It’s still hammering me. I’m trying to accept that my marriage is over. I’m trying to accept that my medical condition is the cause of my marriage being over. Those words that I believed in that vow that I took so many years ago don’t mean what they say. They’re words of convenience, words of excuses, words meant to bind you but not the other.
If I were schizophrenic, I’d be urged to seek help. If I were suffering from a cancer, I’d be urged to seek help. But because I am transsexual, people are appalled when I seek help. People who claim to love me grow angry with me. People who made vows to me decide to leave. Help yourself? Oh the sheer horror! The embarrassment! What will the neighbors think? It’s darkly absurd but real.
It’s hard not to become bitter and jaded when you see this sort of reaction. Its hard not to want to throw things in their faces asking if they really meant those words they said so many years ago. But I swallow my cynicism and remain silent. And I won’t even be given a chance to see if it might work or not.
There’s sadness here. Sadness at what is being lost as well as sadness at the realization that I was never loved for me but was loved for what I did, if I was even loved at all. There’s a harsh, bone-chilling realization buried in there. A realization about the depth or lack thereof of other people, about the pettiness and obsessions of people I trusted. It’s a hard lesson to digest in one sitting.
I’ve come to realize that my bargaining over this was a desperate attempt to preserve my marriage. Intellectually, I’d been preparing myself for that moment but emotionally I was not prepared at all. Worse, in allowing my feminine side out, I was crying more and letting my emotions run harder than they had run in years.My emotional distress overtook me and I allowed myself to consider things that are not healthy for me.
Because, in bargaining, I had immediately laid the groundwork for future resentment, anger, and frustration of me towards her. While I want to stay together with my spouse, I also have to realize that it is wrong of me to expect her to change, that I should not push for it, and that I need to accept her as she is, even if this means we have to go our separate ways.
I am closing that intellectual and emotional gap now and finding myself more at peace emotionally as well as intellectually. I am also realizing that moving on with my life is not the end of the world. It will hurt and it will continue to hurt for quite some time but I need to be able to let her go if that is what is best for both of us. The only reason to stay together is if my spouse would want all of me, the authentic me, as one friend put it. Anything else would be continuing to live a lie.
My spouse suddenly has been willing to discuss compromise. In the end, I’d be making the larger sacrifice by foregoing hormones and eventually surgery but I’d still get to express myself as Liz and go out in public (but without her) as Liz. At least that was the discussion yesterday.
Today she wants more from me. Not to go out in public except to my transgender meetings. Not to meet with other people and build friendships as Liz. I told her that was not acceptable and I could not do that. I reaffirmed my love for her and that my preference would be to spend the rest of my life with her but if there is no place for Liz in this life then my male self can’t be here either.
I’m wondering if talk of compromise is real or just a test to see how much she can get me to give to her position. So far she’s given little ground from her “my way or the highway” position and I’m beginning to wonder if this is just a negotiating position for her. However, she did say she finally “gets it” that just dressing en femme is not enough and that I need to allow the female aspect of me a chance to express herself. If she truly understands that then she also has to understand that to disallow that strikes at the very core of who I am.
Yesterday I was optimistic that we could find a compromise acceptable to both of us even if I was the one yielding the most to make it happen. Today I am lots less optimistic. Plus she’s flying home in a few days to talk to her parents. In a move I’ve never seen her do before, she bought only a one way ticket. I’m left wondering whether I’m being told the truth or not.
My spouse and I have reached a point where we realize we can’t be together going forward. I need to be honest with myself and true to myself. Not only has my own therapist said this but now my spouse’s therapist said this as well. Both of them have spent time with us and concluded that we’re fooling ourselves if we believe the other person is going to change in a way to make the other happy.
So that’s it. Thirty five years of marriage, three kids, and four grandchildren and we’re done. Worse, the kids are angry towards me and vindictive so I’m not going to be allowed to see my grandchildren either.
My decision to be honest, to be true to myself, now means that people to whom I’ve given thirty five years of my life now despise me. To have and to hold, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, til death do us part does not mean what it says. It’s poetic license and sad poetic license at that.
My children are coming over this weekend to confront me, to question me, and to try to put me on the spot. But I am going to hold to the words that my spouse’s therapist told me – be true to yourself and don’t let others coerce you.
I hope this doesn’t turn ugly.