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Thread: Advice for Dealing with the Response of a SO

  1. #1

    Default Advice for Dealing with the Response of a SO

    Forewarning: after writing this post I reread it and discovered that most of it is just my musings, you may skip to the TL;DR for the question at hand.

    I know that there are a lot of posts regarding the when, where, what and how of telling a significant other about one's fetish. But I'd like to ask, what in my mind, is the next question; How do you deal with their response?

    Obviously, just as our shared interests exist on a spectrum, so do the responses of a given individual. However, as with most things, these responses can be categorized as positive, negative, or neutral, and of course varying degrees within.

    As a wise man once told me, "Everything has advantages and disadvantages, including advantages and disadvantages." Even somethings that seem straight forward are not excluded from this rule. Such is the case with understanding the response of another.

    Say you receive a positive response; Oh joy of joys and happy day, you feel vindicated. You have found a person who accepts you for who you are, they may even be willing to participate in and support this intimate part of your life. The advantage here is clear, you are free to be who you are without the fear of rejection, this is a healthy state in which to be. Less obvious are the disadvantages; perhaps you abuse this freedom and what was once a quirk in your person becomes a caricature of itself, growing to define and change you. In this scenario the acceptance has defeated a self-policing system of restraint, and over time you become someone entirely different than that which your partner accepted. I would venture that the disadvantage here is very much a function of our response and could be avoided, thus making this response a low risk, high reward scenario.

    Perhaps your SO has responded more neutrally; They say that they don't love you any less, but they don't want to see or hear about it. They'd rather pretend it doesn't exist. This is a mixed bag if there ever was one. The advantage is that you've done your part of clearing the air; you can free yourself from the guilt associated with participating in a secret desire. This allows you to continue mostly as before, but now if you "get caught" there is little chance of serious repercussion. Additional, the will to satisfy your SO's wish of keeping it hidden will strengthen the resolve to keep this part of your personality in check. However, the disadvantages may seem obvious; By receiving this response the hope of complete acceptance has been obliterated. You know that this part of you may be indulged but never free; emotions associated with these indulgences will repressed for sharing them risks more complete rejection. This is a state of instability, the uncertainty of future responses potentially puts you in a quandary; can one live in constant questioning of if ones actions will push the relationship over the edge?

    Perhaps most dreaded is a negative response. I takes a lot of courage to reveal a fetish, especially one as deviant as ours, and the fear stems from just this scenario: complete rejection. Again this scenario appears straight forward, negative is negative, but I'm sure there are advantages. As with the neutral response, the air has been cleared, you are, at least, not responsible for disingeniousness. Additionally there is no uncertainty, you know exactly where each other stand, and in that sense there is a peace in closure. Disadvantages are arguably numerous; primarily though, you have been rejected. But this is no simple rejection, but an attack on your core and self-identity. Being an adult baby, or diaper-lover may not define us as people but it is part of our definition; part of what makes us who we are and helps position our psyche in the cosmos. Presumably much time and emotional energy has been invested in the person who has now rejected you, and it hurts in a way that cannot be compared to any physical pain; no dagger, nor flames, nor needles. It is an existential pain that emanates from the heart. With a support system, one can recover, but the experience will forever change you.


    I bring this up because I have experienced an issue with my girlfriend of now two and a half years after confiding in her my desire. I have received a response that falls somewhere between negative and neutral. I was met with concern and the best intention to understand. I talked to her and when it became difficult to articulate, I pointed her in the direction of some online resources, she says she looked, but I don't know what she understood. She suggested I seek help, to talk to a therapist and get rid of it as though it were a disease. And for my love of her I tried. The next week I had an appointment with a therapist, and I got right into it, for I personally trust the professionalism of health care providers. In short, he responded that it didn't seem to be much of an issue since it didn't interfere with my ability to operate, but commended me for my willingness to change for someone else; however, he did not have experience with these sorts of issues and referred me to a sex therapist. Due to financial reasons I could not afford to seek the help of this other professional and instead opted to try conventional techniques of journalist and conscious reflection. These help and my desires were muted for a time. Long enough at least to satisfy my girlfriend. However, my want to indulge is on the rise again and I fear that repressing these feelings may cast me into a binge-purge cycle and possible lose my love. If one can, how can you change the mind of the one you love?


    TL;DR: I told my girlfriend about liking to wear diapers, she told me to go see a therapist. The therapist didn't help but I was able to repress my desires long enough to have the situation wash under the bridge, but I don't want to deny this part of my personality. Suggestions on dealing with this situation?

  2. #2

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    It looks like you've already done a lot for the sake of your relationship, so here's my piece of advice.

    It's true that relationships are a matter of compromise, but this doesn't mean one has to completely bury a part of themselves because the SO doesn't accept it. Love, in fact, also means not just "accepting", but also "loving" someone for what they are, instead of loving our own "perfect" mental image of them, how we'd want them to be but they are not, and making them suffer in the effort of trying to become what they're not for our own good. This, sadly, is how a lot of people act in a relationship.

    A while ago I've been 2 years an a half in a relationship with a guy whom I had told from the very beginning about my DL side. He wasn't into it, but things were more or less fine until it was hidden from his sight. As you said, he'd pretend it didn't exist, except for the times we ended up in an argument and he was out of things to say, at which point he arbitrarily used it against me. What he couldn't absolutely stand, though, was the fact I was talking - even if just online - with other people like me, let alone when I met up with some of them, even for a casual evening out with friends without doing anything remotely intimate. It had got to the point that I had to choose between shutting down any DL-related social interaction and stay with him, or him leaving me. At which I just chose the only option that wasn't a complete nonsense, and we parted our ways.

    As sad as it sounds, a person who doesn't love you for what you are, but loves a mental projection of you that only exists in her mind and doesn't correspond to reality, doesn't actually love you.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by zippity
    If one can, how can you change the mind of the one you love?
    That is the question she's asking.

    Keep talking about it with her to find out if you have to make the decision quattrus made. We have been saddled with a kink most people can't handle, and it has been a deal breaker for many of us in relationships that otherwise seemed ideal. The key, I believe, is to find out if she could ever completely accept this in you. Not that she would ever have to indulge in it with you, but that you won't have to spend the rest of your life hiding this dirty little secret from her.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by zippity View Post
    But this is no simple rejection, but an attack on your core and self-identity. Being an adult baby, or diaper-lover may not define us as people but it is part of our definition; part of what makes us who we are and helps position our psyche in the cosmos. Presumably much time and emotional energy has been invested in the person who has now rejected you, and it hurts in a way that cannot be compared to any physical pain; no dagger, nor flames, nor needles. It is an existential pain that emanates from the heart. With a support system, one can recover, but the experience will forever change you.
    The experience will indeed change you, but it can change you for the better. It can be an opportunity to grow a spine.

    When I was in my mid-20s, I had a break-up followed by a long period in which we contemplated getting back together. Initially, it didn't seem as if my ABDL-hood was an issue, but at one point, my ex questioned whether my interest in diapers was "healthy." This was a major blow. I went to a counselor to talk about what had happened. Eventually, I wrote my ex an email telling him that what he said to me was unacceptable. I received a heartfelt apology. We did not attempt to maintain a friendship after that.

    After this experience, I resolved that I would never allow someone to tell me that my ABDL-hood is abnormal or unhealthy. I approached dating with the attitude that if a boyfriend doesn't want to participate in all of my kinks, that's okay, but if he regards my having kinks as a problem, then he is a closed-minded jerk, and I should DTMFA. I am now several years into a relationship with someone who is even kinkier than I am.

    I'm reluctant to give advice to other people about their relationships, since every relationship is different. But it sounds to me as if you are going to have to be clear with your girlfriend at some point about the fact that your ABDL-hood is not going to go away (which doesn't mean that she has to participate). I suspect that the conversation will go better if you can sincerely say that even if you could change your ABDL-hood, you don't think you should have to, because it's not bad.

    I can say from experience that life as a kinky person is much better if you have the attitude that closed-minded people are the ones with the problem.

  5. #5

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    I'll chime in, I like this subject, and have experience relating to it. I told my ex-girlfriend when we were at about 1 and a half years (we went 2 and a half). I made a lot of mistakes in that relationship, and for me that was one of my biggest ones. What Quattrus mentioned about someone loving a projection of their imagination is what I have come to believe I was dealing with. When I told her about liking diapers, it was after she had found my pacifier, baby wipes, and powder. She broke down crying and made me feel like an absolute fool. Prior to that point I was getting vibes from her that led me to believe she'd be whatever about it, or even find it cute. I had no delusions that she'd want to be included and I didn't really care for her to be, I just wanted her to know about a very closely guarded and embarrassing secret that I happen to enjoy very much. I trusted and loved her enough to be open about something I've only been forthcoming with to people who already gave me darker secrets of their own first; even though my hand was forced, I wanted to tell her and it was without conditions. But, she already had a strong mental image of me as a strong alpha male who was training to be a special operator in one of the U.S. military's toughest jobs. That was only a small part of who I was though, but that was her strongest mental image of me and the contradictory image of me in a diaper, with a pacifier, and footed sleeper (that she never actually saw) created a very strong cognitive dissonance. She no longer ever looked at me the same way, I could never wear around her without her being super weird about it, and I was never able to fully feel safe and comfortable around her like I used to; the trust was not completely gone but this event had eroded much of it. We didn't end up breaking up because of it, but it certainly contributed to an environment lacking in trust and security. Trust and security are paramount to a LTR; if they can't be there, the person is not right for you.

    I took away from that experience that if they can't accept it, you might as well move on sooner rather than later. You can't, nor should you, feel like you have to hide or feel guilty about a part of your personality (especially a harmless and fun one), and something like this very much is a part. They don't need to participate, they don't need to change you, or wear with you; any of that. But, I think at the least they should be o.k. with you wearing and most certainly not think that there's something wrong with you. I certainly wouldn't tolerate being told that. I'm a psychology major for fuck's sake, I think I'm going to have a much better understanding of what is right and wrong when it comes to the mind as opposed to some lay(wo)man.

    As for advice on handling the situation, though someone maybe be closed minded, disgusted, or any of the other negative reactions, I would not advise breaking up then and there. If they are someone that can learn and you can be patient to show them that there is nothing wrong with it, and that their concept and reaction is irrational and unnecessary, they might be brought to a neutral state about it. If they are not willing to discuss it, to learn, and be open about it, then you have really no choice, because that mind set won't just apply to this, it will apply to other discussions/issues. Its always more deeply seated than just being disgusted by diapers. There's a prudish mindset underneath that can be stifling to growth and exploration.

  6. #6

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    Each of you has made some very good points, and I appreciate your insight:



    Quote Originally Posted by quattrus View Post
    ...a person who doesn't love you for what you are, but loves a mental projection of you that only exists in her mind and doesn't correspond to reality, doesn't actually love you.
    I must begrudgingly agree, real love must be aimed towards reality, not just an object of fantasy. Though I am not entirely innocent, I have played to her ideal and in doing so sacrificed bits and pieces of my reality. But despite what it may seem, we try to remain conscious of reality and have a history of supporting each other when we fail to live up to even our own ideals. Sometimes it takes a while, but aside from this particular topic, we have both been able to develop our world view for the sake of each other. So what you say is true, but I don't yet believe that she is incapable of loving me in totality.



    Quote Originally Posted by buridan View Post
    ... it sounds to me as if you are going to have to be clear with your girlfriend at some point about the fact that your ABDL-hood is not going to go away (which doesn't mean that she has to participate)...
    I certainly agree that the topic needs further discussion in order to clarify that this is not something that can be "fixed", and that having it remain does not require her participation. In regards to her request that I seek help, perhaps a tad more information may paint a softer picture; She herself regularly visits a therapist for issues dealing with anxiety. I may be looking at this through rose-tinted glasses, but in this light I believe that she made the suggestion out of genuine, though misguided, concern. Her anxiety issues may themselves be playing a role in this, for they are wrapped in self-image problems, which means she may believe that by my having a deviant fetish, she is in-herself unsatisfying. A problem that I cannot help to perpetuate due to my own bout of (diagnosed) ED.



    Quote Originally Posted by Fingon View Post
    ...As for advice on handling the situation, though someone maybe be closed minded, disgusted, or any of the other negative reactions, I would not advise breaking up then and there. If they are someone that can learn and you can be patient to show them that there is nothing wrong with it, and that their concept and reaction is irrational and unnecessary, they might be brought to a neutral state about it. If they are not willing to discuss it, to learn, and be open about it, then you have really no choice, because that mind set won't just apply to this, it will apply to other discussions/issues. Its always more deeply seated than just being disgusted by diapers. There's a prudish mindset underneath that can be stifling to growth and exploration.
    I must say that this response is at least a little comforting, I agree that there is hope, or I least I believe there is hope. She has accepted me in so many other ways and has proven in the past that, while it may take some time, she is capable of being open minded. I'd normally take pride in the level of communication she and I share, this subject seems to be the one exception, due mostly to myself. She has very strong familial bonds and in my time with her, I have grown to be seen as part of the family (in some ways more than my own since my parents and brother just moved across the country) and she usually struggles through tough issues by consulting her mother ( a very nice woman ). However, as I need not reiterate to this lot, this subject is very personal and is, on a social level, embarrassing (especially considering that I am her Dad's co-worker). So I have deprived her of one of her main coping mechanisms, and have left myself unsure as how to proceed.

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