It’s really hard to write about the bad times. Does revealing a crack in my armor mean that I expose myself as someone who ultimately shouldn’t be listened to ever? Is it a betrayal to talk about my husband’s flaws? Where does exploring where things go wrong cease to be useful, and simply become about airing one’s dirty laundry for petty reasons?
KillBoy and I are humans, with all the physical and emotional frailties common to most of us and a piquant seasoning of our own individual ones. We have problems, misunderstandings and outright arguments at times. Those things are perfectly normal, but I find myself sometimes shying away from revealing that behind our closed doors it’s not always all spankings and cuddles.
It would be nice if our d/s was always a source of strength, but sometimes it’s just immaterial. I’m a hard person to make a life with. I’m mule-stubborn and sometimes that’s about things that are ultimately detrimental to myself. I know it was many of those frustrations that led to KB saying something that was hurtful to me, but I can understand something, and even be able to dig out the underlying problem and agree with it, but words can’t be unsaid.
I don’t mean to imply that anyone should go through a relationship never expressing anything negative to anyone. The underlying problem was in fact, very problematic for us. Just because I don’t enjoy facing my faults doesn’t make them any less real, and just because they can’t be fixed immediately doesn’t mean they can’t be worked on.
However, certain traits of mine that are not necessarily flaws, I have had multiple people in the past attack until it’s the equivalent of a boss’ weak spot in a video game. And much like a defeated monster made of pixels, I felt like I had just shattered into pieces. I stayed calm enough to talk about it, and KB admitted to weak reasoning and that said traits were not the (non d/s) problem and apologized. We talked about the actual problems, and he talked himself through to a point where he was able to offer me something towards us working on the difficulties that were holding us back. It was a really good, A+ recovery of the conversation that was probably far past many people’s ability to communicate within a relationship. A real win for the home team.
With that rough conversation behind us, made up and with a plan in place, I looked over at him, told him I was going to shower and then went and cried while I washed my hair. Just because I wasn’t angry with him and forgave him for the verbal misstep doesn’t make the hurt immediately vanish.
There are also aspects of our relationship that mean that we argue differently than any relationship I’ve ever had. Because even when I’m hurting, I know that my words have power, not just as someone that he loves, but as someone who is supposed to have some measure of control over our total relationship. I’m uncomfortable calling it simply an aspect of being in a d/s relationship, but I do see him as my boy, as my pet who I must consciously care for. Not only do I need to take responsibility for those things which are my fault, but I have to make sure that our relationship isn’t harmed even when that means taking a deep breath and not letting my emotions control my tongue. This is something I believe to be true regardless of whether or not the power balance is tipped towards me, but I do think that somehow it seems more important because of it.
I’m still learning to have that power, and I’m still learning to exercise it. I know it’s frequently frustrating to KB when I don’t use it to lead, but I do feel it quite strongly when it comes to caretaking for my partner, even when that means I’m more conscious of the need to acknowledge my feelings but let my actions come from another place.