Actually the whole comment turned out to be "Why don't you be man enough to be a woman?" The phrase was directed at me after another huge fight my second wife and I suffered. I don't remember now what the exact reason for the fight was but I assume I was coming down after cross dressing and was becoming a less than pleasant person.
I was certainly stuck in a rut and rather than asking for her help, I made myself miserable. When I did that, I made her miserable also. To make matters worse I think, she knew about my cross dressing urges before we became married. Over the years she witnessed my slow slide to becoming my authentic self and living full time as a transgender woman.
It wasn't easy. Her Dad was an alcoholic and I was close to being one too. So she had to put up with that part of my toxic male personality. Why or how she stuck with me for all those years was a testament to our love and her strength. Indirectly my wanderlust due to trying to out run my gender desires led us to other adventures. For example, we moved to and lived in such diverse places as metro NYC all the way to a rustic house in the woods in rural Ohio above Marietta and the Ohio River.
One of the pleasures of living just North of the city in New York was the Sundays we were able to take the train downtown and explore in a relatively mellow environment. It was one of these trips along with another trigger moment which started the fight which led to the comment.
First of all, I felt as if I presented well enough to take the trip on the train as my feminine self. Either she felt I didn't or wanted not to take the risk of being recognized as we left the house, I will never know because it never happened.
Around that time too, I somehow (think of this being years ago) became a transvestite pen pal with another cross dresser. We used to send scented letters back and forth along with the occasional picture. Somehow I came up with a photo of me cross dressed standing over a stove cooking. Another of the problems my wife had with me though I was never a "domestic goddess" and didn't overdo my share of the household duties. But the biggest problem she had was when she found a letter in the mail before I could get to it. Looking back at it, this was probably the first time I really had snuck around behind her back with my transvestite urges.
Of course the letter set off a huge fight. The problem with me fighting someone with words only was I didn't know how to hold back the emotions and often went too far. Unfortunately this no holds barred way of dealing with an argument did no good at all. It was during one of these moments when she turned to me and said "Why don't you be man enough to be a woman."
Naturally I was taken aback and ended up giving quite a bit of thought to what she said.
The problem was I couldn't or wouldn't give up my male life. It was simply still too much a part of my existence. Plus, no matter how hard I had studied women my entire life, I didn't feel I was ready yet to cross the gender frontier. I still had so much to learn plus I didn't want to face the probability of giving up my financial life as well as family and friends. Little did I know, waiting probably caused me extra pain and suffering before I actually made the decision to transition in my early 60's.
It's so sad my wife passed on years ago now, so she couldn't see how I manned up and used my second chance at life to become a woman.