Tuesday, October 21, 2008

What's it all about?

What's marriage all about anyway?
Love, caring, sharing, commitment, at least that's my answer. I think a lot of marriages have that. I also think a lot of them don't. My parents did, and my sister and I often talked about how hard it was to live up to that example. There is no question that those two people had all of those qualities in the 100% range. They'd easily die for one another, and, in fact, they did. My mother pined away while my father was in a nursing home recovering from a bought of pneumonia. She just didn't cope well without my father around, even though she saw him often, and for long periods. She dropped dead on her 80th birthday. Literally. My father returned home not long after her funeral, and he was gone within a year. He cried over her pictures nightly. At the funeral, my niece gave a beautiful eulogy about how when she'd come to visit she'd see them dancing together in the living room - sometimes to music only they heard, and sometimes to something on the radio. She spoke of how they often touched one another, and how you could see love in their eyes whenever they looked at one another. When they spoke of each other they always had nice things to say, even if they were passing over a rough patch. Yes, they had a few fights in life, usually at night, after we kids were in bed, but they always went to bed together, and always had kisses in the morning over breakfast.

Our daughter would say the same things about us now. Now that Angela has transitioned, I mean. Before that, at least from the time she was in 3rd or 4th grade, we didn't get along well. David was reclusive, compulsive, depressed and critical. By the time our daughter had started school David and I were growing apart and starting to argue. I had become tired of always feeling "not good enough." He didn't want to leave the house unless he had to; he always criticized what I wore; he never liked the way I did almost anything - cleaned house, fixed dinner, loaded the dishwasher, folded the clothes - and yes, I altered how I did them often to suit his current needs. By the time she was in junior high school, we were two people living in the house, but we were living apart. We slept together, because sex was always good, but we could no longer cope. Our arguments were loud and not pleasant.

Then there was a dramatic change! David told me he'd been hiding his need to be a woman. I told him that was okay, and we moved forward to allowing him to cross-dress. We got counseling for our marriage, and after a time, finally discovered that all that bad behavior came from his suppressing who he needed to be - ANGELA! Once we found the right councilor, blessings on her, and David began to follow the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care, our lives changed completely. Angela was a happy person - the depression was gone, and with it went the compulsively and reclusiveness. She was the life of the party, finally free to be who she had to be. We began to kid with one another; we began to go out - often. And, my hurt feelings about all the criticism disappeared, because I understood David was projecting Angela on to me. He wanted me to be who he couldn't be!!! Duh! Why hadn't we seen that all along? So, when David became Angela, I didn't need to fulfill that roll anymore. I was free to be me too!

NOW we have that marriage my parents had. Now we have our own lives, and it is great! We love one another more deeply than when we met and married. We share our souls now, not only our lives, but everything about ourselves. We are committed to one another more surely than ever before. What a treat it is to be married to a T!

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