Respect is an essential founding pillar within a relationship. Respect for your other, respect for their feelings, and respect for your bond.
There are many ways disrespecting your bond and your other can harm your relationship. Even kill it.
But the greatest harm is done by tolerating, or even encouraging, the disrespect of your relationship from someone outside. If for no other reason than it gives them the impression that it’s acceptable behaviour.
Some time ago I was given assurances by someone from outside my relationship of the time that my role and position with my sub would be respected. It wasn’t.
Later in that relationship, I was given similar assurances by another
…just to be explicit about it (not cos of how you are, but more in the spirit of being respectful of your relationship and any unease you may understandably be feeling), feel no need nor desire to possess, claim or in any way undermine what you have. I want to be really, really clear about that, hence the rather self-conscious and formal language. I’ve said this to her and I also wanted to say this to you. I want us all to be able to communicate freely.
Both these people lacked respect. Their assurances were hollow. As subsequent events showed they were doing nothing but trying to make me drop my guard. Neither man had any respect for my relationship. One went on to undermine it and temporarily end it, the second proceeded to sext my sub behind my back, after I had expressed that it wouldn’t be acceptable, to seduce her with attention (as she put it), harming trust when I’d said we’d need to build it, he was talking negatively about me to her in messages, and ultimately became angry with me for not wishing to share her in a threesome as if he was entitled to. He was unfollowing me, petulantly ignoring the olive branches I was offering so that she needn’t feel uncomfortable being friends with someone at such odds with me. Ultimately leading to the end of that relationship.
That the girl I was with at the time encouraged them, defended them both, denying the concerns that subsequently proved correct was damaging to our bond. Although that showed me she was entirely unsuitable as a sub, I can’t deny my culpability for giving her a second chance. More fool me.
Disrespect is a red flag. Anyone disrespecting your relationship from the outside should be put out in the cold. Far from either you, or the person who has shown over time that they truly care. Disrespect from within the relationship should end it. Not out of punishment or ultimatum, but because if your other allows – or worse, encourages – disrespect to your bond… there is no bond.
Disrespect is a red flag, and just as overstepping boundaries may have been before, is not just a red flag for now, it’s a red flag for always. If someone has disrespected one of your relationships and placed it (and you) at risk before, they’ll do it for other relationships. Perhaps in your ‘vanilla’ life too. If their lack of respect undermines your connections in kink, they might also be cavalier outside of kink. Perhaps risking your social wellbeing by going to your vanilla Twitter and liking only your tweets and those of your vanilla connections when they @mention you. That raises awareness of them to your “real life” people. The people that for social or professional reasons you’d want to hide your kink life from. If someone gets a bunch of their tweets (say 6 in one night) that all have your @name in them liked by someone, they’re going to take a look at the person who’s liked them and wonder what their interest is.
Red flags everywhere!
Disrespect, like the overstepping of boundaries, means people can’t be trusted. It exposes you to risk. It’s okay to be angry (read: defensive) when those who truly care for you point this out. It’s okay for the disrespectful to rage about the person who cares for you that’s pointing this out. Doesn’t stop it being true, and it doesn’t stop you from knowing that.
You can tell yourself (and your Dom) for months that this disrespectful person isn’t trying anything, but deep down, you know better. Because they’ve been disrespectful before, and you allowed it then.
People can be judged by their previous actions. Disrespect and risking your relationship once… means they’ll do it again. Whether they’re part of the relationship or trying to intrude on it from outside, undermine it, or end it.
The one thing you can always trust people to do, is be themselves. If they’re disrespectful to you, to your other, to your relationships once, you can trust them to be disrespectful again.
© Charles Rochester 2016