Its a funny thing but you can never entirely shake off your past. We tried, and it is usually firmly in its place, but it seems our problems have left a wound that is more raw than I realised.
One of the most difficult things I faced in our marriage was the loss of the fun, open, experimental girl I met, to the sensible and repressed girl she became. I knew of course of that side of her, but the excitement of having a new man in her life had allowed her to break free temporarily. As a result I got a glimpse of a carefree woman who I feel in love with. Of course most of the next twelve years were not like that, though we tried to rekindle it often. After knock back and more knock backs I became very wary of allowing my own passion to rise around her, or of trying anything new. She became very forceful with the word no, and not very discriminatory. I thought I had come to terms with this, and of course now she is becoming more like that woman again it feels felt wonderfully freeing. Yet not completely it turns out.
The other day it came up that her boyfriend had rubbed his cum on her breasts, and more stunningly that she liked it, it turned her on. He also pushes her around in bed, getting her to do things that he fancies when he feels like it, in short he feels free to do what he wants with her, and she likes it. Vanilla things in case you are wondering. She was telling me this sadly, sadly because she realised how much of me she had repressed over the last decade. Of course she knew it already but experiencing it for real, finding that she liked it, made it all more immediate. She mentioned the cum spreading as though to say why have I not tried that. I have of course and said so, most recently in the last few months, but she still would not allow it. She was so forceful and I am so used to backing away that she had not noticed me trying. As so often in the past my attempt to be passionate had been blocked before it had been born.
We will never fully recover that dynamic, though we are much much better. I know that she likes to be in control, that's why this d/s lifestyle suits us so well. She admits that she would not want the same with me as with him, because he is new, and because he is only with her sometimes. She can walk away from it when it suits her. Her real life she wants more control over. For me the saddest thing was knowing that I will never feel comfortable being so free with her as when we met, as her boyfriend is now, all the nos have left their mark too deeply. I will be free with my own sub when I find her, but not with my wife.
And while this isn't a surprise to me, I've known these things for years and come to terms with them, hearing her be sad about it somehow made me feel ever so raw. This wound is not fully healed, I think it never will be.