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Uncertainty


LearningWhoIAm

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Hello. I've never posted on a forum before so I apologize if I make any mistakes. 

I'm 23 years old and have only in this last year realized I'm trans. Growing up I was always the tomboy, and in highschool I was a very rebellious short haired goth. I was always an outcast, and I was raised in a pretty stict environment where even thinking about stuff like this was taboo.

Shortly after highschool I met my now husband (we'll call him H). H and I hit it off right away and got married after dating for a few years. This year will be our third wedding anniversary. 

We have a two year old son and up until last fall things were perfect. After getting married I ditched a lot of my old look and really reinforced being a "perfect mom". I constantly wore dresses, baked cookies, cleaned the house, worked from home, everything I thought the ideal wife should be. 

A lot of my friends are nonbinary, trans, or other gender non-conforming identities. I was talking with one of my nonbinary friends and I realized I'd never really explored that part of myself or thought about my own gender identity. The more I explored, the more I realized I don't want the dresses. I don't want to be a she/her. It doesn't feel right. I don't think it ever did. 

My main concern is telling my husband. While he is in no way transphobic, I know this will be a huge shock to him. I don't want to hurt him, and I don't want to lose him. But I also can't lie to him anymore. He deserves honesty. I'm just really afraid and I feel very isolated. I'm only out to two of my friends and thankfully they are both supportive and loving. 

Thank you for letting me post this and get some pressure off. 

-Logan

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52 minutes ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

My main concern is telling my husband. While he is in no way transphobic, I know this will be a huge shock to him. I don't want to hurt him, and I don't want to lose him. But I also can't lie to him anymore. He deserves honesty. I'm just really afraid and I feel very isolated. I'm only out to two of my friends and thankfully they are both supportive and loving. 

 

Yeah, this can be trouble. I've got a masc-presenting NB friend who lost their husband over coming out. He enjoyed the, ahem, side-effects of T on his spouse, but couldn't let himself be seen with his partner. Hopefully, your husband is fine with it. Fingers crossed for you sweetie!

 

Hugs!

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3 hours ago, Jackie C. said:

 

Yeah, this can be trouble. I've got a masc-presenting NB friend who lost their husband over coming out. He enjoyed the, ahem, side-effects of T on his spouse, but couldn't let himself be seen with his partner. Hopefully, your husband is fine with it. Fingers crossed for you sweetie!

 

Hugs!

Thank you so much for your kind words. 

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Kia Ora, Logan.  You're near the same stage I am!  I told my husband a couple months ago.  It was incredibly scary because I have this great life built around me as mum.  My husband and I are still figuring out what this means for us.  He's had some reactions I would never have expected, both good and bad.  We're still very much in the thick of it.  Lots of positive vibes in your direction as you work through this.

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15 hours ago, JacobLevado said:

 We're still very much in the thick of it.  Lots of positive vibes in your direction as you work through this.

Thank you! If I may ask, how did you originally come out to your spouse? I'm at a loss of how to even start. 

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54 minutes ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

how did you originally come out to your spouse? I'm at a loss of how to even start. 

 

For me, a trans non-binary AMAB, I chose to use a letter that my spouse could read first and then start reacting and asking questions.  This worked well for me; I spent several weeks carefully composing it, as I didn't want to leave anything important out, which could be easy to do during such a nerve-wracking moment.

 

This did come out of the blue for her; the passage of time (now 4 years ago) has helped her to see the clear benefits of me being myself. The other major advancement forward was her agreeing to jointly attend therapy sessions (after my initial meeting), as it opened up lines of communication which are so essential to maintaining a marriage.  We're partners in this, so involving her was so important.

 

Best of luck,

 

Astrid

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Welcome, and good luck, Logan!

I came out to my wife about a month and a half ago. Like Astrid, I had a letter prepared, for me not to give her, but to use as notes when I got nervous (and it really helped). It went much better than I feared. I suppose the suspense and fear are almost always worse than the reality, at least in the moment. Since then, we've only spoken about it once. I can tell she's uncomfortable and adjusting to the idea. And that it seems she really doesn't want to talk about it. But I've read enough of other people's stories to know patience is super important.

I'm so glad to hear you have several friends who are trans or otherwise gender non-conforming. I have to imagine that not only gives you a network of support, but also means your husband has been exposed to many ways of living and being, and may give him a better perspective from which to come to terms, in time, with your situation. (My wife has a very close friend who is gay, but otherwise neither of us have any trans or gnc friends.)

From one newbie to another: I'm glad you're here and sharing with us ❤️

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6 hours ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

how did you originally come out to your spouse?

Hello @LearningWhoIAm. Welcome to our forum!

 

When I came out to my wife, I was in experiencing a deep depression….not so much from the gender dysphoria I was experiencing but from hiding a part of myself from her. I had never hid anything this serious from her during our (then) 20 years of marriage.

 

I agree with @Astrid who mentioned writing a coming out letter which I think is a great idea. I was caught off guard when my wife suddenly came over and sat next to me on the sofa. She then asked me with complete sincerity to please share with her what was wrong. By that time, she knew it was serious. My coming out went pretty well but if I had pre-written a letter it would have been a little more fluid and contained fewer rabbit trails. Even if you decide you don’t want to use the letter, knowing it’s contents by writing it out and reading it a few times may help you organize your thoughts and save some misunderstandings during your discussion.

 

I started from the beginning but only touched on major parts of my hidden life that led to where I was mentally and emotionally. A very important thing is to be honest and open without unloading your entire hidden life history on them all at once. Too much detail can be overwhelming and can take away from your original intent. The last thing that some overlook is finding the best time and quietest place. When I came out, I was lucky. I had the rest of the evening with my wife to discuss and answer her questions. If at all possible, a quiet setting with as few interruptions as possible (phones, tablets, etc..) will be very helpful too.

 

I wish you the very best on this upcoming disclosure and hope that your spouse receives it with an open mind and heart.❤️

 

Warmest Regards,

Susan R🌷

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8 hours ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

Thank you! If I may ask, how did you originally come out to your spouse? I'm at a loss of how to even start. 

 

Well... I think I might have done it wrong.  I had told him before that I always felt like a boy growing up, but in our religious tradition that really didn't mean I was trans.  Trans-ness wasn't part of our understanding of the universe.  A couple years ago I pretty much lost my faith, which was awful in some ways, but it also bought me the internal freedom to find a language and set of ideas for myself that felt valid and validating. 

 

Anyhow, for me coming out was less "I've always felt like a boy" and more "the thing you knew?  It means this other thing now.". So, I guess it was more of a theological discussion, and is happening over time.  It's complicated by the fact that he kinda thinks (hopes?) this is a phase and I'll get over my religious issue and come back to the fold.  So ... I think maybe I messed it up somehow?

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13 hours ago, Astrid said:

This did come out of the blue for her; the passage of time (now 4 years ago) has helped her to see the clear benefits of me being myself. The other major advancement forward was her agreeing to jointly attend therapy sessions (after my initial meeting), as it opened up lines of communication which are so essential to maintaining a marriage.  We're partners in this, so involving her was so important.

I agree that communication is essential. I've felt really guilty about this because my husband and I so heavily reinforce honesty in our relationship. I will also be attending therapy soon. My best friend is non binary and recommended I try at least one session with their therapist. (Their therapist has years of experience with trans, nonbinary, gnc clients). Thank you so much for your kindness and advice. I really appreciate it. 

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12 hours ago, Zelaire said:

 

I'm so glad to hear you have several friends who are trans or otherwise gender non-conforming. I have to imagine that not only gives you a network of support, but also means your husband has been exposed to many ways of living and being, and may give him a better perspective from which to come to terms, in time, with your situation. (My wife has a very close friend who is gay, but otherwise neither of us have any trans or gnc friends.)

From one newbie to another: I'm glad you're here and sharing with us ❤️

Thank you so much! I'm very glad he has our friends, I know that he will need their perspective and support through this. We have a weekly Dungeons and Dragons group we host and we are all very close. While I want to come out one on one with my husband, I think it would be a good thing to discuss in a small group format too. 

And im very glad to be here. It's good bot to feel alone. 

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7 hours ago, Susan R said:

Hello @LearningWhoIAm. Welcome to our forum!

 

When I came out to my wife, I was in experiencing a deep depression….not so much from the gender dysphoria I was experiencing but from hiding a part of myself from her. I had never hid anything this serious from her during our (then) 20 years of marriage.

 

I agree with @Astrid who mentioned writing a coming out letter which I think is a great idea. 

 

I wish you the very best on this upcoming disclosure and hope that your spouse receives it with an open mind and heart.❤️

 

Warmest Regards,

Susan R🌷

Thank you Susan for your wonderful advice and warm welcome! I think a letter would be a great idea, I'm just worried I'll chicken out. My husband definitely knows something is up, but there are several other major life events going on right now and I think he's attributing my stress to those. I'm hoping to come out once a few of those other stressors are resolved in the next two weeks. 

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6 hours ago, JacobLevado said:

  It's complicated by the fact that he kinda thinks (hopes?) this is a phase and I'll get over my religious issue and come back to the fold.  So ... I think maybe I messed it up somehow?

Thank you for the advice Jacob. I'm worried that my spouse will think this is a phase too. Especially because while I was more masculine growing up, I never fully realized these thoughts until this last year. Sending support to you!

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15 minutes ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

My best friend is non binary and recommended I try at least one session with their therapist. (Their therapist has years of experience with trans, nonbinary, gnc clients).

 

That is an awesome idea. You'd be surprised how much that can help.

 

9 minutes ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

We have a weekly Dungeons and Dragons group we host and we are all very close.

 

Yeah... when I came out to my D&D group, they said, "Well DUH," and we went back to playing. They might know more than you think.

 

Best of luck sweetie!

 

Hugs!

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4 minutes ago, Jackie C. said:

Yeah... when I came out to my D&D group, they said, "Well DUH," and we went back to playing. They might know more than you think.

 

Best of luck sweetie!

 

Hugs!

My best friend is part of our D&D group and after I initially told them they keep messaging me saying that I should cosplay my half orc! (He is very handsome.) My oldest brother is also part of our D&D group and I think he knows more too but he would never say anything unless I bring something up first. 

Thank you Jackie! 

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1 hour ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

My best friend is part of our D&D group and after I initially told them they keep messaging me saying that I should cosplay my half orc! (He is very handsome.)

 

Nice to know somebody else "cross-dresses" when they play D&D. I did that for... like two decades before I finally came out. It releases the pressure a bit, doesn't it?

 

1 hour ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

My oldest brother is also part of our D&D group and I think he knows more too but he would never say anything unless I bring something up first.

 

That's part of the code. Another member of my D&D group is trans and I had her pegged a good year before she finally came out. We don't out our brothers, sisters and friends though until they're ready, so we just sit on it and get ready to be supportive when their egg finally cracks.

 

Hugs!

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I have to say, ever since my egg cracked I have wondered about a long-time D&D/art friend of mine who ALWAYS played female characters, kept long hair, dressed androgynously... And grew up in a strongly religious household... so I've wondered maybe he's got something up in the brainpan we might talk about someday, too? 😅 Sitting on it for now, Jackie! Advice well taken.

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2 hours ago, Zelaire said:

I have to say, ever since my egg cracked I have wondered about a long-time D&D/art friend of mine who ALWAYS played female characters, kept long hair, dressed androgynously...

 

I have a friend who is CONVINCED that D&D is just for queer kids. Every one of her kids and their friends are queer in some fashion and loves to play. I keep telling her: Only HALF my group is queer. Some of them are autistic.

 

Hugs!

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11 hours ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

My best friend is non binary and recommended I try at least one session with their therapist. (Their therapist has years of experience with trans, nonbinary, gnc clients).

I'm very glad to hear that the therapist you'll be meeting with is experienced with gender non-conforming people.  Because they've worked with couples before in the same or similar situation as you two, they can provide insight that is beneficial for each/both of you.  For example, they're likely to be able to provide a prospective for your spouse about how and why gender non-conforming people feel the way they do, and introduce terms and concepts that are likely new for him. Additionally, your therapist can provide helpful guidance for you (a major reason you're there), as well as ways the two of you can keep your lines of communication open.

 

It can be difficult at times to open up to one's spouse, given how we've repressed our thoughts for so long.  It's not like flipping a light switch and changing learned behaviors immediately. That's one of the reasons therapy sessions are helpful.

 

11 hours ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

I'm worried that my spouse will think this is a phase too. Especially because while I was more masculine growing up, I never fully realized these thoughts until this last year.

 

Being [insert gender non-conforming label here] does NOT mean you have to have known since you were age 3.  There are an uncountable number of members of Transpulse who took decades to arrive at a point where they were ready to come out, many in their 50s, 60s, or even later.  (I came out to my spouse soon after my retirement at age 69, and am now 73.)  In retrospect, often through counseling, we can see signs of our past behavior that point to where we are now.  But it's often a very long process to, as you say, fully realize your thoughts.  And that's fine. 

 

The fact that I am a much happier person now, and have remained so to my spouse ever since coming out, helps to reassure her that this is not just a phase.

 

Kind regards,

 

Astrid

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On 5/4/2022 at 8:34 PM, Astrid said:

The fact that I am a much happier person now, and have remained so to my spouse ever since coming out, helps to reassure her that this is not just a phase.

I know I would be much happier coming out. And I know my husband wants me to be happy. I just don't want to hurt him and I think this will. Thank you for the advice Astrid!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update to everyone: 

 

I'll be coming out to my husband once he gets home from work. I cant hide from him anymore, i feel too guilty. I've had the worst anxiety I've ever felt today. I keep crying and shaking and it just feels awful. I've never felt more afraid in my life. Wish me luck. 

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11 minutes ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

Update to everyone: 

 

I'll be coming out to my husband once he gets home from work. I cant hide from him anymore, i feel too guilty. I've had the worst anxiety I've ever felt today. I keep crying and shaking and it just feels awful. I've never felt more afraid in my life. Wish me luck. 

 

Luck sweetie! May he be understanding and happy to come on this journey with you, no matter where it may lead.

 

Hugs!

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17 minutes ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

I'll be coming out to my husband once he gets home from work. I cant hide from him anymore, i feel too guilty. I've had the worst anxiety I've ever felt today. I keep crying and shaking and it just feels awful. I've never felt more afraid in my life. Wish me luck. 

 

Coming out is a cathartic experience. For me, it really reduced a lot of built-up stress and worry. May you find clarity in expressing all the things you wish to say. This is an important milestone, but it's also a point that you are soon past, and then other important things will be there for the two of you to work on, hopefully together.

 

As @Susan R mentioned, may you have a distraction-free evening to begin this new chapter in your lives.

 

Hugs and reassurance,

 

Astrid

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@LearningWhoIAm  Best of luck!  I really feel for you. 

 

Although I'm not sure exactly who I am, I'm uncertain about what any change will mean for my relationship with my husband.  I'm sure whatever tension I'm feeling is way bigger for you.  💔  I do hope that one way or another, you'll experience peace and resolution. 

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Another update: 

 

I think I have one of the worst coming out stories of all time.

My husband cried, yelled, slammed doors. It was a mess. He stormed out leaving me in tears. About 20 minutes later he came back. He yelled at me " What did you think would happen? That I'd say no problem sweetie I love you? I'm not gay!" He then started crying in a way that I've never seen him cry. He motioned for me to go over by the couch by him and we hugged and cried for a solid 15 minutes. We then sat next to each other and talked. I said that I didn't want to lose him, that we could grow together. He said he didn't think he could grow that much. 

 

We talked for a while after that and he said he wants to be with me "for as long as we've got." I told him I'm not going anywhere, that I'm still me. But he firmly believes that I'm going to turn into a complete stranger. 

 

Things have returned to more normal. He's cooled off now and even cooked dinner for us. 

 

I don't know what to say or think. On one hand I'm relieved that this secret is gone. On the other hand I'm heartbroken because I think once I start to medically transition my husband will leave. 

 

I feel like a monster. I feel like I've destroyed my family and my marriage. I'm so lost and I feel so alone. 

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