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I’ve been throwing hints..


DreamWalker

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After reading through quite a bit of this section. It’s somewhat comforting to know how others have handled this situation. Seeing many different ways it has gone. 
 

I’ve been doing subtle things these last few years to gauge how my wife reacts. I completely understand I do this out of fear of her leaving me. We’ve been together for going on 20 years. She is aware I’ve had some issues from childhood, but I don’t talk about it.

 

Anyway, Shave my legs. She immediately noticed and didn’t like that. Same for my chest. 
 

she’s commented on the particular way I like to sit. (That’s been a thing since the beginning). She doesn’t say anything mean or rude. Just an off handed comment. 

she notices I like to take extra care of my skin and use scented lotions etc. She won’t say anything , but if I smell like flowers, the same day or next day she will tell me she has bought some old spice. 🫤

 

I grew my hair out and it was a constant “ I like your short hair. You should Cut it. “
 

I want to believe she is in love with the person i am. I want to get rid of my male parts. I’ve seen the “ she didn’t sign up for this “ comments and really tend to agree. I should have been honest before we tied the knot. 
 

I’ve gotten to the point that I’m ready to transition. I tried around 20 and well, yes, that was its own bag of issues. Oklahoma was a nightmare. I’m in Florida now. 
 

I wake up feeling so much anxiety because of my “man” parts. Up to this point I thought I had mastered grounding techniques and how to box it up. It is t working as well anymore. 
 

I seek advice. Please be blunt if you are willing to offer it. I’m 100% comfortable with who I am at my core. I just need to project it now. Thank you for your time. 🙏🙏

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Honestly, @DreamWalker, I think it's time you come clean with your wife.  She already suspects, and the longer you wait the more she will come to distrust you.  I tried sneaking around for a year or more and I felt terrible about it.  It wasn't good for me, and it wasn't good for my wife and our relationship.

 

Whether you end up going for transition, and how far, is an issue you should discuss with a gender therapist.  But at this point, simply telling your wife that you beleive you are likely transgender is the first step.  Open and honest communication is essential if you don't want your marriage to end in recriminations and misery.

 

HUGS

 

Carolyn Marie

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I agree with Carolyn Marie. Further, I'll emphasize that as your wife's already noticed and commented, any effort on your part to reassure her that "everything's fine" actually adds more to her stress than coming out ultimately would because it's clear she knows everything is not fine and therefore invalidating her perceptions is not the kind thing to do. Be kind to both of you - take the chance to live your life together free of suppression, anxiety, suspicion, and worry. I'll also note that initial reactions, whatever they may be, are not necessarily indicative of how your spouse will always feel. We have heard many testimonies, from myself included, of severe negative initial responses which eventually smoothed out in time given the opportunity to have ongoing conversations and emotional processing. Good luck & best wishes.

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Dreamwalker, I dropped hints for years, grew my hair out, trimmed eyebrows, long nails, but everyone I came out to was shocked. They all subconsciously knew, and after absorbing what I told them they said it made sense, but changing sex to most people is just not something they would think about. When my wife told me she wanted commitment from me, I made sure she understood I was transgender, and thought bumpy, 4 months later we married. 

 

She supported my need to be me at home for our 20 year marriage, but she was terrified someone might find out. When my dysphoria made me very sick, she supported my starting HRT, and 2 years later, supported me through GRS, but when I was a month post op, she announced she was leaving. That was 3 years ago, and though we live apart, we talk almost every day, and are BFF's. 

 

I feared I would lose her, then felt we would stay together, then she left, and now we are close friends. The point is, we just don't know how these things will work out. All we can do is be as honest as we can. Marriage is a partnership, and things like Gender Incongruence and transitioning need to be discussed and decided by both of you if you hope to retain the partnership. It can be a rollercoaster, but for some, it works out. Give it your best shot, and then you won't have regrets into the future. I so hope you can get through this, and when you do, please post so others can be encouraged.

 

Hugs,

 

Allie

 

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10 hours ago, DreamWalker said:

I wake up feeling so much anxiety because of my “man” parts. Up to this point I thought I had mastered grounding techniques and how to box it up. It isn’t working as well anymore.

Don’t feel bad. What you want to do is one of the hardest fears to overcome. After 20 years of marriage to my wife, I came to this same point. I had the perfect timing and plan to come out and I let it get away. I struggled with deep depression and anxiety as I began my medical transition (HRT) behind her back. I also grew out my hair and nails, shaved my body and face constantly, and began dressing in a more androgynous presentation. There were waves of bitter sweet happiness as I was becoming someone I now needed to hide from my wife. Regardless of all of that, I continued to put it off for another 2.5 months. That was when I finally broke down after she sat down next to me and begged me to tell her what was wrong. Today, I still feel bad about not coming out to her before I made the decision to transition and start hormones. I should have gone with ‘Plan A’ but that deep fear kept me boxed up. Opening up to her, changed everything for me and in a good way. Everyone has to weigh the pros and cons of doing so but sometimes (as in my case) the choice is made for us.

 

Warmest Regards,

Susan R🌷

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Thank you. This was the push I needed. 
 

We spoke last night. It went absolutely terrible. I really don’t want to go into depth about what was said other than she made it very clear she doesn’t want to be with a woman, and definitely not a “trans”. 
 

I did try to explain I’m not making any choices. That I have been this way since I can remember. I completely respect her decision. 
 

She is still sleeping. I haven’t slept at all.  I know when she gets up, she is going to want to talk about “so what next “. 
 

I feel helpless. You reap what you sow. I deserve this. 

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What you are describing was the hardest period of my transition.  I found that while i did the best i could to comfort and support my wife i also could no longer lie about what has always been a major part of my life.

Time will help you both.  Acceptance and decisions will be made.  It was a difficult time for me and i'm sure for most of us.

You are not alone.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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Just now, DreamWalker said:

Thank you. This was the push I needed. 
 

We spoke last night. It went absolutely terrible. I really don’t want to go into depth about what was said other than she made it very clear she doesn’t want to be with a woman, and definitely not a “trans”. 
 

I did try to explain I’m not making any choices. That I have been this way since I can remember. I completely respect her decision. 
 

She is still sleeping. I haven’t slept at all.  I know when she gets up, she is going to want to talk about “so what next “. 
 

I feel helpless. You reap what you sow. I deserve this. 

DreamWalker, you did not choose to be gender incongruent, so you do NOT deserve this! Hormonal variations during our pregnancies likely caused our incongruence from birth, and we can't change this. We need to deal with the resultant dysphoria or it can can have tragic outcomes. I tried to fight my dysphoria and would up in serious medical trouble with my systems starting to shut down, so I know how serious it can get. 

 

Explain to your wife that you were likely born with part of your brain female, and though you have tried to ignore it, it is beginning to overwhelm you. The you she fell in love with has always been part female, and she probably liked subtle elements of what makes you unique. Let her know that this does not mean you need to transition, but both of you need to work together to find ways to keep you healthy. This might only mean some minor underdressing, or maybe a girls day every now and again, whatever it takes to reduce your dysphoria. 

 

Show her this diagram from the fine folks at Harvard showing a critical part of our brains which develop opposite to our assigned sex, so she knows this is legitimate. My wife and I managed 20 years of happiness while managing my strong dysphoria, and she had the same initial reaction as your wife. Assure her you want to find a way to be with her, and that you both have time to work this out, because even if you transition, it is a slow process.

 

Don't give up, it will be hard, but it can be done!

 

Hugs,

 

Allie

 

 

Screen Shot 2020-08-21 at 2.12.52 pm.png

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Hi Dreamwalker! As you mentioned telling her, we don't choose to be who we are, it just is. I hid what at the time I thought was crossdressing for decades. When it came time to get honest with myself, or die I explained to my now ex my secret, asking for time to talk to a therapist. She consented, I did. My therapist suggested my ex & I meet her (my therapist) as a couple. She refused saying she didn't have a problem. We are still amicable after the divorce, there definitely was a very rough period. Some here have survived the rough part & are still married, so there's hope. If she is willing maybe some sessions with a gender therapist are worth trying.

 

Hugs!

Delcina 

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Thank you all so much. She took the kids to her mother’s for the day. Told me she will be back and feels a little different about it now and wants to talk more tonight . So I’m going to keep my mind off it for now and stay busy. 
 

thank you again. I actually overall feel better now that she knows. Like a weight being lifted off my chest. 
 

 

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My heart goes out to you. It is a tough position and I've been there. I was married for 30 years before I told my wife. She didn't take it well and after 2 years of - maybe she'd leave and maybe she wouldn't she came to learn through HER journey that it was not my fault I was trans nor her fault and that she accepted me and our marriage is even stronger now. As hard as it is, you need to talk to her and if you want for her to remain your soul mate , listen to her and be compassionate and loving and expect for her it be upset and say things like you lied to her, but in fact you've been lying to yourself all thias time and most likely you thought getting married would fix the problem and it didn't. I built my self up as well if she didn't want to stay together, I had toi realize even if you love her, you can't change anyone except yourself and being kind and knowing it is a long process, hopefulloy things will work out.

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I have been open with my wife for months and had another long conversation with her today. Though our situations are different, I really understand the stress you’re in. 
 

I have been slowly transitioning away from masculinity and there have been things that I once thought and told her weren’t in my plans but have come to be and, when they do come out, it’s as if I’ve been withholding. Those revelations seem to come out of the blue for her, like she has this definition of me and I keep rewriting it on her—even though I have said that I don’t know the full extent of my journey. So, things like taking on a feminine nickname and using it on job applications along with my legal name catch her. I did it because I needed to be authentic to hiring managers, but I’d never told her that I was going to do it—though I did show her my resume before I’d ever sent it out. We’d never talked about it though.
 

So we’ve resolved to chat regularly about us and, while it’s hard material, it’s good for us we’re doing it. I count my lucky stars though, she’s been great through all of this and I feel bad that I’m changing the game on her.

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I’m just going to put my two cents in here for a different perspective. I consider myself lucky that my wife and I broke up before I decided to transition, so I didn’t feel any guilt at all over it. I also prefer the relationship we have now to the one we had when we were married. We adore each other same as we always did, but purely as friends, or sisters, not as lovers. Again, I’m an outlier here, but part of the reason why that is possible is that I’m no longer sexually interested in women, so I’m neither jealous of her boyfriend nor romantically hung up on her. And one last caveat: we never had kids. I still love her sons, and they love me, but it’s not the same as if they were my own.

 

Long story short: I love our relationship more than ever, and I know she does too.

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Just now, Betty K said:

I consider myself lucky that my wife and I broke up before I decided to transition, so I didn’t feel any guilt at all over it.

This was how was for me as well.  I didn't like it when we split, but it was for the best.  And that freed me up enough to look into the parts of me I had avoided for years.

We also are still friends.  She was one of the first people I talked to about it, and she was not surprised at all.

And in my case, our kids were adults by then, so that wasn't an issue either.

I honestly don't know what I would have done had I still been married, and had young kids.  Possibly, stayed in the closet.  I thought I was happy.  It wasn't until my egg cracked that I realized what happy was.

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@Ivy my wife wasn’t surprised either, but she had known about the crossdressing since about a month after we first met. 

 

And yes, the bit about being happy. I knew I was sad and frustrated and frequently angry, but I thought I was happy enough. I thought our relationship was happy. But our relationship is so much happier now. And so am I.

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Hugs. thank you all so much. 
 

we’ve made a little progress but not much.
 
She wants me to “get help”. It means two separate things for us though. I can’t go on like this anymore. 
 

I can see now that no matter how this ends. She will be losing the “man” in her life. I know if I put myself back in the “box” I will be absolutely miserable and a terrible person to be around though. And do neither feel correct. 
 

You cannot take care of others, if you do not take care of yourself. 
 

 I’m in the process of finding a doctor for the transition. I don’t plan on rushing it, rather, I want to take my time to let me be me and stop pretending. One thing for certain, I cannot live with these male parts anymore. I can’t keep waking up crying. No more. 
 

if my family cuts me off. So be it. Ive been a lone wolf the entire time. 
 

if by some chance they don’t….it would be wonderful. its a risk I’m willing to take. 

 

 

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On 6/9/2024 at 6:16 AM, Susan R said:

There were waves of bitter sweet happiness as I was becoming someone I now needed to hide from my wife.

I totally relate to this ... i should add "hide from all of my family (parents, kids, siblings)...

 

19 hours ago, MaeBe said:

I have been slowly transitioning away from masculinity and there have been things that I once thought and told her weren’t in my plans but have come to be and, when they do come out, it’s as if I’ve been withholding. Those revelations seem to come out of the blue for her, like she has this definition of me and I keep rewriting it on her—even though I have said that I don’t know the full extent of my journey.

Amen, amen ... these are ways I have hurt my wife as well ... I was very clear when I first opened up to her about this that I had no plans to transition in any way, that this was just about clothing ... well, now I am here in the early months of HRT (and still honestly not sure about end game). I'm sure it feels to her like dishonesty and betrayal on my part. But I really am discovering myself as I take each step, many times surprising myself by where I am ending up...

 

I pray for each of us on here, and our loved ones. That we could all find peace - with ourselves, with one another. And that love would win the day... Blessings to all who have shared their often-painful stories on here... 

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Just now, EasyE said:

I'm sure it feels to her like dishonesty and betrayal on my part. But I really am discovering myself as I take each step, many times surprising myself by where I am ending up...

As we live our lives we change.  I don't know if never changing would even be possible.  In my case, we both have changed, and not in the same direction.  Sometimes it's very painful.  

I think the only people that never change are dead.

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Just now, Ivy said:

I think the only people that never change are dead.

 

I've been thinking about this one a lot lately because I have been going through so many changes in the last few years.  I've come to the conclusion that although change is fairly unavoidable and can be a great thing, too much change too fast (it's funny how things are meaningless without a measure of time), can be completely disruptive of healthy routines.  Cycles, loops and repetition are the building blocks of the universe.  I recently had my life so disrupted that I burned up several pans and was cutting myself in the kitchen.  Very, very unlike me and extremely frustrating and wasteful.

 

2 hours ago, DreamWalker said:

if my family cuts me off. So be it. Ive been a lone wolf the entire time. 
 

if by some chance they don’t….it would be wonderful. its a risk I’m willing to take. 

 

I've found this to be a beautiful place to be in.  I'm not the kind of person who would live my whole life like that.  It takes a lot of time for me to get to a point like that in my life and when I do, it's a very big deal.  It seems that if you don't stand up for a principle like that once in a while, life loses meaning.  If you never cared whether your family cut you off the whole time, then you miss out on the love of it all.

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It really is. And I agree. This has been years and years and years in the making. I truly understand the quote 

 

“ Taking care of yourself is the most powerful way to begin to take care of others. “

 I don’t want to hurt anyone, ever. But I’m so tired of hurting myself by denying who I am. 

now that I’m 100% resolute I’ve already made my appointment. June 27th. 


I haven’t been here very long. But my loneliness is a little less now. Thank you. 

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15 hours ago, DreamWalker said:

I don’t want to hurt anyone, ever.

Yes! 

 

15 hours ago, DreamWalker said:

But I’m so tired of hurting myself by denying who I am. 

Yes! Yes!

 

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@DreamWalker I came out to my wife of 20+ years a few weeks ago. We agreed to try couple's counseling and have been working with a therapist for 3 weeks now. I think overall it has been very positive. It's providing a channel of communication that would otherwise be very awkward at the least and is helping us set up some ways to move forward. For example, I'm slowly presenting as Justine more and more around her ... the key word being 'slow'. If there's a day where she feels like she just can't handle it, she can me a text before she comes home from work so I can 'turn down the volume'. She hasn't done that yet, but the option is there and having that 'switch' is comforting to her. I'm very early in my exploration though and the compromises don't currently cause me a great deal of distress. Best wishes to you, I'm sure you'll find a way to move forward that works for you!    

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20 hours ago, Justine76 said:

@DreamWalker I came out to my wife of 20+ years a few weeks ago. We agreed to try couple's counseling and have been working with a therapist for 3 weeks now. I think overall it has been very positive. It's providing a channel of communication that would otherwise be very awkward at the least and is helping us set up some ways to move forward. For example, I'm slowly presenting as Justine more and more around her ... the key word being 'slow'. If there's a day where she feels like she just can't handle it, she can me a text before she comes home from work so I can 'turn down the volume'. She hasn't done that yet, but the option is there and having that 'switch' is comforting to her. I'm very early in my exploration though and the compromises don't currently cause me a great deal of distress. Best wishes to you, I'm sure you'll find a way to move forward that works for you!    

I’ve been doing exactly what you’re talking about. Slowly introducing normal aspects of myself. It’s been….mixed. But, we are both looking forward to my appointment so that is a step in the right direction I hope. 

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Hi @DreamWalker, I’ve been lurking this thread for a while but haven’t replied yet even though I wanted to, due to lack of time.

I am continuously dealing with an internal struggle, unable to judge whether the hints I throw to my wife are sinister in their intent to butter her up, or a cry for help to get her to just recognize me!

 

I have been growing my hair for two years now and she totally accepts it when I say that I love it and should have done it years earlier, all of which is true. About 6 months ago she growled at me for wearing it in a particular way which was ‘too girly’ but now she doesn’t care as much.

 

I started growing my nails over a year ago, nothing extreme, and started to experience some splitting and breakage, so after noticing an ad on TV for clear gel to prevent that, we bought some and both use it now, every now and then. But when we went on a short interstate vacation late last year and happened to stay near a nail salon and I cheekily suggested that I should get a proper manicure and some pink polish just for while we were away, it was a firm no, despite this being only an hour after we were eating breakfast in our room both dressed in nighties. No is also what I hear at home with my chest and leg hair, it has to stay on to remind her of the man she married. That’s actually okay, I don’t feel a compulsion to get rid of it, but I fantasize about the day that I might, in anticipation of her potentially positive reaction. Balancing that is knowing that the concept of her being a lesbian spouse enjoying my smooth legs and more feminine looking moobs is repulsive to her. On one occasion I playfully suggested to her that I was her wife and it didn’t go down well at all.

 

About two years ago, I actually remember it was early one Saturday morning, I got out of bed early and let my wife sleep in, which is normal. As per usual the first thing I did after getting dressed was open up all the blinds through the house. After I opened up the big set of verticals in front of the sliding doors to the deck, I caught my reflection and noticed that I was carrying a limp wrist. It actually shocked me, so I stopped it, but it then felt abnormal! I didn’t prevent myself from carrying that wrist at any time after that except in the company of others, but my wife only noticed it a few months ago and thought that I was dealing with an injury! No, I said, and gave her the story which I just wrote. Point is, it was an old issue for me but news to her, and she recoiled.

 

A few months ago, for the first time, I ordered some clothing that was clearly unisex to me but actually marketed as womenswear, instead of unisex men’s clothing such as baggy tees. I ordered a zip hoodie with sleeves longer than the hem with some bling on it and a tee that had side splits and a daintier neckline. Soon after that, I bought a women’s sweater which resembled a men’s one that I used to own. My wife has no problem with any of this, but then exclaimed, “You’re not going to buy women’s clothes all the time now, are you?” ARRGGHH! 😩

 

I continue to wear panties full time and bras or crops when I feel like it as long as I can’t be ‘made’ by others. I sometimes smear a bit of moisturizer onto my hair to control frizz and use the excess on my face; my first foray into skincare. I started shaving the back of my hands and fingers a while ago too.

 

These are just a few examples of how I have changed in recent years. I am different to you in that I am not dysphoric enough to compel myself to go ‘all the way’ but I am still needing to be seen as my inner woman sometimes instead of as my male mask. My wife knows that I am happier the more feminine I am. I tell her often enough that it just makes me feel lovely! But the newer things to her, like using moisturizer, or carrying a wrist, or wearing women’s sweaters or tees, just doesn’t gel.

 

Good luck.

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Thank you for sharing that. I wear “men’s” yoga pants almost every day now. Luckily, because of my job, I normally

get comments about my legs and not “ what are you wearing? (I’m a martial arts instructor) Definitely some similarities. 
 

We had another long talk. It felt more like an interrogation. Before I go into it, I’d like to point out, as we all know, everyone is different. I speak for only my self. 
 

After about 2 hours. I explained in the most calm, plain manner I could. I surprised even myself! 
 

Yes , I will sometimes wear dresses, skirts, tight tops. I do it when the panic sets it. It brings me back. Makeup does this the best for me by the way. 
 

Then she asks what if the panic happens when family is around? Easy enough, I have methods I’ve learned since I was 13 that help. “Grounding” so that I can at least pretend to be normal. I’ll start to sweat profusely because of the concentration required. Everyone thinks I run “hot”. Btw I use physical, visual and audio grounding techniques. 
 

How much do you do the grounding? I wanted to be truthful, so, probably every 30 minutes to an hour. Its exhausting but it helps. 
It just isn’t helping as much as it used to. 
 

it went on and on like this until I told her the truth I’m dealing with. 
 

My male parts cause distress. I see my body hair, anxiety. I see my 5 o clock, immediate panic. Time to shave again.(I shave my face two times a day). I feel sick half the time, like my stomach is doing backflips. It only gets worse now daily. I don’t think I need to add more details, you get the point. 
 

I told her I could be completely content wearing my yoga pants and tank tops. That I want, I need, to be myself, no matter what that is and I’m not willing to put myself back in the “shell” (that’s what I call the fake me, the shell). 
 

I also told her that no matter what. I will respect her decisions and support them. 

That’s when she hit me with it. Mental Health. That’s what’s this is she said. All in my head. She knows I’ve been on countless medications my entire life. 
 

Devastating. First I was forced to see church counselors most of my adolescent life. They say I’m going to hell. Then, therapists that just medicated me and made me a zombie. So that had to stop. Then “ talk “ therapy, where even the Therapists by the end of it knew I was a woman but decided I need to see a psychiatrist. On and on. 21 years of that. I told my wife I took copious amounts of testosterone per an idea the therapist had. So I went to a clinic. DO NOT do this. It messed me up even more. I gained a lot of muscle and my fog was the worst it had ever been. 
 

Do I feel any better yet? Yes! Knowing I’m heading in the right direction actually keeps me more grounded than ever before. 
 

I wish I could go into a little deeper detail, however, it is not appropriate for the forums. Speaking of the forums, thank you all again. 
 

This WAS and is the push I needed to make a change. Thank you thank you thank you. I’m actually feeeeeeeling things again!! ❤️🥰

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