Em & Lo's RSS Feed Em & Lo's Daily Email Feed Be Our Facebook Friend! Follow Us on Twitter!

LEVI's on Amazon

Good Vibes Cupcake

Buy on Amazon Kindle!

Sandals on Amazon


Comment of the Week: BDSM Destroyed My Marriage

Wed, Mar 26, 2014

Comment of the Week, Confessions

photo via flickr

Reader Nancy told the following heartbreaking story in response to our post, “Your Call – He’s Kinky, She’s Vanilla, Is the Relationship Doomed?” Sometimes, it turns out, love just isn’t enough…

I have been married for 17 years and recently discovered my husband’s infidelity. He started with a porn addiction which affected our sex life negatively and now is in pretty deep in the BDSM world–of course never communicating to me about his desires. I knew something was “up” for about six months, and then started having him followed. Such a sad way for me to discover his alternative lifestyle. I had to have answers for his behavior and mood changes so I am not really sorry I did the surveillance thing.

His personality changed in a negative way. He became very disengaged from our children and myself. Irritable, self-centered and defensive about any kind of inquiries about his life. (I realize these are behaviors that anyone would demonstrate if having an affair). After I confronted him about his activities, we had huge communication sessions about what led up to this. We love each other dearly and have three wonderful children who deserve both parents in a loving household. It probably won’t be possible to continue with our relationship. He cries and says he wants a committed, loving, monogamous relationship with me, but knows in his heart the BDSD charge is very strong and admits it will be next to impossible to maintain fidelity in our marriage.

I am sick about this, but don’t have an answer for any of it. I was sexually, emotionally, and verbally abused much of my childhood by an abusive stepfather. My mother was an extremely submissive person who “looked the other way” and accused me of lying when I would complain. I have worked extraordinarily hard to overcome the scars and damage from this. I am proud of myself for who I have become. I look for the light and positive in everything I do. My life is devoted to helping other people. BDSM has cast a very dark shadow over my children, my marriage and my future.

Yes, I did try and be open to my husband and play the “sub role.” It sucked. Sorry, I don’t want to be spanked, tied up and blindfolded. I don’t want my husband to stick his penis in my mouth when I am in a vulnerable position. Doesn’t do it for me. I am not excited by the “confusion” that BDSM brings into the complicated division of “power” between a man and a wife. So, we will be divorcing soon. It is a no-win situation. My husband cries every day and says he knows he will not find happiness with a sub, but he is “just in too deep.” I have a hunch he is not going to make BDSM a lifetime commitment. I am looking forward to getting out of this mess and beginning a life either on my own or with someone who will love me in a way that shares gentleness, warmth, care light and love. I want my children to experience what a relationship looks like from that perspective.

I always wonder if people that are so enthusiastic about BDSM would want their children involved with this. Would you really want your daughter being a sex slave or sub to a dom? Would you want your son whipping his wife? Not me. Life is so full of wonderful things that include kindness and gentleness. I have walked both sides of the fence and there is nothing to me more exciting than a gentle caress, a supportive hug, a loving gaze, a meeting of the eyes while love-making, my husband’s head on my breasts, an equal say in decisions involving the household etc. It is not a boring vanilla lifestyle to experience these things, I promise you.

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com:

, , , , , , ,

 

5 Responses to “Comment of the Week: BDSM Destroyed My Marriage”

  1. Nikki Says:

    I am so sorry you are going through such a difficult time. I wouldn’t wish divorce on anyone. However, I think you’re (understandably) looking for a scapegoat, and are laying blame where it probably shouldn’t go. I’m not so sure it’s just about the BDSM. It sounds like the biggest factor in damaging your marriage was your husband cheating, lying, sneaking around, and withdrawing from his family. That would be hugely damaging to a relationship whether it involved kink or not.

    It’s also OK and perfectly understandable not to be interested in or enjoy BDSM at all. That doesn’t mean there’s something wrong with those of us who do. We dot all conduct ourselves the way your husband did. Most of us are honest and up front about who we are and what we do, and don’t expect anyone to do things that make them uncomfortable. You’re saying some pretty judgmental things about is though, which I’m assuming is coming out of a lot of pain. I don’t have children, but if I did, I wouldn’t play in front of them, just like you wouldn’t have vanilla sex in front of yours. And if my kids turned out to be kinky, I’d want them to be happy. When done “right,” BDSM relationships can be very loving and supportive. And many of us, myself included, enjoy vanilla pleasures as well. That’s just not the only thing on our buffet, so to speak.

    Again, I’m so sorry for what your husband put you through. You’ve been treated horribly. But please don’t paint us all with the same brush.

  2. Rose Says:

    I understand what you’re saying Nikki, but I feel like Nancy was actually very respectful to the BDSM world. I didn’t feel in any way judged, but I did think she brought up some interesting points about BDSM relationship dynamics and what that means for different people.

    As a survivor of sexual abuse AND as someone who enjoys playing with power dynamics, I’ve worked through these things a lot. When I was raped in college, and molested as a child, I was in a vulnerable and “submissive” position. Things were done to me against my will.

    So I still often feel intense guilt that as an adult I enjoy rough sex and power play. How could someone who has experienced what I have EVER enjoy being submissive to anyone? It’s a difficult question, and it took me a long time to deal with the shameful feelings surrounding this.

    Thankfully I have a wonderful partner who knows my history and has created a kind of shorthand language I can use in the moment to describe my level of comfort. I’ve also had issues where the things I’m doing sexually unexpectedly trigger the previous memories of abuse.

    Sexual inclinations are complex. Often they fulfill some kind of need or drive. I think for me that being a submissive takes the pressure off performance. It also allows my partner to take care of me, and it’s one of the few times when I am really able to relax and let MY needs get met. I’ve spent so long taking care of others, that I think I actually feel safer when I can sit back and let someone I trust take care of my needs.

    These are complex issues though, and I think just having a dialogue about them is a step in a positive direction.

  3. AlanK Says:

    Nancy appears to find the idea of BDSM horrifying which, given her background, is quite reasonable. Asking her to participate in it thus verges on evil and if her husband pressured her in this way her marriage is over.

    However, if her husband is trying to keep his marriage together by integrating his needs into their life and does not appreciate the pain he is causing, he is simply an idiot. There is a lot of that going around.

    There is no logical reason why her husband cannot be allowed to express his BDSM needs outside the marriage. That option should be considered; it is surely better than breaking up an otherwise functioning family. A great deal of Nancy’s initial hurt was caused by her husband’s deceptions as much as by why he was deceiving her.

    Finally, as previously noted, there is a clear lack of communication in the relationship. Counseling with a sex-positive therapist should be a first step no matter how the situation resolves.

    Not everything can be fixed. Even some fixable things can become unfixable if one waits too long. This one doesn’t have a fairy tale happy ending. However, it CAN be resolved better than it is being resolved by ending the blaming and starting the understanding.

  4. Nikki Says:

    @Rose- really? That last paragraph smacks of judgment to me. She implies that our lives lack love and warmth, asks us if we’d want our children participating in BDSM, and assures us that we just don’t get how great vanilla can be. I get it, she’s very hurt and lashing out, but if that last paragraph isn’t judgment, I don’t know what judgment is.
    I’ve actually heard a lot of stories like yours, of BDSM players who have worked through past trauma. It’s infortunate that the letter writer’s husband seems to have re traumatized her.

  5. Amy Says:

    I have to say that the writer is clearly in a lot of pain – but I disagree that BDSM ruined her marriage. Her husbands affair (or affairs) ruined her marriage. He cheated & lied & snuck around – that he did it while pursuing BDSM doesn’t have anything to do with it. The fact that he said he doesn’t think he will find happiness with a sub – but is ‘in to deep’ is either a cop out or a way to try and say what he thinks he should.
    I also agree that the writer is very judgmental about BDSM, which in the situation does make sense. While there are some people that lead a 24/7 ‘slave’ lifestyle, that is by far the minority. I am no doormat – far from it. I am a strong intelligent woman. I would never let myself be abused or taken advantage of. My Dom would not have been interested in me if I was like that. To give up all the power & control I have for a time – it is empowering.
    BDSM doesn’t mean there is no gentleness. There can be loving glances, supportive hugs & certainly an equal say in household and financial matters. Some people keep things very compartmentalized, some have more of a blending. It depends on the specific people and their specific relationship. Comparing a BDSM sub to her mother who was a ‘submissive person’ is not in any way valid. To avoid or not believe abuse being done to your child is not submissiveness. It is a sign of abuse in her which may have been physical or emotional & is in itself a form of abuse. While it is not uncommon for some women that have had past traumas to be drawn to the lifestyle (as I said it can be very empowering) for some it is not something that they could ever do without reliving past pain.
    From the point I began a BDSM relationship I realized that the chances of me having a relationship that did not include it were almost zero. It was something I was looking for, there was a lack & now that I know what it is I wouldn’t want to do without it. Someone doesn’t wake up one day – decide to try BDSM with someone not their partner and then say they can’t live without it. There is a process that leads to it – and certainly a process that leads someone to cheat to get to it.
    It is very unfortunate that her husband chose to go this route – it may not have ended any differently, but it certainly could have been done with a lot less pain and anger if he had been more honest. The desire for BDSM does not mean you need to lie & cheat and bring deep emotional pain to someone you love.


Leave a Reply