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Uncertainty


LearningWhoIAm

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@LearningWhoIAm…I first want to say how very sorry I am that the news wasn’t received well. It’s always an unknown and all one can do is hope for the best possible outcome. The bravery you had to be able to work up to this point is amazing.

2 hours ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

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.

It’s possible things may settle down a bit after this initial reaction. He may see that your acknowledgment of who you really are doesn’t mean an end to your relationship. Marriages evolve as do most relationships. This is one of those points where “for better for worse” might apply. Let’s hope your husband can withstand this evolution in the marriage. It may not be as bad as he thinks. Some people can adapt to the new paradigm that comes with gender change within a relationship and some can not. It changes both partners and right now your husband can’t see anything outside his own understanding of it. Don’t let his statement about his lack of growth cause you to lose hope. I have to assume he loves you very much and strong love can sometimes withstand even the most devastating news.

 

2 hours ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

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.

I love what you said here and I know you mean it with all your heart. The reason IMHO he believes you will become a complete stranger is because of the unknown. There will undoubtedly be changes but if you work through those changes with him, there is a chance that he will always see the same person he fell in love with initially. I believe this is key to keeping the marriage together. Staying on the same page with good communication and with understanding your partners needs at any moment goes along way to keeping your bond strong.

 

2 hours ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

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. 

There is a freedom that you’re feeling by revealing this secret. That stays with you forever but in your moment of doubt of whether you did the right thing, try to think back about what life was like keeping this deeply kept secret hidden from those that you love. Try to always remember how life was before this freedom was yours. The thought of dying and never having revealed my true self to my spouse absolutely killed me every time I thought about it.

 

2 hours ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

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.

You're certainly no monster. If things had initially went well and your husband at this very moment was 100% affirming, would you still think yourself to be a monster?  ‘No’. So you can’t be something (like being a monster) based on someone else’s acceptance of your life….especially when that person couldn’t possible know your whole story at this point in time. You did what you needed to do to make your life finally the life you needed it to be—and one worth living to its fullest potential.

 

*Big Hugs*

Susan R🌷

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@LearningWhoIAm I really feel for you.  It must be awful to have such a negative reaction. 

 

However, all is not lost.  Your husband cried because he loves you and your life together.  It is possible that love may prevail.  

 

Based on what he said, it seems like he has two issues.  He's unable to absorb the idea that your personality isn't changing, and he is worried about being or appearing to be gay.  The first one can work itself out in time. The second may take some counseling, but he may be able to overcome that also.

 

IDK what vows you said at your wedding (if any).  Mine were the standard set of "for richer/poorer, in sickness/health, etc" until death.  Men often live by a code of honor, so returning to a specific promise like that might influence him, or at least begin a calmer discussion?  

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The take-away is you need to tell your husband. The whole hand-him-a-letter thing just sounds weird to me but I'm older so that may be part of it. I'm in the same position, I have a husband to tell who went through a messy divorce with a woman and on top of that identifies strongly with being gay. I don't know how he'll feel about losing a husband and gaining a spouse (I won't force him to say wife). But I need to make my change and I can't go forward without telling him and I suggest you tell your husband before you make any changes. Be strong and with luck he'll love you for you no matter what.

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3 hours ago, Claire. said:

The take-away is you need to tell your husband.

 

Little addendum: "If you feel safe." It's a scary world out there and the unfortunate truth is that sometimes trans people like you and me get their clocks cleaned by men. They're bigger, stronger, and if they grew up male, our culture has taught them to glorify violence. I prefer to have my conversations in person too, but if you are in any way afraid of your safety, let your husband know from a safe distance and with a clear exit strategy if things don't go the way you hoped.

 

Stay safe out there.

 

Hugs!

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@LearningWhoIAm My husband also had a very bad initial reaction.  Also themes of "I don't want to lose the person I married" and "I'm not gay" not so much because he was afraid of what other people would think, but rather he's not sexually attracted to men, and... Well, not to brag, but we have the best sex life ever.  Point bring, time helped quite a bit.  As I worked with my therapist to talk about what my idea of the man I wanted to be, I also talked about that with my partner... Through that I think he began to see that becoming a man didn't mean I was going to become a stereotype.  And we're still playing around with what sex looks like, but it's not scary any more for him.  It helps that I'm not super attached to starting T.

 

Anyway, don't lose hope.  I spiraled pretty bad (called the suicide helpline bad) with the first reaction, but now he goes out of his way in little ways to let me know he accepts and loves me.  Like he bought me superhero boys underwear.  Stuff like that.  

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On 5/29/2022 at 11:47 AM, Claire. said:

The take-away is you need to tell your husband. The whole hand-him-a-letter thing just sounds weird to me but I'm older so that may be part of it. I'm in the same position, I have a husband to tell who went through a messy divorce with a woman and on top of that identifies strongly with being gay. I don't know how he'll feel about losing a husband and gaining a spouse (I won't force him to say wife). But I need to make my change and I can't go forward without telling him and I suggest you tell your husband before you make any changes. Be strong and with luck he'll love you for you no matter what.

I already came out to my husband, and his reaction was incredibly negative. We have not spoken about it since. 

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On 5/27/2022 at 11:21 PM, Susan R said:

@LearningWhoIAm…I first want to say how very sorry I am that the news wasn’t received well. It’s always an unknown and all one can do is hope for the best possible outcome. The bravery you had to be able to work up to this point is amazing.

It’s possible things may settle down a bit after this initial reaction. He may see that your acknowledgment of who you really are doesn’t mean an end to your relationship. Marriages evolve as do most relationships. This is one of those points where “for better for worse” might apply. Let’s hope your husband can withstand this evolution in the marriage. It may not be as bad as he thinks. Some people can adapt to the new paradigm that comes with gender change within a relationship and some can not. It changes both partners and right now your husband can’t see anything outside his own understanding of it. Don’t let his statement about his lack of growth cause you to lose hope. I have to assume he loves you very much and strong love can sometimes withstand even the most devastating news.

 

I love what you said here and I know you mean it with all your heart. The reason IMHO he believes you will become a complete stranger is because of the unknown. There will undoubtedly be changes but if you work through those changes with him, there is a chance that he will always see the same person he fell in love with initially. I believe this is key to keeping the marriage together. Staying on the same page with good communication and with understanding your partners needs at any moment goes along way to keeping your bond strong.

 

There is a freedom that you’re feeling by revealing this secret. That stays with you forever but in your moment of doubt of whether you did the right thing, try to think back about what life was like keeping this deeply kept secret hidden from those that you love. Try to always remember how life was before this freedom was yours. The thought of dying and never having revealed my true self to my spouse absolutely killed me every time I thought about it.

 

You're certainly no monster. If things had initially went well and your husband at this very moment was 100% affirming, would you still think yourself to be a monster?  ‘No’. So you can’t be something (like being a monster) based on someone else’s acceptance of your life….especially when that person couldn’t possible know your whole story at this point in time. You did what you needed to do to make your life finally the life you needed it to be—and one worth living to its fullest potential.

 

*Big Hugs*

Susan R🌷

Thank you Susan. As always your kind words bring me comfort. ❤️

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So it's been a few days since I came out to my husband. As stated previously his reaction was very very bad. I wasn't expecting sunshine and rainbows, but I was not prepared for the rage and hostility I was met with. He slammed doors, kicked cupboards, shouted, and said some very hurtful things. I wont go into full details. He also messaged his sibling (my nonbinary best friend) and said some harsh things to them as well. 

We haven't spoken about what happened. He's in a denial type stage and honestly I'm scared after our first talk that I don't want to bring it up again. I know I'll have to, but I need a recovery period. 

To end this update on a brighter note, I've cone out to my mom, brothers, and all of my close friends. They have all been supportive and loving, and have made me feel safe and accepted. 

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1 hour ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

So it's been a few days since I came out to my husband. As stated previously his reaction was very very bad. I wasn't expecting sunshine and rainbows, but I was not prepared for the rage and hostility I was met with. He slammed doors, kicked cupboards, shouted, and said some very hurtful things. I wont go into full details. He also messaged his sibling (my nonbinary best friend) and said some harsh things to them as well. 

We haven't spoken about what happened. He's in a denial type stage and honestly I'm scared after our first talk that I don't want to bring it up again. I know I'll have to, but I need a recovery period. 

To end this update on a brighter note, I've cone out to my mom, brothers, and all of my close friends. They have all been supportive and loving, and have made me feel safe and accepted. 

 

@LearningWhoIAm -- First, a heartfelt hug of acceptance, as well.  Each of us who've gone through the experience of coming out to our spouse know that it's never easy, and that a spouse's reaction to that initial news varies greatly.  But we also know that this was something, put simply, we had to do.  Living a lie becomes unbearable and not worth it.  Meanwhile, our spouses' initial concerns are often "how does this affect me?" rather than "this must have been difficult for you" -- not unexpected if this came out of the blue for them.

 

One of the things you may have encountered on this site are the many recommendations for therapy sessions with an experienced gender therapist.  Several of us here (me included), were fortunate to have asked our spouses to attend sessions jointly and received an affirmative reply.  In some ways, this would be similar to marriage counseling couples routinely do to address concerns.  The gender therapist is NOT there to take sides, but can provide invaluable information for both your husband and you, and can facilitate how to better communicate about each other's concerns.  Communication is a key part of building understanding and rebuilding trust.  

 

While it's discouraging to learn of your husband's harsh remarks to his non-binary sib, it was very good to hear that your mom, brothers, and friends have been accepting.  May you continue to find support and acceptance as you continue to move forward with your journey.

 

With respect,

 

Astrid

 

 

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I have read a number of posts regarding spousal rejection. I was married and divorced many years ago. I never disclosed my being transgender to my ex-wife. By the same measure, there was little doubt in my mind that it was a likely contributor to my relationship disintegrating. Many people have the vision that boy-meets-girl, girl-meets boy, and they get married. The premise is that they are a couple. Is it fair to a woman or a man to reveal being transgender after the fact? One may still love their spouse, but there is no guarantee that they are going to accept the situation. I struggled for years with the whether I would get involved with someone. Last year I met a colleague and we hit it off. Things seemed good, yet, I knew what was raging between my ears. Despite the relationship, I decided to finally do something about being transgender. I could not go on living the way I was. 

 

I came out to this woman prior to getting too close. Red Flag time: She had been married 4 times before. At first she said she was okay with it, we still did some stuff together, but she would denigrate me for the facial feminization surgery I was planning. I told her my insurance would pick up some of the cost. This bothered her as she did not think it was right that I could get the surgery, but if she wanted plastic surgery, her insurance company would not pay. Then came the sniping and attempts to embarrass me in public. Then she started to pull away. Whenever I suggested getting together to do something, there was always something else for her to do. It became obvious and one day, I had enough, and told her it was over. Very petty person. The bad part is that I still run into her at professional meetings.

 

I cannot blame a woman or a man who marries someone and then finds out that they are not what the individual thought they were getting. It is not fair. You may still love someone, but you are likely to feel deceived. I also believe the counseling is essential early on if you really want to try to hold on to that relationship. Some couples will remain strong, but some will part ways.

 

Anytime you are making a life-altering revelation such as being transgender, or maybe you are living under an alias, the significant other may reject the relationship. It will hurt, but I do not believe you can force it. Forcing it may have quite the opposite effect.

 

Try to get your spouse to agree to counseling and get counseling just to help guide your transition. Counseling is without a doubt, very valuable. Good luck. I am sure it is painful and hard with coming out, but also handling a marriage.

 

Sincerely

Katie

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19 hours ago, Katie23 said:

Try to get your spouse to agree to counseling and get counseling just to help guide your transition. Counseling is without a doubt, very valuable. Good luck. I am sure it is painful and hard with coming out, but also handling a marriage.

 

Sincerely

Katie

Thank you Katie. He and I finally talked last night and we both agreed couple's counseling would be helpful. 

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19 hours ago, Astrid said:

 

@LearningWhoIAm -- First, a heartfelt hug of acceptance, as well.  Each of us who've gone through the experience of coming out to our spouse know that it's never easy, and that a spouse's reaction to that initial news varies greatly.  But we also know that this was something, put simply, we had to do.  Living a lie becomes unbearable and not worth it.  Meanwhile, our spouses' initial concerns are often "how does this affect me?" rather than "this must have been difficult for you" -- not unexpected if this came out of the blue for them.

 

One of the things you may have encountered on this site are the many recommendations for therapy sessions with an experienced gender therapist.  Several of us here (me included), were fortunate to have asked our spouses to attend sessions jointly and received an affirmative reply.  In some ways, this would be similar to marriage counseling couples routinely do to address concerns.  The gender therapist is NOT there to take sides, but can provide invaluable information for both your husband and you, and can facilitate how to better communicate about each other's concerns.  Communication is a key part of building understanding and rebuilding trust.  

 

While it's discouraging to learn of your husband's harsh remarks to his non-binary sib, it was very good to hear that your mom, brothers, and friends have been accepting.  May you continue to find support and acceptance as you continue to move forward with your journey.

 

With respect,

 

Astrid

 

 

Thank you Astrid. He and I talked last night and we both agreed to attend a couple's counselor. Fingers crossed things go well. 

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36 minutes ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

He and I talked last night and we both agreed to attend a couple's counselor.

 

That is absolutely wonderful news! Make sure that you get one that is well-versed in LGBTQ+ issues and don't be afraid to change counselors if the first one isn't working for both of you. Best of luck sweetie!

 

Hugs!

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1 hour ago, Jackie C. said:

 

That is absolutely wonderful news! Make sure that you get one that is well-versed in LGBTQ+ issues and don't be afraid to change counselors if the first one isn't working for both of you. Best of luck sweetie!

 

Hugs!

Thank you so much Jackie! ❤️ 

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  • 2 weeks later...

So it's been a while since I've updated. 

 

My husband and I aren't speaking much. We aren't on hostile terms but the tension is in the air. I know I need to talk to him more, but after his initial reaction I'm afraid to. 

 

My best friend (my husband's sibling) is very upset with him about his reaction and his treatment towards me. They believe that he's traumatized me because I no longer want to come out to people. 

 

I don't want to villanize my husband. I know he's going through a lot right now, and he would benefit from getting his own therapy. 

 

It's a hard situation, and I feel stuck. 

 

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38 minutes ago, LearningWhoIAm said:

I know he's going through a lot right now, and he would benefit from getting his own therapy. 

 

Absolutely!!!     We start marriages on dreams which may or may not come true in daylight and waking hours and they are tough to shake, but the reality can be even more awesome than the dreams every were.  He had a favorite dream and is having trouble coming out of it.

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OK I'm not sure if this applies but a dear friend asked me this a little while ago and it completely blew my mind.  I was recounting a day when my ex came downstairs , sat down and said "I can't do this, I'm out" and I pleaded for more time thinking with enough effort I could change her mind.  My friend looked me in the eye and said "Honey, do you know what you were asking her to do?  She's a straight woman and you asked her to be OK being in a queer marriage.  You know sexuality doesn't work that way, right?"

 

Sexuality was something she had brought up a lot in the early days of my transition but I had ignored it completely (we didn't have that kind of relationship anyway) and just never talked about it.  In making me face that question my friend opened my eyes and I was able to see the MANY conversations/arguments/conflicts we'd had in an entirely new lens and made me realize how much I had ignored.  Things I might have noticed much sooner if I had actually listened to what she had said way back and talked to her about it.

 

So all this is to say that talking to him, even if you're scared, is the best thing you can possibly do.  Just make sure nobody is coming into a conversation angry, keep the talks relatively short and try real hard to make sure you're standing up for yourself.  He is not the villain, you're not the villain, just sometimes people are different and we don't always see it if we aren't talking to each other.

 

Some music to keep in mind:

We Just Disagree by Dave Mason

Keep Talking by Pink Floyd

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  • Forum Moderator

I can understand the struggle your partner is having. I am transitioning in the opposite direction and my wife of nearly 30 years has had a 2 year struggle with my wants and has ground through many of the stages of grief, but the hopeful feeling I have is she is still here, seeming to be coming along slowly but surely and I cannot ask for more. Whenever you have doubts just keep in mind "compassion" for him and for you.

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  • 3 weeks later...

This was the biggest mistake of my life. I never should have come out. My spouse hates me, the few people who I thought understood me don't. Everyone thinks I'm doing this for attention or that I'm a horrible person who ruined my husband's life. 

 

I've lost all hope. 

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Unfortunately, things can get a little rocky when we first come out. We learn who really loves us and who loves the façade we've built up over the years to fit in. Some people even reject us because they think that, somehow, our desire to be ourselves is their failing. Some people feel pressured by society to reject us because certain elements demonize us. Others feel lied to because we didn't mention our struggle earlier.

 

I lost family. I lost a couple of friends. I didn't lose myself. I think that's a fair bargain. I was a whisker away from just ending it the next time my spouse was out of town. It was that or come out. I chose coming out. I have a lot of local friends in the same situation. One of them is a lot like you. He came out to his spouse, but it turns out that his spouse couldn't love him as a man.

He enjoyed the heck out of one of the "side-effects" that testosterone brings, but he's not attracted to my friend as a male. That's OK. You're attracted to what you're attracted too.

 

Now, my friend is one of the most wonderful people I know. They've made tons of friends in the community since they've transitioned. We go out and do something fun about once a month or so. They're parenting two lovely girls and they have a great job as a school teacher. They're successful, they're positive, they're happy and they're living their best life.

 

Now those are only two examples and I'm not going to say that it's always cookies and rainbows. Being trans is hard sometimes. The right answer for you is just that, the right answer for you. My suggestion is to get with a gender therapist if you haven't already. Support is key and we all need someone to talk to. In the meantime, we're always here to offer support and whatever help we can.

 

Hugs!

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On 7/6/2022 at 9:46 AM, LearningWhoIAm said:

This was the biggest mistake of my life. I never should have come out. My spouse hates me, the few people who I thought understood me don't. Everyone thinks I'm doing this for attention or that I'm a horrible person who ruined my husband's life. 

 

I've lost all hope. 

Hugs, brother.  It sucks you're going through this.  It sucks that we lose friends and family now, but our family of choice takes time and energy to hopefully exist at a future date.  Take care of yourself, find Queer community... Online, in real life, where and when you can.  Feel free to DM if you want to talk.

 

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