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Why I’ve been quiet. September 17, 2007

Posted by Tina Simmons in Uncategorized.
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I haven’t posted in a few weeks because my wife and I are adjust to our new life as empty-nesters, with both kids in college now. This is a little unsettled time – but not necessarily for bad reasons!

One thing we’ve been thinking about – as a couple – is that we’ve spent so little of our time alone. It’s easy when your younger and early in a relationship that you’ll get time, but the truth is that it’s as if we’re picking up just as we left off, only with 20 years of change in us. Including some bad habits. You get so comfortable with people sometimes that you think you can say whatever you want and they’ll understand. Well, that is definitely not true, and it’s been a major source of friction over the years.

It’s also unsettled because we’re traveling. We spent a few days in Maine after dropping off the kids, and now we’re going to go on a big vacation to Hawaii. We have been looking forward to doing something different once we empty-nested, since now we’re not tied to the school schedule, and it’s taken us a lot to make sure we could afford this, but somehow we’re making that work. And after the past year – between my coming to acceptance of myself, coming out to my wife and all that this entailed, and issues with our son – well, we really need it.

Speaking about the trans issue: After an initial bout of fear from both of us we found a way to start talking, and we’re doing what I call our “do-over” – not quite square one, but close – and we’re trying to go slower. I’m noticing that the do-over is extending beyond the trans-issue, though, and into other aspects of our life together. What’s amazing is that maturity has taken us to a place where we are slowly really opening up to each other, and we’re finding that there’s more that we like about each other than we realized. There are a LOT of differences we knew about but never really discussed the ramifications of (such as the fact that we were kids in different countries – me in America, her in Korea – and even simple things as vocal intonation are different because of the language differences). I don’t think we’d be doing this if we hadn’t gone through all the things we had – it’s more than likely we would have broken apart. But “what-if” games like this are really pointless. What is important is that we are both making that effort to make things work.

Once we do get back from Hawaii, however, we will be getting into the most intensive time of our life with respect to trying to understand each other. There is going to be tears, but if the way we’ve been talking lately is any indication, I think there’s going to be more understanding. I am scared more about how ineptly I might handle things more than anything these days, so going the slow road is the safest road to travel. And I will be spending a lot more time dressed.