When I first met you, I already knew better. I should have listened to my own heart and intuition. But I didn't for way too many years, and I feel terribly guilty about that.
After all, you were never my type. I told you right away that I only was attracted to Butches. We even hung out with my ex XXXX so you knew very well who I was attracted to.
I think you thought you could change and be "more butch", but I told you that is not something that a person can change. Either you are butch or not. And, I am sorry to say, you are not.
So I already knew there was no powerful, overwhelming, passionate physical attraction there from the beginning. I even told you that.
So, why did I proceed anyway? Why did I waste 20 precious years of both of our lives in a sexless mediocre relationship?
I had been hurt, badly, by the two Butches I loved and trusted.
Not that I would have admitted that I was hurt to THEM; in each instance, I simply acted like I was fine. I acted like what they did was not even a chink in my armor.
But the truth was that it was terrible to be betrayed by the two people I had trusted with my love and my body. I swore I would never be hurt again. I shut down emotionally and even physically. I associated good sex with being vulnerable enough to get hurt.
So when you came along, I told myself that it would be enough. I told myself that sex and passion were not important, and that settling down and stability were. I thought it was time to make a life with someone and you appeared as if on cue. I knew you could not hurt me; I was insulated from caring.
And we were basically compatible at first, content even. We did all the things couples "should" do: we both worked, bought a house, cooked together, shopped at Target and Walmart, had friends, visited family, got one dog then another.
The years rolled by more quickly than I realized. Even though there were always things that annoyed us about each other, overall we were basically content (or at least too busy with life to notice otherwise).
Until two things happened so closely together that I no longer remember which came first:
1). You got rich.
2). You started saying you were a man.
Neither seemed like a deal-breaker at first. They seemed odd, but initially benign. Who could be upset about suddenly being rich, right? And surely, I thought, this "man" business was just a joke or a phase?
As it turns out, they were both deal-breakers.
First, the money: the money itself was never a problem. It was how it changed everything in ways that were so insidious that I didn't fully understand what was happening at the time.
To sum it up, the money tipped the balance of power in your favor. I had always been, and always wanted to be, an equal, contributing partner, not some trophy wife, but I couldn't afford the lifestyle you now wanted so I couldn't be equal.
It started with the house. We had a perfect house to begin with, I thought. It wasn't fancy, but it was in a good neighborhood and was a good size for 2 people. We had bought it together and decorated it together and suddenly, it was no longer "good enough" for you.
You wanted a big house on the lake. That was WAY out of my price range, so I balked, but you said you would pay for it and I should allow you to have your "dream".
I didn't feel comfortable, I felt a nagging sense of wrongness, but I didn't want to hold anybody back from a dream (although I could never understand WHY that would be a dream to begin with).
So, I finally agreed. And I suddenly went from having an equal partnership in a home of my own choosing, to being a tenant in a mansion that I did not own or even decorate. The expensive interior decorator decided what furniture I would sit on, and it was prettier than it was comfortable. And I like comfortable.
Then there was the excessive traveling and fancy dinners and expensive jewelry and over-the-top "romantic" displays.
None of which I ever wanted or liked. I had not changed, you had. I had been happy with a normal life. And I said so.
But what I said didn't matter anymore because you felt like it was your money so you could spend it the way you wanted.
I became a spectator in my own life. It was like I, the REAL me, was sitting on the sidelines watching a play in which the things that mattered to me were gradually being eclipsed by someone else's dream.
Then, there was the "I am a man" thing, that at first puzzled me, then made me nervous, then alarmed me, then really pissed me off, and finally made me run.
You suddenly became bossy and moody and demanding and rigid and angry and hot-tempered and....well, started acting like you really did think you were a man.
You started treating me like I was a prize, a trophy wife, a possession. You started demanding that I "show some respect" to my "husband" and keep my mouth shut.
(Note: Never going to keep my mouth shut, asshole).
When I didn't comply with calling you by male terms even when politically correct "friends" said I should, and when I kept arguing that you are not, in fact, a man, you would lose your temper and become threatening.
I don't get scared nor back down easily, and the combination of your anger/volatility and my stubbornness and refusal to back down made for some really tense times.
I stayed, even when miserable, because of obligation and duty and commitment and the belief that I needed to keep my word. And guilt because I knew I was never in love to begin with.
Finally, after a particularly nasty fight, I realized suddenly and clearly I had to leave.
I wasn't sure where I was going or how things would work out for me, but I had been slowly dying inside for so long that I had to save myself.
And that is what I did: I saved myself. And what I continue to do now and will always do from now on.
I am sorry that I hurt you, and I hope you will be happy, but it was ultimately a choice between you or me, and I chose myself.