My dear readers, your friend Emma is not feeling so extraordinaire right now. She is very sad; more sad than she has ever been in her entire life. Her heart is broken and the pain will not subside. Every minute is an exercise in agony and misery.
Not only did our wife destroy our trust and wound us to our very core by being unfaithful, but she has since decided to throw away the 7 years of love and commitment we’ve built, seemingly on a whim. We are getting a divorce. A week ago I would have told you that she and I were better off than we had been in years, and now we are getting a divorce. She is moving away and leaving me alone in the house we dreamed up and bought together.
This is not my house, it is our house. Nothing about this home is separated from her. There is no piece of it that will not have a portion of her in it for me. It was our dream house. Not a mansion or something extravagant but the house that we were going to start a family in. The house we were going to grow old together in and perhaps even keep until the day we died. It was the house that we would fill with our love and devotion to one another.
Now it is filled only with silence and despair. The walls seem to shrink in on me and torment me with the memories we made in our short time here. We knew it was the house we would buy the minute we stepped into it, and now every minute I spend inside of it alone is a minute filled with more pain than I’ve ever known.
The worst part is that I know she still loves me, but she has allowed something inside of her to convince her that the love is not enough. She has allowed the fear of growing old and missing out on the unknown opportunities to cloud her judgement and drive her destructive behavior. She can’t see it, but I can. I know where she is. I know what she is thinking and feeling. I was there, 18 months ago. I wanted to cheat on her, I wanted to have an affair. I wanted to have the excitement of the unknown she is seeking and felt afraid that I was missing out on opportunities for greater happiness because I was with her.
I will not say I am a better person than her for resisting those temptations and pressing onward, but I will say that I found an abiding love so deep that its roots wrap around the essence of my soul. I am truly heartbroken that she will never find that treasure I found. She will never know the kind of love and happiness that comes when you put away the childish impulses of excitement seeking and willingly embrace the power of life-long companionship. She has robbed herself of that, possibly forever.
The statistics are completely disheartening for those who divorce and then seek new relationships. The vast majority are doomed to repeat the same cycle over and over again, going from one new, exciting relationship to the next. Her propensity for infidelity almost guarantees that she will do this again to the next person she commits to long-term once the initial excitement fades.
The sad truth is that I have no idea how to move ahead with my life without her by my side. There was never a true moment where I considered that a possibility, especially after seeking out the help of a marriage counselor and finding our relationship improve. Perhaps she just got better and better about hiding her feelings, or perhaps I just got better and better about fooling myself that she still loved me.
Regardless of the direct cause of this collapse, my life is now in shambles. My birthday was completely ruined and the first few days of my third decade on this planet have been the hardest yet. Whether out of a sick masochistic desire or a foolish belief that she will see the error of her ways, we have decided to continue living together for the time being until such time that she can find an apartment to move to (likely December 1st). The first night together was torturous for both of us, mostly because it was the first real opportunity for me to exorcise the demons that had been haunting my mind over her infidelity. I had to ask the burning questions inside me and the need to know how, when, why, and where everything happened was too strong to resist. I knew I’d never be able to let it go until I knew enough to quench my dreadful curiosity.
Now I know enough, and in some ways perhaps too much. I will not reveal all the details of our exchanges but I am almost 100% confident she will continue to see this man who saw fit to knowingly bed a married woman. I grieve for her because I know that such a relationship is doomed to fail. No relationship that begins that way ever survives, and so she is setting herself up for heartbreak and disappointment.
And perhaps that is the most difficult piece of all of this. I still care about her wellbeing. I still desire her to be happy and to live a fulfilling life. I hold true to my marriage vows to stand by her side forever. Nothing would give me greater relief than to find a way to hate her for what she has done to me and what she is about to do, but I do not have the capacity. My love for her is unconditional.
So, now I must pick up the broken pieces of my heart and find a way to glue them back together. Some of the pieces have been ground to dust under the weight of her transgressions and cannot be salvaged. My heart will never be full again. There will always be cracks and jagged pieces.
She is fortunate that if she chooses to find a new companion, either this despicable man or some other, it will be exceedingly easy for her. She is young, smart, and beautiful, more than that she is a heterosexual cisgender female. I, on the other hand, do not have such promising prospects. Were I to desire to find a new relationship, which is almost an unbearable idea at this point, the number of people who would be interested in a preoperative lesbian transwoman is miniscule. Almost to the point of impossible.
This betrayal and subsequent abandonment by her (I cannot call her my wife anymore, I suppose) may very well leave me permanently alone without ever finding the comfort of love again. I do not even know where to begin to search for such companionship let alone be prepared to engage in such an unconventional relationship. What lesbian wants to be with a transwoman who is only half female physically?
My discouragement might be too great than is merited but I know that finding relationships is very difficult for transgender individuals and I will likely experience similar challenges. How then will the addition of a broken heart and a protective unwillingness to trust someone with my heart contribute to such a search? I have spent only a handful of days alone and away from her in the last 6 years. I cannot even recall what it is like to live alone. To be alone. To know that every time I wake in the morning and every time I return home from work there will be no one there to greet me. More than just our relationship I have spent the last 10 years or so living with at least a roommate if not a romantic companion. Now I face only the grim silence of an empty house for the foreseeable and possibly permanent future.
My darling readers, I do not know what to do. I do not know how to move forward from here. I cannot see the path ahead and a dark vapor has further obscured even my very next step on this road. I am afraid my despair will consume me and prevent me from recovering from this tragedy. I came closer to killing myself on Friday than I ever have before, and a growing piece of me wishes that we had just gone through with it.
My only security is knowing that for the time being I have a place to sleep and some food to eat. My life has been stripped to the bare essentials. I have even considered putting this transition on hold or stopping altogether as a result of these events. I do not know if Emma can handle the path ahead alone. Robert had so much practice at pressing forward under unbearable pressures that I feel an urge to become him again in the interim. Because of this urge I fear that I am beginning to lose myself in the wake of these events. Who am I without her at my side? What meaning does my life have if I have no one to share it with? Am I strong enough to be a social outcast or a gender outlaw, if I have to rely on my strength alone? How will I get up when I stumble and fall, and there is no one there to lend a loving hand?
So much of this transition was only possible because of her companionship and now I am left in the cold at the most difficult part so far. They say what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, but I am truly afraid that this will kill me. I am afraid that my next suicide attempt will not be an almost-attempt, but will be a successful one.
There is no joy in my heart. No peace in my mind. No comfort to be found. There is only this cold silence that crushes in on me and the echoing question that cannot ever be answered: why did this happen?