Dear Dr. Darcy:
I’m in my mid 30’s, I’ve been married for 5 years, and now I’m getting divorced. I grew up so much in this relationship and I credit him for who I’ve become. My entire life, all I ever wanted was to marry a man, have children, and live happily ever after. He’s a doctor, I’m a nurse, we met in college, and I can’t imagine what I’ll do without him by my side. The thing is, we’re both sure I’m gay, and we feel it’s better for me to get out of this relationship and start my life now. I don’t know how I’ll live without the privilege that comes with being in a straight relationship. My therapist said to me, “Do you realize that you’re about to go from the top of the food chain to the bottom?” I’m afraid I won’t be able to meet my bills. I’m afraid I won’t be able to take care of myself. I’m afraid I’ll never find someone who will make me feel as safe as I feel with him. I wish I could just stuff myself back inside the closet!
Take a deep breath. You’re going to be better than fine. Everyone’s afraid just before divorce. Especially women. I’m not going to sugar coat reality ~ it’s definitely a different world when you walk through life holding the hand of a woman instead of the hand of a man. But you’re strong. I can tell you’re strong by your willingness to walk your path despite knowing that you’ll lose your hetero-privilege.
You met this guy in college. All you ever wanted was to be married and have children. I’m sure that from the moment you met him, you knew you’d marry, so instead of going to med school you became a nurse. And I’m sure since then, you’ve made a million conscious and subconscious decisions in which you didn’t fully challenge yourself because you knew that you had him, and having him in your life meant that you didn’t have to live up to your full potential. When I was getting divorced my best friend said something to me that I’ll never forget. “You have no idea what you’re capable of accomplishing without that guy standing behind you.” Those words got me through some of the scariest years of my life and they turned out to be true.
Your shrink, who, no doubt drinks from the hetero-privileged Kool-aid, sounds closeted herself, and I suspect that watching you contemplate living your true life was more than she could bear. So, misery loving company as it does, she threw out that horseshit line to frighten you into submission. Fuck her. Do me a favor and send her this post. Perhaps she’ll learn something, like when to shut up in session.
You are able to take care of yourself. You don’t need some guy promising you that he’ll hang a shelf, blowing you off for weeks and weeks… When you pay a guy, that shelf gets hung immediately, and that’s what you’re about to learn.
Find yourself some good female friends. Get yourself a reliable handyman. And you will live happily ever after.
Writer's Stats: Female, Probably Gay.