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Wow Newegg, that was fast. And marital ramblings after that.

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So...making Nikki's computer dream a reality, which is the project I've been on since January pretty single-mindedly, has finally come to fruition today.  And those parts got here FAST.  Like laser fast.  So I cleaned out the dining room table so he has a work space (on the weekends that area is set up for gaming as there is a Friday night and a Sunday evening game), and he's like a little kind in a candy store right now.  It was worth every moment of locking myself in the bathroom at work to have a cry in private because it had gotten so crazy there.  I DID IT!  He's currently putting together his new baby, which is just like my baby.  Only because the parts aren't NEW NEW like they were last year he got his baby for about a $100 less.  Good bargain! 

And...my silly little virtual reality dream?  Well, apparently only $600 stands between me and that.  They had a tester program on the website for the top of the line one, the Occulus Rift, and my computer is compatible and meets or exceeds all requirements.  So...yeah.  It's possible, and my virtual world can be expanded.  We each get a small entertainment stipend in the new budget, and I am stuffing mine exclusively into the savings account, because I want to be entertained with sharks in my computer room.  Cuz I'm a raging dork.  But I really LOVED that feeling of being there with the sharks, which I'll never know because my asthma makes scuba outta reach for me, as I"m not really willing to risk dying for it.  Some dreams ARE worth persuing at any cost, but scuba isn't it for me.  But the ability to see what I would see like that...and the Egyptian tombs they are filming now...oh total geek. AND they have a really kinda awesome tabletop style dungeons and dragons app for this thing, so that you can play with people all over.  How cool is that?

On a more personal note, now that he's doing better from the dysthymia, which I am so grateful to his therapist for helping us sort out the complicated tangle of what is the disorder, what is current environmental, and what is childhood issues blocking him from the live he deserves to have, we are sorting out marital issues. 

I"m pretty sure i kicked strait into "OMG must fix Nikki Mode" and while the issues were too overwhelming not to feel, my response was to bottle a lot and focus on what was needed rather than actually sorting through things inside.  But there has been five or six years of gradual disconnects that triggered MY issues, and sometimes I"m just sorta...lost in myself.  There are days I don't even know if I"m really me, because of all the adaptation and throwing out the window parts of me that didn't fit with the life i was trying to build.  There are days when I'm full steam ahead on something and blinded to everything else.  There are days I absolutely panic that the new normal for our marriage is going to fall apart again and I'm going to lose everything.  I'm messy.  I am really really messy. 

BUT...now that he's better, he..I don't know how to phrase this exactly other than this...it's like he's remembered I'm there.  Like he'd forgotten while he was sick, but now he remembered.  And that is the start.  But he's still Nikki, and some of the disconnects and life choices are his personality mixing with mine, not all of it is our disorders.  So we're organizing.  Too many couples I know just let...life happen to them and don't do anything to manage their relationships as they go.  I'm going to learn from that.  We've set up a weekly 'serious' talk time, where we turn everything off, sit on the couch (preferably with a blanket under me, our couch is leather and it adheres to my skin in horrible ways) and we can both talk about anything, and the agreement is active listening, connection, and no one gets mad or defensive.  Or if you do, you squash it and try to think it through.  We set up a weekly game time for just doing something fun together, board games, d&d, card games, whatever.  And we set up a weekly movie night (on Saturday though, this isn't as inviolate as the other two if we are out doing a thing) to just sit on the couch and watch something together.  Reconnecting emotionally and rebuilding a slightly broken marriage. 

And that's the lesson isn't it?  Things break.  Everything.  But you then make a choice after it breaks, you can throw it away and start over.  Or you can repair it.  It's always a choice.  We forget that.  I can't count how many times I've heard "it's broken, time to pitch it" and no question what would be involved in fixing a thing.  Anything that can be made can be repaired.  But the cost isn't always worth it.  Sometimes throwing a thing away is appropriate too, but if you just assume and don't make the choice...it's wasteful. 

I could sit around, say there is nothing I can do, people just change as they go.  Let's be honest, there is even a neat little shield of a 17 year old secret I could hide behind and NO ONE would look at me funny.  I could be all the other relationships in my blood family and scream it's not MY fault til the end of time. 

But I'm not.  Because..inside...I want more.  And these are the days I"m realizing despite all the poison I drank, all the horribleness I absorbed from them, and all the inner damage I'm still struggling to overcome from them...somehow I made it in some small way.  I'm not them, I got out, and I am going to improve things, instead of waving my hand in a 'what can you do' dismissive gesture.  Grandpa gave me wisdom, the knowledge, and the understanding that there IS more out there, that not everyone fails, and that the choices I will make every day, big and small, will matter and resonate the rest of my life.  My friends gave me the grace, understanding, and exposure to worlds and opinions beyond what I grew up with to navigate the hurdles in my marriage and my husbands struggle with depression and to adapt to who he is as a person, not who he told me he was.  I think I managed to be a better mother than my parents were, despite all the screw ups I made, and I let go and realize he's the one who has to live the day to day of his life better. 

As much as I'm often not okay between the self-esteem issues, the dismorphia, and the struggle to interact gracefully with others thanks to the add, I'm also really okay at the same time because I'm doing it.  And when I die, despite the mistakes I made massive and small, I don't think I"ll be able to look back with anything but "I couldn't have done anything else than what I did, because every choice I made at the time I made it was what I thought would make things better!". 

It cost a lot, but it was worth it.  So I don't have parents, okay.  I have Nikki.  I have my son.  I have my friends (including you guys!), and I have my self and my senses of right and wrong.  The bargain was made a long time ago, probably the day my son was born, I just managed to delay paying some of the bills, but now that they are paid, I realize trying to hold onto things that weren't really there wasn't helping anyone, and it was a good bargain.   That was the day I started turning my back on the narcissism of my father, the dead mushroomness of my mother, and started living.  Even though I had no idea where I wanted to go, I started going through any door I saw to get an idea what was out there.  And the mistakes were okay.

Except, of course, that cheese mousse from the Princess cruise.  Trying that was just a horror story.  It looked like poop.  It smelled like poop.  I don't know why I put that in my mouth. 


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Posted

Hi Briannah,

I don't really know you (I have been away from the site for a while), but I just wanted to say... this post is beautiful.  Thank you so much for sharing with us.  I wish all the best to you and Nikki as you repair/rebuild your marriage.

(Well, OK, the cheese mousse thing... maybe not so beautiful.  But definitely everything else! ;))

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Hi there!  It's nice to meet you, and not knowing someone but stopping to chat is how we get to know people, yes?  I'm a cisgender partner of a MtF genderfluid still figuring it out.  I use the male gender when I talk about him because that is what Nikki told me he feels is appropriate to us, I just wanted to get that out there because I do understand how important pronouns are and I don't want to come across to someone new like I live in a denial world or am rude to my husband!  :) 

This place has been so helpful and important to me, I had stumbled through a few forums trying to learn about my new normal after the long secret finally came out, and so many of them it kinda felt like wanted to convince me I didn't matter at all in sorting out this new normal.  Only here were people willing to help me learn and also care about my feelings and struggles in the process.  People were willing to tell me what I was confused and/or unrealistic about, but they also were willing to tell me what Nikki was also, and that some of the things going on weren't okay.  And it was always gentle!  I loved that, that we were both treated like people.  And Nikki has come to the decision inside himself that transition isn't for him, and that he only had told me that was his decision because he had been presented with the ideology that it was the only solution.  But finding others here who live the way he has realized he wants to has been tremendous for him.  I like that this board is inclusive of the middle pathers, the fluid, the binary, and the transitioners alike, as well as us partners.  :)  And I think it's so important to marriages that partners do have a welcoming place to learn how their life will change and get support.  This place was a major factor in my road to morph it from a huge, terrifying thing to my new normal. 

And, weirdly, this place has hugely helped with my body dismorphic disorder (mostly centered around my face, it's crooked, one entire side droops, was born that way not a stroke aftereffect and my brain can't...deal rationally with it) and my emotional damage from growing up under my father.  Which sorta proves the people are people, and human experiences are best shared!  Definitely way more alike than unlike, and kindness and connection is definitely the key for everyone to learn to live together on this planet.  I wish everyone would learn. 

We're slowly getting closer than ever I think, because we're working for it, and choosing it.  Some things you have to earn, right?  It also doesn't hurt that we have flaming examples of terrible relationships around us to remind us of things.  The kind where neither partner shows any consideration for the other, and the growing rifts between them was a wakeup call that it's easy to do that, and it's not easy to be proactive about it, but I want Nikki around.  :)  Even if his hair and face are way better than mine! LOL

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PS> If you go on a Princess Cruise ever...I hope you like beef and seafood, that seemed to be their goto meals, but do... not... ever... EVER... decide to be adventurous and try to the cheese mousse. 

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Hi Briannah,

It is a pleasure to meet you as well! :D  I'm really happy to hear that this site has been so helpful to you, both with your relationship with Nikki and in other areas.  I agree that it is important for partners to find support, and that is often difficult to find.  I'm so glad you were able to find it here! :)  This site has also been very helpful to me as I was working through things.  We are fortunate that so many wonderful people visit here! :)

I, too, wish everyone would learn that lesson about kindness and connection.  The world would certainly be a better place.

It's so heartening to hear that you and Nikki are growing closer, and that you are choosing to do so.  Not everyone in the same situation would make the same choice.  I always enjoy hearing about couples who decide they can still make their relationship work after one of the partners comes out as non-cis.  Since so many marriages do not survive that type of revelation, it always warms my heart to see examples where the relationship endures, and even grows!  I am sending both of you my best wishes!

And beef is OK, but I *love* seafood!  But not to worry, unless my financial situation changes significantly, I doubt I will ever be on a cruise, so I will never have to worry about being tempted by the lure of cheese mousse! :lol:

 

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You never know, I think cheese mousse migrates around the world, it could stalk you down!  I'm not sure how it qualifies as mousse though.  I've had several varieties of mousse, and the defining characteristic was the light fluffy texture(although I also hated the mango mousse, mangos aren't for me).  This was neither, it was a dense molded little thing of stinky cheese.

I have an issue eating beef, and get really sick from more than small amounts.  It's not an allergy, nothing dramatic, but my body can't digest it properly.  I mean eating it more than once a week small, sometimes two weeks, or i get really horribly sick, something you do NOT want to do in a tiny cruise cabin bathroom.  It took me two trips to come to terms with the fact that the toilets work basically with a giant vacuum cleaner somewhere in the ship and the creepy sound they make when you flush them, I don't want to 'pray' at them!  So I spent the whole week on Princess eating a lot of cuban chickan panini's at the panini bar and pizza.  It's kinda sad that I didn't like their food (there is some variance from ship to ship, but it's more in the small details than the options) because the ship was amazing and Nikki really loved it.  Unfortunately I was really not a good fit with either the menu or the personal relationship with my room steward.  Holland America is my favorite cruiseline, and the room stewards are like ninja's, you NEVER see them.  It might have been okay if i hadn't had a major female crisis in my sleep on white sheets and had to face her the next day.  X_X  She was really lovely, and so nice...but nothing saves you from that level of embarrassment. 

And some of the Holland America ships have a pizza bar right next to the pool, it's awesome to have a swim and hit up the pizza bar in your suit and nosh with the caribbean music playing and the happy swimmers and view of the ocean while you let the winds dry you off.  Because nothing says "HELP ME" like walking into an area of full air conditioning in a wet swim suit!

They had this awesome hangout in the middle of the ship, a three story piazza filled with little cafes and bars (the panini cafe was here, and right next to a coffee bar with awesome little deserts, so you can guess we spent a lot of time here after dinner so I could eat too!) and live entertainment on the big open floor.  It was gorgeous! 

Thankfully my life experience has taken off the blinders on a lot of things around relationships.  The first thing that has helped me massively in all of them was realizing that despite social expectations, relationships are actually all as individual as the people in them.  That idea was never really presented in my area, it was 'all people in relationships do this, feel this, go there" sorta things.  The second being the various outcomes of people who lived by that and expected everything to magically work out.  One set of great grandparents fought extensively, nastily, and publicly.  No one was sure why they were married.  It was ugly.  One set of grandparents seemed to me sort of unaware that they were married and not just roommates, and the only time I ever saw them in the same room or interact was at the table for meals, and had the old tv separate bedrooms things.  My parents divorced after my dad cheated taking me with him and the fallout after mom asked the routine what did you do today? when she got home from work, and my dad and later stepmom spent years teaching me it was my moms fault since she didn't go out with him on weekends (cuz, you know, me!), so you deserve to get cheated on if you don't neglect your kid, good life lessons.  LOL  My own disastrous first marriage that retrospect showed me was an attempt to get away from the family.  Escape doesnt' make a good relationship, especially when he had an untreated mental illness in the mix. 

I only had one reasonable marriage to pattern after, the other set of grandparents.  They did a lot of communication and compromise.  They also would argue publicly, but they always argued the point and not each other.  There was no presentation of marital perfection, but a realistic 'this is what it is like to live with someone full time'.  It was the best thing in my life as a teaching role and as a stable place to spend my summers and vacations away from my crazy parents (mom wasn't really better than dad). 

So...here I am, remarried after Nikki convinced me marriage isn't horrifying.  And he worked really hard at it, and just when I'd about overcome most of my trust/relationship isssues (it took me over a decade, it was a lot of damage and I'm slow okay?) this hit.  And it's sort it out or it breaks.  If you haven't read my other entries, the short form is Nikki always presented this as a we tell each other everything, trust each other, and really know each other sort of deal, and I slowly learned to exist in that kind of set up, and thrive in it, only to find out 17 years in he lied, about something I gave him plenty of room to talk to me about that was obviusly not a dealbreaker.   So...to keep this going both of our issues are in play and it's a great big mess but we're slowly putting it back together like a jigsaw puzzle.  It's not easy.  It's ugly, it's messy, it's joyful, it's fun, it's tedious, it's exasperating, it's just...life.  I will never try to gloss over things, becasue I think we have a global culture of expectations that have nothing to do with reality because people are for some reason unwilling to talk about the ugly and the hard and the work required for things.  You know, the 'must be nice' mentality that other people who have something good it just fell into their laps instead of them working for it. 

LOL  I"m sorry, I tend to freethink and write novels or at least full Victorian letter length things.  :)  I"ll shut up now!

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