After several years of faithfully posting on a regular basis, blog posts have been few and far between lately. The main reason for this has been the growing pains that Pet and I have recently experienced. I have had my share of tormented days but did not want to write about my feelings until both of us were in a better frame of mind. Let me explain.
A while back, he took on a Pet of his own and began a relationship with a young woman. I was pleased for him as I saw this as his chance to grow in a new direction. As their relationship progressed, I came to understand that his relationship with me was a major stumbling block for his girlfriend. I could understand that; polyamoury is certainly not everyone's cup of tea. I found myself struggling with my own conflicting desires. On the one hand I wanted to maintain what I had with him. On the other hand I didn't want to hold him back if this was what he truly wanted.
On several occasions we spoke candidly about the situation. He was quite torn between his loyalty to me and his desire to explore this new relationship further. I decided to make things simple. I told him I had understood from the beginning that certain aspects of our relationship had an "expiry date" given our significant age difference. While I wasn't eager to give up playing with him, I would understand if he felt he needed to make concessions to make his new relationship work. I also assured him that his place in my heart was permanent, and he could always count on me as a friend.
Let me tell you how hard that was to say to him. I was calm and committed to my position and I think began mourning the loss that same day even though nothing had yet happened. A piece of me detached in preparation for what I guess I felt was inevitable and right for him. His relationship went through a period of difficulties and I could see what it was taking out of him. I kept my peace, commenting only when asked and remaining as neutral as possible.
Then came the day last week when I learned he had offered to make the change I was dreading not once, but twice. Still the difficulties between him and his girlfriend remained and I understood he was breaking things off with her. I felt we had dodged a bullet so to speak. The following evening, we had planned a play session. Before it began, I learned that he had been in contact with her again, had made the dreaded offer one more time and they would be meeting the next day to discuss whether they had anything left to try and salvage. I don't think I processed what this actually meant right away.
We proceeded to the studio. I have to say I had to keep my inner sadist in check as she wasn't that "gleeful" that evening. A piece of me was determined to remind him of what drew him into his relationship with me to begin with so I gave him a good working over. The session was actually going well when I decided, somewhat abruptly, to wind things down. I suddenly had things I wanted to say to him.
I think the session had helped clarify my own feelings about the situation and realizing this could be our last, I wanted to speak my mind, as his Dominant, before we left the play space. As painful as it was to consider relinquishing my role as his Keeper, I was determined to follow through and also make it plain that I did not intend to allow his relationship with her to create further havoc in my own life. If she accepted his offer, there would be no going backwards for me.
We shed some tears together before the evening was over. We sorted through our toy bags, returning what we had belonging to the other. I told him he should keep the two "dress" collars I had given him, but I wanted to keep his leather play collar. We agreed he would not keep me waiting; he would let me know what was happening as soon as possible.
As things worked out, he ended the other relationship. Within less than 24 hours, I heard from him and from my perspective, the news was positive. I was surprised at how much thinking I did about our relationship during that short period of time. I realized my guilt about holding him back had caused me to step back as his Dominant weeks before. I stayed away from Fetlife and this blog. I busied myself with other things. Perhaps this was a self-protection mechanism, a way of bracing myself for what I thought lay ahead. But I wondered if I had actually made things worse for both of us by not taking a stronger stand from the beginning.
Pet thrives on control yet that was the first thing I relinquished when I learned of the other relationship. I took it for granted his time was no longer entirely his own, and therefore, no longer mine to monopolize. I didn't actually discuss this with him - I assumed. That was my first mistake and one I have already begun to correct.
Pet thrives when he has a role to play in my daily life,whether it is holding the door for me on the way into a coffee shop or performing household tasks which benefit me directly. As his other relationship progressed, I made fewer and fewer demands on his time as I assumed this had to happen.
Pet thrives when I gently push his limits yet I pushed him less as the other relationship grew. Once again I assumed this had to happen instead of negotiating any changes.
In essence, I had partially abdicated my role as his Dominant as I attempted to be supportive and understanding of his new relationship. This may have had the result of weakening his connection to me at a time when he might have benefited from the opposite.
This doesn't mean I would have worked to make things more challenging for him in his other relationship. I have no desire to manipulate him or anyone else. I think by insisting that any changes be negotiated, it would have made us both consciously think about any changes we were making within the context of our D/s relationship as well as our friendship. In hindsight, I realize I focused almost exclusively on being his friend when in fact I am his Keeper.
The past few months have been challenging for sure. I can say that we have emerged thinking more clearly about what we want out of our D/s relationship and have already begun exploring new directions.