First off, I do not think there is no such a thing. Let’s take out the straight, bi, gay, part out of the equation and talk about committed, monogamous relationship whether that be one woman or one man.

I know that my marriage was fucked up. I adored him, to the point of worship. He was the “god of my idolatry” like Juliet said of her Romeo, and we see how that turned out. This was a bad, bad, bad way to go about loving someone. I never knew him and part of me did not want to know. I was okay with the romantic ideal I had formulated in my head. I made up our own narrative and ignored all the truths that did not fit into my story. I was the creator and editor of my life and, especially towards the end; my husband was reduced to the “romantic lead” instead of life partner. He was reduced to that role because he could not and would not be a true husband and love me and care for me that I believed I needed to be loved. So to protect myself, to keep the “gods happy” I sacrificed myself. On the altar of my soul, I sacrificed my self-respect, even my own sense or reality and right and wrong. I did not trust him and I began to not even trust myself. Even though I flitted around and was always quick with a joke and a funny story, I was becoming more and more hollow building a life on falsehoods. Remember the wife of the Marine in “American Beauty” how she had ignored so much that she was like a ghost haunting her own life? Never underestimate the power of denial. It can shelter you from the truth, but it will not keep the cold out.

Fast Forward to Charlotte Jay’s dating life where she is dating card-carrying heterosexuals and has no idea what she is doing. I am so accustomed to “keeping up appearances” that I have more than one boyfriend ask me to “tell the truth.” “YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!”

This is what I am informed is a “normal” relationship.

No “friends” of the opposite sex. You can have work friends, friends of friends, but you cannot have friends of the opposite sex that actually gives a shit about you. If you share anything more than a cup of coffee, then it is cheating. So many men are led around by their dicks, so why should they think any different of any other man?

It is okay to check someone’s phone for tests and voicemails. Really? Since When? I happened upon a text of my ex-husband and found out way more than I wanted to know. All it did was make me unhappy. Why would I want to know that? I mean really?

It is also okay to try to hack into someone’s email and check websites on their computer. Um, hello? Privacy. There is a suit right now about a man that is being sued by his wife for prying into her email. I do not want him to go to jail, but I hope it does bring to light that people, even MARRIED people deserve a right to privacy.

Going through your lover’s wallet/purse. You freaking kidding me! Why would you snoop? Why would you want to?


“Claiming” on another. I do not even know what that means.

Telling each other want to do. If your lover does a behavior he/she does not like trying to change it. I am not used to that. I could never, ever, ever tell my husband what to do.

Have to be together…. All the freaking time…. Why is this necessary? I am really accustomed to having “me” time and go to see friends, have activities, go out on the town like to a play or a show sometimes by myself and not have to answer to anyone about it. My ex-husband and I use to go on vacation separately about once a year. He had his “guy trips” or he would go see other friends, some of whom I had never met and I could not say shit about it. The only thing I did was go see family without him, not the same.

Truth and Honesty. What does that mean actually? How much truth, exactly? It is a personal failing on my part that I do not know what the truth is. I probably need counseling.

What else am I missing? What other “typical” behavior of a relationship am I missing? I am not a bad person, maybe I am just a bad girlfriend.

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Alex Anderson
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