SubBoy and I have what I like to think of as a very unique relationship. Over the years, we've naturally fallen into a Wife-Led-Marriage by default, only without the label and the overt submission/Dominance.
Not only have I been the leader in the relationship, I've also been the authoritarian, the therapist, the best friend, the fuck-buddy, the wounded wife, the head of household, the role-player, the submissive, the badass biker, the shy housewife, the mom, and so many other hats that I've worn at various times over the last decade.
I absolutely love that I have found a freak, MY freak, who accepts and embraces all these different facets of my personality, and who is just as much of a freak as I am. He might add that he thinks he's more of a freak, but I don't know - how do you measure that?? I love that my husband is a freak too, has many different aspects to his personality. I think it helps us to understand each other and connect on a level deeper than I ever thought was possible.
Overall, though, I have always felt that my role with him, above all else, is more like a handler than anything else. I don't mean this in a bad way, I just mean that I feel a level of responsibility for him, to keep him safe, sane, and on the right track, as well as happy, loved, and interested. My hubby is a very impressionable person. I've learned this the hard way. Outside influences can have, and have had in the past, a direct, profound impact on our relationship. If somebody tells him he feels a certain way or wants a certain thing, the seed is planted, and after a time, he often will come to psuedo-believe it himself. I call it psuedo-believing, because it's more like a temporary thing when it happens this way, and underneath, the REAL DEAL is in there hiding somewhere, and will eventually come out.
A part of me feels like I owe it to him to help him with figuring out who he is in the inside, who he wants to be, and to get comfortable with that. I know he's submissive. That much we have clearly defined. But he's also a MAN, and I think he needs to feel like one at the same time. He doesn't have a lot of confidence in himself, which I think has led to a lot of the issues around how he's shown his submission. All too often, when he is intentionally being submissive, he starts to see himself as "unworthy" or "less deserving" of his own happiness. I think this eats away at his confidence, and he begins to feel ashamed of who he is. And, I think THIS might be where the reluctance and low sex drive kicks in. The same phenomenon happens with his bisexuality as well. He's attracted to other men, and likes to play, but when he does, or when he's feeling these feelings, the shame kicks in again, and it's almost like he feels like he's less of a man because of it. Sometimes the urges outweigh the negative stuff, and we play (we have a guy in our lives that we trust and enjoy from time to time), but then after, he plummets down into this "I'm such a loser" mindset, that it takes a VERY long time to get out of it. This negative association now has him questioning his bisexuality altogether, although I can see it very clearly in him. We are having our "friend" over this weekend, but he's already starting to psyche himself out, and even said last night, "I'll probably chicken out again."
I really feel that if he and I can get his confidence up, while he's being submissive, that his sex drive will kick in. I know it's there, but there's some sort of negative message he's feeding himself that's like a libido-blocker! I think this, because that is where we start every time we dabble in a D/s lifestyle. He's GUNG HO, and ready to please, with almost a constant erection, chomping at the bit. This is how I like him!! But then, as time goes on, he becomes less confident, afraid of how things might turn out, worried about who he will become, how others will view him, his ability to please me, which then begins a downward spiral that ends with us pulling the plug on the lifestyle. But we keep coming back for more, so it's obvious it's something we both want.
I know he trusts me not to abuse the "power" he's given me. I know he knows I respect him. I don't know why he does this to himself every time, but I want to help, stop the pattern, and help him get to a place where he can enjoy this lifestyle he craves.
So how do I stop this downward spiral before it begins? As a man with submissive tendencies, how do you retain your dignity, your confidence, your "manliness" and reconcile these opposing traits? What does your Wife do to help reinforce your confidence levels, beyond making sure that you know you are loved and cherished? How do you stop the insecurities and doubt, and embrace your inner freak?