Dear Femmes, It’s Not Your Fault

Last night I spent a couple of hours with a trans guy that I hardly know. I met him through friends and since he works in southern Maine, where I am for the time being, I thought I would reach out to see if he wanted to get a drink. I remember meeting him at a gay softball game last summer in Fort Williams park in Cape Elizabeth and that we had a little banter. So when I saw the Facebook notification the other day that it was his birthday, I thought I’d do a little DM and say, Yo! Let’s get a drink sometime!

I was secretly hoping that we could make out or better yet, I could get laid. Finally. (It has not been easy as of late, but that’s another post for another time. Maybe.) But little did I know there was a story to be unveiled …

Where do you start with someone you hardly know? I was like, well, I’m here living in the OOB because I just separated from my long-term partner and needed to rest my heels. Cleanse my palate so to speak. I love PDX but wasn’t ready to move from my shared home into a random apartment without some sort of break. So, I decided to come home to Maine. Hang on the beach. Live next to my parents. You know, recharge. 

We talk. We drink. (I’m having a blackberry sangria) and eating way too many pretzels. 

After I disclose a few things about my own relationship, I learn that he is attracted to men and married to a ciswoman – but in conflict about the whole thing*. 

Oh boy.

I just want to say, dear femmes, who are in this position, it is not your fault. People change, love changes and yeah, it’s fucking not fair. Because hey, here’s this person you love, that you sign onto love for as far as your living years take you, and your partner realizes he’s gay and not only that, he doesn’t really want to have sex with you anymore. I mean, maybe it’s other things that mark nonqueer relationships, like domestic chores or lack of listening or desire for someone else, or just plain boredom, but the truth is staring you in the face: your partner, your love, does not love you in the way you love them. The desire has evaporated on their end and it’s ruthless and devastating. 

How do I know this? Let’s just say I have personal experience with the matter.

But that is beside the point.

We know that sexuality and gender changes; it’s fluid. And sometimes acknowledging that as a partnership and playing with it, and allowing your person to explore it on their own can bring more vitality and hotness to your couplehood. But when one person decides they are not attracted to their spouse or partner and wants something else entirely but won’t walk away for fear of whatever, then it becomes shitty and codependent and selfish.

Dudes that are in this position, don’t leave it to your female partner to call it. Take responsibility for where you are in your life and what you want. Own it. Figure out what you can do. Communicate it to her and talk about it. Give her the information she needs to make the best decision for herself. Being conflicted and confused and undecided for an extended period of time is unhealthy and toxic. If you know the truth and the inevitable, it is your JOB to be honest and change things for the better – however uncomfortable, heartbreaking or terrifying it may be.

I felt bad for my new friend. He is in turmoil and using humor and sarcasm to deflect the obvious pain that he is in. But I feel worse for his wife. She didn’t sign on for this and if she’s anything like me, she may be OK with some side pieces of action or polyamorous perimeter drawing. But when the desire stops at the one person, who is actually designated to be your person, the line is drawn. There’s nowhere to go, nothing to really do with that. Except, get out of denial and move into your new reality.

Freedom is on the other side.

*(For my cis-straight readers, starting to have an attraction to men is common among transmen for a variety of reasons, including taking testosterone. No judgment here, just known among the queer community).

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