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QUESTION: I have been looking online for some answers on accountability or consequences Master should have when they clearly have done some damaging things in the scope of the relationship with their slave. The issue was cheating when we are clearly in a monogomous relationship, (nothing was ever stated that he wanted another), and the one he cheated with was his previous slave he released (or she requested it, not sure how it happened, never really discussed that part of his life). Then to top that off, he lied to me for 3 years about it, claiming I was over thinking things when I told him that I felt something was wrong, that I felt something change between us. I sensed it so strongly that he cheated, and so I asked him if he been with someone else during our relationship, and he replied no, just the ones I was included with in play time. He denied it over and over, and when I couldn't shake that feeling, I took it upon myself to find proof, I found it, and showed it to him, and yet he stilled denied it. Until one day after 3 years, he admitted it to me that he did cheat. This damaged my trust and respect for him for so long, it still hasn't gotten back to 100 percent. I did tell him I forgive the cheating, and want to work on this relationship, but still have a hard time getting over the lying, blaming me that I am over thinking things, and putting me through hell for all that time. I brought up some consequences like selling a prized guitar of his and donate that money to a charity of my choice, to say the car he bought for me is paid in full for example. I think in order to build our relationship to a solid status, he needs to do something for me that proves he was wrong for what he did, to do something to gain back my heart to the fullest. He didn't lose anything or didn't go through the pain and hurt that I went through, and didn't seem to have a price to pay for what he did to me. What do you think regarding a Master accountability to his slave. I don't suggest punishment, I just suggest a consequence. I want to be with him, but fear I will not be able to give myself to him the way I desire to with this issue hanging over my head. I have tried talking to him about it, and can't seem to get an answer from him. I think that a man should be able to admit to their mistakes and want to write the wrong if they know they deeply hurt the one they love.

ANSWER: liz -

Clearly you're hurt.  And while you say you forgive him, your question suggests that you don't.  And therein lies the only "consequence" that seems to make sense to me:  he is aware of the fact that he hurt you, you don't fully trust him, and it will take time and effort to restore your relationship.

While you were careful to call it a consequence rather than a punishment, it seems to be splitting hairs.  you are looking to impose a consequence on him.  To me, that seems inconsistent with a M/s relationship.  The only exceptions I see are (1) you leave - losing his slave would be the ultimate consequence for his actions; or (2) what I describe above - he is aware that he has damaged the relationship and your heart and will take time and effort to repair both.

I'm not suggesting that you rub his nose in it or repeatedly remind him.  But if he's going to own up for what he did, then he should get it without much reminding.  If he can't, then that brings you back to your own decision about whether the relationship works for you.

See, I'm not a big fan of punishments.  I think we're adults -- both Masters and slaves -- and either we get things, take responsibility, and try to correct and improve......or we don't.  Getting paddled, or having to sell a guitar doesn't make us "feel" the effect of our actions.  In some ways, they're a pass "hey, I sold my guitar, what else do you want from me???"

So start off by deciding whether you can really get past this.  Then explore whether you think he can learn from this mistake.

your answers to those two questions will tell you what path to take.

Best of luck,

Ben

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Ben

Thank you for your quick response, and I will think about your words, and try to work out what I need to do. Yes, you are right about not forgiven him, I have forgiven the initial cheating, owning it up to being a mistake and I don't rub his nose in it, but not for the lying to me, because it wasn't a mistake, it was clearly a conscience act on his part. If i did what he did, I know I would of been punished severly (mostly for lying), so I just think that just saying sorry is just not enough. How long does it take to say that? Seconds, does that truly make up for 3 years of lying. In vanilla world, a man would clearly be buying gifts, and doing whatever he could to prove he messed up, so being in a M/s that doesn't exist? I think just because we are in a different lifestyle, there are some values that are universal. And just because he is a Master, does that give him a pass to hurt me so deeply, and have no accountability? That was my main question, is a Master accountable for his wrong doings?

I guess deep down, all I want from him is that he admits he fucked up, and for blaming me for "over thinking things", and for dismissing my feelings especially for lying to my face when asked a direct question, along with a heart felt apology that includes tears in his eyes for hurting the best slave he could ever have and damaging the best relationship he has ever had. Is that really too much to ask of a Master? I am devoted to him truly, but I still hurt. And to be honest, I really don't want to impose a financial consequence, so how do I ask for what I need from him, without putting the words in him mouth. I know that if I did what he did, and he brought it up, I would get down on my knees and beg his forgiveness every time knowing that he is still hurting.

And by me leaving, I would also punishing myself because my heart is clearly deeply attached to him. So that doesn't seem to be the option I want to take. I will eventually work myself back to be with him.

So I want to do option 2, and that is the part I need effort to repair. What should a Master do to help repair the damage and build back the trust he broke?

Answer
Liz --

I don't think wearing the label Master gives someone a free pass.  I do believe he should take ownership of what he did - and take steps to restore your faith and trust and the health of the relationship.

You did, however, hit on the problem:  if you approach him and say "I need you to.....", then you'll still be left questioning the sincerity of his convictions.  It could seem like he's jus going through the motions.

One approach that could help you -- as well as respect the power dynamic -- is to approach him with your feelings - rather than the solution.  Let him know that you still hurt, that his actions have caused you to question his honesty and commitment, and that you hope - as Master - he'll take steps to repair the relationship.  

This way you're not dictating terms; you're not scripting a response for him; you're not sweeping it under the rug.  Instead, you're giving him the information to do with as he chooses.

But, again, you'll need to decide -- and I would suggest you do this in advance -- what your response is if you feel he doesn't take this seriously enough or doesn't respond in a way you find satisfactory.  At that point, the only options I see are leave, genuinely forget about it, try talking about it one more time.

All the best,

Ben

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Ben Martin

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Questions related to power-based relationships in which decision-making authority is intentionally and consensually transferred -- and the resulting imbalance celebrated. I am able to assist those trying to understand where they fit in, and those seeking to structure and thrive in a power based relationships. Specific topics I am able to discuss include: setting and achieving personal and relationship goals, responsible Mastery, the use of protocols and rituals, communication techniques, and conflict resolution. In addition, I am knowledgable and experienced in polyamory, long-distance relationships, bisexuality and a variety of kinky activities ranging from mind games to sadistic play.

Experience

I have chosen to have a power-based structure in my relationships over the past 18 years. This has included a 16-year M/s relationship, several shorter term D/s relationships and various play partners. I am an active participant in various online forums and seek to provide support and advice to those interested in the Lifestyle.

Organizations
Black Rose

Publications
My writings, insights and discussion contributions are available on Alt.com and FetLife.com. On both websites, my user name is BenMartin

Education/Credentials
I do not hold any credentials specific to BDSM, relying instead on knowledge gained from life experiences, reading and conversing with others in the Lifestyle.

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