One of the most difficult issues of being a submissive or other s-type is having a disagreement with your dominant. Power exchange relationships often include agreements about areas of power where the dominant gets final decision control. Finding yourself at odds with thier decisions in one of these areas can be emotionally taxing for a submissive.
Finding a way to express your concerns and disagreements without violating the relationship dynamic is a common challenge for many of us. Here are some tips and tools for navigating disagreements with your dominant and remaining true to your dynamic.
It’s a Matter of Respect
Kindness, trust, and honesty are often the virtues cited as the most important for long term relationships. In a power exchange dynamic, these are important. Respect often trumps these other values. A submissive must be able to respect their dominant’s decision if they are to remain in the dynamic.
Respect is key in a power exchange relationship because if you cannot respect a dominant’s decision making, you cannot feel safe, cannot trust them to protect you, and cannot release control over areas where you do no respect them.
When you have a deep disagreement about an issue or behavior, framing your concern as a matter of respect can be useful. Telling a D-type they are wrong or refusing to go along with their decisions may not fit within the relationship dynamic. Talking about being able to respect your partner often will fit the dynamic.
Try framing your concerns as:
“I respect your right to make this decision. However, I am concerned that you are not considering…”
“I respect you. However, it feels like you are not respecting my [emotions, thoughts, understanding] of this issue. Can we discuss it?”
“I respect you and your right to make this decision. However, I am having a hard time understanding how you came to this logic. Can you help me understand?”
“While I respect our dynamic, this on-going decision to engage in [behavior at question] it is making it more difficult to trust and respect that you have my safety [feelings, needs] as a priority. We need to figure this out before it hurts our relationship.”
This type of framing continues to recognize and honor your dynamic while still addressing your concerns.
Are You Willing to Die on This Hill?
We will never been in perfect alignment with our partners on all decisions. However, there are issues worth engaging in conflict and those which are not worth it. Just because you have a disagreement about something, does not mean it is worth fighting over.
When you negotiate power exchange, you are not perfectly aware of how that will play out. Depending on your personality, your partner, and both of your preferences, there are chances that you will not negotiate about something which is acutally important to you.
When it comes to smaller issues, make the decision if it is something worth renegotiating or addressing. For example, if you negotaite power exchange over housework and your dominant prefers dishes loaded in a specific way and you have a differing opinion, make the decision if this is worth discussing and renegotiating. Keep in mind, it is the grain of sand in your shoe which bothers you more than the journey. If you really hate the way they want something done, it might be worth discussing.
Request Time to Discuss Your Dynamic and Issues
If you have not already set up regular times to review and talk about your relationship and dynamic, request to set up a time. Work out an agreement about how you both come to this space for discussion. For some people, the agreement is that they come as equals. For others, there are protocols for the submissive to raise an issue. In either case, establishing a regular time and space to talk about the relationship can help create a way to address concerns.
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