In my previous post, you’ll recall that the farrier’s impression was that my wife dumped her old hubbie for me, and I’d like to expand on this idea a little.

I’m of two minds on this metaphor. On the one hand, I’m the same person with the same core as always, and thus I don’t see this transition as dumping/acquiring anyone. On the other hand, it does feel like something big has happened in our relationship, and while it may not be quite accurate to describe it as Mary Jo having left George and taken up with Joyce, that’s not entirely a bad image.

I’m going to focus on what I see in Mary Jo, and leave the more internal sense of my evolving self-definition for subsequent posts. Since I’m writing about her, I am limited to my impressions and not necessarily the “truth” inside her. Still, it’s my blog and I’ll give it a shot, not because I’m a mind reader or have any special talents at understanding people, but because her demeanor and attitude towards me has a lot to do with my relationship to the world.

And here’s what I see. Whatever has happened (morphing or switching partners), Mary Jo seems to really be happy these days, having come (I think) to a place where being with Joyce is OK. I would even venture so far as to say our situation may be more than just OK, but actually good.

I think her attitude probably has to do with three things, a) my feeling of inner peace and the resulting loss of my drama-queen ego-centrism, b) her growing realization that our relationship is able to continue in one form or another to each’s benefit, and c) ample support from her friends, who manage to achieve the twin actions of accepting Joyce’s evolution AND offering their unconditional support for Mary Jo.

I feel a deep affection for her friends because while I may have been the sensational transition story, they have draped a mantle of almost heroic notoriety upon her. Everyone wants to talk about how she’s so strong, how they’d dump Bob, or Mario, or whatever their husband’s name is, if he did this to them, and while this might be a bit of a backhanded compliment, I think there’s genuine curiosity and admiration being expressed about Mary Jo’s capacity for change and her ability to love, as well.

I think what Mary Jo and I are discovering is just how dynamic a relationship can be if you respect each other, give each other space to evolve, and not get stuck on an idealized version of your relationship. Yes, Mary Jo has stayed with me and is supportive, but one could argue that the “me” she has stayed with has been a rapidly moving target, and therefore really isn’t anything you could actually “stay” with in any sense of the word stay.

More accurate would be to say that she and I are like two stars in a tight, circling orbit (click on the link and play with a binary star simulation), and the tug towards each other has not diminished even as we go spinning through space and burning more brightly or less brightly based on our own life-metabolisms. Whatever the gravity is that pulls us together, even as we pursue our own paths, it has become stronger through this crisis. The image of the binary star system works, too, because neither star is fixed, but both stars orbit a center of mass that they both share.

Mary Jo and I have evolved from a wonderful relationship, never conventional even before my transsexual crisis, and are currently building (or rebuilding) an exceptional relationship. The center of our binary orbit is our shared sense of family, love and respect for each other, and a sense of personal adventure (whether it be related to horses, planes, or the intellectual life). I’ve never been happier or more excited about our future.