3/26/14
Comment of the Week: BDSM Destroyed My Marriage

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.

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27 Comments on "Comment of the Week: BDSM Destroyed My Marriage"

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Karen
Your statement, “I am not excited by the “confusion” that BDSM brings into the “complicated” division of power between a man and a wife”, actually addresses the problem more than you think. First of all, infidelity ruined your marriage, not BDSM. BDSM is the celebration of the consensual division of power between a man and woman. For people in the lifestyle it’s not “confusion” at all, it’s the most defined aspect of it. And the division is not “complicated” but adored by both. And yes it’s not understood by people outside of the BDSM mindset. I understand your judgment of… Read more »
Tony Conrad

I don’t really understand the power thing. We have a kind of equal marriage although she does look at me as her head. If someone wants to be tied up or something it doesn’t have to mean the marriage changes. It’s just things some like to do in the bedroom I would have thought. I think it better we keep away from the power thing. I tend to lead in the bedroom but that is the natural thing we slot into.

Ken

Wow this is my life right now, except it is my wife that is the one doing the bdsm and cheating. I also have 3 young kids and need to get out of this hell of a marriage.

Tony Conrad

I think the problem was unfaithfulness rather than bdsm. Pornography is a mental unfaithfulness in the sense of a husband getting his needs met elsewhere. Obviously pornography will blow up any fetish and open the floodgates to all sorts of things. In a faithful marriage however if one of the spouses has a kink this can usually be handles in a loving way. I’m the one with a kink involving a paddle but that is as far as it goes. There is pleny of vanilla sex but ocasionally I need something different and a paddle will supply that excitement.

BigDudesStealMonkeys
Tbh, I have a daughter, and I would be happy with her doing anything that made HER happy. If that’s BDSM, then so be it. Some people enjoy that type of playful sex, and who the hell are we to criticize another person’s sexiality? HOWEVER, you do not want to do BDSM. That’s ok, but as you realize, you will not meet his needs that way. The best thing for this marriage is for it to end. He’s obviously not happy sexually and neither are you. If he tries to repress these needs, then he will just act out later.… Read more »
Tony Conrad
You are probably right. The big mistake was going outside of marriage for it. It probably could have been dealt with in marriage. My wife is vanilla so to speak and two years into my marriage I was getting these powerful urges through reading wrong adverts etc. so I bit the bullet and asked her if she would spank me, which she did and the desire was contained in the marriage and she has become very comfortable with it. It doesn’t include any domination, punishment type stuff or DD as I knew that would have been wrong for me and… Read more »
Tony Conrad
I really sympathise. I think the marriage is doomed through adultery. Sex should never go outside of the marriage. I think if someone feels the need to spank the other it is not right if they don’t like it and it speaks pain to them. My wife is not switched on by me spanking her and I recognised that quickly. If it didn’t switch her on then it wouldn’t switch me on. The word bdsm means cruelty to some people and one shouldn’t change that. If people like to be spanked or something then that is okay. His mental adultery… Read more »
Amy
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… Read more »
Telva Singer
Having been in her shoes myself, I would have to agree that BDSM is indeed a contributing factor to the end of the marriage. My husband felt the need to watch porn regularly, and became increasingly interested in bondage. Trying to be a good wife, I played along with the lighter stuff, but when he wanted to tie me spread-eagle to a bed, blindfolded, and introduce items I couldn’t see, that was enough. Where does he go from here? Wanting to introduce me to the “wonderful and beautiful world of shibari and rope bondage.” Hell no. I do not choose… Read more »
skinprof
I am truly sorry for your pain. I was married for 31 years . My ATT husband lied, cheated, mismanaged money, and ultimately blew up a home with a MLC. Through this negative experience I vowed to myself to pursue knowledge about : Sex Relationships Men Women Myself I have been investigating and researching for going on four years presently. Through this I have learned about BDSM. It is an umbrella of many lifestyle choices. You were given a gift , when your husband came to you with his desires and needs. He felt enough trust with you to do… Read more »
Tony Conrad

Any BDSM is always by consent in a marriage. Porn is mental adultery and sex outside of a marriage is adultery. I think the porn affected him and anyone who watches porn will be risking their marriage whether they are into BDSM or not. You have the right to say no in a marriage and each of us should be big enough to receive a no in a marriage. You co-operated as far as you could but your needs should have been paramount as well in the marriage. Very sad.

Nikki

@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.

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