OK, I’m down off the cloud and things are slightly troubled. Hopefully this won’t last, but there have been hitches over the last few days. I won’t go into too much detail, because I don’t want to jinx something that could actually be very awesome by sounding like I’m labelling it as a failure. But suffice to say that there were a few things that I had asked for and that we had agreed would happen, that did not happen. After a long time of being patient, I realised that Michelle had forgotten about them, and I felt as though I wasn’t being properly heard. (BTW, we don’t have that kind of D/s relationship where I am just supposed to accept emotional denial as part of the kink. If I’d like something, I can ask for it – just not all the time. Once I’ve asked, she can respond in her own time.)
Anyway, I thought about why we’d miscommunicated, and worked it out like this: both of us go through phases where we want to put the relationship on auto-pilot. Life gets busy and it gets tempting to try and do what some old music roadie friends called a “set and forget” – you get the levels right for the drums, bass, guitar and whatever else the band are playing, and then you can walk away from the mixing desk and have a beer, knowing that it’s a rock show and nothing is going to change that much.
Well, obviously a relationship is not a rock show, and things change all the time. Commitments are made, ideas are suggested, new wants and desires emerge; and it’s a challenge to stay in top of all that and maintain focus, prioritizing that over other commitments you might make in your life.
This is an issue that has been compounded for us because we have spent a considerable amount of time talking about the issues in our relationship and how these could be dealt with. I’m generally OK with doing that, because I feel that the relationship is very strong and all we are doing is working to make it stronger. But unfortunately Michelle finds it stressful and disheartening, because she feels that the relationship might be not going so well, and she wants to hear that ‘everything is OK’.
The need to hear that ‘everything is OK’ feeds staight back into the desire to ‘set and forget.’ When we do go through a positive phase, Michelle seems to interpret this as an indication that it’s all sorted now, and no more needs to be done. I find this frustrating, because to me, it’s so obvious that the awesome phase we have been going through came about precisely because we did a lot of things together and put a lot of energy into our relationship. More still needs to be done; not because there’s a problem, but because the relationship thrives on doing things.
So it seems like a catch 22 to me now – every time things go well, one or other of us starts to lose focus and de-prioritizes the relationship. And to me, it seems like it is Michelle, more often than me.
I’ve labelled this ‘Sociology of D/s’ but really, the same could have been said about any relationship, vanilla or otherwise. Relationships take work. Sometimes there isn’t enough energy to do the work and then there are going to be situations where things don’t go as well as they could. To me that all seems perfectly normal. What scares me is the idea that Michelle doesn’t really want to put a lot of work into our relationship and just wants it to be ‘set’ or ‘finished’ so that she doesn’t have to prioritize or work at it any more. Maybe this is unfair, but it feels that ways sometimes.
Anyway, like I said, it hasn’t really been a major low, just a point of mediocrity compared to what it has been like recently. I think we can move forward from here. I just wish I could get away from this sense of having to ‘fix’ the relationship so it was working and then we could relax. Ahh! We’re nor trying to fix it! We’re just trying to make it even better. Gaaah!
Communication is so hard.