We begin our days, inches from one another, naked and wrapped in warm sheets. On work days, my alarm goes off at five a.m., early enough to provide me some quiet before the storm of activity. I pull myself from the comfort of our soft island, and our dogs’ snores turn to movement and then a flurry of expectant activity. I slip into the bathroom to put on some clothes and grab my phone, and they follow me out to the front door, where I let them out and then grab myself a cup of coffee. I let them (and the cat) in before settling on the couch to read.
At six, I wake up our son (who sleeps like the dead) and then head to the shower. Mr. D enters the bathroom around 6:45. We exchange “good mornings” and go about our routines. I get lunches ready, pour to-go coffee. He takes out the trash. Our son starts the cars to let them warm. It’s not quite a well-oiled machine, but everyone has their part to play, and when they do it, our morning runs smoothly. Now that our son is getting older, we’re at the point that leaving on time is a regular (if not daily) occurrence.
We rely on each other to make that happen.
During the day, we live fairly separate lives. We work in separate towns, and since I get off work earlier than He does, and because our son goes to school in the town where I work, I take care of most of his after school requirements, chauffeuring him from school to sports and home. I tend to run the majority of the after-work errands, as well, though He takes over when things get tight for me.
He’s taking classes right now, so I take care of dinner a few nights a week, even though He’s usually the family cook. I also take care of the laundry and the bulk of the housework, though He steps in to help with de-cluttering. He’s in charge of the garbage, the vehicles, and the finances. Our son takes care of the pets, his own room and bathroom, the front yard and recycling.
We eat dinner at the table every night, as a family, and by eight, we’ve done what we can do, setting aside the rest so we can pile on the couch and chill out in front of the TV together.
At nine, our son goes to bed, and I snuggle into Mr. D, a nightcap at hand, as we watch one more show together. Sometimes I fall asleep against His warmth, but usually, I make it to the end of the show. I often go to bed before He does, but when He follows, we braid our limbs together, and He wraps His body around me. Once again, on our soft little island, our heartbeats and breath find a rhythm. Even the dogs join in, snoring in harmony from their respective corners.
It is a close darkness that wraps around us, holding us, the house settling into sleep.
We have a small, tight-knit little family. We are reliant on one another for our ship to sail smoothly. Each of us has a part to play, and if any of us bail, another has to pick up the slack. During particular seasons, as our needs change, we choose to do this, supporting one another at times of greater stress or activity. It’s what a family does.
Our relationship has had its ups and downs. Anyone who has read this blog (or it’s predecessor) know that we’ve been down the road to divorce twice over the nearly 14 years we’ve been married.
Mainly, we’ve struggled with mismatched sex drives, which has wreaked all sorts of havoc with us both, emotionally and physically. We’ve seen multiple counselors, together and individually. I started taking medication for bipolar disorder some years ago, and both of us have taken hormone replacement therapy (aging’s a bitch).
The funny thing is, that no matter the trouble we’ve endured, including infidelity and separation, we have never found ourselves capable of letting go. We’ve come ever-so-close, but there has always been something that has pulled us back together. Call it love…call it spiritual connection…call it codependency or inter-dependency…or just plain fear…whatever it is, it’s held us together through some very dark times.
We didn’t start out in a D/s relationship. It wasn’t until some years into our marriage that we decided to head down that path, and we’ve tried variations of it, settling on a very select brand that is specific to us. He’s always been Dominant, and while I’m not “submissive,” per se, I am drawn to Dominant men. I like to feel protected and I like to feel their power. Knowing that they could overpower me, but choose not to, makes them all the more appealing. I know it comes from my upbringing, of course. Being the daughter of a well-ranked military man set me up to love hero-types. I was also a daddy’s girl…and my parents had a pretty traditional dynamic. So I guess I always had an expectation for a “traditional” family set-up, with the Husband at the head, and me at His side. It’s not that I’m not a feminist in many regards. I’m all for equality…it’s just that for me, the traditional male/female roles work. I do most of the housework, take care of most things regarding our son’s education and movement outside of the house, and submit to His decisions on a lot of things. But make no mistake, we are still very much an equal team. We make all major household decisions together, share our finances (even though He runs them – mainly because I don’t want to), and make parenting decisions as co-parents.
I don’t dress the part of a 1950s housewife on the regular, and He has only come home to me in nothing but pearls, heels, and an apron once, drinks on the table, dinner in the oven.
I’m really a rather shite sub in lots of regards. But, that’s more a role than a characteristic, and while I may not be the world’s best (in fact, I’m so far of the mark, it’s laughable) sub, and He may not be the world’s best Dom, it’s more about our interactions with each other as a whole. It is infused through every part of our life.
I’m submissive to Him in things that are not really sexual. I submit to His choices and decisions without even thinking about it, and it rarely bothers me, because I don’t like to make decisions myself (I do it too often all day). He usually decides what we’ll have for dinner and what we watch on TV at night, while I decide how to decorate the home. Basically, we take care of the decisions that the other doesn’t want to make. I trust Him implicitly to run our finances and keep us safe. He has the heavier hand in disciplining our son, and I the more nurturing role. He has a traditionally “male” career…and I a traditionally “female” career (though, we make similar amounts of money). We respect each other and support one another, but at the end of the day, He’s in charge, and that gives me great solace and allows me to “rest.”
Engaging in D/s activities simply allows us to put a name and a face on what exists between us naturally. It encourages us to deepen that part of our connection and builds Him up in ways that other parts of our relationship (and the world) do not. It makes Him a better version of Himself. And submission encourages me to let go in ways that I find challenging, but ultimately rewarding…cathartic…necessary. It’s why we keep trying, even though we fall of the wagon all the time.
I wouldn’t call us co-dependent (characterized by excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner, typically one who requires support on account of an illness or addiction). We can be. When one of us is down or ill or depressed or in a dark place, the other will pick up the slack and do what He or she can do to support the other. But we are so connected, our emotions so braided together, that we often find ourselves slipping when the other does, following the other into the dark. We have a hard time not being influenced by the other’s emotional state.
We are dependent on one another. We rely on each other to make our life work, and we expect certain things from each other.
Back when the threat of divorce was high, and I had to consider how on earth I was going to manage on my own, I realized, ultimately, that I was capable of doing it. After all, I had lived on my own for some years before I met Mr. D. I had a career, took care of my own finances, bought a house. But, now that our lives are so weaved together, untangling things and starting over was a very unappealing process. More than unappealing. It was terrifying. That fear isn’t what kept me here. Love is what kept us here. A kind of love so deep and furious and inescapable that we simply couldn’t walk away.
That, in itself, is a little scary. But it’s also beautiful: emotion…connection…that cannot be controlled.
The kind of wild, fiery, passion that we had in our early years is rarely seen these days, but the connection we now have is so deeply wrapped around us, that we can hardly see the sea for the green tendrils that wrap our limbs.
(The image is of a hand-fasting. When Mr. D and I married, we incorporated elements of traditional Irish weddings into our ceremony. This was one of them. Wrapping that ribbon around our wrists and hands signified that we would essentially be tied to one another. While that ribbon was a tangible symbol that could be removed, it became – that day – a real tie, binding our souls. We also used the Quaich/Loving Cup and made reference to our shared role as each other’s Anam Cara. Maybe one of these days I’ll publish our vows. But for today, suffice it to say that we have tried our hardest to live up to them.)