Any relationship is going to be internally complicated. The individual personalities, the tug and pull of individual goals coupled together with the goals of the partnership, the internal and eternal give and take that must always be present to allow unique people to blend their lives. There is a social dynamic at play that includes outside societal forces acting on the partnership as well. All of this ads up to relationships being difficult.
Not all the time, but there is always going to be some level of tension. At least in my experience. Add to that a secondary dynamic like that of a BDSM relationship and you have a very complicated set of parameters. If the BDSM is all “behind the bedroom door” you may be able to set up your lives so that they are compartmentalized. This can work and for many people it does.
I don’t particularly like it. When I am in a relationship and that relationship includes BDSM, I prefer that aspect to bleed into and blend together with all other aspects of my and my partners life. It’s, in my opinion, the only way to allow the truth of the life you are living to be your life. This could be because I see the ‘behind the bedroom door’ as a way of closeting your lifestyle and speaking from experience the crush of hiding who you are is crippling on an emotional level. Often so in ways and manifestations you do not realize until you shed those bonds.
To live that way in a relationship is an added stressor and stressors tend to accumulate the longer a relationship lasts. The last thing it needs is something that you are effectively hiding from the world. I’m not saying you need to speak as openly about the lifestyle and your life as I do. Truthfully, I am a serious oversharer. Trying to ‘live out loud’ as I like to say means, well, being loud. Honest and forthright about ones life. It’s hard, but for me the other way was sisyphean levels of harder.
In any case, adding the dynamic of Master and submissive, to the mix of a relationship can be difficult. But I think this is where hardcore adherence to the lifestyle is actually a benefit. Safe, Sane and Consensual means that you are or should be discussing what is happening, what all parties want, and what is and is not allowed. The knowledge of the boundary lines allow all parties to blend their lives together that much more thoroughly. If that is their desire, or maintain separately, but the discussion dynamic is in place as a go to.
Further the safeword or, my preference, Green/Yellow/Red procedure means that if something goes too far or you are edging into something that you don’t want to talk about you can simply call a halt by saying, Yellow (let’s discuss) or red (stop, immediately, and discuss). Because BDSM juggles so many physical, emotional and mental items it must have the artificial constructs in place to deal with those items. And those dynamics can be beneficial to a relationship paradigm because communication and moreover a safe place for communication to occur is the strength of those of us in the community that take the core ideals to heart.