Our Story, Part 4

So maybe it wasn’t just one book, it was more like 50 of them. My bank account through Amazon seriously suffered for a few years. I read 50 Shades first, a recommendation from a friend. I think it’s important to mention I never read romance or erotica before this book, literally never, just not my thing. I had no knowledge of literature of this nature. I didn’t seek it out. So, when my friend told me what it was about I was immediately intrigued. I bought the book out of curiosity, a bit of me wondering about this idea of a woman giving herself over to a man like this. I had never done any research online or anywhere else for that matter, the subjects of dominance and submission completely new to me.
I read the whole series in 2 days. I was shocked. The female character had thoughts of letting go, worry about needing the man so deeply, struggle with her identity and giving up control…these were hauntingly familiar. And the sex, the connection she had with the man, I wanted to know more, needed to know more. But the rest, it seemed so unrealistic. The uber rich guy swooping in, his character flaws, these made me uneasy. I wondered if people really lived this way and I suppose the easiest thing to do at this point would be to search the internet. But, I bought more books and I just kept reading. I was so conflicted. How could it be that no matter what book I read, I always identified with the female character in some way? There were common threads in each submissive character that I saw in myself.
I had an incredibly deep inner struggle going on. All this time, before the books, I struggled with the part of me that really just wanted to depend on my husband, let him lead the way, to free myself from the need to control, because I never really wanted it anyway. I controlled to feel safe, to create safety, to try to ensure it. These books, they described women who never felt safer than when they were NOT in control. And the sex, it was as if something clicked in my head. At the same time, I was so confused. My past creeped in, and it didn’t make any sense why I would find this deep desire to be like these women, to do the things I read about. To give up control, not only in the bedroom but in daily life too. After having had control unwillingly taken, working with sex offenders, hearing the stories, it was just so much to process. And I couldn’t stop wondering how it could be possible to remain strong and independent and be submissive too. So, I just kept reading. And reading. I began to talk to my husband too, not really about my desires or my confusion, but about really trying to change, be less controlling, make lasting changes. This went on for about 2 years, this dance of reading and wanting and needing and changing.
Within the last year, our communication had drastically improved, we were very close and we were becoming physically and emotionally more healthy and mature than ever. We were having amazing sex already, my sex drive was already increasing and the books were definitely helping in that area. But I couldn’t stop reading, couldn’t deny this desire, this need I had to give up control. There was a part of me that was so fearful of ruining what we had worked so hard for. It had taken us a long time to get to this point, I didn’t want to change our direction. We still had a long way to go, mostly because of me.
My focus became on changing myself first. Really working on becoming a better person, confronting and changing my thinking. I wanted to make lasting changes, no more empty promises, false hope, watching years go by wishing things were different. I loved my husband and I NEEDED him, trusted him more than ever before and I needed to show him. I needed to live in a way that showed him how much I appreciate him and all the faith he’d always had in me. I began with that. And I kept reading. Then, I started a love letter to my husband.
Our 15th anniversary was coming up and I wanted to write this amazing love letter to my husband and give it to him on our weekend getaway. Over the summer, I found a beautiful leather journal in my drawer, a journal my husband had bought me many years before when I was journaling often, and decided to use the journal for the love letter. Beginning was easy, I had so much to say to my husband: sorrow and regret for feeling like I wasted many years, a crushing need to give up control (I didn’t call it D/s or give it any labels), love and appreciation for all his beautiful qualities and his patience and devotion to me, a need to free myself from the burden of perfection, to show him my trust and devotion. I even wrote about my sexual desires. I poured it all out on the pages of that journal. I wrote for a month and a half.
In the meantime, writing that love letter sparked something in me. My husband and I were becoming so close, even adding some mild BDSM into the bedroom. Inside, my desire to change was no longer a desire. I needed to change. I had begun to make small changes, but it began to feel urgent, weighted, consuming every moment of every day, it was all I thought about. I just couldn’t figure out how to really put into practice, really giving up any more control, trusting more. As cheesy as it sounds, I just had a moment of clarity. I realized I had to stop carrying around all the guilt, remorse, and regret and move on. Decide that day to walk out of the room, willing to make mistakes, trust my husband to be there and put one foot in from of the other. Sort of like quitting smoking cold turkey, so I did.
My outlook changed immediately and so did my behavior. My husband noticed, I noticed, my children noticed. It gave me confidence and I knew I had to give my husband the love letter right away. That evening, I gave him the letter. He was moved and excited and supporting. He wanted all those things too, the closeness, the trust, the giving up of my need for control. He was accepting of my apologies and looking forward to the future. I really began to live in a way that expressed this to him. I made small changes, wearing clothes he liked, grooming in ways he liked, being more conscientious of his wants and needs, arguing less, differing to him in decision making more. Things I was already doing, but truly making a mindful effort every day. The sex just kept getting better too.
Not long after giving him the letter, we went on on a long weekend getaway for our anniversary. Something changed in us there. We had no itinerary, only wanting to spend time together. It was the best time I’ve ever had with my husband and we didn’t go anywhere except out to eat twice and we went kayaking on the lakes. We couldn’t get enough of one another, and not just sexually (I’ll get to that in a minute). We talked and developed an intense closeness like never before. I spent time really talking to him, apologizing for the years I wasted, expressing my gratitude for his strength and his love. I’ll never forget what he said to my apology. He said, “I’m a patient man and you’re worth it.” I melted. He also expressed his forgiveness, his desire to help lead us in the right direction. I was filled with intense satisfaction, love, appreciation and hope.
While we were there, he also surprised me with some new bedroom accessories, but it was more than that. It felt like more than that, more than just accessories. It felt like exactly what we were meant to be doing. It was exhilarating, emotional, and deeply intimate, more intimate than ever before. Right away, our experiences this weekend made me realize I needed to talk to my husband. I was no longer conflicted in any way, the trust we had relinquishing all that fear and worry. I knew I needed to live what I had read about in all those books. But, I didn’t know how it would look in real life, how to begin.
When we returned, our relationship was truly better than ever. We were inseparable, even arranging our schedules to be with one another as often as possible. I began to look up D/s stuff online a bit and immediately came upon Tumblr and opened an account. I’m not really sure what the purpose was at the time really, just curiosity, wanting to understand how people actually lived such a lifestyle, what it looked like in real life instead of the pages of a book. For a while, I didn’t really find anything helpful, just photos, some of which were intriguing, some of which were pretty disturbing. Then I began to stumble upon some blogs that offered information, followed and began to read. A lot. Almost obsessively. These were people that lead successful lives and seemed to have healthy relationships (as much as you can ascertain that from the internet). I stalked their blogs.
One early morning, drinking my coffee before work, I read a long letter submitted to DomWithPen on Tumblr. I was crippled with anxiety. I could barely function, my brain was on overdrive. It resonated with me more than any other written words to date. Here was someone IN REAL LIFE who had terrible things happen in her past and was still able to come to terms with her need to submit, have the courage to talk to her husband about it, and she was not 25!!!!! For me, it was an instant catalyst. I knew I had to talk to my husband. I knew I could not turn back or stay the same. I was able to make sense of all the bits and pieces of my life so I could express it to my husband and ask for exactly what I wanted.
I wrote and wrote and wrote to try and get it all together in a way that would make sense to my husband. Then, I talked to him. God love him, he was just as receptive as he’s always been. How did I ever not appreciate how freaking awesome this man is? He was ready to jump right in. Of course there were many things to iron out, but he was willing to move forward. So, we did, experiencing only what I can describe as a closeness like never before, forever out of the darkness.

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