eptember-October: relationship changes
The transition to living together was difficult. We gave it our best efforts:
|Tom and I did a two-month trial move first.|
|We all talked.|
|The three of us reached written agreement on finances ahead of time.|
|We went to relationship counseling.|
|We worked our 12-Step programs.|
|We included fun diversions.|
|We would stumble and apologize.|
In short, we worked at making our new living arrangement work. Despite our best efforts, though, it turned out this living arrangement didn't fit quite right. The two main things:
We share the details here with you.
One unexpected strain we encountered was my mother died two weeks after Tom and I moved to Austin. The main relationship impact that had was it increased my tendency to be bitchy. I wasn't quite right. It was difficult on everyone involved, including me.
|24/7-live-in, versus biweekly, has had some pitfalls.|
|By unanimous agreement, we are ending the form of our previous contract a bit early.|
|MASTER Wes states that he feels like 3+ months of 24/7-live-in has dulled the edge of his D/s relationship with tim.|
|Tom states that after a year+ of striving to be "Daddy Tom" he feels he would be more comfortable being "Tom."|
|tim, at Delta, stated that after a year+ of striving to be a "slaveboy," he feels he's more a "boy." In particular, he feels he has too much self-will to be a slave. The family schedule is fairly rigid, and that's a great deal of what hasn't been working for tim.|
|All three of us dislike the idea of moving, unless that's what we really need to do.|
|We are going to strive to regain the zing of biweekly service while still living together.|
|MASTER Wes and boy tim will retain the same forms of address at all times to minimize confusion.|
|We might utilize the Houston Home apartment, local hotels, etc. to help create a distinction from the day-to-day.|
|More flexible schedule:
Household duties will remain the same, though their scheduling will be more flexible. For example, boy tim might do laundry on Sunday if it's not our weekend together.
There is now the presumption that individual schedules are changeable at
will, but that the person will notify the others of any changes as a
|Like when MASTER Wes and boy tim were first starting out, new contracts will be on a short-term basis to help make sure everyone's needs are getting met. The initial period will be 30ish days: 9/25-10/25.|
By mid August, I realized I felt like Tom and I had gotten more distant, and that boy tim and I had experienced a pronounced drop in "erotic charge."
I talked to both about my fear that things weren't going as I'd hoped.
I also mentioned the first solution that came to mind: That Tom and I move out, and that tim and I go back to having a weekend-based relationship.
Tom's reaction was "I'd rather kill myself than move again."
tim said "I'm not interested in a weekend-based relationship."
At our first counseling session August 19, Counselor Bob asked us what we wanted. We each stated that we wanted to feel that stronger connection we'd had before we moved in together. Bob asked if I were committed to the one solution I'd proposed, about which both had STRONG reservations. I said I wasn't stuck on that solution, if there were other possible solutions. So we continued moving forward, looking for ideas.
At our session Saturday September 2, tim spoke up and said that things weren't going well for him, either.
That really changed the equation.
Tom was stunned.
He later said to tim and I that he felt there was no hope in the current configuration of living together.
Later that night, I asked boy for clarification: Did he want Tom and I to move out -- soon? The answer was no. Had he reconsidered the idea of having a weekend D/s relationship with me? The answer was yes.
I thought what he meant was that ultimately we should physically separate households, and go back to the previous weekend-based relationship. I misunderstood.
Sunday September 3, Tom, tim and I were talking. tim said he was hoping we'd move to a kind of regular relationship during the week, with D/s on the weekend. Tom and I quickly said "That won't work with Wes. We tried it ourselves." tim was sad.
Later I noticed Tom seemed to still be stunned from tim's announcement Saturday.
We talked for a bit.
He said that he had fears.
One fear was that I primarily wanted a D/s relationship, that our triad located together wasn't working for us, so therefore I wanted a duo relationship with boy tim.
I was able to reassure him that I love him and he remains my primary relationship.
Another fear was that, should Tom and I move, this would all happen again: I would seek another 24/7/365 D/s relationship to add on to our peer-peer relationship. I told him that wasn't so: I had indeed been seeking a 24/7 live-in relationship for years. But now that I'd actually had the opportunity to HAVE one, I realize that the day-to-day familiarity can really dull the erotic edge: I would indeed want a D/s relationship -- but now I realize the benefit of "absence makes the heart grow fonder" and would want a weekend-type relationship.
Yet another fear was that if Tom needed to move on, he did not have the financial means to do so. First, I told him that my hope was that our relationship would thrive again. Second, I told him that if he ultimately decided he'd be happier by moving on, our financial agreements still hold: We could sell the Houston House and split the proceeds. And if he felt trapped by the months-long process that a house sale involves, I'd certainly be willing to loan him money I might have available from the sale of Mother's house.
Later he said my responses to those three fears were reassuring.
I called Counselor Bob and asked if he could see us that day -- on Labor Day Sunday -- as we had a major relationship shift happening. He could. We reviewed with him the misunderstanding about what boy tim had said the day before, that we now understood what he meant, that what he was hoping for was not a viable option, and that we were now all on the same page: We needed to shift toward Tom and I finding a place of our own, and that boy tim and I could revert to having a weekend D/s relationship. He checked in with each of us and helped clear some air between Tom and tim where Tom was disappointed at how things had ultimately turned out, and had been subconsciously hostile toward tim as a result. Counselor Bob also suggested that we send Tom on vacation, as he was showing signs -- like his suicidal thoughts -- of burnout. "That gets better when our batteries get recharged." Tom and I also learned that we might not be the only ones who would be physically moving: tim has had friends as roommates before to help afford the expensive 35th Street house, but didn't know anyone who might be a new candidate so it was time to think of selling the house.
Not long after, I reconsidered Tom and I's original position: Weekend D/s had indeed not worked for us. BUT, that was 9 years ago, and tim is a different person. Were Tom and tim willing to give it a try, or did they want to go ahead and physically separate homes? They both agreed they'd like to give it a try.
In my initial thoughts, I wanted us to come as closely as possible to how it had been: tim would report to me by 5pm every Saturday night, and I would have him with no distractions through Sunday evening.
tim and I went off to Delta (a men-only leather run in the hills of Pennsylvania) for a long weekend and things went overall pretty well. In the week following I realized I'd been off in one aspect of my thinking: tim had been coming to Houston on a biweekly basis which gave him more opportunity in the "off" weekend to catch up on everyday stuff. We would strive for biweekly gatherings, not weekly.
We went to relationship counseling September 24 and all signed on to giving biweekly D/s a try -- despite its uncertain outcome -- instead of aiming directly for certainty by Tom and I moving out.
I'd mentioned to boy over the summer that when it got cooler, I would want him to grow a flattop.
This morning, I was doing my stretches as he showered -- and shaved his head.
When he got out, I said "Now that you are freshly shaved for today's events (going to A Chorus Line with his niece, Mitrah), tomorrow I'm going to want you to start growing out a flattop." I didn't hear any response, but then I haven't been hearing particularly well anyway. So I said "I haven't been hearing well. Did you acknowledge that?" To which Tim said "No, Sir." I asked him why. He said "I've been thinking that I want to grow my hair really long: Nobody noticed when my head got shaved. When I next make a change, I want it to be a big one." I reminded him that flattops are my favorite haircut, and that I'd notice. I don't recall there being a response.
It didn't take me long to assimilate this interaction tidbit: I was being treated like a friend, not like a Master or leather daddy.
We had slotted 30 days to give a revised living agreement a trial. I already knew:
"D/s light" during the week, with High Protocol every other weekend, was not enough for me:
It comes across to me as if I'm being ignored for two weeks, and then am expected to sexually service.
I feel the same friction I had with David S., which we finally realized was because he was more boy than slave.
also has the same no-sexual-energy problem that Tom and I experienced when
we gave it a try nearly nine years ago.
If the D/s light doesn't work for me, then we are
essentially an assemblage of men who are now roommates.
Here are the options as I see them:
The three of us decide to live as roommates.
Tom and I decide to get our own place and move out.
Tim headed off to have lunch with Sister Teresa and Mitrah. Tom and I warmed up leftover stew and dumplings, respectively, and sat down to eat. I told Tom the conclusion I'd arrived at. I also asked him what his perceptions of our options are. He verbalized how I felt: If we're just roommates, we might as well move out and get a space of our own -- this house, while lovely, has some things we don't like, such as no garage and also a stove Tom doesn't like.
What were our options for moving? We not only had our existing savings, but we'd also have more when Mother's estate settles.
We would need to bring it up and map out a plan so that we can all three coordinate buying / selling / finding roommates / moving / etc. to minimize financial disruption to Tim.
Tom and I have started the loan application process, and are looking for a place in Austin to buy.
The stress level in the house has gone way down.
The playful level in the house has gone up.
There is some hope.
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