What happens when life gets in the way? Well from experience it impacts your power exchange and your D/s relationship. Clearly I write from the viewpoint of a full time lifestyle dynamic but I think that whatever set up you have, significant life events will have an impact. Obviously sometimes you will be able to work around any curve balls, and through good communication and solid connection you will be able to remain on track and prevent things from getting in the way of what is good for you. Other times, however, it might be more of a challenge. This post is about those times.
What sort of things get in the way
Usually for us, it is about stress and one of us being overwhelmed or over committed. This mostly comes from work but sometimes from issues with family too. It can be challenging, for example, when we have the whole family back at once. It is a really busy time and if we aren’t on the ball then we can forget to take time for us. Usually if this is the only thing that happens we will be fine, but coupled with other elements, it can set us on the wrong path.
I suppose I see it a little like a fruit machine. We are fine when we get one cherry, but if we get three together the game is over. Well not over exactly, but at the point where we need to stop and cash in. The other things that can come along are often health related or those big life events such as grief or loss. They tend to take over a little and although the plan is to keep ourselves at the centre, it can be easy to be derailed.
What goes wrong?
Basically, we stop talking enough. We stop taking the time to be together and to really focus on each other. We are less attentive, less attuned to each other’s needs and less aware of how the other is feeling. We allow whatever it is to take our focus and we stop dealing with things together in a planned way. I suppose we become more reactive and the structure and routine becomes less of a focal point and more of a habit. Either that or it is skipped.
Part of what often goes is our weekly talk time. Of course we still talk but usually it is in an unstructured way and has whatever the issue is as our focus. It doesn’t feel like such a big thing to let this slip but from experience, it has proved to be a key part of maintaining the energy and connection of our dynamic. For both HL and I our key love language comes out as quality time and so I wonder if this is partly why the talk time is significant for me.
It makes me feel seen and heard in a way which doesn’t happen in the hustle and bustle of our every day life. This seems to be a catalyst for connection for me and so I am much more available and less in my own head. Time alone tends to lead me to become more independent and my thinking will spark ideas about new projects. While this can have benefits, it doesn’t lead to us feeling connected and can mean that I am pursuing ideas on my own rather than sharing.
What should you do
Usually we realise we have come unstuck when there has been less kinky stuff than usual, or at least less intimacy. This isn’t intentional, it just seems to happen. Then we notice and we talk about it. Either that or HL will mention play and my head isn’t in the space and I realise then. Rather than feeling the excitement at the thought, there is a flatness about it. Sometimes he asks something of me or tells me to do something and I have a feeling that I don’t want to do it.
It is like there is an inward sigh or a slight feeling of annoyance that he has interrupted my time or my plans. Clearly this is not a submissive response and although I do respond in a respectful way and don’t challenge, the fact that my heart is not in it is a sure sign that my headspace has slipped. The only way to resolve this properly will be to talk about it with him. I might not do that at the time; it will depend what the context is and whether or not I see a positive outcome from that.
Sometimes, following his instruction will actually pull me back into line and we can take things from there but if not, then it is time to talk. I have written about the way that we usually manage these discussion in this post: Navigating Bumps – communication and getting back on track. Usually there is a reason why we have come unstuck and although we weren’t aware enough of it to prevent it, it quickly becomes apparent through discussion.
Finding your way back
Usually we will use a reset following our discussion as this helps us both to get back into the right mindset to embrace our power exchange fully again. I have written pretty extensively about resets in Resets – what, why and how which is on The SafeworD/s Club blog. We also need to make sure that following this we are consistent in doing the things that we have agreed will be part of our dynamic, namely our rules and rituals. If this doesn’t happen then it can feel that the reset has not really had the desired effect, so it is important for us that we make us the focus and try to maintain our D or s mindset.
That said, sometimes whatever has challenged us is still there and this may be the case for quite a while. I can’t pretend that huge life events don’t push us into a state where we are lower D/s, or at least lower protocol than at other times. The easiest times will always be when we are alone together on holiday or something because then, life really can’t get in the way. The rest of the time we have to take things as they come and adapt to try to accommodate them.
Don’t give up
I do feel quite strongly that is it important to accept that sometimes life will get in the way. This is normal and I think probably it goes without saying, considering the way the last year has gone. Essentially anything which threatens your control, will threaten your ability to feel and appear in control, and a D/s relationship is about how you use control as a tool for your Dominance and submission. It stands to reason that loss of control in one area may well have a knock on to feeling in control in another.
It is key not to give up though. It doesn’t mean that you are no longer cut out for D/s or that you don’t want it enough. It means that things aren’t always easy and straightforward and that sometimes they will happen more naturally and others they will require greater effort. We tend to hold on to some basics so that we never ‘stop’, even if things feel like they are less D/s than we would like them to be. There is always a way to re-route and get back on track once the storm has passed. Life will get in the way but you can handle it!