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'I don't want to be married to a trans person.

Deanna Celia M

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So I have been very distressed, having lost a great therapist before I even started with her through legal snafus as I live in a different state (I posted about it in the therapy forum).


I took a half day off from work to search for a new therapist, and then, drained and depressed, I went to bed to take a nap.

My wife confronted me and said she need to know what was going on and why I was acting like this and what the issue was.

Maybe I was really dumb. I felt weak and drained and was sick of hiding so I told her I was trans. 

She took a deep breath and sobbed. "Ok, how are we going to make that work?"

I told her I am looking for a therapist, transition would be gradual, the last thing I want is to embarrass her.

We have been more like friends/co-parents for years anyway, she doesn't like me touching her and moved out of our bed and she has been pursuing other guys online... Which she denies but other have sent me screenshots. So I didn't think the gender "change" would be an issue as far as intimacy, there has been none for a long time.

"I don't know what to do about living arrangements," she said. "I don't want to be married to a trans person."

I told her again it would be slow, I'm not going to tell the world right away.

She remarked that I was a hypocrite because when we'd had disputes about her handling of family issues and her wanting to kick our niece (our adopted child) out of the house this past summer, I had talked to her father and stepmom for support. Her dad's sibling is a trans woman, but her dad won't acknowledge her as her real gender and says things like "I have no brother." They are evangelical Christians of the kind who freaked out because my niece wore a bikini at the beach when she was 15. My wife is now demanding I call them to tell them I'm trans because I called them about our family issues, therefore that is "fair." She knows damn well that they will condemn me and probably tell her she has to take my daughter and niece and get the hell away from me. When I called them this summer I DID NOT KNOW yet that I was trans. Maybe I was wrong to seek any support from these people, but my wife wanted to kick my 18 yr old niece out over stupid issues (her skipping a couple band practices to hang out with her boyfriend) and I was trying to get allies.

She also is demanding I call my family members ASAP. My parents are deceased but I have an aunt and uncle and sister and brother and law, those are my closest family members. I intend to tell them eventually but I don't see the rush... My wife seems to think I have an incurable defect and she wants both sides of the family to know. Probably because people has been so critical of her behavior in the past (believe me she has issues, she's been banned from some family events). But me being trans? That makes me very, very bad. She wants them to know how defective I am. That I have been the one poisoning the marriage all alone, I guess.


My wife did suggest I talk to the pastor at our church, which I'd already planned on doing. I made an appointment to talk to him Thursday on the phone.

It is a queer-friendly church (ELCA) and the pastor is a gay man. My wife said: "Well talk to the pastor, he's gay so... " I told her I was surprised she would even join that church. She said it was less liberal when she first went there. I do remember when the church appointed its first trans bishop my wife was annoyed and kind of rolled her eyes over it. 


I feel less certain about this transition now... Not about what my heart or brain wants, but about doing it. I don't want to lose my daughter or have my wife use my trans-ness as a weapon against me. 


Maybe it's time to throw the panties in the garbage and put the boxers back on. Cut my long hair, grow the beard again to hide my face. Put the girl brain in a tight little box and only bring her out when I play Barbies with my daughter or play female characters in video games. Tell me wife I was really depressed and just mistaken.

The grouchy self-hating man in the basement hiding from the world will return! Because the real woman would be beaten to a pulp before she could flourish anyway. 


Sorry this is a self-pitying mess, I'm a mess right now.

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I'm so sorry, @Deanna Celia M dear. I think you understand that your wife is lashing out, attempting to shame you because she is afraid of her own defects. That's how I see it. I know it's different when you're in the thick of it. You need allies, for sure. People you can talk with who are as relatively unbiased as possible. Do you want to stay with your wife for any other reason than to be there for your daughter? Please keep writing to us here. I know from experience that it helps. Don't worry about how you sound. Sometimes we need to vent, big time. And sometimes just hearing someone say, "I'm sorry - that really sucks" is very validating. I'm praying for you, @Deanna Celia M

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@VidanjaliThanks so much for your support.

Well, I want to stay with my wife to be with my daughter and also because my wife has no job, a spotty work history, and no/bad credit... The financial situation if we split up right now would be very bad for us both. I pay for almost everything, but I'm not making big money and we have debts. My wife has never really lived independently in her whole life.


I have a therapy appointment on Friday evening (crossing fingers they don't cancel for some reason) so that's someone to talk to. As the stakes get higher I wonder if I should be REALLY SURE before I come out to anyone else, you know? I thought I was sure but now...

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4 hours ago, Deanna Celia M said:

She knows damn well that they will condemn me and probably tell her she has to take my daughter and niece and get the hell away from me


Your wife appears to be positioning herself as the victim. By mandating you out yourself to family, it appears she is hoping for family / external validation of her victimhood. Its possible too that the overwhelming external sympathy will be used as a means to gain an ally in your daughter and also as a justification for her searching online for some fun in the sun.


This is such a tough situation. I feel for you.


2 hours ago, Deanna Celia M said:

Well, I want to stay with my wife to be with my daughter and also because my wife has no job, a spotty work history, and no/bad credit...


You and me are two peas in a pod on this one; always looking for justification for not moving forward. Money, house repairs, weight, etc. I've even thought to myself, "well, I just might not be that transy after all."  Then of course, two days later, panic and this nasty dysphoria sets in. And so the circle continues.


It's such a lonely journey. Take it slow and keep venting. Its the only thing I've ever known to stop the tossing and turning wolves that rear their ugly heads at 3AM.


Much love and luck to you.












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@Deanna Celia M Sorry to hear the tough spot you're in.  Like others have suggested it sounds like she's trying to position herself as a victim or hoping that having to out yourself to everyone right away will scare you back into the closet.  I wish I had some good advice for you but I probably don't.  I know people who would say to just rip the bandaid off and the people you lose wouldn't have been worth keeping in your life anyway, and I know people who would say to give her some time to calm down and have some respectful conversations about what your needs are.  Personally, and of course I don't know her at all so take this with a heaping dose of salt, it sounds like even if you were to say you want to take your time coming out she may just decide to go nuclear and out you to everyone herself just to try to prove a point.  Tread carefully if you want to preserve that relationship.


I did have a somewhat similar interaction with my partner at the beginning.  She said she was not attracted to women, didn't really want to be married to a trans woman and feared for our entire family's safety (both mine and her or the kids in the odd chance someone actually decides to assault me in public).  The first few conversations were REALLY hard and emotional, but eventually we started to have calm conversations about expectations, the pace of transition and what transition might entail and things have improved between us.  The dynamic of our relationship has changed slightly and it's not perfect, but we still function as a family and even though things are moving fairly slowly they are moving in a direction that makes me happy.  She can see that I am happier and more engaged with life in general than I was before and even though she's still not 100% on board I think it's giving her the patience to at least give it a shot.


If you can both agree that your relationship is something you both want to preserve you can find ways to make things work.  That might be the first thing to figure out together.  If she is adamant that she wants nothing to do with it, then you have a choice to make.  Some people stay in the closet and some don't, it's just down to whether you can handle the consequences either way.


Feel free to shoot me a PM if you want to talk about some of the specifics of how we navigated that first year (it's been 14 months now so it's still fresh).  I'd be happy to share.

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  • Forum Moderator

From what you've said, your wife doesn't want to be married to you anyway. She's interested in intimacy, just not with you. She's interested in financial security where she doesn't have to work for it. She's using you. You coming out as trans is just an excuse. She wants to pull you through ALL the mud, get the both families on her side, then play the victim card. At the end of this ride, she takes you for the house and more child support than you could ever pay.

You need allies. You need support and you need to get ahead of this before your wife tells both sides of the family anyway. I'm thinking no matter how you choose to play this, you're going to have a rough time. Absolutely talk to your pastor. Find your local LGBTQ center and see if they can refer you to some legal help. Maybe your pastor can help with that too. Grab on to all the allies you can get and hold on for dear life. I'm sorry, but this is going to get rough.


Even if you go back to the grumpy troglodyte, you know that's not really an answer. I've been down that path and it ended with sucking carbon monoxide. I don't want that for any of my brothers and sisters. I want to see you thrive.



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16 hours ago, Vidanjali said:

And sometimes just hearing someone say, "I'm sorry - that really sucks" is very validating

It does suck.

I don't have any answers for you either.

It does sound like this is a toxic relationship.  But knowing that doesn't help much.

My marriage was more toxic than I realized at the time.  But fortunately for me our kids were grown by then.

Don't give up though.  Things can get better.

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@MelanieTamaraYes, my wife likes to position herself as a victim. This is her method of getting through life. I bought into it and I now realize our initial romance and letting her move in with me shortly after we started dating, was me thinking I was "rescuing" her from bad people and misfortunes that... Well, I probably was a sucker to believe what she said. But I've realized she has a lot of pain inside, she went through a lot of crap with her mom when she was a kid and teen, she insists she's over it but she's clearly not. I care for her but she's not going to get a lot of allies and she's not going to win over my daughter, I will comment later but my daughter has made that clear.

I still worry that there are problems with moving forward but I don't know that I can wait any longer.


@Kelly2509What happened with your wife and family is what I hope for with mine. That I can be a better person and spouse and parent and she will see that. And a friend to her rather than a failed man she mocks and doesn't want to talk to. I still am afraid of her dad and stepmom finding out because I am at least 90% I will get a speech about making a mistake, being against God, etc. I am in no rush to rip that bandaid off. If they call me I guess I will tell them and they can disown me then and there. 


@Jackie C.I am trying to get allies, I came out to my nice and daughter and my wife's former best friend, all are accepting though my 18 y.o. niece still is confused and says "I love you but I see you as male" which is OK. It will take time. She has learning disabilities and I honestly think, knowing her well, the leap of imagination see me as a female before I fully present as one may be beyond her. Talking to our pastor on the phone this morning.


My wife calmed down a bit. I told her I would be stealth about this and would be in "boy mode" when we go out for a long while for myself and family's safety. Our immediate neighborhood has no trans people I know of who aren't in high school, I do fear standing out. 


My wife's former friend told me my wife is lazy and a coward and she won't file for divorce and won't leave unless she has a man to go to. I think now this may well be the case. My daughter told us if momma leaves because of me becoming a woman, she wants to stay with me and see momma on the weekends because of momma's anger issues and stuff. And my wife cried and I felt bad, I told my wife it's because of her behavior and scaring the kids, not her value as a mother. I feel bad trashing her on here where she can't defend herself but I have been so distraught. I truly want to make things better for us, not paint myself as a victim either, it's just been scary.


@JandiYeah the relationship with my wife might be toxic. She has issues and needs therapy herself. Even my young daughter is begging her to get therapy now, she won't. She says she only has anger and other issues because of my niece living in the house.

For background: my niece is 18, in college. She is my wife's half-sister's child. We took her in as a foster child at age 12 when she was sexually assaulted by her mom's boyfriend. At the time, I was worried my wife couldn't handle a teen, but she insisted, and later insisted on adoption when the birth mom signed away rights.  

My niece is very energetic and sweet, but has learning disabilities and suffered from neglect in her early years, being in various foster homes at times, and trauma and PTSD of what was done to her by mom's boyfriend, that birth mom still denies ever happened. She can be demanding and verbally cruel and emotionally volatile at times and has been in therapy for years. My wife does not react well when my niece insults her and takes it VERY personally, instead of being the adult in the room and understanding that while this is inappropriate, this is still our child who has mental health issues. Several time she has wanted to kick my niece out of the house, I opposed, She says she was wrong to adopt her, sorry, can't deal anymore. My niece can get nasty with me and it hurts, but I try and maintain an adult perspective.

But, my wife now says that her inappropriate angry outbursts and terrifying short fuse are a result of my niece being here. This is crap. She was always like that to some extent.

I can only hope maybe as a woman I can get her to talk to me and open up more, I don't know. 


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4 hours ago, Deanna Celia M said:

I feel bad trashing her on here where she can't defend herself but I have been so distraught. I truly want to make things better for us, not paint myself as a victim either, it's just been scary.

This is I believe what being the adult in the room looks like. I’ve faced similar battles at home with wife and daughters, and have been caught in the crosshairs of being pitted against, or of being forced to make a Hobson’s choice, and concluded this is the best course of action, regardless of consequences. I’ve been reluctant to say negative things about others. I will not play the victim. Let’s find a win-win solution. I took a hard look at myself to make sure my coming out was not triggered at the time by any feelings of being sorry for myself. It was based on an honest assessment of where I lie on a gender spectrum and it is rooted in being myself at all cost. I’m taking each day one at a time, recognizing it took 66 years to get here so it may take a few more to backtrack. I’m definitely non-binary, feeling comfortable in the female spectrum. How far I go in that direction as HRT works I don’t know. I can imagine going pretty far, but I also don’t have panic attacks about it. Maybe a resolve not to feel victimized has something to do with it? I’m not sure… I feel at peace with the decision and like you said, just trying to make things better for all concerned, including myself.

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6 hours ago, Deanna Celia M said:

I feel bad trashing her on here where she can't defend herself but I have been so distraught.

I know about this.  I made a point of never talking bad about my ex in front of others.  Maybe it wasn't the best idea.


Just to note: our breakup was not trans-related. (at least not directly)

After we got away from each other, we were and are, able to be friends.

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On 10/13/2021 at 7:22 AM, Kelly2509 said:

She said she was not attracted to women, didn't really want to be married to a trans woman and feared for our entire family's safety (both mine and her or the kids in the odd chance someone actually decides to assault me in public).

@Kelly2509--My wife has now brought this up, that she is afraid of me being outside with the family if I start to transition. That really hurts. But am I being selfish and would I be placing them in danger? I don't know. How did you get through that with your wife? 

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@Deanna Celia M to be honest that is an ongoing conversation so we haven't really "solved" that problem.  Most of the time it simply means when I am with them my clothes are usually fem/neutral, meaning I tend towards shorts, pants, t-shirts, basically things found in the women's section but that aren't blatantly feminine if you follow what i mean.  Attached is a picture of an outfit I put together for when I need to go to the office.  It's 100% fem, but I'm not a very fem looking person (yet) and it's jsut neutral enough that nobody asks questions.

When we do talk/argue about it she seems to think violence is everywhere and anyone could attack me at any time, which I can understand since that is the stuff that makes the news.  I, on the other hand, tend towards arguing the probabilities of such incidents since they are fairly small.  How probable is it that someone beats me up in the parking lot at Costco at 11AM?  How probable is it that I am fixing a flat tire on the freeway and someone going 80 miles an hour is going to notice I'm trans and then stop to beat me up on the side of a busy freeway?  I am more likely to fall down the stairs at home or get hit by a car while walking the dog.  So yeah, no silver bullet in sight, but it's an ongoing dialogue.


What we HAVE been doing is using my fem/neutral wardrobe to go out for groceries or dinner or whatever and having her and the kids with me to see that there isn't violence waiting behind every corner and I think that is helping.  I figure if I can slowly present more fem over time and show them our city is safe I can eventually wear that fear down.  I do live in a relatively trans-friendly city though so if where you live doesn't feel safe then by all means act accordingly.

Kelly Office.jpg

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I live in a conservative area.  When I first started being in public, my ex was concerned for my safety.  I've not had any trouble when out with family.  I took my young granddaughter to parks and playgrounds by myself a number of times.  At the time I dressed fem, and certainly did not "pass".  There was never a problem.  I've never met outright hostility and I live full-time, mostly dresses or skirts.

It is true that I consider where I am going and when.  I don't hang out late in bars, but never have been part of that scene anyway.  

I may be wrong, but I think you would be less likely to have trouble out with your family.

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@Kelly2509Thank you so much!!! I shared what you said with my wife, she hasn't said anything yet but I'm hoping it helps convince her I'm not going to be a danger to be around.


@JandiSame thing I also told her what you said...


She seems calmer at the moment, trying to take things one day at a time. 

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@Deanna Celia M Happy you were able to find a therapist.


This sounds all too familiar with a few slight nuances. One of the hazards of realizing and/or accepting being transgender after establishing a family. As to whether or how far I transition I feel is a personal decision, my therapist has been a helpful guide. For my granddaughters who live in the home, I've tried putting Delcina back in the box when my wife told me I was selfish. I lasted about four days of being very angry & resentful. To survive sober I cannot live in that state for long. So for now when I'm there around my wife I present androgynous. She has asked for a divorce & unless she comes to accept me it will come to pass. Interestingly as in your situation, my children have been accepting also. There are some here who have made it & are still married, & others not so much. May you find the way that works best for you & yours.




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