have discussed on here before the difference between D/s and abuse. I wonder though how easy it is to recognise if one is in a long term committed relationship? It might be especially the case if, like in these examples, the sub has learned much of what they know about D/s from their partner. Perhaps the crossing of that line between D/s and abuse is difficult to recognise when one is so closely and emotionally involved as part of ones whole lifestyle.

Might there be many subs who believe they are in a D/s relationship but are actually being abused - or perhaps it only becomes abuse once one recognises it, then the consent is withdrawn. Does anyone else recognise any of these issues or are they in truth very rare?


mostly mouse said...

Those lines are never clear, except for perhaps retrospect?

Lines between abuse and consent are often drawn by society and pressure to conform. For some, the fact that Omega controls what mouse wears, where she goes, etc., and holds her accountable when she fails to meet an expectation of His, could very easily be construed by some to be abusive.

Now, there have been cases where the sub was clearly being domineered and not simply dominated, and mouse doesn't mean to imply otherwise.

Pygar said...

Thank you very much mouse for your thoughtful reply.

You write, "Those lines are never clear, except for perhaps retrospect?"

Yes, I think that is the point I am struggling to make. From outside we can perhaps be clear as to what counts as D/s and what counts as abuse. However from inside the relationship those lines may be less clear. Indeed they may almost be irrelevant at the time.

If so is that an issue? In which case how can it be resolved?

P xx

Willow Rosenberg said...

I'd say the proof of the pudding lies both in the intent and in how happy and fulfilled the sub is with the dominant's treatment.
A good dominant builds his or her submissive up - to be the best they can be, to grow. Play and discipline and/or punishment, if that's part of their relationship, are to help the sub grow and to foster a closer connection, deeper intimacy, and to bring harmony to the relationship as a whole. When things go bad, there might be fear of a future without the formerly good guidance of dominant, but not the fear of retribution.
An abuser tears down and makes the victim feel less - less worthy, less competent, less lovable, less able to leave the dominant for fear he or she wouldn't be able to make it on his or her own, or for fear what the abuser might do if s/he found out the victim's intent to leave.
A dominant responds to his sub's needs and his own. An abuser to his own primarily.
Just my two cents...

Pygar said...

Thank you Willow. I think your thoughts are worth more than two cents!

You give a very insightful description of the difference between an abuser and a Dam. I suppose I am concerned though about those women who may not be as insightful and whether the nature of the relationship is such that they may be being misled.

- P xx

Anonymous said...

Abuse can be more than physical, nay, psychological abuse is even worse. A dom who doesn't know him- or herself can cause irreparable harm without even being aware. I am not convinced that living this life, this 24/7 D/s 'lifestyle', is possible at all. It's all fantasy, and keeping that in mind is key. If indeed it's all about compromise and negotiation, then it's all smoke and mirrors and so be it. Yay for smoke and mirrors. We come together for mutual satisfaction - whether sexual or otherwise - but maintaining personhood is crucial. If marriage lasts forever, when does the 'playing' end due to age, infirmity, children, etc ?
Just another two cents.

Pygar said...

Thanks anonymous. I agree that psychological abuse can be extremely damaging and perhaps is often even less easily recognised than physical abuse.

You raise some other very interesting points. Perhaps they may inspire some future posts on here so watch out for them!

P xx

Anonymous said...

Thanks P
I do hope I inspire more comments. I've looked and looked and no one is asking these questions or talking about any of this. Isn't the proof of a relationship that it stands the test of time? How does this lifestyle and those who promote it, plan for the inexorable passage of time?

My rumination on this topic comes from the term 'play' for intimate time spent between dom and sub, or master and slave, etc. It seems far too cavalier a term for something so intense and intimate.

Anyone else ever consider this?
Anon xx

Pygar said...

I hope so too Anon.

Though I hope I may have time to develop some further thoughts about this for a post in the near future.


P xx

Anonymous said...

I look forward to your future developments on this topic. It wouldn't be hard to figure out that I have had an unpleasant 'love affair'. I think it happened because I made grand assumptions about living the 'lifestyle'. I actually thought that it was a real honest to goodness way of life. All encompassing. All in or not in at all. For me, for us, it was never going to be that because we wanted a future. A life. Family. Separate careers. Where does all of that fit into the fantasy? It doesn't, does it?

I'm now enjoying a loving relationship (a forever one!) and enjoying my kink again. Yay! But, I worry. Have others made the same mistake I did and given away more than they should have? I looked and found no one I could talk to. I got through it, but at a cost.

Anyhow, for now I shall thank you for listening, you really are kind :)
Anon xx