I find myself in a difficult situation and I am not sure what to do. Recently I met a girl on social media. We were in a group together and I asked her if I could DM her and she DMed me. The connection was instant and intense. Conversation just flowed naturally, deep stuff and surface stuff. I haven’t felt a connection like this in years. We met up the next day.
She lives with her Daddy and I ended up meeting him the day I came over. He’s an okay guy, I guess. He’s nice and all. But I was a little uncomfortable with how they interact. They have a 24/7 D/s dynamic and I have been in those before. In my last one I was owned property. He turned out to be rather abusive and I still have scars from that relationship.
The thing is, I have trouble telling what’s normal and what’s not because of that abuse history.
Part of me thinks maybe it’s normal and I just haven’t been around D/s in a while, but part of me is sure he’s doing what my ex did; creating “rules” in the name of “taking care” of his partner but really just being super controlling.
I’m feeling like he basically runs the show. For example, he has the passwords to all her social media accounts. Supposedly she is paranoid her ex is going to kill her and so he checks out friend requests and stuff. He has inserted himself into her DMs to me, sometimes without telling me it’s him sending the message. He dictates when and how we can be physical. We can’t kiss for two weeks, and can’t have sex for three months. When we had a date on Tuesday he called four times and texted her, too. He asks her what she’s doing when she’s with me, constantly. Oh, and I’m not allowed over unless he’s home, which makes it hard because she has a service dog and the dog can’t be around my cats.
I could handle all this, or so I thought.
Again, my abuse history makes me wary, but she seems to love him (though the whole time this is going on they’ve been fighting about it), and I’d rather believe in the good than the bad. But tonight was different. Tonight we were texting each other while we were in the same room. Just cute, loving stuff, you know “you’re so beautiful, I wish I could kiss you, etc,” as well as texting normal stuff. So I was caught off guard when the Daddy suddenly yelled and smashed his phone to the ground. I had a trauma response and immediately started crying. I was in full panic mode.
He apologized a while later and told her he was upset because she had broken some boundaries. She was like what boundaries; the boundary was not to do anything sexual and we hadn’t. He said we’d been talking about kissing. I could tell they needed to fight so I got out of there as fast as I could. They talked, I guess, and she messaged me telling me she was going to back off for a few days because she had some things she needed to “fix.”
I like this woman a lot. I feel for her like I haven’t felt for anyone in years. But I feel some things are wrong.
The husband/Daddy has the password to check for potential stalkers. This shows he used that power just to see what we’d been talking about, which tells me nothing between her and I is private. I feel like she wants to love me and I want to love her but there are so many RULES and I don’t understand them, even when the “reasoning” is explained. It’s worth noting this is the first time they’re really dating separately, so I expect some bumps, but it’s like he doesn’t trust her at all. Even if I don’t work out, I feel like her relationships are going to fail because he’s so “dominant” they’ll never get off the ground.
What do I do? I want to be with her. But I can’t be around someone who shows a physical temper or yells like he does, which is fairly frequently. It’s not good for my health. Furthermore, I want to make sure she isn’t being abused without realizing like I was. My ex owner had “rules” in the name of “taking care of me” when really they were just his way of controlling me.
Thoughts? Suggestions? Advice?
Walking the Line Between Abuse and “It’s None of my Damn Business”
First off, it appears you’re instincts are serving you well. Some of us can trust our guts. Some of us cannot. Some, like my master, need a “canary in the coal mine” to check our gut instincts. But what you are seeing is NOT okay, and you know it. Because if you thought everything was absolutely perfectly fine, you would not have asked your community for help. The next time you feel unsure? Do not hesitate to ask someone for help!
Secondly, I cannot argue that the guy doesn’t have severe anger issues and outwardly abusive behaviors. Especially with this, “So I was caught off guard when the Daddy suddenly yelled and smashed his phone to the ground. I had a trauma response and immediately started crying. I was in full panic mode.” THAT is unaccepatable behavior for any adult. So, I would remove yourself from his presence immediately, while you figure out what you want to do with her. YOUR SAFETY IS PARAMOUNT.
But let’s bring it back to the matter you asked about. And I wish I could offer more. But I can’t provide much to your question.
Because, you see, the relationship you are worried about isn’t yours. It is so, so easy to do this! But it’s what I call “It’s not a meta problem, it’s a partner problem.” As much as I personally disagree with how their relationship works, the truth is that she is consenting to this. I cannot, nor do I know if I would want to, decide what is ethical and unethical in CNC relationships (Consensual Non Consent).
Moreover, nobody is likely to help you. Based on articles like this, it does appear that the abused must report themselves as being abused for any action to be taken (skip past the section on “There Are Several Key Indicators That Your Friend/Loved One Is Being Abused” and get right to “Remember To Do The Following.” The signs will be meaningless since many of them will happen in healthy, consensual D/s relationships. To better understand this, you may want to read my piece on “When Abuse is the Only Kink They Know.”)
At worst, she could face judgment, alienation, etc for others finding out about her unorthodox ways, and he could retaliate even more against her. Which doesn’t mean she shouldn’t do something, but I believe she at least needs to be allowed the ability to make that choice for herself.
What can you do for her?
For starters, send her this link. It cannot help to give her a specific resource and someone to talk to that isn’t you (she needs an unbiased third party right now.) This doesn’t mean you should stop talking to her, but it will help back up what you say with a professional opinion.
So, yes, continue to talk to her. She may not appreciate your bringing this up, so just let her know that you are here whenever she needs you. Show her that you’ll talk to her about things other than her relationship with her dominant. Make sure she knows she can still rely on you, even if you disagree on how she carries out her romantic engagements. Because even if she gets into one that you (and frankly, I) believe to be healthier, it sounds very likely that she’ll continue to do high risk activities. She doesn’t need to feel judged by you for this, and if she does, she’s more than likely to not talk to you about anything that might feel wrong to her.
But, more importantly, for yourself? You need to reframe the issue.
Stop worrying (as much as you can!) about him and her. Focus on YOU and her. And, to a smaller extent, you and him. You mentioned, for example, that he sometimes messages you pretending to be her. When you notice this (it seems like you can tell the difference between messages from her and him), flat out message him back and say, “I don’t really want to message with you, I want to have a conversation with Jane. Please stop.” If he refuses, ignore and delete those messages. Or however you want to handle it, but it’s okay to confront him directly on this.
But you and she are the relationship and that should be where your concern lies. It’s hard, I know. You don’t want to blame your partner. It’s easier to blame their partner. But she is the one that is with you.
So you and she need to figure out what’s happening with the two of you.
Not okay with your dates being interrupted by a stream of calls and texts from him (or frankly, anyone?) Then tell her so. I have had dates where I knew our date would be interrupted by a personal or work call. Or even an hour or longer work meeting. But if I wanted to date this person, that was just how it was going to have to be. Just like they had to work around my work and family schedule to be with me. Fair’s fair. However, I also once went on a date where the guy’s ex-girlfriend called twenty times(?) in thirty minutes. Not cool, dude. And it was on him, not her, to block the calls or turn off his phone or whatever he needed to do. It. Wasn’t. Her. Fault. It was his.
Can’t kiss or have sex for x number of weeks? She doesn’t want to kiss you or have sex with you during that time. Or she would. Are you okay with long droughts in the relationship? If not, again, you need to tell her. If she tries, “But my master says–” cut her off and say, “What you and he agree to is your business. I won’t tell you how to be with him. But I cannot go weeks without affection and still be with you. So what can I expect?” Or something along those lines. It’s also okay to not want to date someone (in this case, you not wanting to date your girlfriend) because she lets others tell her how to date. If she cannot be an adult about this and dictate her own terms, is this someone you want to be with romantically? I cannot answer this, this is up to you.
(For what it’s worth, I think the bit where you cannot be in the house unless he is there to be odd. However, far be it for me to tell someone how to run their home. In fact, I may one day to decide to have a space of my own where nobody is allowed to be in it, unless I am present. So I can’t judge.)
What is normal and what isn’t normal doesn’t really matter.
Who knows what normal is? Heck, I don’t even know if I can say what kink is or isn’t? Is kink even kinky? I don’t know.
It appears this feels abusive to you, and so you have every right not to consent to being in a place where you feel abused/feel others are abusing your loved ones. You aren’t telling her “this is abuse and it’s wrong,” but rather, “It feels like abuse to me and I can’t handle it.” And that is fair.
You say “But I can’t be around someone who shows a physical temper or yells like he does, which is fairly frequently. It’s not good for my health.” Then that is true for you. And maybe you shouldn’t.
I don’t know what you should do. What I do know is that everyone should have the right to try to be happy in their relationships. And you are not. Well, maybe you are happy enough, but you are struggling with the amount she allows her partner to get involved in your relationship with her. Because that means you have to be around someone you consider to be an abusive asshole and triggers memories of your own abuse.
And that means you have got to confront the actual problem that you have any control over– which is your relationshop with her. For your own mental and physical well being.
Are you prepared to do that?
Yours for all the best,
P.S. It also appears that the only 24/7 relationships that you know are unhealthy or suspect. It could be good to show her a healthy 24/7 D/s relationship. Not as as, “Here’s what you should do,” but more of “Oh, you know here’s just another example of what 24/7 relationships look like, if you’re interested.” That way she can contrast her own with another that is healthy. It might snap her into reality, IF she truly is being abused.