Aug 262013
 

Shrink Rap! (September 2013)

Dennis C. Hartzog, M.Ed., LPC

Hi! Welcome to “Shrink Rap!” My hope is that this monthly column will be a safe place to discuss issues related to having a safe and healthy Kink/Leather/BDSM relationship. I encourage you to submit any questions you may have, or issues that you would like to see discussed to my website: www.Dchartzoglpc.com. You do not have to divulge your name or scene name, and can remain anonymous. If you go to the “Contact Me” page, just fill the first three boxes with “X’s” and put your question or issue in the message box and I will get it.

QUESTION:

I’ve been with the same person for a while now. At times he gets worked up about little things that have nothing to do with our being in the community. I make the decisions in our house and handle the money (we both work). He agreed to that years ago. Two years ago he decided to go back to school and work on his degree. It keeps him busy and makes him happy, but he’s over forty and I think it is just another of his foolish dreams that won’t ever pay off. I agreed to it even though it takes time away from his duties around the house and his service to me. Three weeks ago I found a jet ski that I wanted so I bought it. He was OK with that until he found out that I used money that was being saved for registering for the fall term at the community college. Now he’s ticked off and says that I had no right to use money that we’d agreed would be for his classes. He was disrespectful and overstepped. Now he’s just being silly and says that from now on he’s going to control his money and contribute to joint expenses! I was within my rights as Master to use that money as I wanted. Which of us wins this one?

ANSWER:

Healthy relationships aren’t about who wins. They are about respect, effective communication, acceptance, and feeling safe and valued by your spouse, partner, Master/slave, etc. You and your slave entered into an agreement two years ago about his returning to college. You also agreed on money being allocated to pay for his educational expenses. Those agreements have the same importance and merit as any Master/slave agreements you both may have entered into and deserve to be treated with the same respect and compliance. An agreement is just that….an agreement which is in force as long as all parties are in agreement with its provisions. You are the one who broke that agreement. In doing so, you also violated his trust. Regardless of his role in your relationship, he is now within his rights to make new choices and decisions about how he wants his income handled. You opened the door to renegotiation on this issue, and he has decided to walk through it.

There are six types of Domestic Violence. When you decided to use the money that you both had agreed would be for his college expenses, your behavior was economically/financially abusive.

Economic/Financial Abuse Includes:
1. Withholding economic resources such as money or credit cards, creating financial dependence.
2. Stealing from or defrauding the victim of money or assets.
3. Exploiting the victim’s resources for personal gain.
4. Withholding physical resources such as food, clothes, necessary medications, or shelter from the victim.
5. Preventing the victim from working, choosing an occupation, or
obtaining an education.

The content and tone of your question also indicates that you have resentments about your slave wanting to further his education. Your comments about his returning to college taking time away from his duties around the house and service to you also suggest that you may be feeling abandoned or fearful of his commitment to you. Knowingly spending the money that you both had agreed would be used for his education may have been your way of sabotaging that choice. Rather than view this as a “who wins” situation, it seems like a great time for the both of you to sit down and disuses your individual needs and goals, and see if you can come to a new agreement about the structure of your relationship. It can be seen as a time for change, growth, and recommitment that will enrich rather than diminish the bound between you.

The National Domestic Violence Hotline is: 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).