Why so many queers live life to suit other people

Learning to say F#%*! what other people think, because worrying about someone's needs without regard to your own will never, ever get you where you want to go.

Q:

From the outside, I appear to have the perfect life. My partner is successful. We have two gorgeous kids, and our house has been featured on the cover of a local magazine. We vacation overseas, we have domestic help, and we have a family photo with Hillary Clinton on the mantle.

What no one sees is that my husband treats me like shit. I gave up everything to live his dreams, and what I get is dismissive at best, monstrous at worst. How can I fix it without alerting all our friends that something is rotten in Dunwoody?

Dear Blind:

You’re having trouble seeing the forest for the well-manicured trees. You've grown accustomed to the lifestyle his money provides, but some serious re-prioritizing needs to happen – stat.

You talk a lot about what money buys, but I won't be the last to tell you what it can't buy. Being happy is more important than appearing perfect – to the neighbors, to the judging eyes you feel are on you, or to anyone else who decides to be interestedin your business. This is your life, and you deserve to be satisfied. 

Put some of that capital and energy where it can do the most good. Hint: Your mantle isn't one of them.Pick up your career where you left off, or create a new one based on your experiences since then. Volunteer for the kids’ school or other people who need you. Start figuring out why you’d be willing to “give up everything” for anyone, ever.

Q:

Until I graduated from college, I put up with my grandmother’s expectations. I let that go after taking an office job, but it’s filled with conservative jerks, so I remainmostly closeted and in fear of being outed at work. I can’t stop wondering: When is Me Time?

Dear Now:

Live honestly and authentically, despite what others may want from you. Deciding to address this starts the clock on You Time immediately.

Sorting the consequences is actually the easy part. There will be tough choices whether you stay stuck or break free, but repercussions of the former can be worse than you're already experiencing, and the latter comes with rewards richer than any paycheck.

Q:

I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster with the hottest woman I’ve ever met. The second I saw her, I fell hard. When I found out she had a brain to go with the body, I obsessed. When I landed her in my bed and my life, I thought I was the luckiest dyke alive.

Trouble is, she knows it, and she uses it against me. Most of the time, her femme topness is telling me how to improve to keep her satisfied. The implication is that, at some point, she’ll leave because I can never live up to her standards. I don’t want to end up alone. 

Dear Timid:

You’ll ultimately end up lonelier by seeking validation from others than getting it from yourself. As lucky as it feels to be with your physical dream girl, the rest of this woman sounds like a psychological nightmare.

She’s playing on your insecurities. She wouldn’t be with you if you weren’t worthy, but keeping you wondering keeps her in power. 

Hear this: You are worthy of a woman who feels just as lucky to have you as you do her. Look within, seek professional help if necessary, and find people who love you just the way you are. You’ll look back some day and be oh-so glad you did.

The Q is for entertainment purposes and not professional counseling. Send your burning Qs to [email protected]

Illustration by Brad Gibson.

This column originally appeared in Q magazine. Read the full issue below, and pick up a new edition each Wednesday.