I have touched on this subject before, but this post is for me myself and I--to try and figure out a way to express this idea to the deaf ears of someone who doesn't want to see the light as I know it. A way I can express the thought's in a D/s context related to the way I live and later strip most of that away for another's ears.
So, to put it into context for the readers who are not me myself and I--Regulars will know that my sister has chosen to replace one abusive relationship with another. Her twin called me yesterday panicking because sil# had called while fighting with her boyfriend, he had taken the phone away and told sil #2 to fuck off and refused repeatedly to let her talk to her sister each time she called back. My call was ignored. Alpha's call got an immediate call back. Long and short of it being, sil#1 intends to stay in the relationship.
Now, everybody fights sometimes, I don't care who you are or how you want the world to see you--no one's in perfect agreement at all times. There is however, such a thing as excessive fighting, ie, when your house is always busted to shit complete with broken windows and upturned furniture, physical contact, inability to talk to family members, etc. All done in the presence of a three year old girl who happens to be my neice.
sil#1 spent the early years of her life idolizing Alpha, and I think it flabergasts (don't care if it's not a word) Him to no end that she would make the choices she does given that fact.
The thing is...I don't think she's ever payed attention to the vast differences between domineering asshole and Dominant man. Lets put it into list form for my convenience of reference:
First and foremost, this man lacks self control, followed closely by an extreme and overwhelming tendency to be selfish and put his own needs before the needs of others. He in no way strives to better the life of his partner or encourages her to better herself. In fact, he often see's her attempts at bettering herself as simply an inconvenience that takes her attentions away from himself. He is cocky and often talks about how he "has friends" when informed that her family will only stand for his shit for so long and puts a fair amount of effort into limiting her contact with the people who love her. He is more than willing to live off of his partner in any way he can, while exhibiting a marked talent at contributing nothing to the relationship or physical survival of the couple. He will destroy her possessions and perform acts of uncontrolled violence in front of her child with no concern for that child's mental or physical welfare.
A Dominant man is first and foremost in control of Himself. He realizes that He cannot control anyone else without first being able to control Himself. While His needs are often first and foremost for His submissive, He considers the valid needs of her and family and puts them first whenever necessary. He not only strives to better the life of His submissive, but see's it as a priority for her to better herself and encourages healthy growth in her life and as an individual. He is not cocky and never makes statements that He is not willing to stand behind. He see's friends as irrelevant to His conflicts because He views such conflicts as issues to be dealt with Himself. He encourages healthy relationships with her family and friends and does not limit her access to those people who care about her--in other words, He realizes that isolation from other healthy relationships is detrimental and therefore does not seek to confine her away from them. He is not willing to merely live off the hard work of His submissive and to not contribute to the family's survival, in fact He finds it quite difficult when circumstances interfere with His ability to singlehandedly provide for His family's needs.
Any violence in the relationship is never performed in anger and falls into the realm of a BDSM oriented dynamic. And these things Never happen in front of children because there physical and mental health is forefront in all circumstances.
The differences are vast and relationship views and values vary widely. But one fact remains the same--a domineering asshole is Not the same as a Dominant male.