It’s often not a nice thing to think about and more often not a nice thing to experience.  Endings can be painful.

Whether it is the end of a relationship due to break-up, release, abandonment or death.  These are painful things to experience in any type of relationship but are there additional considerations when the relationship is a power dynamic relationship?

Perhaps we can consider attachment and the parent-child relationship for a moment – here too there is a power imbalance – traditionally  the parent is responsible for the child and the child looks to the parent for care, protection and guidance.  Separation in these types of relationship is stress inducing for both parties.  Similarly too, the relationship we have with our pets (although this is generally disenfranchised when we consider loss).

With our “partners” – those whom we choose to become close to, in this case our Master, Dominant, Mistress, slave, submissive, pet, etc.  we also form attachment and so it is unsurprising then that when relationships end, it hurts.  At this stage the way we experience the loss will likely be more related to the individual and how they form and develop attachments generally (learned from the formative years of childhood).  Then added to attachment – will the power dynamic relationship have additional elements that will affect an “ending” significantly?  We often have ritual and structure, routines and discipline in our relationships – how will these affect an individual’s experience of loss when the relationship comes to an end?  How does the end of service affect someone in the military – are there similarities here in this respect?

“If all else perished, and he remained, I should still continue to be; and if all else remained, and he were annihilated, the universe would turn to a mighty stranger.”

Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights


Do we consider endings enough in our relationships?  In these relationships – where structure and planning and negotiation and agreement are so important – do we afford enough consideration to how and when our relationships will end?  And, how we might ensure the support and safety of those left hurting?

We may have friends and family to support us through loss but will these people have an understanding of any additional elements that your M/s or D/s relationship brought to your experience of loss?  Will you be able to talk freely to these people about your Master, your slave, or will you….even now….in your dark and your pain…..need to watch your words, for fear they will not understand.  For fear they will judge – even now in this time where you just need to be understood and heard.

Can we then plan in some practical way?  To ensure there are people ready, who will understand and hear how “I always knew what he wanted me to wear….I suddenly don’t know how to dress….not because he’s not here to tell me but because the loss of structure has left me questioning everything!  Even what colour the sky is and which way is up.”  To help ensure that a household can adapt to a new hierarchy – have you put protocols in place to determine who does what after you are gone?   Have you talked about how these challenges will affect each other?  How individuals will seek support?

It may be considered that it is the “s” types that will be most at risk here….but the reality – that we see often enough, is that it doesn’t matter which side of the slash you stand (or kneel) – the loss of another in a power dynamic relationship has the potential to cripple you.  “D” types may need as much support following an ending as a “s” type – but are they less likely to seek it, to accept it?

“Anyone who has lost something they thought was theirs forever finally comes to realise that nothing really belongs to them.”

Paulo Coelho

On 22nd February at 9pm GMT, 1pm PST, 4pm EST and 7am AEDT, we will be discussing “Endings” in a PDRelate live meeting.  You are very welcome to join us.  Please see details of how our live meetings work and how to join in here: https://pdrelate.co.uk/live-meetings/

You can listen to our previous discussions by logging in and visiting our podcast.

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