There is no relationship on earth, through out the existence of life that has not had severely rough times. I have to say at the outset that this is absolutely true of me. Rough times come with the territory, particularly as life takes you from a pretty standard vanilla marriage to being highly vocal about being a Dominant Sadist.
Does anyone truly believe that in a Dominant/submissive relationship, if the submissive has issues and feels unheard or misused that the Dominant, because he is the Dominant has one chance in hell of saying, “Hey, your problem, slave. Deal with it.”
It is my firmly held belief that communication and empathetic acceptance is the key to moving through those times. So I pass on the following techniques learned from many differing sources.
Think about a physical SPACE where free and equal non recriminative communication is OK. Do not make it a place you frequent. It should be a place where you can specifically go when things are rough to show your partner that you are here, you are committed, and you are aware of the need to communicate. In times like these, it is often good to know a specific position and ritual that confirms your relationship for a beginning. You could have a time (once a week, some time set aside for an open discussion), or even a costume. (I know that sounds silly, but perhaps a hat when worn to state that there is an issue that needs discussion when the Dominant has time.)
Another possibility is to ask for an “appointment”. This was given to my then beginning High School children by a minister for use with being able to say anything to their parents. It works and we still use it today.
An appointment goes thusly: The two people go to a private room and close the door. The one with the issues then gets to say what they need to say and the other can not interrupt at all until they are told that the person talking is finished. At that time, both stand, embrace, and the listener says three words. “I Love You.” Then it is reversed, the previous listener replies until they are finished, and then they both stand, embrace and say those calming words. Primarily due to the next source, I feel it is necessary that this be done between two people and no more.
The next technique I learned from Master Obsidian and his slave Namaste. In an excellent lecture on how to resolve issues between a Dominant and a submissive, they emphasized the importance of maintaining that D/s dynamic, and just as a subject would come before the King with a grievance, the submissive would do so with the UTMOST respect and deference. He is the KING after all, and as they said, if you come in with the attitude, “Hey, Ass hole, what the fuck are you doing to me?” it very soon gets to be “Off with you head” time. So approach in your MOST submissive manor, posture and respectful words. What I quickly realized is that this approach immediately reminds the Dominant of his position and demonstrates intensely the responsibility of the Dominant for the state of the relationship and his obligation to its growth and strength.
The second feature necessary was that the conversation be between the Dominant and ONE submissive, even if the issues are between two submissives in a family. The Dominant is the one responsible, and if the issues are between two submissives, having them both in the discussion tends to put the Dominant in the position of a referee. Finally, it is important that the submissive think hard and concentrate on ONE issue. Often discussions such as this can turn into a laundry list of complaints, particularly if the submissive has a difficulty communicating openly and honestly when things first come up. They tend to save them up as a laundry list. One relationship of mine completely fell apart because my submissive could not stop from dumping the entire world on me in these moments, and could not center things down to one issue.
Finally, remember that it is absolutely necessity to have moments, no matter how structured, where deep heartfelt communication between the participants as members of equal value to the relationship, no matter what their roles.