In the past week or so I've received a couple of inquiries about why D/s is currently absent in my life. I have written about the depression that had crippled me emotionally for the past 3.5 years but very little about the contributing factors in the 5+ years leading up to that.
The first 2 years or so with T were very good. We sustained a lifestyle D/s dynamic much of the time. We spent every day together even though we weren't technically living together yet. We still had separate places but I pretty much stayed over night at her place 6-7 nights a week. When we were together I would attend to her and pamper her. Play and sex was frequent and kinky. Everything went really well.
After about 2 years problems started to arise. We started fighting and arguing a lot. T started to lash out quite a bit. Sometimes with a solid reason, other times without. T is 12 years older than me, but I was her first relationship lasting longer than 1 year. She had grown accustomed to a good start and a gradual breakdown leading to the relationship being terminated. I was also her first D/s relationship (aside from play partners) so this put a tremendous amount of strain on us.
We didn't want to give up. We did both couples and individual therapy. She ended up being diagnosed with adult onset of a few things. BPD (Borderline Personality Disorder), ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder), and PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder). She was prescribed meds and regular therapy sessions. When she would get upset she would stop taking the meds. This made her behavior a bit erratic and difficult to predict.
I dislike fighting. I hate it. I love open communication. This strained me a lot. There were times when we could communicate rationally and other times that it was impossible. This also created some rifts in our D/s dynamic. I started feeling like I had to read things in a very difficult way A) This is an episode of lashing out, I just have to weather it out because talking now is impossible vs. B) she is upset about something specific but open enough to talk about it and try to solve the problem.
Around this time I would get shoved in and out of subspace. She would get angry if I wasn't submissive enough in a given moment, or get angry if I was too submissive at a given moment. This was very straining. If this led to a fight, she would basically tell me I am the submissive so I just have to take it. The attacks slowly escalated and at times, I was forced to call on my alpha for protection.
This was a process over a couple of years. We tried to maintain some D/s dynamic, but it got to be very difficult. The "worst" was probably when she got angry, put me in time out in the closet for an hour while locked in chains, gagged, and blindfolded, and then forgot about me. The first time the hour turned into about 4.5 hours. She had gotten on the computer, surfed the web, forgotten about me, went to the store, met up with a friend, etc. The second time was for about 3 hours and she left to meet up with a friend for a drink. By the time I was released I felt more sad than angry. I also knew this type of situation is inherently unsafe (if there had been a fire, I would have died).
A lot of people would probably blow the whistle here and say "dude, you should have bolted then." In this way I probably more closely resemble subs in couples that were married before D/s began. We had built a life. I am loyal to the one I love. Her mental state needed someone to still love her and support her through it. She was there for me when I needed her most and I was going to be there for her. We ended up moving in together. I was convinced we could fix this.
At some point D/s became only a bedroom thing. This was necessary in order to keep our relationship functional. It alleviated the burden on her and protected me. T had always had a support system in place with kink-friendly friends or those in the lifestyle that she could lean on. These slowly faded away. After Marc's death and Cleo removing herself from her kink ties, that was the last support pillar to fall for both of us. It felt like flying blind.
A short while later T had major joint replacement surgery. She would be down for 2-3 months. We prepared for this financially and mentally. About 3 months before the surgery she started to project hatred and rage at me. I soon discovered she was predicting that I would let her down and not be there for her during her recovery process. I weathered it out citing stress. After the surgery I waited on her and nursed her back to health. It felt nice. It felt like we were growing closer again.
A bit after this, T decided she wanted to go back to school and get a more advanced degree. This is something she had attempted a couple of times but had given up on it. She wanted this to be a more serious attempt. Her time was sparse. I understood. We started planning date nights once a week or so to try and make sure we were able to have some together time. Unfortunately, T wasn't managing her time well and/or she would forget and go out with friends, so our date nights only happened about once a month. This was the extent of our play. The other 3 nights I would end up hurt and alone. If I tried to talk to her about it she would respond in a very negative way, finding ways to hurt my feelings.
Eventually once a month became never. I fell into a deep depression. Any vulnerability and tenderness were rejected and belittled. This came to a head when I made another attempt at reaching out. She tore at my heart. I cried. She told me I was a pussy and a crybaby and beat me with her fists in anger. I didn't defend myself. After that I was lost. I found ways to cope but my heart shut down for the next 3.5 years.
I still love her very much. I still want to be there for her. Things are just different now. I have started reaching out again in an attempt to bring us closer. Her initial reactions are always angry and hurtful. I have to weather them out to reach her heart. It's not easy, but I haven't given up.