I’m uh, sort of a ladyboy. Not a lady’s boy, but a boyish lady. I certainly appear to be a female (a more substantial version of Audrey Hepburn, if you prefer), but there’s a part of my brain that never developed past the maturity of an eight-year-old boy. This is reflected in the way I dress. I like my superhero t-shirts and I love my silly t-shirts.
Here’s the thing about being an atypical weirdo: female friends are rare out in the wild. They either think I’m too weird, or they’re straight up afraid of me. As a result, 75% of my friends are male. I can be as disgusting, weird, and as crass as I naturally am, and they aren’t offended. The problem with this is that befriending heterosexual males can get a little…strange. This wasn’t so much an issue when I was a teenager or in the first few years of my 20’s because, as PPT says, I get more beautiful every time he sees me (he’s just being kind) or that I’m aging like wine. The interesting part is that I don’t think I’ve changed that much physically, other than looking like an emaciated old fart wearing kid’s clothing. What has changed is how I feel about myself. I’m more confident in my own skin (read: I don’t give a fuck anymore) and that shows in the way I interact with people.
I was going somewhere with this…oh, right, a few of these friends tried to step out of the friend zone and a few of them made it past before I got married. The problem with dating friends is, what do you do when it’s over? Do you remain friends? Or do you both cease to exist to one another? In my case, we still talk occasionally. And in the case of one friend, who has always been a friend – nothing more, he wishes that we lived in an alternate Universe where the stars perfectly align for our lives to merge. It’s difficult for him to differentiate the love he has for me as a friend, versus the love he would have for someone he wants to spend his life with. To me, the differences aren’t subtle. I do love my friends. A ton. I also realize that what I have with MC is something stronger despite the lack of intimacy (as I mentioned previously, he doesn’t feel this way).
I know I’ve already talked this to death, so I apologize.
In light of this marital crisis/MC post-near death, mid-life crisis, I wasn’t looking for advice on how to handle the situation. I’ve got that covered. What I wanted was outside perspective of what I might or might not be doing that is contributing to this problem. I’m always looking to improve myself. I can look back a decade ago and see how far I’ve come and I hope the same thing happens ten years from now – that I’ve evolved and have become a better version of myself.
I rallied the troops, a combination of exes and friends, explained the situation and asked what their take is. What I got wasn’t constructive criticism so much as it was them telling me things like…
“He’s fucking her. Leave him.”
“Why do you put up with his shit? He’s such an asshole.”
“You should beat him with a shovel.”
The one decent piece of input I got from the dude I had amazing chemistry with was that yes, sex and intimacy are very important in long-term relationships. He can understand why it’s a point of contention, but at the same time, he also knows that I can’t so there really isn’t a good solution, other than MC figuring out if he can live with that. Again, it’s on him.
Another thing includes him being dissatisfied with the way I dress, but he was completely aware when he married me, that I’m not girly. It’s not part of who I am. I’m by no means androgynous, but I also don’t spend hours picking out clothing or making myself look like someone else. I’ll wear a dress for special occasions and that’s my limit. I used the term ‘low maintenance’ in the past. Unfortunately, that no longer applies thanks to all of my health shit. I have to carry a pharmacy and a traveling medical supply store wherever I go. There’s no such thing as living out of a backpack for a week anymore, damn it.
The main thing I learned by talking to these people, was that their perspectives are biased because I broke up with them, so of course, they’re going to tell me things they think I might want to hear since those relationships ended on good terms and I have to wonder what their motives are. Regardless, it was nice to talk with them.
After all of that, I came to the conclusion that this is simply a case of MC blaming me for his depression because he doesn’t want to be held accountable. Being accountable would mean putting effort into modifying the way he looks at the world and his behaviors. That’s not easy and, at this point, the easy way is the only way he wants to go because everything is so fucked up and difficult in his situation. I can’t deny that my health has an impact on him. If it didn’t, that would be a bad thing. Still, that’s on him to learn how to cope with the situation. I want to help him with it, and I continually tell him that I’m here for him. It’s true. If I were emotionally unavailable, that would be one thing, but I’m not. He may perceive it that way as a result of shutting me out, but that’s a skewed perception.
He needs to talk to me about everything, especially if it’s about our relationship. If there’s a problem and I’m unaware of what that problem is (even though I can tell he’s conflicted), I can’t help him.
We did talk, and then we talked again last night after I had some time to think and reset my willingness to take on all of the blame. I gave him my input that I don’t believe looking outward for happiness is ever going to work for him. It will probably help if he addresses his depression which is likely chemical at this point, instead of attempting to point fingers.
No one can make him happy. It does come from within as corny as it sounds. A person can augment his happiness (or misery), but if he isn’t ‘happy’ when he strips away all of the external noise, nothing will help. He’ll continue going through the same cycles indefinitely. I’ll always be responsible for dealing with my own mental demons in order to make myself a decent human and it’s only fair to both of us that he does the same. Even if we go our separate ways, he owes it to himself.