It isn’t anyone’s fault

It isn’t anyone’s fault

My separation is relatively new. We moved into separate rooms less than 12 months ago. And only a few months before that was when I put the brakes on any intimacy between us.

I couldn?t anymore.

There?s nothing wrong with Mr. Parker?s gender identity. There?s nothing wrong with his sexual preferences.

They just aren?t mine.

At first, it was strange. I?d gone to sleep in the same bed with Mr. Parker for 20-plus years. It was disorienting, heading into my room and saying good night as I shut the door. It felt wrong.

It felt wrong, and very uncomfortable, to not want to have sex with him. I mean, he?s my husband. We have 3 children together. He?s seen me at my worst, and (hopefully) at my best. He knows things about me that no one else knows.

I couldn?t do it anymore.

Image for postPhoto by Michal Mrozek on Unsplash

The emotional temperature of our relationship changed

We didn?t hate each other.

We didn?t stop loving each other.

Though the nature of our love changed. And, for me, it waned. I struggled for a long time with my feelings for Mr. Parker. Do I love him? Do I like him? Do I hate him? The answer is, I?m not sure. My feelings change daily. It?s a spectrum of emotion, rather than one feeling that arches over the daily swells and dips of my emotions.

It?s been a long road, but I?ve finally allowed myself to believe it?s okay I want Mr. Parker to be my husband.

I have had a hard time figuring out what was okay for me to feel and what was my gut reaction to rejection. It?s taken me a long time to figure out where I stand and decide that it?s okay. I?m allowed to choose what I?m comfortable with, what I don?t want.

That?s not a lesson women and girls are taught.

I wasn?t taught it. I was taught to put my own feelings and needs aside so I could take care of the people around me.

Do you need to eat? Not until the kids eat.

Do you need to sleep? Not until the chores are done.

Do you want to read a book? Not until dinner?s ready.

Do you want an orgasm? Not until I want to give it to you.

That?s the reality for many women. I think. It was my reality anyway. It?s not that Mr. Parker is a jerk. (Well, most days.) Most of those expectations were ones I set for myself. And the orgasm thing; well, it was as much him as it was me. Even though I still blame him some days.

Mr. Parker hasn?t told anyone, that I know of, that we are separated. Or why. That?s his business.

I?ve told a few people. My sister (the one who?s ex my brain is named after), my Mom, and a handful of friends. Most of my friends and all of my family have been very supportive.

We?ve also told our children. Obviously, we?ve only told them the gender issues and not the sexual ones. No one, not even open-minded Jeannie, wants to know their dad has fetishes. Really.

My younger 2, who live with us, accepted it openly with very few questions. One of them asked what pronouns they should use. (So proud of my kids) And one asked if he needed help buying a wig. They?re working on it.

The older one, who lives across the country, wasn?t so easy. I told them while I was visiting. And even though they?re a grown adult, I still didn?t offer the sexual details or the fact we?ve gone many years with Mr. Parker not really paying any attention to my part of the experience when we had sex.

Our oldest child criticized me. Mr. Parker was the same man he?s always been. I didn?t argue with this, because yes, he?s the same person. I explained that I?m not really attracted to a man who wants to dress as a woman sometimes. It didn?t matter.

?I love my spouse. A different gender wouldn?t affect that.? They were angry at me. As if this were all my fault. As if I was the one doing the rejecting.

And it hurt.

I want to crawl into bed every night with someone who has as much sexual attraction to me as I do to them.

I?ve worked for many years to find a middle ground between us. Mr. Parker has occasionally given it a half-hearted try. I don?t blame him even though it hurts. I don?t think he knew what he wanted. Or at least he wasn?t able to admit it.

Some people said, ?It?s okay because you have an open marriage. You can both do your own thing.?

That made me angry too. I want to crawl into bed every night with someone who has as much sexual attraction to me as I do to them. I want to experience life with someone who loves me. And I assume Mr. Parker does as well if he?s honest with himself.

And I deserve that. Mr. Parker deserves that. Everyone does.

It?s been a long road, but I?ve finally allowed myself to believe it?s okay I want Mr. Parker to be my husband.

There?s nothing wrong with him. He?s a great guy. He works hard and doesn?t stay at the bar after work with his friends. He doesn?t gamble, cheat on me, or abuse me. He just doesn?t want what I have to offer.

We will move on as we uncouple. Most days I?m not in hurry. Some days I am. And someday I will move out and we will get a divorce.

For now, it no longer feels wrong when I head into my room alone. My ?Good night see you in the morning,? echoes down the hallway, mirrored by Mr. Parker?s and we go our separate ways.

It doesn?t matter what anyone thinks. Not the kids, not friends, or family. What matters is that we are comfortable with the way things are.

Mr. Parker still wishes it was different. He?d like for us to be in love. He?d like for us to have a sexual relationship. I?m not sure if that means he wishes he was different, or I was. Or if it was some compromise of that. I know that won?t work for me. There?s too much water under the bridge and I can?t separate my feelings anymore.

I?ve finally allowed myself to live in the knowledge that it?s okay I?m not sexually attracted to my husband anymore.

I love to hear from my readers!

If you have thoughts, solutions or questions I?m here to listen.

I?m glad to hear your thoughts.

I?m open to solutions for anything, especially difficult math problems.

I?ll offer my thoughts on your questions, but I can?t promise they?ll be useful.

You can email me at [email protected]

Or find me on Twitter @JeannieWParker

Thanks for reading my ramblings. If you like them, follow me and read more. I write about sex positivity, open relationships, love, and mixed-orientation marriage, and anything else my brain finds interesting. Jeannie Parker is my pen name to protect the guilty and hide the evidence in plain sight. My real-life counterpart writes mediocre fiction and is trying to improve that so she can make money at it.


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