J and I are struggling.
I’ve noticed something about the internet, and that is: I can post about life difficulties in an online forum and receive a lot of mixed advice. But the second I say something about J and I having problems and by the way J has also been transitioning this year which does add some small amount of extra crazy to the mix? People are like, ‘Whoa. Get out of that relationship. What a jerk.’ I have not tested this reaction scientifically, but in my un-scientific opinion, the minute I bring the transgender thing into the conversation, people are unable to see beyond that circumstance enough to look at the actual problems.
So for a minute, pretend that I am not the spouse of a transgender person. Pretend we are indistinguishable from any other man + woman family with a kid, and answer me this:
What do you do when your husband is depressed about parenthood?
No it’s not something that is just going to disappear (our son is almost 10 months old now) Yes my spouse is seeing a counselor No she doesn’t find it useful Yes I got her to agree to couples’ counseling today No she is not on meds Yes I get that they could be useful No neither of us feels very comfortable with them No I’m not sure how to bring up that subject but maybe the couples’ counselor will or maybe not I’m okay with that too I’m just tired of being the only adult in this house who is happy with our lifestyle decisions.
I’m still struggling to find a decent-paying job in this town, but I will eventually. And part of me thinks that I could be happier living the single parent life. I would work, I would have my kiddo, I would adopt a dog. I could enjoy my lifestyle decisions without having somebody along for the ride who really doesn’t want to be present.
Of course I love J, and I want her to be part of my life. I would prefer that she found a way to be happy as a member of a family (rather than just a couple). I’ve even suggested to her that if she misses the outdoor lifestyle so much, she should plan regular backpacking trips and rafting trips and whatnot, and I will gladly handle responsibilities until she gets back home. Gladly, if only she can come home and be happy to be here. But J thinks going on fun trips will make her regret home life even more, and therefore she finds it better to not focus on those things and just do what needs to be done.
I personally believe that it is only possible to take care of others when you first take care of yourself. J is not taking care of herself — I’m not sure she knows how to do that, at this point in time. And everything is suffering because of that. I’m committed to making things work, but I question the wisdom of J’s current mental attitude. It’s hard to imagine anything good coming from it.