Can our marriage be monogamous if I can't be a Dom for my submissive husband?

queenager4

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Nov 18, 2022
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Hello, I know this is going to get longwinded but if you have the inclination to hear my story I’d really appreciate other perspectives on the decision I need to make.


Over the last month, my husband’s secret life (minimum ten years) has gradually been disclosed. The admissions have only come out as I’ve found evidence so I feel like I’m still only seeing the tip of the iceberg. He has lied during discussions since, so I know he wouldn’t hesitate to lie to protect our 31 year marriage.


He swore the intimate contact (with multiple women) was purely online and despite offering to hookup many times, he never went through with it…or the enquiries about erotic massage and escorts usually at times when I was away, giving him ample opportunity (I feel like a complete fool even putting that into words)…His take on it: the thrill was in the idea of it and knowing that he could. He was also secretly having apparently ‘all above board’ remedial massages with a Thai masseuse in her home. A bit weird to never mention it but it wasn’t until I found the message where he asked to make an appointment to give her a massage that it was added to the long list of betrayals.


Then there’s the kink. He is/was also part of an online fetish community and casual hookup dating site with an active profile that describes his personal kink - being a submissive. He has been having one on one conversations, exchanging explicit selfies and offering to hookup with many local individuals. I never got into his FetLife profile (probably wouldn’t be here asking for your perspective if I had) but it’s not idle curiosity as he says - it’s daily, if not multiple site visits a day…more a way of life.


We were actually on holidays when I found out and I told him I was going to fly home to have some space to think and he could come home in a fortnight as originally planned. He was terrified and begged me to stay together so we could work through it. It was the first time in our 34 years that he has truly cried in front of me. He was devastated to see the pain his betrayal had caused me and vowed to do anything he could to regain my trust. We spent four solid days of driving, communicating like we never had before…dismantling every hurt and assumption. I made a commitment to try to work through it and was actually euphoric at the prospective of this new, far more intimate, relationship the future promised. We both know we would never had dug so deep without the catalyst of our marriage being on the chopping block.


Fast forward three weeks and, only when presented with the evidence, he admitted to four paid sessions with doms that included happy endings. I suppose I should be cheered by the fact that in one of the contracts his hard limit was vaginal intercourse or anything that might result in an STD because he was happily married. It helps me understand why he’s held me at arms length for many years and been unable to look me in the eyes. I’d like to think it was his conscience. From my point of view our sex life was creative and exciting. Funnily enough, when I would try something a bit kinky he would call me a ‘dirty grub’ without any sense of playfulness. We never discussed things. He’d built me up in his mind as someone who was critical and closed minded when in truth, kink was an enjoyable part of my relationship before him. I was never given the option of exploring it with him. During counselling it has also come out that he recently was questioning his sexuality and spent the morning at a local nudist beach exploring the idea. Apparently when he got close to a nude dude the smell was repugnant and he left.

Our lovely therapist believes that now his shame box has been unpacked and we have discovered this new level of communication that it’s basically put to bed and with a couple of beautiful rituals we’ll be on the path to healing and new found trust. He vows to completely give up all of his secret activities and is confident he won’t even feel the need with our new connection. The therapist also encouraged us to be a bit playful and look for common ground in our thoughts on BDSM. He instantly issued 4 page BDSM checklists and there was actually a reasonable amount of common likes. The thing is, the whole Dom thing is just not in me. I’ve tried to find scenarios that feel fun and authentic to me but the humiliation side of things makes me feel sick. I guess I just don’t get it. Whilst we’re having fun exploring our new playfulness I know it’s a substitution for him and a distraction for me. Not the healthiest dynamic. I’m almost ashamed to think I feel like I’m letting him down.

In our therapy session he suggested buying a cock cage to prove his faithfulness and despite the therapist pointing out that it might send the wrong message, the online shopping, lists of cock cage rules and potential scenarios was extensive. I don’t think he even realises the hold his sexual side has over his thoughts…it was actually like I’d laid lines on the coffee table and he could think of nothing else. I find it disturbing to think that he clearly sees how fragile our relationship is right now, yet cannot see that he’s scaring the shit out of me. When it arrived I hid the cock cage for days because I was so confused about my role in its use and what his expectations were, even though I’d asked him specifically how he saw it playing out. Eventually I left it in the bathroom with the cleaning products. I didn’t get the bathroom cleaned but we did have a fun night without following any script.


Soooo, I’m still uncomfortably sitting on the fence, trying to decide if our marriage can survive this, if trust can be rebuilt…and not wanting to waste five years trying to work through it, only to realise it was futile.

I wholeheartedly believe his intentions and desperately want to enjoy this new version of 'us' but don’t know how to reconcile it against the grief, hurt and doubt.

The whole forgiveness/trust thing is something for me to work out but I would appreciate a different perspective from kind folk in the kink community on the following:
  • I wonder about the long term affect on him of cutting fetish from his life (or tempering it to be desirable for both of us)…can he even do it long term? If it will be like cutting off a limb I’d rather him be true to himself and I’ll go my own way. After all, he has said ‘You and I are from different planets’
  • If his kink is being a submissive can he feel fulfilled if I’m keen to play but am a less than convincing Dom?
  • Why am I getting such mixed messages? Trying to assert myself, I sent him a list of rules that essentially gave me the power over when and how he would cum and what kind of punishments would be involved if the rules were broken. It really hit the spot but in reality he couldn't cope and the rules had to be revised. How does that sit beside his desire for a cock cage? It seems chastity doesn't work for him.
  • Why would his need to experiment outside our marriage go away? Is the search itself an addiction? His drug? I have no doubt he wants to respect me so we can be together but is that out of his control?
  • How can someone who is inherently sneaky and untruthful suddenly stop…and maintain it once the dust has settled, especially when he didn’t believe he was doing anything wrong in the first place?
  • What if the guy on the beach had smelt nice?
  • How can someone who has questioned his sexuality spend a morning at the beach and feel that it has been resolved? I would be ok with him being gay but couldn't stay married to him.
  • How the hell was the cock cage scenario supposed to play out?
If you’ve gotten this far I really appreciate your time.
Thank You!
 

herpderp42

Kinky Newbie
  • Straight
  • Male
  • Switch
Jun 5, 2015
10
13
3
First of all I should clarify that nobody should be allowed to tell you what to do/ how to decide. In the end you only need to justify your decision to yourself, nobody else. But since you asked we can clearly share thoughts on that matter.

-I personally doubt cutting it off from his life will work. There was a reaosn he started searching for its fullfillment otherwise after all. This would likely just repeat. Finding a common basis sounds more reasonable to me but you have no need to force yourself to something you don't enjoy.
-Experience can take you far. If you really want to become a convincing domme I do believe you can be one. The question to me is rather how long it would take. He would need to give you time to 'find your domme-self' if you try. Just liek the cock-cage for example: going too fast might just overwhelm you.
-That's really the paradox of being denied. :) You still WANT to cum but at the same want not to be allowed to. I obviously can't speak for him but my first guess is he was hoping for you to enforce the old rules? It is a hard and subtle decision how strictly to enforce rules if they become a bother.
As a suggestion if you want to keep trying: agree for a fixed trial-duration where his old rules are in place. And other than obvious emergencies he has to go through with them. Once the trial is over you can discuss how the rules could be changed.
-At least in my opinion the search only happens when you have to fulfill the need. If he could get it in your relationship it might stop.
-It might have not only be the smell but also his subconciousness. The smell might have just been the reason he mentioned and realized but not all that was to it. Also bad memories can be powerful, it might take away his desire to "try again" with another man.
-There is more than just being straight or gay. Just because he was questioning if he is into man that doesn't necessarily need to mean he isn't into woman. He also chose females for the thai-massage etc, right? So he could have just been checkign if he was bi.
-I suppose he hoped for you to just jump into the situation and be the perfect domme he imagined? But that's clearly unrealistic. You should do what makes you comfortable. Tell him if things go too fast. If you aren't comfortable things will hardly turn out nice in the end anyways.

I hope it was usefull to you in some ways. Best of luck to you!
 

subzzzero

Kink Talk Guru
  • Straight
  • Male
  • Dominant
Dec 6, 2015
1,130
697
113
First blunt short truth.
No one/ few people walk away from kink cold turkey longterm when it’s become a large part of how they live. I myself tried once or twice as well and it always came back as a need. Not a want but an actual need. So I don’t expect he will go vanilla and stay that way

As he is familiar with the Dom sub life he should know about consent and compromise. He’s forcing this action on you essentially and not concerned for your well-being in this.

Can you role play as a domme? I’m sure you could. More than likely at best you’d be a top based on how you have explained above. But actually filling that role takes a lot of effort. And if you do not want to do it then forcing (even indirectly) is not fair to you. That being said he won’t be enjoying it as much when someone can’t fulfill the role he’s expecting.

The rules part you mentioned. It’s the approach. In the typical dynamic the two parities dicusss likes dislikes limits expectations etc. then come to a common ground agreement with regard to rules and structure. Ans yes at times you may need to adjust them after some runtime. That’s not uncommon. Rues as well are work for you. When you set terms and consequences you are responsible to monitor enforce and uphold those rules. It is work for the dominant side as well as the sub. If they see you won’t follow through on your end they won’t follow rules.

Yes it seems He as a sexual addiction as well that needs to be addressed. I tend to stick with once a cheater always a cheater. Even if he maintained. You’ll never trust it based on the history. So settle this one however you feel is best.
Sexual orientation questions are more for him. Everyone is different no one but he can tell you what he would do, how he feels, and what he wants.

Finally the cock cage part. He was focused on his wants and needs not you both as a couple. He wants you to be his domme. He wants his needs filled. This was his shallow focus and needs to be addressed.

There are a few things that you need to figure out before taking guidance with it all.
Can you be a domme role ?
Can you trust him ?
Can you get past all this?
What do you get from this arrangement?
Where are your needs being addressed?
 

queenager4

Kinky Newbie
  • Straight
  • Female
  • Private
Nov 18, 2022
3
0
1
54
First of all I should clarify that nobody should be allowed to tell you what to do/ how to decide. In the end you only need to justify your decision to yourself, nobody else. But since you asked we can clearly share thoughts on that matter.

-I personally doubt cutting it off from his life will work. There was a reaosn he started searching for its fullfillment otherwise after all. This would likely just repeat. Finding a common basis sounds more reasonable to me but you have no need to force yourself to something you don't enjoy.
-Experience can take you far. If you really want to become a convincing domme I do believe you can be one. The question to me is rather how long it would take. He would need to give you time to 'find your domme-self' if you try. Just liek the cock-cage for example: going too fast might just overwhelm you.
-That's really the paradox of being denied. :) You still WANT to cum but at the same want not to be allowed to. I obviously can't speak for him but my first guess is he was hoping for you to enforce the old rules? It is a hard and subtle decision how strictly to enforce rules if they become a bother.
As a suggestion if you want to keep trying: agree for a fixed trial-duration where his old rules are in place. And other than obvious emergencies he has to go through with them. Once the trial is over you can discuss how the rules could be changed.
-At least in my opinion the search only happens when you have to fulfill the need. If he could get it in your relationship it might stop.
-It might have not only be the smell but also his subconciousness. The smell might have just been the reason he mentioned and realized but not all that was to it. Also bad memories can be powerful, it might take away his desire to "try again" with another man.
-There is more than just being straight or gay. Just because he was questioning if he is into man that doesn't necessarily need to mean he isn't into woman. He also chose females for the thai-massage etc, right? So he could have just been checkign if he was bi.
-I suppose he hoped for you to just jump into the situation and be the perfect domme he imagined? But that's clearly unrealistic. You should do what makes you comfortable. Tell him if things go too fast. If you aren't comfortable things will hardly turn out nice in the end anyways.

I hope it was usefull to you in some ways. Best of luck to you!
Thanks for taking the time to reply herpderp42.

I should clarify that I'm not asking what I should do...more just wanting an honest opinion about how realistic my husband's lofty promises are, from someone in the community, who might be able to put themselves in his position without their 'life as they know it' hanging in the balance. Obviously you don't know him so it's all hypothetical but it really is helpful for me. Having only experienced kink as a bit of fun I can't imagine what it's like for it to be part of who you are. I just really want to understand him and make a decision that's best for both of us in the long run.
My takeaway from your reply is that none of it would have happened in the first place if he'd felt fulfilled in our relationship...something I already knew I my heart. And I can't take on the responsibility of filling the gaps. I guess time will tell :(
Also, apologies for my poor choice of words - I should have said bi instead of gay.

Thank you.
 

queenager4

Kinky Newbie
  • Straight
  • Female
  • Private
Nov 18, 2022
3
0
1
54
First blunt short truth.
No one/ few people walk away from kink cold turkey longterm when it’s become a large part of how they live. I myself tried once or twice as well and it always came back as a need. Not a want but an actual need. So I don’t expect he will go vanilla and stay that way

As he is familiar with the Dom sub life he should know about consent and compromise. He’s forcing this action on you essentially and not concerned for your well-being in this.

Can you role play as a domme? I’m sure you could. More than likely at best you’d be a top based on how you have explained above. But actually filling that role takes a lot of effort. And if you do not want to do it then forcing (even indirectly) is not fair to you. That being said he won’t be enjoying it as much when someone can’t fulfill the role he’s expecting.

The rules part you mentioned. It’s the approach. In the typical dynamic the two parities dicusss likes dislikes limits expectations etc. then come to a common ground agreement with regard to rules and structure. Ans yes at times you may need to adjust them after some runtime. That’s not uncommon. Rues as well are work for you. When you set terms and consequences you are responsible to monitor enforce and uphold those rules. It is work for the dominant side as well as the sub. If they see you won’t follow through on your end they won’t follow rules.

Yes it seems He as a sexual addiction as well that needs to be addressed. I tend to stick with once a cheater always a cheater. Even if he maintained. You’ll never trust it based on the history. So settle this one however you feel is best.
Sexual orientation questions are more for him. Everyone is different no one but he can tell you what he would do, how he feels, and what he wants.

Finally the cock cage part. He was focused on his wants and needs not you both as a couple. He wants you to be his domme. He wants his needs filled. This was his shallow focus and needs to be addressed.

There are a few things that you need to figure out before taking guidance with it all.
Can you be a domme role ?
Can you trust him ?
Can you get past all this?
What do you get from this arrangement?
Where are your needs being addressed?
Thanks for your honest opinion subzzzero, I really do appreciate it.

I have to say that he's not forcing anything on me. I think it's more that he finds the excitement hard to contain. I'm the one willing to explore what comes authentically for me and I really do enjoy our play...but am also really conscious of not wanting to looking back on this time as 'when I dived into BDSM to try to save our relationship'.

To answer the questions you posed:
Can you be a domme role ? Convincing domme is probably not going to happen but I don't really think our relationship depends on it.
Can you trust him ? Right now...no. I doubt I'll ever be able to tell him I forgive him either.
Can you get past all this? If only I knew. Surely wanting to get past it is a good start?
What do you get from this arrangement? Well, the day after the cage night I did come home to a sparkling bathroom 😉 Seriously though, I actually feel that our future is exciting but it depends on me being able to suck up the past and him putting in the effort to rebuild trust. It's a massive price but so is giving up all the plans we had for the future. Before discovery it would have been a no-brainer...we both knew unfaithfulness was my hard limit but what I didn't realise then was that you have to live with the trauma whether you're together or not. It's not like I can walk away and suddenly feel like my old self.
Where are your needs being addressed? If I could flick a switch to turn off thoughts of the past and the future...NOW is amazing. I'm in the relationship I could only have dreamt of: communication, honesty, intimacy, excitement...I feel seen for the first time in many years. He is confident he can hold up his side of the bargain. I guess time will tell.

Anyway, thanks so much. I've read a few of your responses to other posts and they are always well considered and diplomatic. Keep it up :)
 

GoodGirl

Verified Slave
  • Lesbian
  • Female
  • Slave
Mar 19, 2017
35
44
18
Amsterdam
It's a bit short, but I advise to be with someone who naturally meets your inclinations and who you can build a new trust with.

These types of relationships have upsides and downsides, and in the end it only ever seems worth it when both parties have some sort of passion for their "role". It's not often maintainable over a longer period of time if otherwise.. A clean bathroom is wonderful and as long these kinds of service fulfil him and please you, it could be great- but usually issues arise because of unspoken expectations. If you never had such an inclination, thought or temptation, it wouldn't make sense for you to catch a sudden passion for it now and you couldn't be blamed for it. And "settling" for it isn't a long-term solution.

However, if this is an entirely new and wonderful revelation for you that tickles you even sexually, then this might be a great time to explore it.
 

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