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My spouse, partner, significant other, mixed signals about supporting me


Mmindy

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Good evening everyone, 

 

I've been in counseling or therapy for just over a year now. In a couple of months I will be out to my wife aka my Suzie. She immediately went 0 to 212 degrees angry with me, calming down and apologized after a month of researching when a spouse comes out. I told her that I wasn't going to fast track my transition, as a matter of fact, I said I just wanted to slide across the scale to androgyny slowly becoming female. In the year since coming out I'm down 33 pounds and have to buy new clothes. None of them are feminine, however my  fitness clothing is colorful and also from the men's department or website. They are not the loose fitting sweat pants of the 1990s. They are leggings and yoga compression clothing. 

 

We've been getting along really well, for months, adopted two cat, making home improvement plans for next spring, and then all of a sudden she just went silent yesterday afternoon/evening. I asked her what was up and did she want to talk about it? She said you bet I do, and you're not going to like it! I'm tired of being kept in your gay closet, you go outside the house and you're "FAKE MIKE" with everyone seeing your weight loss and new clothing styles, and I have to be quite about your transition. We come home and I have to watch the gay parade as you change into leggings and top. She continued to yell saying she doesn't have anyone to talk to about my transition unless she goes online and then most of those women are excited and supportive, and she's not going to pay some counselor to tell her she's wrong and should support me. Today she has been quite only responding with short answers. I'm hoping that her heated rant was just her blowing off steam or stress. I'm okay with a little ebb and flow in a persons mood, but this 0 to boiling every couple of months is horrible.

 

Hugs,

 

Mindy🐛🌈🦋

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Mindy, you said you wouldn't fast track this but it your wife's eyes you are.  She is tired of the duality of her life now.  She's found people to "speak" with online but they are to her liking.  Likewise she seems to have made a decision about therapy.  She (and you) need to understand that could go two ways.  A counselor might advise her to move onward if this is not something she can accept and live with long term.  (it doesn't sound like she can to me)  Your wife appears to be resentful and afraid.  This boiling over is not going to stop because the pot is still on the hot burner.  You need to turn down the heat by having an honest and frank conversation about yourself and your relationship as a couple.  

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I'm sorry to hear this, Mindy... your wife's emotional volatility is a lot to carry on your mind and heart. I guess my thought is that it's natural to be excited about transition because it alleviates so much pain from living with dysphoria and in the closet. However, it can take years to come to terms with all of that, so it's important to remember that others close to us like spouses and partners won't share our excitement or have the luxury of all time to process as we did. They will need their own time to process and decide whether they will transition with us and how much. I feel your wife's reaction to things like seeing your new clothing and even weight loss is a manifestation of that. It's also a signal to you to have the sort of conversation that Jani suggests. I've struggled with this with my own partner, striving to maintain open and honest communication going. Each day brings the potential for new feelings to come up, and I'm hopeful you and your wife find the space to have those talks so both you and she can move forward, together, stronger.

 

Love,

~Audrey.

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Confused1

Mindy, my marriage has been a pretty wild roller coaster ride since I told my wife I was transgender about 9 months ago and I don't plan to socially transition. I have similar weight loss to what you have done in the past year. That said, I am getting GCS, but I plan to still live socially as male. As the two before me have stated, communication is key, but she has to transition with you if she can accept it. I think I finally have full support of my wife after 9 months, but it does raise its head once in a while, and we have an argument.

 

Hugs,

Mike

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@Jani & @Audrey Thank you for the quick response, you're both right about Suzie and I needing to talk. We do talk about our future with both our retirements being so close, her's in a year, mine 10 months after that. When I go shopping for clothing, she always comes with me for fashion advice. The weight loss has taken nearly a year, and most of it is from cutting back on portion size, and number. No seconds, and I always drink a big glass of water about 20 minutes before the meal. Low carb because l'm type II diabetic treating with pills + food choices.

 

Mindy🐛🌈🦋

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@Confused1 Thanks Mike, 

 

You and I both came to TransPulse about the same time.

 

Hugs,

 

Mindy🐛🌈🦋

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My question to you is whether she would find it easier if you simply went full time instead of changing only at home?   

My wife and i went through a rough spell.  I'm sure my transition hurt her feelings and self esteem.  Time and understanding has helped us but only after many tears, both hers and mine.  At first i felt i might end up alone and having to find a new job and home.  I was willing to accept that.  I am fortunate.  I know many for whom that is a reality. 

I hope you can find your way Mindy.  

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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@Mmindy I came home form therapy after learning the source of my depression was being transgender and it was like a huge Boulder had been lifted off me.  My wife like yours and many others didn’t take it that way.  In fact my wife still doesn’t.  She goes from helpful and supportive to upset and angry.  I’m not allowed to joke about being transgender or anything directly related, that upsets her tremendously.  
 

my point is you aren’t alone, many of us are going through this.  Your wife is slowly loosing the man she married even if you aren’t transitioning.  Your taste in clothes has changed, your appearance has changed, your attitude is different and she can’t understand that.  You’ve said you aren’t going to socially change, but she’s not buying that.  It is likely the ciswomen she communicates with have suggested that will change over time and they aren’t  wrong.  My BFF did that to her wife and to a degree I’m doing that to mine.  
 

I went through a period that I felt I needed to be out to a select group of people.  Something that even I hadn’t planned but once you are on hrt you mental attitude changes.  I still insist I absolutely will not have any form of gcs but I have to admit to myself given the chance I would take an orchi.  
 

You need to sole search your needs and future.  Be honest with yourself.  Do you intend to start wearing women’s clothes?  Grow breasts? Anything that makes us more feminine?  How are you going to approach that?  I wouldn’t bleat that out or the pressure cooker will explode.  But you do need to figure out how to talk to your wife about this but first give her time to figure out her emotions.  This is a radical change for both of you but for everything good you are going through it’s bad or difficult for her.  As many here have advised me, go slow, let her vent her emotions and gently talk about it.

 

Willow

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@Charlize and @Willow Thank you for your wisdom and understanding.

I'm all in for going slow, and to date do not own one single piece of women's wear. My health and fitness goals are to start retirement in good if not great shape. My coming out to her was to relieve my burden of secrecy so she would know why I was in therapy, and we (her & I) could talk openly about it. I never intended for her to see it as dragging her into the closet with me. I do want to go slow, and give her time to digest where we are. I don't even mind the occasional heated venting, if it helps here cope. My coming out to here wasn't so I could go flamboyant, standing at the corner of the fence waving a flag drawing attention to myself. I've told her this on countless occasions. she says if I can lie about who I was for over 50 years, what confidence does she have in my story now? As @Janisaid in an earlier post, letting her talk to a counselor my reinforce her feelings and need to leave me, and I don't want that. I want us to share our future and retirement.

 

Thank you for sharing and caring. I hope others will come here for partner issues and shared advice.

 

Hugs,

 

Mindy🐛🌈🦋

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3 hours ago, Mmindy said:

she says if I can lie about who I was for over 50 years, what confidence does she have in my story now?

And there lies the basic problem.  Did you know and understand hence lie about it?  Or did you not know? not understand? Think any thoughts that did creep in were a fetish or otherwise wrong?  I can’t speak for others here although I’ve heard it said by others.  We didn’t know.  We were t intentionally hiding anything.  Yet others, especially wives, don’t understand that when we got married we believed we were all man. Then comes the “ so it’s my fault? I wasn’t enough for you?  The arguments will continue like that.  Because some boys and teens figure out they are a girl n a boys body, they think we all knew that.  Sure, had we known how to interpret the signs we may have known, but very few relatively speaking know until later.

 

You may have to find a way to present her with non-LGBTQI materials that discuss such points. 
 

Willow

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4 hours ago, Mmindy said:

she says if I can lie about who I was for over 50 years, what confidence does she have in my story now?

I think this is the heart of the issue - and building on what @Willow is sharing too. My partner expressed that she felt I was dishonest with her because I didn't state I was transgender on a very early date, when presented as a cisgender man. My reply to her was that I'd lied to *myself* for years, and that if I couldn't be honest with myself, it would be impossible to do so with anyone else. The other thing is, none of this was ever intended to be deliberately hurtful to anyone. I think it does come across that way though sometimes, like a secret withheld in order to give a different impression. I think in hindsight we can see the signs about ourselves, but looking back, would a younger me have truly understood them in the way I do now? Probably not. The moment I read about Blanchard's autogynephilia theory and realized it fit me, I was so ashamed I hid it from the world and would have died to prevent anyone from finding out.

 

Mindy, I'm hopeful you and your wife can have a frank conversation soon. I imagine things feel on edge. Sending you positive energy! 🤗

 

Love,

~Audrey.

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@MmindyAt least Suzie, has tried to understand. My wife refuses to even try and understand what being transgender is. As far as she has told me she has talked to only one friend about my being trans. She is catholic and well you have heard there view on Transgender.

 

I try and not mention anything about being transgender or even watch any show about it. I don't want my wife going off again. I told her during our last argument before the subject changed and we got a new truck. Still don't know how that happened. That I am NOT stopping. I am not even wearing to feminine clothes to bed lately. As I don't want or need any problems with my wife and son.

 

Hugs to all.

Kymmie

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I completely understand how tough it must be for our spouses to fully understand what we are going through.  However, in at least my case, I think that my spouse has gone out of her way to be hurtful, especially lately.

 

For the past number of years since our last child was born, she had been completely uninterested in me.  Her excuse was that old "It's not you, it's me" line.  All the while that she was avoiding any type of relationship with me, she spent and still spends endless hours on social media reconnecting with old friends, chats with people she had relationships with 30 years ago, etc.  Finally, a year or so ago, she finally admitted that she hasn't been attracted to me for years and was just going through the motions.

 

At that point, she flat out told me to live my life the way I wanted.  Now that I am, she will one minute be buying me clothes and complementing me on how good I look.  The next minute, she will be screaming at me to "be a man" and "why are you doing this to me".  The thing that really bothers me is the push now for me to "straighten out" because she misses me romantically.  Sorry, but you haven't wanted anything to do with me for nearly 10 years.  Why suddenly do you miss that aspect of our relationship?

 

OK, sorry for venting everyone.  This is just a very hard concept for me to understand.  Even the councilor just shakes her head when I tell her.  

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Hi @Mmindy.  Thank you for the update, and sorry to hear you had another setback with your wife.  You know you and I are on a very similar scale of acceptance/non-acceptance by our respective spouses, so I can feel your pain and understand the anxiety it is causing (for both of you).

My therapist made an astute observation that (even as slow as it seems to me) my progress was far outpacing my wife's progress in dealing with this.  We had a similar incident as yours over the holidays.
But, as usual she recovered from it, our relationship eased back into cruise control and she even bought me a womens house shirt for Christmas (plus a mens hoodie).  So, I will take those little signs of acceptance (or even accommodation). 

As @Willow says, our wives have to regain a level of trust that they feel they have lost (even though our gender dysphoria is not a lie or deceitful).  Seems your desire to keep it on low simmer to allow her to continue to adjust is a track that I am also on for now.  Hoping for the best for all of us.

So, as usual, you know you have supportive company here .. Deep breaths .. deep breaths❤️

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Well the family "OUTING" is going to be expanded to my wife's sister, and husband tonight. My Suzie says she's going to swear them to secrecy, and I have no say in the matter. She my Suzie, has been reinforcing her feelings through online research about how husbands who come out as transgender can't stop the transition and will lie about it forever. My Suzie will not see a counselor because she doesn't have to pay someone to convince her she is right or wrong. When I said I would be okay with her outing me to her sister and brother-in-law, she yelled... I'm not looking for your approval to be okay or not. this is how it is! I'm talking to my sister about my feelings, and I'm not asking her to keep it from her husband. So the roller coaster ride takes another drop. I'm hoping that we can stay in the 51% that stays married, but it's up to her now. I'm going to do all that I can to save the relationship and stay mentally safe.

 

Hugs,

 

Mindy🐛🌈🦋

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@Mmindy I'm so sorry to read this and you must be feeling extremely stressed out about tonight. I agree that it's so important to keep yourself mentally and emotionally safe. I hope your wife understands how important your marriage is to you and that you are committed to it - being transgender has not changed that. The sense I get is that your wife is harboring some transphobic attitudes (e.g. "will lie about it forever") and feeling deceived. She reads angry and afraid to me. She also seems to be looking to control something about the situation, because cannot change you or who you are. I hope your wife would warm up to the idea of openly discussing her feelings about you and your transition, whether it's just with you, close family, or with a counselor. I think it would help her, and in turn you, move into a better place emotionally. I'm hopeful your extended family will turn out to be supportive of your journey and transition. Please know I'm thinking about you, and reach out anytime if you need support.

 

Love,

~Audrey.

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Confused1

I'm sorry it is going this way Mindy. There is so much "information" online by people who have no clue who we really are. My wife went all over the map with me, but did not tell anyone else. I had a close connection with my wife's best friend, so I eventually told her in order to give my wife someone to talk to. I will be praying for you.

 

Hugs,

Mike

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4 hours ago, Mmindy said:

My Suzie will not see a counselor because she doesn't have to pay someone to convince her she is right or wrong.

Mindy your wife misunderstands how a good counselor works.  They are not there to validate or direct you to a decision.  The purpose is to provide clarity and guide a person to a choice that works for them in their situation.  A good counselor will try to open up a person to consider all the opportunities and not just focus on the path they walked in with.  If that was the case, why go?  The bottom line is there is no "convincing" going on.  We should arrive at our conclusion with an open mind and free will.  

 

As for her outing you, since it involves you and what is a personal matter, you do have a say.  She would not want you to talk about your intimate interactions with others?  This is the same concept.  

 

It seems she is overwhelmed and needs time, and maybe to speak with her physician about a medication to help her out.  

 

I hope you can even things out.

Jani   

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7 hours ago, Mmindy said:

I'm not looking for your approval to be okay or not.

Hi Mindy, Your spouse’s response above reveals exactly where she is on the acceptance spectrum. If only she could see the real purpose of counseling as @Jani states. I had this same perspective as your spouse about counseling before I actually attended my first session. I learned it never hurts to be able to see an issue from both sides. In my limited experience, that’s the one thing that has helped me work through many issues. However, if I didn’t accept the fact an issue existed or that I could never make a wrong decision about something, I’d be hard pressed to look for help elsewhere. Your spouse may be afraid to confront the truth. It’s sounds crazy but my mother was this way. She enjoyed staying in denial about my issues instead of getting help for me or her. Who knows how that would have turned out. I definitely would’ve thought different about her given her response if she had made even the smallest effort.

 

I feel for you @Mmindy. I hope there is room for compromise in her case somewhere soon.  If there’s no way to convince her to go for some counseling, you may have a hard road ahead...atleast for awhile. Right now, during the outing phase, it makes compromise even more difficult. Hopefully, after the dust settles, you may gain a family ally down the road. crazier things have happened.

 

*HUGS*

Susan R🌷

 

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17 hours ago, Mmindy said:

I'm not looking for your approval to be okay or not. this is how it is! I'm talking to my sister about my feelings

Hi Mindy

Well, my assumption here is that your wife feels she needs support from somebody else she trusts and is close to.  Nothing wrong with that and I think you being supportive of her desire to "out" you to somebody else is compassionate towards her needs.
If you wife's desire is that her sister takes her side in this (and if she does) that could make it a very difficult situation for you.  but! My hope is, that her sister actually see's your situation in a way that she can help your wife come to terms with it and that there is a path forward for the both of you.  Either way, I assume this will be a turning point in your relationship.

 

Sending positive prayers it goes the best way possible (and maybe that opens your wife to seeking the path therapy can achieve that @Susan R and @Jani mentioned).
 

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@Audrey @Confused1 @Jani @Susan R @KayC @JamieGee @KymmieL @Willow

 

Thank you for your support, advice, concerns, motivation, and prayers.

Last night after the phone call to her sister, Suzie was willing to talk about the call and getting a load off her mind. She is still blaming me for ruining her retirement because if she divorces me, she'll have to work for the rest of her days because neither of us live on a splitting of our assets. We are currently debt free, and because she was a stay at home mom during our kids most developmental years, and her longest employer sacking the company. She doesn't have that much SSI or any retirement to fall back on. I have two small retirements and my SSI is substantial. Collectively we are on track to retire soon, her in December 2021. I'll continue to work until April, 8th, 2023 at which time our monthly income will be within $30.00 of what we're making now. She just feels trapped without a real choice. She went into 2020 on a dream path and I killed it. Now she doesn't see anyway to stay together except as dependent room mates, not husband and wife, or a couple. I'm hopeful that her sister will be a helpful vent for Suzie's frustrations, and we can work things out to stay together as a couple.

 

Hugs (still masked)

 

Mindy🐛🌈🦋

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Mindy, Divorce is not always the answer for a couple who are at an impasse.  There is so much at stake at this time in your lives.  There is a solution and you both need to talk and agree to find it.  The solution will not be one sided as both of you will have to give somewhat.  But that is what love and commitment is about, giving part of yourself for the benefit of the "both".  

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I agree @Jani, Suzie has said she would go to couples/marriage counseling but LIFE and COVID have gotten in the way. It just doesn't feel the same when to two of us are on a Zoom conference with a remote counselor as an in person visit to the office where seated individuals can see full body expressions or reactions to comments being made. I'm all about We, US, Both, Couple, Together, and not I, Me, You.

 

Positive thinking smile,

 

Mindy🐛🌈🦋

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3 hours ago, Mmindy said:

She is still blaming me for ruining her retirement because if she divorces me, she'll have to work for the rest of her days because neither of us live on a splitting of our assets. We are currently debt free, and because she was a stay at home mom during our kids most developmental years, and her longest employer sacking the company. She doesn't have that much SSI or any retirement to fall back on. I have two small retirements and my SSI is substantial.

This can be hard.

In my case, my ex was also a stay-at-home mother, so when we split she had no income other than our SS and my unimpressive pension.  (The split happened before I came out - even to myself) We agreed to to split this evenly between us, although it is an "informal" arrangement.  I still feel obligated, since I have always viewed it as "our" money, and she had contributed as much as myself.  Fortunately, we did have 2 houses and no debts.  She stayed in the trailer, and I moved back into our old (very substandard) place.

We each have enough to get by if we're frugal.

She has a boyfriend now.  

Personally, I think she has been able to move on pretty well.  As for myself, less so.  But that is a different subject.

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I honestly don’t know. We’re both in our fifties, and nearing retirement, and we’re both pretty down on the idea of marrying again. However, she might find someone and fall in love, and I might, too. Personally, I would love to have a boyfriend, but I don’t know if I can make any commitments. My wife seems to be the same way. Of course, I want her to be happy more than anything, and I deeply respect her for supporting me, even if it’s taken some time for her to get to this point. I will be moving to an apartment that’s very close by, and she will stay in our condo, and I do not doubt that we will stay as close friends.   Conclusions? Message of the story? I think there are many, but this has gotten way too long, so I’ll leave that for a follow up post. For now, I’ll just say that if you love and respect each other, you have nothing to fear moving foward.    
    • Aurora
      First off, I am getting really excited.  45 days and counting till April 21st for my GCS.   Then also, when I had my major surgery on my stomach area back in early 2009 for cancer.  I found that just holding a pillow over my stomach area really helped out with pain when I sneezed or cough.
    • Myles97
      Thank you so much for that!! ❤️
    • Jamie68
      Well you should have known better than to challenge her womanhood. You probably would have responded the same.   I love that you two can share. I don't know if my wife would be so accommodating.   I normally didn't have to shave for 2 days. Tomorrow I'm going to try out my electrolysis machine. It's been about a week since I pulled all my face hairs. About half of them are 1/4" long now. The instructions say that it only works well on new growth.
    • 2beBreanna
      @ElizabethStar Sounds like you finally have support from your wife. That's great!  I've tried saying I am more girl than my wife once..well.. it did not end good.  That was one of the few times we had negative conversations about me being trans.     Today we went out with her mother to some stores looking for yard decor mostly.  We ended up going to an outlet mall that had a Vera Bradley store. I fell in love with on of their new patterns and so did my wife.  I tried getting a backpack purse. That was shot down but we ended up with a cute regular style purse we will share.     I keep my arms and legs shaved all the time.  My face is my biggest concern.  The hair grows slowly so if I try to shave daily it looks bad cause I can't get a close shave.  So I end up having to wait at least 3 days but then it's a little longer and can't stand stubble for those days.  I decided to wait on laser or anything until hrt has an effect on hair growth.  Hoping it will lessen the amount of sessions needed.
    • Carolyn Marie
      I like the statement; very definitive.  Took 'em long enough.    Carolyn Marie
    • ElizabethStar
      I did what I could to clean up my story.   What started my trigger was a motorcycle accident. I broke my back and fractured my knee. It was just an off-chance I was wearing a helmet. I usually didn't and it saved my life. After that self abuse became my normal. Years later my migraines started to get the best of me. To the point my Dr. swore I had a stroke. They tested me for everything but found nothing except migraines, lots of migraines. I was put on meds for them. Although it didn't do much for my headaches but I did started to feel more feminine. After a couple of months I realized I had been thinking about my gender identity for years. Then one day it hit me. It was like like a computer had been running a calculation for 40 years and finally got an answer. I'm a girl. I didn't know if or what I could do with this new information but I had my answer. I tried to tell myself I was too old and emotionally messed up to transition. It didn't help the girl wanted out. Eventually things came crashing down and I tried to delete myself. It's just by a miracle I'm still here. That night I promised myself I would set aside my fears, be strong and accept my true self. Since then I quit drinking, smoking and have been taking better care of myself. Even my migraines are gone now. I really wish I would've done this sooner but I'm here now and that all that really matters.
    • Mmindy
      Looks great Linda, I'm with @Jackie C.on this, you've out dressed most people at Walmart.    Mindy🐛🌈🦋
    • Kasumi63
      For many years, I have been going to a Japanese snack bar (a quaint karaoke bar) where I’ve been dressing up for years. I’ve worn Lolita fashion dresses, a sexy kimono dress, and other interesting outfits. Although I was a regular customer, other customers, especially the non-regulars, often mistook me for a hostess and would call me to their tables. Of course, I always played along! Anyway, I think my most popular outfit was my AKB48 (Japanese girl idol group) outfit. (See my photo below.) Whenever I wore this outfit, customers would urge me to sing a AKB48 song, so I learned a couple. That always got people dancing. Unfortunately, I don’t have the outfit anymore. (I wore it so often that it just got too worn out!) By the way, I haven’t been to this great snack for over a year now, because of COVID-19, and I have been transitioning in the meantime, so I think everyone will be quite surprised when they see me again! I can’t wait!  If you’re ever in Okinawa, you absolutely have to come here, so let me know, and I’ll bring you!
    • AgnesBardsie
      You may have had some encouragement on this site but don’t forget who it was who plucked up his courage, faced his deepest fears, and overcame them. You can take immense pride in that!
    • Valfole
      Hi everyone,      My spouse came out as trans very recently and we’re both still trying to process everything in our mind. We are both very happy to stay together (I recently came out as Pan and she is still attracted to women) but we are very anxious about how everything will change. This is mainly because we just don’t know that much. I was wondering if anyone has any words of wisdom from the other side of this journey that they wish they had at the start, either for the person transitioning or their spouse. I wholeheartedly support her in this transition (although I will admit my anxiety and insecurities have been MUCH more present but I gather that is fairly common). I want to make sure I support her without driving her insane and without pushing aside my own feelings in an effort to protect her from extra stress. I know counseling/therapy is a big one and we are working on getting that set up. Is there any other advice you all can think of?
    • Myles97
      Sorry for the double post above. Not sure why update 1 posted twice. Strange. Idk how to delete.    anyways: update 2! same day, but talked with my mom more. She is treating me totally normal! I’m just Myles and that’s okay! I feel so euphoric. Also my girlfriend took me shopping today and I got lots of new clothes and shoes. Again, cue euphoria! My mom also told my “godmother” who is someone I am closest too. I told my mom I was scared that my god-mom wouldn’t love me anymore... well a few hours ago my godmother texted me reassuring me she loves me no matter what!! She said it’ll be a change, but it’s perfectly fine. Y’all, I have been happy crying on and off all day. I can’t express how happy I finally feel. 
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