My Dom/Master/Daddy of many years has recently suffered a loss of a child. We are both (or so I thought) into this dynamic for the long haul. He recently has become more distant and I have tried talking to him and told him what I need to keep me happy. I don't hear back from him yet I send him things I know will make him smile and I get a "nice" or whatnot.. am I expecting too much too soon..His response to me comes a few days later not the same night as before. He lost his child last year.  I miss him. Do I force myself and state what I need and want? I just feel like I am being punished, and that is something he has NEVER done before. Am I overreacting?

Sincerely, I Want My Daddy Back

Dear I Want My Daddy Back,

There are a few things in here that I think need to be addressed.

The fact that your Dominant’s child (regardless of age) has died has to have been a devastating blow to him. My heart goes out to him, and I cannot imagine his loss. Regardless of when it happened, he needs as much time as possible to grieve and come to terms with his new reality. In the meantime, he may not feel very Dominant or may not feel connected to that part of who he is with you. What he may need most is not to dominate you or be your Daddy but to be supported in his time of need.

When my own Southern Sir’s sister died last year, it was a long time before he was back to his Daddy Dom self, and we live together. So if you’re separated by any distance, it’s going to be even harder for him to find his new normal and decide if he has the energy to continue your relationship.

You say you’ve talked to him and told him what you need to be happy. If he’s not providing what he (recently) said he would, that’s always worth a second conversation. On the other hand, my first question is to wonder if you asked him what he needs. Submission isn’t all about getting what we need from our Dominant. It’s also about serving in some capacity. He may not be able to give you what you need right now, and what he may need most of all is support and encouragement.

Are you expecting too much or overreacting? I really can’t say. If he has said he will continue doing certain things as part of your D/s dynamic and then doesn’t follow through, I don’t think you’re overreacting. If he makes promises he won’t (or can’t) keep, you have every right to be concerned about the nature of your relationship.

But depending on the level of his grief and how he’s handling other parts of his life (is he having problems with work, his health, or the rest of his life since the death of child?), you may be expecting too much from him. If he’s bounced back in every other part of his life except for your relationship, then you certainly have cause for concern, but otherwise, this may be entirely about his grief.

It’s always a good idea to talk about how you feel, but I would caution you to choose the right time, pick your words with care, and make sure to ask how you can help him. It may be that he needs something different from you right now than you’ve had to do before. Only you can decide if you want to give him what he needs as he deals with his grief.