Honesty is one of the cornerstones of a Dominant submissive marriage. Honesty is a hard one in lots of ways. Many people take it to mean the absence of telling lies. Clearly it is important to be honest about what you say but honesty is also about your actions. If you hide something you are doing, then you are not really being honest about it. Honesty goes hand in hand with trust in that it can never be a finite thing. There are levels, and what level you seek will depend on the type of relationship you have and on what your own expectations are.
Within Dominance and submission there has to be what we call complete trust. This means that the submissive partner can be trusted to communicate their needs openly and honestly, and that the Dominant partner can be trusted to take account of those and make decisions which reflect them. Part of this is also about complete honesty or openness. It is not enough to assume that someone else knows how you feel. You have to be explicit. In addition it is not enough to be vague about what you are thinking; you need to be explicit about that too.
Dominance, submission and Open and Honest Communication
It can be hard to build this level of honesty into your Dominant submissive marriage and it can only really be done through good communication: times to speak openly and be heard and active listening skills are essential. I think that lots of couples will allow space for this sort of discussion regularly and within our dynamic it forms part of our twice weekly check ins. During this focussed time we reflect on how things have gone, including difficulties to work on and successes to build on. This is also when we really lay ourselves open in terms of sharing our throughs and our feelings.
This is something that we have worked hard at. It is tricky to be completely open and honest with someone else about how you feel if you don’t really know what it is you feel yourself. This is really where good listening skills come in to play and I have written about the art of listening if you want to read more about how that works. Essentially in good communication the listener will reflect (I think what I heard you say was), clarify (so can I just check what you said was) and summarise (so to summarise, you think/feel this) in order to facilitate the process for the speaker.
It takes time
I don’t think you can ever expect to be able to walk into a relationship where there is the sort of trust and honesty on this level. This is something that will be built over time. We can be tentative about sharing things we have always kept to ourselves. We fear judgement and may have been victim of negative reactions before. We have lots of ways to protect ourselves and stop ourselves from being vulnerable. Dominance and submission turns that on its head. It asks for vulnerability because that is the route to creating intimacy.
It is about being known, about being seen, not for what you choose to show the world but for the person you really are inside. You open yourself up to that by being honest and open about your thoughts and feelings and by sharing those with your partner. I would say that I have always been honest with HL and him with me. I would say that I have always trusted him and he has me. But we have still found the level of honesty and trust grow as our relationship has developed. Having a Dominant submissive marriage has both demanded it and nurtured it.
Honesty in a Dominant submissive marriage is not a finite thing
There are things even still that I reveal that he was not aware of. I may not have kept those to myself intentionally in some cases but in others I may have. Perhaps I was not sure how they would be received or I felt embarrassed. It is impossible to share every little thought and detail but we do have an agreement to share what would be relevant and so these things will be brought up and expressed no matter how challenging that may feel at the time. If you trust that you will be heard and understood then I believe it is possible to be honest in that way.
So I come back to the point I made at the start that honesty is not a finite thing. While most of us would hopefully be able to declare that we are honest with our partners, a Dominant submissive marriage will keep looking for more. More honesty, more openness, more vulnerability, more trust. This is because it is about growth: growth individually and growth as a couple and in order to grow we need to be able to push boundaries and venture into new territory. And for this we require honesty and trust.
I decided to write about honesty in a Dominant submissive marriage as it was the chat topic at The SafeworD/s Club the other day. If you would like to discuss aspects of Dominance and submission with other couples then please join us for one of our online munch style discussions. Alternatively find out more about how we built our D/s Dynamic.