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A Significant Other View
by Julie Freeman

Orignally published in "Devil Woman" in April 2015
Republished here by permission Februay 2017


It seems that we have always lived in a world of ultimatums, but perhaps not as alarming and dire as we are discovering today.
Issuing ultimatums is not new. People have been threatening each other for years. Parents threatened their children with harsh punishment if duties were not carried out. Teachers threatened to fail their students if homework was not completed.
When going to church, we were subjected to sermons which capitalized on our fears by predicting doom and destruction wrought by a vengeful and heartless God if we did not do what that particularly religion preached.
Even good friends had falling outs over trivial issues. Family members quit speaking to each other. Business colleagues plotted revenge against those they believed wronged them.
But for the most part, ultimatums in the past did not seem quite so dreadful and menacing as threats do today where the results may be hurtful at best, but harmful, dangerous and deadly at worst.
Many of us have been subjected to watching the results of religious ultimatums resulting in death and destruction. We began to wonder if the ominous and menacing is now a way of life. News programs are continually airing examples of mob brutality and viciousness. We are seeing more anger, more bullying, more violence, more hostility than ever before.
So it was not that much of a shock when a wife reported that her husband had issued an ultimatum to her - accept the crossdressing or get a divorce. And earlier a husband wrote me that his wife had issued an ultimatum to him - quit crossdressing or I will leave and take the children.
It seemed that there were always problems in relationships between significant others and their transgendered spouses - but there was never the level of antagonism and resentment that seems to permeate the emails I receive today. People just seemed to be nicer in the past even when they were facing upheavals in their marriages.
Perhaps in the world of social media, texting, Facebook, twitter, etc., where there is so much anonymity it is easier to express rage than in the past where interaction between people was open and upfront and emotions had to be better controlled.
Because at times it may seem we are spiraling downhill to even more bad behavior so to speak, there needs to be a more conscientious effort on everyone's part to be more tolerant, more accepting of differences, nicer to each other, and less judgmental.
And we all have to stop issuing ultimatums.
Do we really have any other option?

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