Experience,  My EJC Responses

Luck Is Not Chance

“Luck is not chance–
It’s Toil–
Fortune’s expensive smile
Is earned–“

Emily Dickinson

I am very much wrapped up in the considerations of several memes this afternoon, my head full of the words of others, as I have spent the majority of my morning reading blog posts that have got me thinking deeply about my own life and marriage and desires.

This year, I have made “mindfulness” my word…my aim in all things. But, I am finding it, already, overwhelming…and myself a disappointment.

We are 19 days into a new year, and due to illness (first Him, then me, then Him), Mr. D and I haven’t had sex once. For all my talk and planning, not much at all is happening that I feel should. In fact, it feels like sort of a farce to claim that we engage in D/s at all.

And it’s led me to thinking deeply about our goals and wishes and desires as they pertain to our marriage, our sex life, and how our need and want for D/s can, should, and will play out as a part of that.

I hesitate to write much about it, as just a day ago He told me we needed to talk…to evaluate where we stand in regard to D/s. We haven’t discussed it yet, though I assume we will today, since Sunday is our “marriage talk” day.

I know that we have different needs and wants, but we also have many that are very similar, even if they might be for different reasons. For example, His confidence feeds off of His ability to exert Dominance, and my libido grows in response to not only that exertion but also my surrender to it. My submission (even if I have to mindfully work at it) makes me more compliant, more sexually available, and more responsive to Him and His needs.

But right now, I feel a disconnect. It’s not really anyone’s fault…we’ve just slipped off course.

The prompt for this week on Sex Bloggers for Mental Health is:

How do you balance out your needs with your partner? And balancing out your needs as a couple? Balancing out your individual needs separate from everyone else. What about your children’s needs? What happens if you can’t maintain that or any balance? Where does one start? How does one know there is an imbalance of needs?

I’ve been considering it all week, and just haven’t come up with a clean way to respond to it, because my thoughts in relation to these questions are muddy and complicated. My response should probably begin heartily with a confession – I don’t. I don’t balance them. And this is at the root of pretty much every marital problem we have had since the beginning.

So, I suppose that should be followed with a response to the question How does one know there is an imbalance of needs? and then Where does one start to right this imbalance?

First…How does one know? That’s an easy one. Things feel “off.” One (or both) of us “drop” emotionally and/or mentally, which can lead to physical complications like illness. Conversations can grow heated or distant. We move apart, retreating into our own minds and lives. We become lost.

It’s not always dramatic. In fact, it’s usually subtle, as it happens very slowly over time. We wake up one morning and realize we have strayed.

I also know because we’ve talked about it many times in the past. I know (think?) that He desires more kink in His life than I do. I know that He craves attention and love from others. We have made, or rather He has made concessions in these areas in order for our marriage to work, and I have made promises (often unkept) to fulfill Him in ways that satiate His needs and desires.

I have my own needs, too. And thankfully, my need for surrender and my desire for Dominance meshes with His need to Dominate. But, we haven’t quite found the right cocktail of D/s yet.

I don’t really find that disconcerting. Quite the contrary; I find it exciting, because it means we are nowhere near the end of our adventure. There is so much left to explore, so many doors to open.

What I do find disconcerting is the ease with which we both let the line slacken. And I suspect that is a matter of trust and commitment. I think that’s where the lines of Dickinson’s poem beneath my Sinful Sunday image come into the mix: “Luck is not chance–/It’s Toil–/Fortune’s expensive smile/Is earned–….”  A successful relationship of any sort is not maintained through luck. It relies on work, and trust of one party that the other party will put forth the same level of work. Being mindful of that is part of it, but actually putting in the daily work required for it to happen is more than awareness or planning or knowing.

That then leads us to the second question: Where does one start to right this imbalance? What actions must I, personally, take to ensure a healthy marriage and a healthy D/s partnership?

It starts with being honest about my failings as a partner.

Second, I have to follow with a re-commitment to the agreements that we have made.

And third, I need to become a more active submissive. This, too, needs to be comprised of not just a statement of intent (as I have offered too many times to count), but also a list of actionable items and measurable goals (it might be time to get my SMART goal template out for this one). I’ll get to that in another post, but for today, I’m owning my behavior and initiating the conversation.

Relationships are complicated living things, and they need to be fed to grow. Long-term relationships, the healthy ones at least, are built to withstand occasional times of famine. It’s part of their beauty and strength, I think.

I’m contemplative today. Mentally and emotionally and physically needy, but there are people in my home installing an alarm system and I can’t do anything about my thoughts other than write.

And so I write…

I write in circles and hope I find my way to a solution. I haven’t yet, but these are the first steps. And later, when we have a chance to talk…and reconvene physically and emotionally,maybe we can begin to right this imbalance together. Because it takes two, after all. Two to Toil…and earn Fortune’s expensive smile.

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  • Mrs Fever

    This past summer, after my husband had his kidney transplant, I bought a new car.

    Upon seeing my new car while exiting an appointment with one of my clients, she said to me (regarding the acquisition of said vehicle), “You’re so lucky!”

    And y’know… It’s not LUCK that provided that piece of machinery. It was patience. And savings. And putting another person’s (medical, and therefore financial) needs first over a long period of time. It was planning and diligence and waiting and pragmatism and WORK.

    And just like the acquisition of a functioning mechanical machine, the complex mechanism of a balanced relationship takes all of those things.

    And more.

    Because it takes all of those things – in equal measure – from all parties, toward the same end{s}.

    Luck – in life and relationships – is not errantly bestowed on the complacent. What seems lucky to those who can’t fathom the toil is really the result of concerted effort.

    Luck may favor the prepared (a la Edna’s assertion in The Incredibles 😉 ), but ultimately, fate smiles on those who grapple with the stark realities of life.

  • missy

    I know what you mean about working for things. And that feeling when you think you have things worked out and a system for them and then they sort of don’t work and you wonder where you are. Often the better and more sustainable things come from those discussions though and goals shouldn’t be there to beat yourself with but to direct and inspire and encourage you. I hope the muddiness clears for you soon 😊
    missy recently posted…What makes a house a home?My Profile

  • PiecesofJade

    I completely agree with what missy says – “goals are not there to beat yourself up with.” And yet, I do the same. I wish you wouldn’t though! I have followed along as you have traveled this journey, and you AREN’T failing. “Relationships are complicated living things, and they need to be fed to grow.” Your thoughts, your ruminations, even your steps backwards, are all feeding this relationship. Whatever your discussion is, it is part and parcel of relationshipping, of figuring out where you are, where you want to be, and how to get there. My thoughts are with you.
    PiecesofJade recently posted…The Twelve Tasks of Kinkmas – Task 12My Profile

    • Brigit Delaney

      I know, J! And thank you for following my crazy, crooked journey. We are nothing if not flawed and imperfect humans. I thank you for the reminder.

  • mariasibylla

    Your honestly and thoughtfulness through this post comes through so clearly. Balancing of needs, mine vs. partners or other connections in my life is one of my pain points and I so appreciate you sharing your journey in this. (Your photo is really lovely as well).

  • Marie Rebelle

    I absolutely, totally agree with Jade’s comment. You are working so hard on your relationship, and you shouldn’t be so hard on yourself regarding your goals. Life happens, and sometimes we just need to go along with what life wants, and then get back to what we want. Be kind to yourself, my friend, because you really are doing things the right way, even when it doesn’t feel so.

    Rebel xox

    • Brigit Delaney

      Thanks, Marie. I’m actually in a pretty good place, really. But from time to time I need to write it out…

  • kisungura

    Brigit, I can’t tell you how much your words resonated deeply with me right now, and I thank you for sharing them so openly as they touch on many things I am experiencing too x

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