I'm having trouble I am new to the male dom scene and been In this relationship for 7 months.... my sub is mentally traumatized and abused from her last dom/husband and they are still married just haven't been together in about 8 9 years... she keeps thinking she is in trouble for things that she does and mentally beats her self up and starts to cry for things that her last dom conditioned her not to do or things that she is supposed to be doing but these things don't upset me and dont pertain to me......she always thinks I'm upset with her and I don't want her feeling this way.... she can't understand why it's like this and gets upset ....he lives like a shadow in her mind as she calls it her monster and it's getting in between us I love my baby girl and want to help her over come this I could use some advise any help would be great ....any training and conditioning tips would greatly be Appreciated as well
Much of the solution is chemical; oxytocin. Simply put, touch. Prolonged skin on skin contact increases the pair bond to you and drives the others out. You need to be hyper aware of what the beginnings of her triggers look like. In my experience, you can see this in a sub's body language long before it shows up in their conscious mind. Little things like a shudder, goosebumps, tensing up, gasping... these are all little signs that you may have hit a previous trigger or conditioning.
Slow down, stop, and replace whatever you're doing with loving touch. Be that protector that submissives crave, and exude a calm, assertive presence that lets her know silently that you are there to watch over her. Keep this up, just being there, listening, holding until you get positive feedback from her mind and body that tells you she is relaxed again.
Then talk. Tell her what you noticed; for example 'I noticed that when I rubbed your ribs like that, you tensed up...' Don't interrogate, let her talk and try to tell you in her own words what the trigger was and how she felt. If she stumbles or hesitates, stop again, tell her it's ok and to take her time, and go back to the silent cuddles. If she's not ready to share that, she's not ready.
When she shares, take note of all of what she says. Don't just think, 'OK... I won't ever touch her ribs again... done.' Think and reflect instead on what having her ribs touched does to her head. What is she feeling? What is she worried will happen next? Guide her away from those negative thoughts by showing her love and safety in those moments that she knows only abuse and fear.
Be particularly aware of this phenomenon during any sort of rougher or darker play as well. If your punishments or sadism mimic that of the ex, the effects will be far greater than you realize, and you can send her to a place where she's just a quivering mess that can't even verbalize to safeword. Same as above.. always keep a part of your brain reserved and rational, no matter how into the scene you are. That part should always be watching her for the early signs of trauma.
You don't need to fix her. You just need to be there for her while she fixes herself.
The first thing that concerns me here, Fusion, is how you say she’s still married. Life is complicated—I get that, but nothing good comes from dealing with those who are still legally attached. Been there, done that. The only way out is seeing it ended. I once gave support to a woman attempting to divorce as amicably as she could. It resulted in years of turmoil for her (and subsequently, me too, at times), but it was necessary. Today she’s finally free of “the monster,” so to speak. Your girl needs to go through the same process. My utmost recommendation is to get a divorce underway, eventually. Otherwise, she’s still attached to him in very real material and statutory ways. It’s hard building a new life when embers of the old burn red under the soil. Sever the connections with the old life. All of them.
With that said, I like Fudbar’s answer. The pair bonding of affection and support is quite important, so I would simply reiterate what has already been said on that matter. There’s a lot of wisdom in saying she needs to be given a space in which she can fix herself, but I do suggest you take an active role in it all through a lot of calm, open, non-judgemental dialog. We tend to hear platitudes about the power of communication a lot, but it’s an inexpensive form of advice that isn’t as simplistic as it seems on the surface. Intimate, deep-reaching, exploratory communication is in short supply these days. Become a strong foundation of support and wise advice for her. Discuss her feelings and memories. Spend hours on exploring these things with her and for her, in between going places with her in the world and building new experiences and memory pathways. The attention and dialog is healing. In short, be a noble human being—a source of comfort. A shelter. Therein lies the path to understanding her completely, and when you have that understanding, you’ll better know how to help rewire her mind. She must not persist as a mystery to you: you must come to understand her completely, and she, you. This will help her pass from his shadow as she moves under the auspices of yours.
[quote="MarcEsadrian"] Getting unmarried is not as easy as you seem to think it is I can think of numerous reasons why she may still be married no matter how much she might want to divorce him. for example my dom is still after 14 years of being with me married. we have tried many times over the last decade plus through various methods to divorce him he has always found a way to complicate it or fuck it up and the other times we simply do not have the funds to proceed. we finally tracked down his irl location and shall be going to his house and tell him to sign the papers for abandonment if he refuses we will return with the sheriff. we are only able to even do this because someone slipped up and gave us his phone number/ address and we came into some money.
I suppose i shouldn't of bothered though just cus shes still married?
Getting unmarried is not as easy as you seem to think it is...
I don't believe I gave any impression it's easy. I wrote the exact opposite, if you cared to notice. It's difficult, but necessary, and your persistence in getting it done only proves the point. As for having a partner who keeps throwing a wrench in the machine, been there, done that too. You might want to read a little more carefully.
That aside, are you living in a state that absolutely does not allow notice by publication?
I am so glad that I read this thread. I felt a surge of emotion as well. I do completely relate to the sub. I've gone through a lot of abuse and I have been doing a lot of healing but I know I am still a bit scarred and I definitely have triggers.
Fudbar, everything you said seems correct and exactly how I would hope a Dom would be with me.
First of all, well met Fusion! It sounds like you are a true brother with honor whom is working to help your Sub progress positively in life. I appreciate you!
@Fudbar really hit the nail on the head with his advice, but I feel I can add some helpful ideas. But the touch thing...very sound! Thank you for sharing that! Taking mental notes on all of this, solid stuff!
It sounds to me like your Sub is suffering from that broad spectrum of trauma labelled 'Codependency'. This is not at all to judge! I am NOT a fan of traditional psychology. This is coming from my own personal experience, and from those of former partners whom had some degree of recovery from 'Codependency'. I am careful not to do more than quote the label, because I myself only use psycho jargon as guideposts--not to define myself and others! (This is not done to minimize this issue at all!) I have learned three basic categories of actions that can be helpful, and really could be helpful to anyone, whether within or without the spectrum of 'Codependent'.
1. Learn: There's a lot of solid research on this disorder. It might be that it's not the real issue, then perhaps she can find out about what is, and learn more about that. The book that I have read which I might recommend (although I'm sure there are many others you might consider) is Codependent No More, by Melody Beattie. But, by all means, whatever research calls out to you two. I myself have done some research to refresh my memory, so it's nice that helping others always helps us, thanks!
2. Mindfulness on Childhood issues: It's been my truth that underlying childhood trauma was linked to later trauma from unhealthy relationships. Mindfulness practice, such as positive affirmations, meditation, or anything that works for her, is always great suggestion to help us heal. As I become more aware of how my issues manifest in my daily behaviors, I find it easier and easier to start heading off patterns before they begin.
3. Visualization of Ideals: I use several tools to stay positive and focused on progressing toward a more ideal internal and external life. I'm definitely not perfect, that's for sure! lol But, I might suggest writing a D/s relationship ideal in an open format. Also, gratitude lists help me to stay aware of the growth toward my ideals. One 'Rule' that has helped Subs in the separation process in my relationships is to "Live Your Own Life. Make your own plans, and stick to them." It's a very simple tool, but once the time is right for action, it has proven powerful as a 'Rule'/priniciple/mantra. The final thing you might try (that could have an unexpected kinky benefit!) is guided meditation! I have a friend here whom shared a story of a sensual guided meditation experience her Dom lead her on (which was hot as fuck! lol), and I'm sure this could be incorporated into a visualization of your future ideal of life (maybe together?).
Anyway, this is all shared with the best intention! I'm no professional, so don't take my word for any of this. I don't know better than anyone, just an equal who's wishing you and her all the very best! Hope some of this may have helped, take care.
When a sub commits to a Dom we have to trust them 100% and you give so much (or all) of yourself over to them. There are a lot of people who sadly, will not respect a sub's hard limits and will push them too far. There are also a lot of people out there who create toxic relationships whether they are into D/s or not. If he was an emotional and physical abuser then this can be hard to overcome.
Does she fully realize who he was and the extent of what he has done to her? Is she truly self-aware? Yes, she does need to heal and a large part of that will be dwelling on her prior dynamic long enough to realize why he was bad for her and why it needed to end and why she is so much better off without him. With no idea of who this man is I can only guess at what it was like for her, but I don't want to project too much due to being empathetic.
Either way, you stated they were together for 8-9 years. That is almost a decade worth of time together, so she is going to need A LOT of time to get over him. Not only will she need to find a way to mend what he has broken inside of her and find a way to feel whole again, but it may be very hard for her to just simply trust another Dom. You haven't been in her life for very long, so if you really like her and want to help her along, then be strong and solid, show her through your actions that you are trustworthy and that you will not take advantage and abuse her. Show her that you will be different.
I am curious as to how long she was detached from her previous Dom before going into a relationship with you. If it all proves to be too much and she isn't doing well no matter what you do for her, then perhaps she needs more time alone without going into another relationship of any kind. A good long separation to have room to breathe and grow.