Time for a Fight, Part II

Somehow I lost Part II. I originally had the entire fight captured in one long post, too long. I chopped it into bits with the intention of editing each piece, to make sure I represented both of us fairly, of course. When I went back to post the second part, it was gone.

It’s probably not the universe giving me a message, but I’m going to take it that way anyway.

Enough “he said, she said” (though he said some stupid, hurtful things to which I gave lots of insightful, empathic responses).

One of the things I want to convey with this blog is that it’s incredibly difficult to parent a child, any child. Although I can’t imagine anything more grueling than being a single parent, being a couple has its challenges, too. Add to that health issues, gender issues, transracial issues, and it’s downright overwhelming, scary, and sometimes plain horrible.

Marriages have split over how to parent a gender-variant child. Marriages have split over parenting a special-needs child. Marriages have split when one person develops a chronic illness. I have to stop pretending we’re invulnerable.

While I maintain my stance that my husband is guilty of over pathologizing the gender issue. I’m possibly guilty of over simplifying it. To me, it is simple. My boy likes pink. Teach him young that other people’s opinions don’t mean much. At the same time, work to change other people’s opinions. What is it they say? The people who matter don’t mind, and the people who mind don’t matter? Isn’t that easy?

It’s not that easy for my husband. Not only did he have to travel a lot farther from his conservative upbringing than I did from my liberal 70s Jesus-loves-everybody, kumbaya childhood (where the only real rule was “If you’re not home by 2am, stay where you are until morning”) to get here, he’s Dad. He had plans of being G’s idol. That hasn’t happened, at least not yet. Now my husband is afraid they will never connect. Watching O trying to emulate his big brother, my husband is afraid he’s losing him, too. I see that, and I know it’s even more complex than that.

But I want him to see it the way I do.

I used to think that if a relationship required work, it wasn’t a relationship worth having. I was wrong, or at least I hope I was. This is work, and I probably need to get used to that idea.

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