Could it really be THAT easy?

So, not going to get too excited here, but bear with me, kay?

Last night, I decided to talk to Phyl about her withdrawals and pulling away. I wanted to try to understand and told her as much. She asked me if I was disappointed in her. I told her I was disappointed in the situation, not her, and that I was frustrated with not being able to understand. She and I had a good hour-long chat to where she kept saying everything points to her being ADHD and nothing she’s read indicated her behaviors will ever change.

Basically, it boiled down to this: every marriage with a partner suffering from ADHD is troubled and ends in divorce.

I didn’t buy that.

Long story short, I found this site when she started crying and I left her to be alone and sort out her thoughts. Her crying wasn’t my intention and I felt horrible because we both wanted the same thing but couldn’t get our meaning across to each other. The first thing I searched for was making a relationship work with ADHD. This is the site I found.

EVERYTHING. And I mean E V E R Y T H I N G we ever fought about—things I’ve said, things she’s said—was worded exactly how it was in this site.

Could it have really been THAT easy to fix? Where all we needed is to see this site, recognize the signs and work at a different solution together? I’m like, whoa. If all my complaints are listed right here, and there are these solutions, what the hell is stopping me from having a happy marriage again?

Wow. Just. Wow.

Who’da thunk it?

 

We are not perfect, but we are perfect together. Are you Proud of Phyl – Part Two

There is something about this phrase that gets to me. Things are so incredibly hard right now. I wish things were easy, but they aren’t. I feel like a constant nag. Most of the time, I wonder if Phyl even wants to be here. Half the time she keeps herself lost in her computer, games, or her phone. I can’t begin to know or even understand what she is going through. I try to be sensitive, but sometimes I run out of patience and I just want things to be back to the way they were. It seemed like our problems weren’t so big or so impossible to overcome. We are still trying to figure out our relationship. We are going to try dating other people and keep the marriage as platonic as possible just because things are easier this way. Things are comfortable and we don’t feel like we are trying to force things to work. But then she has her moments where she completely escapes reality, the dishes pile up, the laundry doesn’t get done, and everything falls back on me. Not that I don’t help out as much as I can.

Please don’t misread what I said. Yes, I just complained about housework, but this is so much more than it used to be and I feel like there is something deeper here. She completely withdraws and not only does she not do her job (which is finding a job, her part of the chores for the day, and working on any of her special projects), she is much shorter with the kids and she closes me out. We barely talk, and when we do it’s about absolutely nothing. I want to talk to her about deeper issues, but she always says she doesn’t want to bug me with her feelings because she knows it bothers me.

Duh, it bother’s me. She’s still my very best friend and partner. She’s still my soulmate. And it kills me that on most days, I can’t reach her or see the happy person she used to be. I wish I knew what to say or do that would help. I wish there was a wand that I could flick and make her cares go away. 😦 I really can’t see my life without her in it in some way shape or form. She means the world to me and I still love her.

BTW: She’s getting ready to open an ETSY shop, which gave me something that made me realize I DO have something to be proud about. Maybe we’ve just lost our way and have to figure out how to get back on our own. I dunno, but this constant ignoring of the white elephant in the room is starting to drive me crazy. I want her to be happy, and I see bursts of it. But most of the time, I feel like she’s just going from day to day not really wanting to be here. We used to be able to bounce back from all our problems before the transition. We used to talk about everything and nothing at all. This is what I meant by we aren’t perfect, but we are perfect together.  Things just made sense. We had our problems, and yes, most of them are the same we had from before, but we seemed to overcome them and now that’s not so much. It makes me sad and helpless. I guess a part of me feels like I shouldn’t look at the things that I enjoy or am particularly proud of because like my husband (in many ways) I feel like they will be taken from me too. I really dunno. I’m just trying hard to process and be mindful of my thoughts and feelings while remaining present in the relationship.

Are you proud of Phyl? Part One

Those few words have haunted me since my last session with Erin.

“Are you proud of Phyl?”

-silence-

And then she proceeds to tell me that the ways she’s proud of her spouse. I just sit there with my mouth resembling something of a fish out of water. Finally, I shake my head. I can’t say that I’m proud of her because my mind goes completely blank. I can’t come up with anything I’m proud of her for. I can’t think to save my soul. Those five words just rotate through my mind constantly, and as much as I pray something will jog lose and salvage what was left of the session, nothing does.

With a sigh, the session is over and I wonder, what does that mean? I couldn’t say I was proud of Phyl.

Why?

I don’t know. It’s not something I’m thinking about all the time. It’s not something that’s breached in our sessions normally.

What does it say about me?

I’m a horrible, cruel person who takes the people in her life for granted. I’m an idiot for not seeing the good person Phyl is.

“Are you proud of Phyl?”

. . .

. . .

I wish I had thought of something, but I’m concerned that I couldn’t. I’m concerned that all the things I was proud of are from the person she used to be. I’m worried that not having something to be proud of in that moment or even now means something completely horrible is wrong with me.

This isn’t over. I know it’s not. There has to be something.

Maybe all I need to do is shut up and listen. Observe instead of trying to interfere. Or perhaps it’s I need to follow instead of lead?

Either way. I’ll be approaching this topic frequently as you probably could tell by the “part one” of the title.

Another Layer of Transition

Long time, no hear. Sorry about that. I’ve been super busy pushing out some books and working with clients. Busy, busy, busy.

We have been slowly working on our friendship, which is great. I feel like we can work like this, though there is no romance and our relationship has transitioned to a point where we are basically roommates who share parental obligations.

We made the decision to start dating other people with the stipulation that whoever we bring into our home and life will have to accept both of us. Not necessarily have a relationship with the both of us (Phyl’s preference is women whereas mine is men), but accept that we are still married for all intents and purposes, we still have three kids, and we are still friends. But Phyl realizes that I have needs that she cannot meet anymore, so having a boyfriend is something she has come to accept. I don’t know how many trans relationships out there have evolved to this, but this is one thing we are going to try. The reason being is we still care deeply for each other, and because we do have kids with special needs and necessity of having both parents present in the home at all times is extremely important.

We aren’t good but we are better. Talking is a slow process. Phyl still shuts down when I criticize or try to broach the topic of where we are and where we are heading. I know it’s uncomfortable for her and I try to remain sensitive to that. It’s still difficult to deal with her outbursts sometimes. I feel like her heart is in the right place and she does try, but her hormones get the better of her and she loses her temper, especially with the kids. I think, more often than not, she wants to ignore everything and just escape into her games and phone. I understand why, although I don’t agree.

So, we are still struggling, and I’m trying to be more patient and understanding while making accommodations during this transition. It’s hard AF, but we are trying. It feels like an uphill battle, and a losing one at that most times, but we are slowly making process and if I can just get Phyl to see how far she’s come instead of how far she has left to go or all the things that aren’t going right for her, I think she’ll start to relax and ease into things again.

Lost, confused, and afraid . . .

First off, let me start off by apologizing with how long this post is. I know the back and forth is annoying and this will hopefully give a little more background to everything.

We tried to have sex and that failed. She keeps insisting that we can use toys and strap-ons but at that point, it’s basically mutual masturbation, the intimacy and the closeness and passion that I loved about what we had is gone. Yet, she keeps telling me (after me questioning her about it before) that it’s not because she’s getting attracted to guys now. However, on that same note, she’s been talking about fantasizing about men “to see if it does anything” and that “maybe we’ll find a guy we both fall in love with.”

All of that, along with things falling back to where they were before I asked for the separation in the first place, prompted a conversation with my best friend who encouraged me to leave saying that this relationship isn’t healthy and she’s worried about me. My mom (well beyond her ignorance filled opinions) is also worried about me and feels the same way. She thinks that I can do this without Phyl, which ended with this post to my group on FB.

(12-20-14) “So, I’m worried. We’ve decided to stay together but she keeps hinting at being attracted to men and sex has practically stopped. I feel like the two could be separated, but I know better than to get my hopes up. She mentioned finding someone we could both fall in love with but keeps reneging on it like she’s scared I’ll stop loving her if that is the case. I need advice.”

All in all, it made me think of a plan. Of course, that included a separation outside of the home and eventually a divorce.

When Phyl got home from work, and after she ate and helped to put the kids to bed, we talked about everything. She agreed that I haven’t been happy for a long time and that she feels like she can’t satisfy me in the bedroom. I tried to tell her it wasn’t just me that hasn’t been happy, but her too and the combination has worn on me more and more. She slept on the couch last night and said she would start packing up her things today and move back out of my room.

Today, she told me that she wants to talk again about everything.

That has led to my next post:

(12-21-14) “So I talked to Phyl last night about everything. I told her it’s touch and go again. A lot of back and forth. I know she’s depressed and things aren’t going as fast or as well as she wants them to, but I feel like things are spiralling out of control and that we are right back to where we were before I asked for the separation in the first place. I don’t want to feel like I’m giving up too soon, but at the same time, I feel like our marriage isn’t a healthy one and though we’ve both tried to fix it, I feel like there’s something else we aren’t seeing and maybe that’s because we are no longer truly in this. I’ll admit, this whole male partner thing is unsettling to me, but she’s so back and forth on it. She’s even gone to the extent to tell me that she was fantasizing “just to see.” And that with her previous comment of “maybe we will find a guy we both fall in love with,” I’m left wondering if there is anything left of us. I feel like she’s looking for someone to take my place and then kick me to the curb.

My thing is, we’ve had problems our entire marriage and I know that most of them was because of this transgender thing. But now that that’s out in the open, I feel like there’s another thing to taking its place and that’s her desire to be with a man. I’m okay with her being attracted to men. But the fact of the matter is, she’s stating things like this and wanting to act like nothing happened. I’m confused.

I also have my mom and my best friend thinking this is an unhealthy marriage and that I should break up with her to be happy again. And my mom also thinks she’s the one who changed her mind, not me. She thinks that these problems wouldn’t be happening if she wasn’t trans. I agree to an extent, but not in the way my mom was intending.

I’m okay with changing our relationship to accommodate our different needs. But she seems like she’s not, and I dunno how that would affect our kids. They are the ones that matter to me the most.

So now she wants to talk more about it tonight and I’m feeling like she’s going to make me feel trapped again or figure out some other way to get me to change my mind or make me feel trapped again. She even admitted that she hasn’t been happy in a very long time and that our relationship has changed. She said she’s known that I haven’t been happy for several years and that she expected this conversation to come up sooner or later. But then that tells me did she just stop trying? I can’t keep the words straight in my head. I still want a separation because I feel like that’s the only way things will change. It doesn’t change how much I care for her or deeply hoped and wanted things to work out. I just feel like there is so much underlying here that she’s basically forcing me into a corner to make a decision that she really wants to make and feels too guilty to do it, or just doesn’t see how her actions are impacting everyone here.

Sorry for the very long post. I don’t get a chance to get on her very often and this is one of those times that I really need support.”

And I do believe there is a lot of back and forth. I can’t write or work too much because then it’s taking time from her and she feels too alone. I can’t spend time with her cause then nothing gets done around the house and when I tell her about it, she gets upset and tells me she was spending time with me. Then she tells me several times I’m stuck with her forever and she’s back to using my things and making me feel like I’m not my own person.

I love her to death. I truly do. But I don’t feel like I can be my own person with her anymore. And I feel like I can’t say anything because she’s already told me she’s depressed (which I could see) and that’s a touchy subject to begin with.

I don’t know what else to do. We can’t get into our counselor because she’s got a full schedule and we can’t seem to make Phyl’s schedule line up right. It’s just a mess. That and we have a change in our insurance for next year and I dunno what to think about that right now.

I’m stressed. I’m experiencing the blackouts again and I haven’t been taking my meds because it literally makes me sleep all day long. I’m a zombie.

I’m confused and don’t know what to do because I’m at a point where I hate to give up but I don’t know what else to do. Nothing else has worked and the last thing I want to do is wake up one day side-blinded by her telling me she wants to be with men. Just like she did with telling me about her being trans.

I’m scared that I’ll fall flat on my face with the kids and not have a way to pick myself back up. And I’m scared she’ll try to talk me into staying in a relationship with her knowing we both aren’t happy. I keep telling her that I’ve felt for a long time that it wasn’t me she was afraid of losing more so than it was her fear of being alone. She’s demonstrated this on a number of occasions.

Staying doesn’t seem like a good option and neither does leaving.

This whole thing is a mess and I’m feeling really close to losing my mind.

Forging a New Path

It’s been a while, I know. Thank you so much for sticking by me and Phyl as we worked through our issues. It was pretty tense there for a while, but I think we are doing better because of it all. I have learned things about me, and still continue to do so, but I think she has too.  I know I spoke  a little about that before, but  I wanted to reiterate it here.

Things are busy. Once September hits we have a roller coaster of stuff. First, there’s my bday, then Halloween, then Thanksgiving, then my son’s bday, Christmas, my oldest son’s bday, then Valentines day, then my daughter’s bday, then Phyl’s bday, then Easter, then our anniversary (which is in the end of May). From there, things slow down a bit. At least until school is out and then it starts again once school starts and picks up pace through Sept. You get the point. It’s been busy.

So, through the ups and downs of just our “normal” life, we have had a very big push regarding our relationship. It’s weird, and a very long story, but for the most part, it really made us look at our relationship and where we wanted to go. Basically, it was D-day for us.  And I’m apprehensive, but we are fully back together, changed FB statuses and all. We are messed up, and we have a mountain of issues to work through still, but we are willing to do it together. We intend to do just that. Be together.

We don’t have a very typical life, and even compared to most of the transgender marriages we come across, we seem to still remain in a category of our own. We have three disabled children which rely very much on a solid home front and though staying for the kids is part of the reason, it’s we can’t see ourselves with anyone else. Maybe its because we are comfortable and known and the unknown scares us to death. Maybe we are too attached for our own good. Either way, we are still working through our problems, but we are doing it together instead of separated. It may not last, and it may last for the rest of our lives. I’m not going to make a promise or say what will and won’t be. But every day is a new chance to take things forward in our relationship. And we know it’s going to be a lot of work, there’s going to be extra trials, extra celebrations, but that’s what every relationship goes through. I’m okay with that. Phyl’s okay with that.

One day at a time is all I can promise right now.

How is everyone doing? Did you have a great Thanksgiving (if you celebrate?).  Is there anything you want to know about what happened during the separation? Feel free to ask.

I haven’t forgot about you!

Oh man, where do I even start?

This separation has been very good for mine and Phyl’s friendship. Though I still feel like she wants to hold hands and do “couple” things more than I am ready to, I’m glad to have her at my side and there is a comfort in that I think I have taken for granted for a while.

I’m learning and understanding so much about myself and realizing that I had been blind to so much more than I was willing to admit to or even look at. And in that, alone, I’ve been making progress.

There has been some back and forth between me and Phyl and I think, for the most part, that is to be expected. We have talked about resuming our relationship, but I keep telling her that I still have so much more to work on. I need more time, and she’s okay with that. Meanwhile, we are holding hands, kissing occasionally, and snuggling every once in a while.

I’m still stressed and it feels like no matter what I do, I can’t keep it from piling on. It’s like I’ll have to have something drastic happen before people back off. Sad but true. And that scares me. At the same time, it can be something small or something good and it would feel like my burden has become too much to bare. I don’t like these feelings and I’d very much prefer not to have to keep taking on more, but it seems I also have a problem with saying no.

 

That’s really all that I have to update on as of right now. Not really able to sit down and reflect as much as I used to because of everything that’s been going on, I’m finding it increasingly difficult to focus and stay on task with anything. Sucks but there it is.