My last two posts A Need for Domination and Humiliation got me thinking again about my submission and what that means for me, and for us as a couple. As I explained, I have come to the conclusion that while I like being submissive, it is being Dominated which switches me on sexually. However, I need the submission as much, if not more, in order to really have the relationship that I want. In The Power Exchange, I explored how both elements, Domination and submission, have to be present for the dynamic to really work, but in terms of how the two impact on me, I think that having a more defined role has been key to our marriage working as easily as it has.
Like many of the other women I know, I was brought up to believe that a woman could do anything that a man could do. I learnt about the suffragettes who had chained themselves to railings and been whipped so that I could have the freedom to vote. I now see an irony forming there, but actually part of the equality that they fought so hard for, has given me the freedom to choose the whipping for pleasure that I do now, although I realise that many feminists may see me as a scourge on their cause. What I am saying though, is that I have always believed in women’s rights and feminism is a big part of that. Indeed many of the submissives I know would consider themselves to be feminists, while at the same time submitting to their husbands. And of course, as educated women we have earned the right to do that if we want.
Anyway, basically the point of this is that I think some of the time that, in an effort to attain equality, women have ended up trying to prove that they are better, not just equal to men. Where employment is concerned this has even been evidenced as being the case; they have had to work harder, for less money, and have had to fight in a male dominated world in order to break through the glass ceiling and have some sight of real equality. I think that for some women, this has had a knock on into their relationships. In our grandparents day the roles were clearly attributed according to gender and you did not really question your lot as a woman; you were a homemaker and a caregiver rather than a breadwinner and material provider. Nowadays this is clearly not the case, so much so that to choose to be submissive in this day and age is seen as being a bit of a curiosity by some, and as weak and letting the side down to others.
But at the same time, I hear a lot of my vanilla friends berating their husbands for not stepping in to help whilst also telling them that what they do is not good enough when they try. I have noticed that there is often more ridicule than respect in terms of the approach they take in handling this. I know these women love their husbands but to spend time in an all female group, you would often think that they don’t. Having done the same thing in a previous marriage, I can see quite clearly that sometimes we are guilty of behaving in a way which prevents us from having the things we want. Often, I think, the very things that have drawn you to someone in the first place can end up being the things that you stop seeing. And if you stop seeing those things in your partner then he will eventually stop feeling them, and in the end he will stop being them. At least in your eyes anyway.
I have watched this happen in more than just my own relationship and for me, I think that my behaviour was actually quite emasculating. In an effort to prove that I could do it all, I did it all. It was hard work and it was stressful and I had to keep very very tight control over everything in order to make sure that it all kept running like clockwork. So on the surface things may have looked ok but underneath I wasn’t happy. I was tired, exhausted even. I had very little left to give and not only micromanaged but also worked defensively, putting things in place just in case and preempting how things might go, rather than just letting them happen. I didn’t need any help and anyway, it was just easier for me to do it myself. I was so over-committed that my grip was quite fragile so I didn’t have time to explain to someone else how things had to be done. Besides people do things differently and I didn’t trust that they would be done they way I needed them to be done.
I have heard a lot of my peers comment that we don’t really need men anyway, and for me, I ended up managing my life so that statement was pretty much true. Now this is not the reason the marriage failed; there were issues far more fundamental than this and, although they were almost certainly contributory to me having had this response in the first place, my approach certainly did not help. It meant that I lost site of what was important and at the centre, and rather than there being an ‘us’, really there was only a ‘me’ with lots of other things in my life spinning at a great rate of knots around me. In the end he was spinning somewhere I no longer went and the rest, as they say, is history. But sooner or later, if you live your life as if you don’t need anyone else, it is not surprising that you end up feeling that you are alone.
So second time around I have tried really hard not to let this happen. When we were first together, I told my partner that I thought that we should have a policy of all needs (within reason) being met. (eek yes ‘told’ not ‘asked’ – I have come a long way). We also agreed to discuss things openly with each other as I recognised that this had been another downfall in my previous relationship and in others I had observed where people just ended up drifting apart from each other to the point where there was too much hurt and misunderstanding to want to find your way back to where you had been. This is a huge part of being submissive for me and I really think that it is a need. I needed to commit to meeting the needs of my partner and making sure that we didn’t stop making the effort to do that.
I also needed to give up control. I realised that learning to trust someone else to do the things that I had always done, was part of how I had to develop as a person. Sometimes they were done differently, and sometimes, arguably not as well, but the world didn’t end and this helped with my acceptance. If the bathroom is clean, does it really matter if the wrong cloth was used? Through relinquishing control I have become free, not just of the burden of having to keep all the balls in the air but also free to be the person I want to be. I hated what living the other way brought out in me and I didn’t want to be that person. But instead of acknowledging that and looking within, I focussed on any deficits within others and highlighted those instead. My tone and vocabulary could be laced with blame and I am honestly ashamed of how I sometimes behaved.
So I do really really need submission. I need it to give me a structure, I need it to keep me in line, I need it so that I can focus on what is important instead of the minutia which won’t matter in one week together let alone in one lifetime together. It helps me to keep a hold of the things I want to concentrate on and put my energy into. It helps me to fight the defences and survival skills I have build up over years. I don’t need to be in survival mode anymore. I am lucky enough to have an amazing husband who adores me and supports me. I want to live, not to just get by, so I need to let go and really experience the life that I have. At the end of the day, I am fortunate. I don’t know how we really found each other through the quagmire of our lives but now that we have I don’t want to waste my chance to be happy. I am actually going to be happy and by submitting to my husband, I am not just happy but I am calmer and more content within myself. I have fulfilment and a sense of purpose and I am glad that I have found a dynamic that really helps me to get the most from what I have.