Working Through a Rough Patch in a D/s Relationship

I’m going through a rough patch in my submission right now. This happens from time to time for any submissive and sometimes it can lead to relationships ending. If your bonds aren’t strong, if there’s not enough communication then it can be difficult to work through.

Some submissives, like me, have periods of time where they are extra submissive, and then phases where they are prickly and argumentative. I started a phase recently where I was feeling like I was overly submissive, and it wasn’t the best timing because currently both G and L are extra busy with life stuff and not all of it good. Being needy like that, when Dominants aren’t there as much to fill your needs can feel really isolating, even exaggerating that feeling until you feel entirely alone.

You can know, logically, that you’re not alone; you can know from past experience that things will improve soon as life eases up, but emotionally those things don’t help. I don’t like feeling like a burden and the deeper into those submissive feelings I am, the harder it is for me to admit I need things because I have some very unhealthy ideas that I’ve acquired from past baggage. And no matter how much I try to get rid of them they do tend to come back around.

So, me being extra subby and them being busy means I try to shut down my needs as much as possible. It works okay for a while but pushing all my submissive needs into the closet means I end up getting argumentative and sometimes resentful on a level where I don’t even notice it at first. Funny right? Well, not so much haha funny but strange.

Both L and G have told me not to do this. They make as much time for me as they can and then in those moments, I’m supposed to tell them what I need. I can’t imagine there is anything I am likely to ask for that they wouldn’t give me if they could. But what happens is that I think about telling them my needs, I think about it a lot, for a while… and then the time is gone, and I never got around to it.

And then I’m even more sad because I could have felt better but I waited too long and now it’s too late. It’s almost comical at times when I think about it—but at other times it makes me cry. They love me, both of them. I think I’m one of the most important people in their lives and they certainly make me a priority, but long distance is hard sometimes.

Not getting to see each other often is painful, and then when life interferes and suddenly the time, we spend together online drops significantly it can be wrenching. There is also the fact that L and G will be together coincidentally on or around my birthday (They haven’t completely got that organized yet). And I will be here by myself.

Ouch.

They’ve been friends longer than they’ve known me. They are close and that has been a major asset in our little family group, so I don’t begrudge them the time at all. The trip wasn’t even planned to see each other, but G has family near L and will be visiting them at that time. And I’m so happy they get to spend time with each other because I think they need to see and enjoy each other—I even think that having a visit without me is great, because for the past two years so much of the focus in their relationship has been about me and I worry about that.

But it’s still painful and I can’t deny that. Again, just another of those life things.

So, there are a lot of reasons that my mood has been up and down lately and with it my behavior. Now G and I argue a lot and usually it’s either playful, or at least respectful so I think the sudden bursts of attitude has taken him off guard. He’s not entirely pleased (Read that as Not. Pleased. At. All.) about the snapping and neither am I since it keeps getting me in trouble.

We’ve had several long discussions about it, and I can’t formulate any kind of excuse for why minor unimportant things suddenly blow up, except for these issues and the fact that my stress level this month has been a lot higher than usual. I just want it to settle back down because it’s frustrating for all of us—and also, I’m tired of being punished for losing my temper.

Through it all L and G have just been just as loving and supportive as usual— though I’m all out of leeway, so things have gotten stricter. Which isn’t a bad thing. When I’m like this it helps. Sometimes it pushes me back into my place, and sometimes it makes me fight harder because I’m suddenly resentful of the chains, but that fighting can bring things to a head which I think is what needed to happen.

The important thing is that I’m never denied affection just because I’m in trouble which helps so much with settling me down and I think we’ve finally gotten through the worst of it. I’m feeling calmer, for the moment anyway. Unfortunately, I’m working on my second week of early bedtimes because of acting up. I have an essay to complete which I’m struggling to work on, and I’ve cried more times than I can count out of sheer frustration.

But they are still here. They still love me. They don’t take my attitude personally because they know this is about my out of control emotions and not about them—they simply don’t let me take it out on them. And that’s not easy to learn as a Dom. When your sub is acting up, fighting the rules, and lashing out it’s very easy for the Dom to feel like it’s about them.

It’s easy to believe that if the sub is misbehaving, then the Dom must be doing something wrong. If the sub is fighting, then the Dom can get defensive and snap back which ends up drawing things into a cycle that repeats and leaves both feeling frustrated and angry.  It can be really hard to distance yourself from the submissive’s behavior emotionally, but if you can, it generally works better. Two people mad at each other is harder to untangle than one.

And I can tell you from experience that when a sub is lashing out, she is, at least on some level, expecting to be slapped down and is looking for the stability she’s used to— so if the Dom instead goes into their own spiral it can leave the submissive a little freaked out and scared. No one can be in control all the time, and Doms aren’t superhuman so it’s going to happen in every D/s relationship now and then, but it’s best to avoid it if possible because it ends up being a bigger mess.

If you, as the Dom, feel like you’re about to lose it too then that’s a good time for the sub to have a timeout, of whatever type you normally use. It gives you both time to calm down so that when they come back you can handle the misbehavior without internalizing it.

If you don’t stop things before you join the spiral, then later you will probably feel guilty about your part in the mess and it will affect your ability to punish. Letting things go because you feel guilty too rarely helps the sub. Mitigating factors should be taken into consideration of course, but don’t completely drop it just because you feel bad that you also did something wrong.

That’s why a time-out can be helpful for both of you, but I recommend making it a short time-out 5-10 minutes, and then repeat if necessary, that way the sub doesn’t feel like they are being exiled. Withdrawal of affections can be destructive for a lot of subs.

I can’t tell you what will work for everyone. I can only tell you what works for us. L and G are understanding and patient about my stress levels, but they will not put up with me lashing out at them for things that aren’t their fault. I get cuddled while we have a conversation to try to work through stuff. If I can even pinpoint the problem, which I can’t always do right away. And then, regardless of the reasons there is still discipline and punishment for the behavior. That last part usually comes when I’m calm enough to be rational and repentant. Usually.

Sometimes, when I’m just spiraling and can’t stop, a physical punishment can break me right out of a tantrum. Being sent to the corner ‘until you can calm down’, grabbed and smacked a few times for refusing to stop, those things tend to pull me out of the emotional miasma pretty quickly. But having a fit because of my emotions isn’t a valid excuse that will get me out of punishment and knowing that is helpful because it’s always in the back of mind that If I don’t stop soon, I’m going to step over a line and then I’ll regret it.

Also I’m like a lot of submissives who need punishment to deal with. Regardless of the reasons for the tantrum when I lash out like that I feel horrible afterwards and I will beat myself up over it if I’m not punished.

 So, we’re having a rough patch, and we’re working through it. Things are getting better now and I’m relaxing again. But what I love about them, about this and how well it works, is that even when I’m absolutely an emotional mess, even with all my baggage and abandonment issues, I always know they love me.

Always.

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