Ending relationships is difficult and painful and horrible.
With D/s relationships, in addition to the ‘normal’ stuff, there are often questions that sit on top of the ‘relationship is over’ emotional turmoil that you are going through.
It goes without saying that everyone is different, there are no ‘rules’, and often, even if you *think* you would do one thing, when you are in the midst of it all, the approach that you thought you would take no longer makes sense.
Given I see these quite a bit, I thought I would share some common questions and how I handled them with my last:
I have some of their toys, what should I do with them / I left some toys at their place, should I ask for them back?
This was not really applicable, any toys I left at his place were things I gave to him, or insertables. I did not have anything of his at mine.
If this *was* applicable, though, I would not be going through toys and determining ‘yours’ and ‘mine’ unless I had them organised that way and I could just pick up a bag of ‘my toys’ and go. I find the idea of going through them and divvying them up unbearably sad.
Having said that, though, it would be different if he had a ‘play space’ and ALL of my toys were there. Then I would be asking for a time to come and pick them up, no different to a situation where I had left a bunch of clothes in his wardrobe. If there were any doubt as to who owned something, I would leave it. I cannot imagine tussling over toys in the aftermath of a breakup.
What do we do with ‘our’ toys (i.e. I could probably figure out who paid for what if I really had to, but ‘we’ bought them together)
Unless one is a really big investment (e.g. a $1000 body bag or some such), then I would let this lie.
I have a signed contract that is still valid, what should I do with it?
We *did* have a signed contract that was still valid, and in the breakup, it became completely and utterly irrelevant. I don’t think we referred to it or talked about it, it was of no consequence to anything.
I have a copy of it still. I did not ‘do’ anything with it, though I can imagine in an ugly break up there would be some satisfaction in ripping it up or burning it or taking some such symbolic action.
We are still in touch, how should we address each other?
Forms of address can be a powerful way to express your relationship. When I have a submissive, he addresses me as ‘Ma’am, it is an incredible sweetness for me, I have rules around it, it is important to me. And from the other side, I have pet names for him, some of which I have shared in various posts here.
When it ends, it is a hugely powerful symbol for him to simply stop addressing me as ‘Ma’am’, it is an acknowledgement of the change in the dynamic, it is putting aside my rules, it is a pulling away. I think it is right for him to stop using “Ma’am” with me, it is really no longer appropriate. By the same token, it is no longer appropriate for me to use pet names with him, it draws him closer when I need to let him go.
Sometimes that is easy, it doesn’t feel right anymore, so you just stop doing it.
With my last, he continued to address me as Ma’am after we broke up, and while I thought to myself that I should tell him not to do that anymore, I couldn’t, and didn’t. It is easier, often, to have an idea what you would do or should do, than it is to do it. It wasn’t just because it seemed cruel to tell him to stop it, I loved it when he addressed me as ‘Ma’am’, it was a sign of respect and affection and it still made my heart melt.
Do I need to formally ‘release’ them? How do I do that?
For me, I need to say it out loud. It comes after it is all over, after everything is talked out, after the decision is make. It is not a ritual, not a big production, I just need to say “I release you” to ‘formally’ let him go as my submissive.
And the big one:
What happens with the collar?
There is always a lot of discussion about this, about whether it should be returned to the Domme, about whether it is *her* collar or *his* collar etc… it is a touchy subject and some people feel very strongly about it.
I gave my boy a leather and steel collar, I had it engraved to label him as my property. It was not a collar that could be worn in public, he had something else for everyday wear, but in private, whenever it was possible, he was to request to wear it “May I wear your collar, Ma’am?” As a symbol, it had its own power.
He has it still. I could not imagine, in all the pain and awfulness, asking him to return it to me (for what? because it’s ‘mine’ and I should have it back?). It would be a terribly hurtful thing to ask of him, and there was no way in the world I was going to cause further heartache by asking that of him. It seemed petty and cruel. I assume he has it in a box in the back of his cupboard somewhere, and I kind of like that he has a piece of me there with him.
I guess the summary would be that I did what I thought was best to minimise hurt for both of us. I did it not just for him, but for me also because it made *me* feel a little better to be looking out for us, and for him, still.
What about you? Are there other things that come up that are specfic to D/s relationships? How did you handle these and other things in the breakup?