In the last few months I've not had much to report. Mostly, things are status quo on the transition front, mainly because the transition is over and we are trying to get back to life in general. Mostly, we're still having financial problems, now due to the company I work for that decided to take me off of teaching duty and keep me on for other stuff while they take care of some company issues.
Having had about six months to think about other things than my spouse becoming a woman, I've been able to look more closely at myself. I'm typically someone who doesn't do that too often, since I don't like much and I easily find gaping flaws. Still, being at a point where Natasha can explore her sexuality more gave me cause to dig deeper, since I really do want to make all this work out in the end.
We haven't done anything yet. Mainly, I think it's because of me. We've discussed our situation several times and came to the conclusion that, as it was before, sex isn't the most important thing in our relationship. We've got some toys. We used them in the past... long before when we were just a regular, heterosexual couple... we're just not really using them together. Not surprising to many readers, I'm sure. I can hear some of you saying, "Ummm hmmmm. I saw this coming and I told you so." Well, it's not so bad as you might think. Like I said, this does not cause a divorce, at least for me.
Natasha told me a while ago that she tried to put herself in my position. She considered how she would probably have felt had I been the one to transition. She admitted that she would not have been able to stay with me as a spouse. As a woman, the thought of even snuggling with a man grosses her out. I can't imagine that being different had she remained a man. She said she wouldn't blame me if I find one day that I can't stay married to her. This is what got me thinking. You see, I'm in my early 40s and although my sex drive dropped to zero after I got pregnant the first time, it's been ramping up. Some days it matters and that's when the toy comes out. I had to admit to myself that I am who I am. I happen to be a very open-minded person, but my physiology says that I'm heterosexual. It's just that way. I love Natasha to death. She is one of my soul mates. She is my best friend. But I really am not attracted to girls. Nothing I can do about that.
But again, I have no need to get divorced because of it.
I do have a worry, though, and this is why I called this entry "Perspective." In a previous post, I said that I've thought of Natasha's transition like a person who has become a paraplegic. Same person inside but unable to do things, like have sex. For the most part my analogy holds water. However, there is something in my... instincts?... that tells me that it's about more than sex. It's about bonding and pairing. This is what I'm currently struggling with (not actively, mind you. I'm quite content in the relationship department, thanks). Something within me says that I'm not paired with a male and that's not "right" for me. Had she been in an accident that left her paralyzed, she'd still be a man, and, sadly, I think that does matter in a way.
Remember that even though Natasha has been presenting female, it's barely been about 18 months. I'm 41, which makes 18 months not a long time at all. In actuality, I'm still getting used to this. I've come a very long way since all this started in June 2009. At first there was no way I would accept my spouse as fully female. I was ready to say no to that in a heartbeat. Now, I'm happy living with a female spouse. No, I'm not blissful, but happy is pretty darn good! It implies that it is reasonable to think that some day what feels "right" may change.
It might not change. At that point, we'll have to deal with it. When might that point be? I suspect if I EVER meet a guy who is a soul mate is totally awesome, it might become an issue. I'm not looking for him, so don't hold your breath.
If you look over previous posts and many of the comments made, you'll see that I was strongly not in favor of those partners who turned and ran at first mention of GID. I'm still standing my ground here. Yes, I totally understand it if a person views sex as a central part of a relationship and has no inclination towards the same gender. If that person wants to turn away, that's fine. Our decisions and actions define us. But if sex is not central to a relationship (sure, it can still be important, but not the be-all, end-all), then I still say that it is vital to be willing to support those you love and try your very, very hardest to adjust. I'm still adjusting, and even if some day I find that I cannot adjust any more, at least I will be able to shift my life with Natasha into something else just as meaningful, without anger, without feeling like I could have done something else or should have done something more. When you are in a relationship that means the world to you, you give everything to keep it. You don't just turn away.
In spite of the fact that I still have worries, I will not diminish the value of my relationship with Natasha by quitting. We are both suffering because of something neither of us chose. Even with my present perspective, I still cannot see either of us going it alone. I will not be responsible for adding grief where it isn't necessary. Happiness is a big accomplishment, and I have it within my family.
Natasha will read this and feel sad, I'm sure. She still blames herself for what she's "done to our family." But she will also recognize that I love her so much that I am still walking beside her. She is still my Woobie. Things happen and change. Strong people don't give up: they go on. That's why I thought I should post an update for you. Things are better. I've been able to concentrate more on myself lately, and that's a great thing! We weathered the storm together, right? Heck, I've even decided to renew the pursuit of the one career I have passion for other than writing, and if things go the way I want them to, it's going to totally uproot my family and turn the next two years or so into a busy, stressful, amazing transition for us all. Maybe it was Natasha's transition that got my mind wondering about changing my own life into something more akin to what I dreamed about but had to give up. If she can become the person she needs to be, so can I - only not quite as drastic.
In short - yeah, right - I'm still saying "don't give up!" I won't.