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

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BigDudesStealMonkeys
BigDudesStealMonkeys
6 months 8 days ago
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
Tony Conrad
6 months 8 days ago
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
Tony Conrad
10 months 9 days ago
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
Amy
2 years 2 months ago
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
Telva Singer
1 month 12 minutes ago
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 »
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
29 days 18 hours ago

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
Nikki
2 years 3 months ago

@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.

AlanK
AlanK
2 years 3 months ago
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… Read more »
Telva Singer
Telva Singer
1 month 9 minutes ago

He married one person, his wife. He is meant to be true to her, to not betray her, and not to screw around on her. Why should she give up her self respect and dignity by giving him the ok to have his super happy bondage times outside of the marriage? That classless idiot should have been upfront and asked for a divorce before he decided to get his freak on outside of the marriage, and spare his wife the humiliation and embarrassment.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
10 months 9 days ago

I cannot believe the advise you are giving. Getting his needs met outside of the marriage? You obviously do not understand what a real marriage is.

bklybug
bklybug
7 months 4 days ago

Actually, Tony, it sounds like you do not. A real marriage satisfies both partners. Physically as well as emotionally and intellectually. Nancy’s husband seems to be sparing her his needs, which she finds objectionable; what they need to do is communicate better. And, you need to judge less.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
7 months 4 days ago

Yes a real marriage should satisfy both partners but in my opinion goingoutside of marriage for any sex would seriously destabilise the marriage. You are entitled to disagree but if it is a forum then there will be other opinions.

bklynbug
bklynbug
7 months 3 days ago

you are entitled to an opinion, but not to judge.

Tony conrad
Tony conrad
6 months 26 days ago

I can’t judge somebody’s heart but I am entitled to judge an action which is what I did. If I committed paedophilia for instance many would quite rightly judge that to be wrong.

bklybug
bklybug
6 months 25 days ago

Wrong again. Pedophilia is against the law, morality issues aside. What you are doing is judging those who live a lifestyle alternate to your own. This marriage, as most, was doomed by a simple lack of communication. If they had been honest with each other things may well have turned out differently.

Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
6 months 24 days ago

You mean going outside of marriage for sex? I have no doubts that is wrong personally as it is adultery and grounds for divorce if it was needed. The law does not cover every moral decision. I don’t think it is judging to say that any more than saying paedophilia is not right.

bklybug
bklybug
6 months 24 days ago
And, again, wrong my friend. If you and your partner agree that sex outside of your marriage is wrong, then it’s wrong – for YOU. What you cannot do is judge (by your religious/moral standards) how others choose to live their married life. Morals are not universal, they are relative. I do not think less of you because you choose to live a monogamous lifestyle. What gives you the right to judge my polyamorous one? What 2 fully consenting adults choose to do together, or apart, is their business – not to be judged by anyone other than the partner(s)… Read more »
Tony Conrad
Tony Conrad
6 months 24 days ago

We have to make judgements for ourselves and our children and you must know that I would never live that lifestyle and thankfully my children do the same. You are free to do what you want. We will all reap what we sow in the end.

bklybug
bklybug
6 months 24 days ago

Yes! Exactly my point. I wish you and your family a very Happy New Year.

Rose
Rose
2 years 3 months ago
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… Read more »
Nikki
Nikki
2 years 3 months ago
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… Read more »
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