Not the End of the World

I met him – my owner (who I call my SO for the sake of simplicity) – when I  was twenty. My best friend in the entire world, Harley, was moving in to the house that he also shared with his pseudo-stepson, D, and D’s at-the-time girlfriend, Tink. And their other mutual friend, Biggie. I’d known Harley since I was thirteen and we were going to a small school for troubled and delinquent girls (I was troubled, she was delinquent). I’d known D and Biggie since I was sixteen, because Harley dated D for about two years during that time and Biggie was his roommate then, too. Tink I’d met briefly a few times before.

He was the only unknown variable in a time when my anxiety had been – for months – so high that I could barely leave the house without it feel like death. But Harley needed me to help her move (she was leaving a bad relationship). I did my best to help her pack and unpack and honestly tried to ignore the man sitting in a towel on the couch, because . . . well what the hell was I supposed to say to the man sitting in a towel on the couch?

But – somehow – I did find myself talking to him. And the next thing I knew we were discussing all of my darkest fantasies over the FaceBook messenger. And . . . for the first time in months . . . I didn’t feel like I had to take a Xanax. I felt dizzy and off balance, but it was because he was tipping me, not because I was falling. I wanted to pace, but only because he was drawing me back out of my own head. It was like taking a cold shower after a nightmare. It was like being saved from walking off a cliff. That sort of awakening.

Within a month, I was wearing the collar. I held out six months before we had sex (and it was “only” anal and oral, because I wasn’t on birth control and neither of us wanted any risk of pregnancy). By the end of the year, I was spending about half my time with him. Two years after we met, I moved in with him. And we’ve been in our apartment ever since.

It’s strange to think of our dynamic in terms of years. We’ve been “together” since January of 2012. We’ve had four “anniversaries.” I know a lot of people both in and out of BDSM relationships who didn’t make it past the one year mark. Harley herself has never been in a relationship that lasted longer than three years. D’s longest was two. Tink hasn’t ever hit the year mark without cheating on the person. My own parents only lasted five years before they fell apart when mom came out as gay.

It’s weird. There’s only one other couple within our group of friends that has been together longer than us. That would be Matt and Iris. They’ve been together since 2010 (or 2011, depending which one you ask). They got married in 2013. Iris is the mutual friend that D and I know who encouraged us to go to school, because she graduated last year. They are quite happily planning their family and their future.

When that’s contrasted with my SO and I, I feel somewhat . . . cheated? jealous?

I guess that’s true. My SO and I do have plans for the future, of course. I’m looking forward to starting a career in nursing, he’s looking forward to being able to work less than 40 hours a week. We both are looking forward to buying land, building a house, traveling.

But there’s no wedding in my future. No plans for children.

When I was twenty and first met him, I didn’t expect that to ever be an issue. I was the one who told him that I feel marriage is overrated and having children would be insanely impractical . . . but when people tell you that your views on such things may change as you get older . . . they aren’t always wrong. I’d mistakenly thought that since I hadn’t wanted those things during my teens, then I wouldn’t want them ever. I was wrong.

Not so much about the marriage thing. Though marriage works for some BDSM couples, I don’t hold any thoughts that it would work for my SO and I. Partly, this is because I know his background. He was married when he was twenty, had a son with his wife, and then lost them both to his wife’s anxiety and paranoia (the irony is not lost on us that his second-longest running relationship is also with someone who has anxiety). He’s estranged from his son – who is now only two years younger than me, at twenty-two. He hasn’t actually seen him since he was seven. His attempts to contact him have all been met with silence. It hurts him on a daily basis, because it’s unresolved and unmentioned

Also, I do feel that marriage is mostly over-rated. I’m not religious so I’m not worried about living in sin or anything like that. But is bothers me that I won’t be able to give my mom the happiness of seeing me all dressed up in white, walking down an aisle.  And she makes comments about that pretty much whenever she sees me, because I’m now the age she was when she and dad got married – even thought that didn’t end very well.

So. Marriage. I can leave it. That’s fine. It’s not something I need from a relationship.

(I’ve been asked, a few times, what I want from a relationship that I’m not getting in my current dynamic, because my current dynamic does – sometimes – wildly depress me.)

Children. This is trickier. Thought I never let myself verbalize it, I’ve always expected to have a child. Just one, mind you. I don’t know why, but I never felt comfortable saying so. It never seemed terribly relevant, because I expected to stay single for forever and always sort of thought I’d end up with a sperm bank. That doesn’t really seem practical, now.

We’ve  – my SO and I – have circled around the topic. His bottom-line is that we must be financially secure and preferably living in our own house, rather than an apartment. I agree with those terms. But I would also personally prefer to have a child before I turn thirty. He hasn’t ever come out and said whether or not he would prefer to actually be the father, or if he would rather it be anonymous and he be more of a god-father/mentor.

If I’m honest, then I have to admit that I do want a child out of a relationship. But I’m pretty flexible regarding what role he feels comfortable taking with that. It’s a personal choice and I understand that he might make a different choice. I’m okay with that.

So What do I want from a relationship? I’m still not entirely sure.

He apologized, on Thursday night. I asked what he was sorry about – because I was curious about whether or not he felt his comments were over the line, or if he’d just done something else that he’d felt sorry about in a small way. But he said, “I over did it, Wednesday. I drank too much. I should have let you drive us home. I don’t really remember much after I fell into bed when you got in the shower.”

And I brought up his comments. About me, about nursing school. And he was shocked and asked if I’d taken it out of context. So I went back over the whole conversation and what had started it and he apologized. He didn’t remember any of it. He knew he’d snapped at me, because he remembered me crying, but he didn’t remember the conversation itself.

I’e been intoxicated and said things I later regret. And this was the first time in our relationship when he’s done it. He’s forgiven me worse. Way worse.

And so I’ve forgiven him.

And now that it’s been several days, we’re both borderline amused at the situation. And we’ve moved on. Because of something is broke then an effort should be made to fix it. And we’re not even terribly broke. Just a little bit. And that’s not so bad, really.

It’s sort of interesting how one night can seem like the end of the world until morning comes and puts things in perspective.

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