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Guest anyushka

Reasons To Stay Together

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Guest anyushka   
Guest anyushka

Once again I have spent too much time thinking. In addition to Laura's, I am also on a yahoo group for Spouses of TGs. Recently a number of couples have broken up, split equally between the TGs and the Spouses. So I started thinking of my personal reasons for staying with my spouse. These are the ones I've thought of so far and, since our journey is nowhere close to an end, I expect to come up with more. I'm interested in anyone else's reasons for staying with their partner as well.

1) I fell in love with the person, not the body. (Yeah, the sexual orientation is something I continue to try to wrap my brain around.)

2) She is so very much happier. She smiles more and is actually a better partner now.

3) The couple's therapy we've been through has actually brought us closer together.

4) Jaime and I have both grown through this and we've worked very hard to grow together.

5) Our lives together aren't only about Transition. We talk about a variety of other things including our wonderful FTM son, our love of one-liners and old cheesy movies.

6) She likes my favorite romance authors as much as I do, and its fun to discuss them.

7) I am really enjoying watching my best friend come into her own as a woman. The fact that we now speak the same language is no small thing.

8) She is able to advocate for herself, for me and for our relationship in a way that she never was able to before.

9) The common interests between Jaime and our turning-into-a-teenager child are so huge. Its created a new understanding of puberty in Jaime and reminded me of the gentle handling needed as they both deal with their body changes.

I think part of the reason that I am able to deal with this so well is that I am very secure in my own identity as a female. (I had to regain that after my hysterectomy but it was, fortunately, there before all this came out.) I feel no threat at sharing Mother's Day with Jaime, nor any threat at our child calling her some version of mom. (BTW, Lee calls Jaime "JaiDey" a combination of Jaime and Daddy, his choice.) But, the deal is that _I_ am the one who carried him, not giving that up, sorry.

I'm interested in hearing anyone else's reason or their struggles. We're all in this crazy play together.

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Guest Stuv   
Guest Stuv

anyushka, I decided this morning to come back to Laura's and make a more concerted effort at getting involved with the TG community here. I've spent the last few hours reading every thread in the SO subforum and saved this one for last - as expected, it brought a smile to my face to read it. Obviously it's an old thread so I hope I don't get in trouble for posting! :P

When (and how) Zolrek and I met, he was able to (and did) hide a great deal from me. As we got to know each other better, I found my love did not diminish with each passing revelation as to his true nature. He is thoughtful and loving and dedicated, and I hate to imagine us apart.

Lately I have been a source of disappointment to him, because of my own issues. My mechanisms for coping mesh very poorly with his, and it has exacerbated every negative feeling I experience. He is like air to me, but I live every moment afraid of what he might say next.

Threads like this help me to focus on better times and how he and I can love each other in the best way possible. Thanks :)

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Guest anyushka   
Guest anyushka

No post is ever too old to post to, in my opinion anyway. (It also has reminded me to go back and change the references to my daughter to my son now that he has come out as an FTM.)

My biggest suggestion is to develop some sort of communication system that you both feel comfortable with. I've seen people use a communication notebook when they didn't feel comfortable face-to-face with some topics. I've heard of people taking long drives together to get to talking, easier when you can't be expected to look at each other. For a while Jaime and I wrote long letters to each other - some we sent to each other and some we just held onto until we felt more comfortable.

Most importantly: be sure to tell each other how much you value each other and love each other every day.

anyushka

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Guest Elizabeth K   
Guest Elizabeth K

Well Stuv and Anyushka I am so glad you rewakened this topic. I want to show it to my S.O. and see if it strikes a chord. I needed to find this!

Lizzy

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Donna Jean   
Donna Jean

My wife of 30 years has opted to stay with me and make it all work. It's not been easy on her, although she loves me and wants me to be happy. We have a lot invested in our relationship and she says that she is not going to throw all of that away because of me coming out and transitioning. And I think that she is developing an "Us against the world" attitude ...........

But, I know that things do bother her about all of this...the perception oh her as I change....what becomes of her as a woman? And she worries of how I'll be treated in the future ...if in fairness or without dignity. And she has valid points.

I love her so much and our relationship has grown stronger since all of this has come about...we'll sit and talk now, where I would never do that before...it seems so important to me now and I've become a better, kinder, more loving partner and she enjoys the changes in me...and says so!

I'll do my very best to make her happy in all of this ...I know that she doesn't deserve what has happened to her and I can't help whats happened to me.......

We'll make it....

Love

Donna Jean

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Guest Stuv   
Guest Stuv

Thank you for your advice anyushka, again. We do tell each other we love each other, every day. It's often the last thing I say before I sleep, and sometimes the first thing I say when I wake, too :) Communication is key, my man and I will work on that together.

Best wishes to all

Stuv

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Guest anyushka   
Guest anyushka

This topic came up in therapy this past week. Another reason to stay with my wife:

We speak the same language now! I don't have to fumble around trying to explain things because she understands what I am talking about. She understands the frustration of craving a food for days, finally getting it and then, after a couple of bites, it isn't what you want after all. She gets that sometimes I just don't know what I want (to eat, to wear, to do, to watch), that I'm not just being difficult. She now understands that "I don't have anything to wear" means that 'none of this looks the way I want to'. She understands the importance of a cuddle, that it doesn't always have to go anywhere but that sometimes it really needs to.

Possibly the most important thing.....She isn't always trying to fix things for me. She understands that sometimes I just need to vent. I don't need Prince Charming to ride in on a white horse and make the fairy tale come true. I need someone to listen to me complain so that I can either get it out or figure it out. She doesn't need to figure it out for me and neither one of us always has to be the strong one. We can be equals.

more of my opinion,

anyushka

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Sally   
Sally
She doesn't need to figure it out for me and neither one of us always has to be the strong one. We can be equals.

And that is the secret to a long and happy marriage for anyone.

It had always worked for my parents - 63 years in June!

I wish that everyone could understand that principle.

Love ya,

Sally

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~Brenda~   
~Brenda~

Hey Anyushka. Stuv, and Donna!

I am so glad that you have been so fortunate in growing with your partners and your partners growing with you during transition. It really is heart warming to see. To see you all happy throughout all of this gives me hope that one day, I too can have this kind of relationship.

Thank you,

bernii

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Guest karma   
Guest karma

I guess it's easier for people who have been married longer... My husband and I haven't even been together for 2 years. We have an almost ten month old baby boy... and he keeps on trying to leave us at the drop of a hat... or anytime i say something he doesn't like. Which just pushes me to not talk to him at all. Then he has issues with me not talking to him. it's a lose lose situation for me. next time he leaves hes probably not coming back and i don't know if that is for better or worse...

Kylie

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Guest julia_d   
Guest julia_d

That's very typical with some relationships I'm afraid. It mirrors my marriage very closely... baby born july 1990.. by march 93 I was a different person living at the other end of the country on my own.

I'm trying to think of the reasons for my leaving.. maybe I can offer some inside glimpses of the inner turmoil.. and it's hard to put my finger on just the one thing that really pushed me away.

It's so hard to be forced into a role .. not by partner, but by expectation of society and family.. of something which doesn't fit. I loved my wife.. or thought I did, and I loved my daughter.. it was the other stuff.. the role of father that I couldn't deal with. The world expects certain things from fathers.. whether they know it or not. I'm sure other parents will agree.. in families gender roles are expected, if not actually fixed within the unit there is a certain pressure to do "the right thing"I couldn't explain things to my wife in ways she understood.. it always came down to "so.. you don't love me.. because if you did you would try to be a good father" .. and that tore chunks out of me.. because I was trying.. trying so hard to deal with everything else that was happening to me and to be the strong father figure and to provide for my family while keeping everything hidden from everybody else.. family, friends, the world.

I don't want to imagine the way attempts at talking go.. because I could probably write the script... they start off trying to explain something, then a sense of betrayal or loss.. then accusations.. been there and I still have the scars inside from them.. it ends up better not to talk. *sigh*

What would I do differently in this 20 years later world where it is at least accepted to be trans.. if not by society at least from a medical and legal standpoint..

I would explain this is how things are.. like it or lump it.. instead of trying to fight my conflicts to just go with the flow and transition regardless. I don't think in my marriage that would have changed anything.. my ex had very strong views on marriage and gender roles within the unit.. but hey.. worth a try.

You are still at the beginning of the relationship.. 2 years in is about when the infatuation and lust aspects of the love part start to change to indifferent normality.. Sad to say the baby has added another level of pressure to this.. you didn't really get enough time just the two to really get to know each other. You need some one on one time.. to do the things you did before children.. to remember why you fell in love in the first place.

From my perspective I was trapped in a failing marriage and a gender expected role I couldn't handle.. it was get out and transition or death. I wish I knew then what I know now.. because there are so many things I would try to do differently.. maybe pack in my job and stay at home and be me and look after the child (she was way better behaved with me.. even ate her food) while my wife went out to work for a few months.. that's so 90's isn't it *giggles* when there were jobs. These days just to stay alive both people tend to work.. the old stereotypes that I was expected to conform to don't really exist.

Lose lose is a bad place to be.. I know.. your partner is probably feeling the same. Try to find that common ground if you can.. it's going to take both of you to want to save the relationship.. and if one isn't sure that it's what they want then what will happen will happen.. There needs to be room to breathe.. room to develop and to find out what is really there.

I got mine wrong,.. horribly wrong.. and it's my only regret.. but without it I probably wouldn't be here now happy and heading to my second marriage having learned how to love again.

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Guest karma   
Guest karma

It's easier said than done with my husband. We both work so that we can afford to live in a nice neighborhood in a relatively decent apartment. but we work opposite shifts so we don't get to spend alot of time with each other.

I do have to agree with you though, in most families gender roles are expected, i think my husband has that stuck in my head more than i do. He used to always talk about how he should be the only one working and supporting the family. I always told him he was crazy if he thought i was just going to stay home and cook and clean. While yes i can clean, i can't cook! lol! he was always better at that until recently! Our family was always kind of backwards, but i thought it worked just fine. I never really saw myself doing the whole housewife routine, so i was kinda happy when i got together with him and everything was split down the middle we both did a little bit of everything... even if it is like pulling teeth to get him to take the trash out and do the dishes... the only two things i ask him to do around the house... lol. I don't think either of us really had a role, we were just trying to make things work! sorry, i tend to ramble, but my point on this is that i think that the whole gender role thing is more stuck in his head than anything else. I don't think i ever tried to force him into a role, i think that i tried to force him out of it more than anything.

I understand alot about all of this, not due to him telling me but just because after he told me i spent days upon days upon weeks reading everything i could find about it. But i am having a hard time believing that he actually does have a gender issue. Everything i have read just does not seem to match up with him. I mean he says one thing does another if that makes any sense... more like says one thing to all of you guys online here and says something completely differrent at home. At first i was trying to be supportive, but when i started noticing that, i got less and less supportive.

I guess some background on me would help. Let's see here... well i'm 20 years old now ( i know i'm young) i have a very high distrust in men. Ever since my dad walked out on my mom when i was 11 i have had a very high... disliking... towards men. My mom did the best she could at raising us on her own for a couple of years, then she met my step-dad and got married to him... but after watching her raise us single handedly for awhile it just showed me how strong women really are. it showed me that we never actually need a man in our lives for anything. I kind of stayed on that kick... still on it today actually! lol! Whenever i dated guys in high school, i wouldn't let them get too close before i broke it off. So safe to say i did not like men. so i took a little break from dating and just immersed myself into my music ( i was a major band geek!) so i just kept on going like that until i graduated. i met my husband shortly before graduation and i wanted absolutely nothing to do with him! lol! so i just kept ignoring him until our boss made us work together in close quarters one day! had no choice but to talk to him! come to find out we were both pagan, and we just hit it off after that and i couldn't wait until the next time we had to work together so that we could talk more. It was like i had met my match! he knew everything i didn't and i was learning so much from him, still am and i love it. so soon after we started talking we started dating, about a week after that we moved in together. my parents didn't like him and were trying to keep me from seeing him... didn't go over well with me... probably wasn't the best decision i've ever made, but i wouldn't change anything!

Anyways, a few weeks after we started dating he started asking me to marry him. The first time we were both drunk and i laughed at him and told him that he was drunk and he needed to go to bed! the next time he was sober and i still laughed and told him he did not want to marry me! I just kept turning him down and he just kept proposing! so finally one night when he asked a couple of months later i said yes. Due to our money situation we couldn't do it legally, but we got a handfasting done which was good enough for us. about six weeks after that we found out that we were pregnant. everything went well there obviously! we have a beatiful baby boy who is currently beating me with a pen... lol!

After we had our son it seemed like my husband was starting to come out of his depression, he was sleeping less, eating more, and had more energy, he just seemed all around happier. And he was opening up to me more which was great. shortly after that i picked up a second job and a couple of weeks after that i picked up a third one and kept all three so that he could go to his cna class without having to worry about bills, i had it taken care of. he refused to take a night off of work anyways, but i just wanted to make sure he did good in his class. It was towards the middle of his class that he just clammed up again. that is when they went over transsexuals.

Then in december right after we had gotten internet hooked up i went into history looking for why we already had a bunch of spam popping up and i found this site. I thought that it was going to be a porn site honestly, and i was ready to rip him a new one since i had specifically told him no porn in this house, ever. then i went through this site and didn't know what to think. I thought he didn't love me anymore and was trying to get out of this relationship or something. Then after i retrieved him from a friends house early in the morning after that we talked about it and i told him that i supported him... he started talking to me more for like two weeks... then he jammed up again... i thought everything was going fine, i was reading up more and more about all of this, trying to understand it and i would talk to him about stuff that confused me about it or whatever, and he seemed happy that i was trying to understand for a couple of weeks, then he closed up shop and didn't want to talk about it anymore and didn't really want to do much else other than vegitate.

So then i started watching him very closely. Every move he made everything he said. And i would compare it with everything that i had read and nothing adds up quite right. I'm actually thinking that my first assumption was right, he doesn't love me anymore and he is looking for a way out of this relationship.and that is pretty much where i'm at now... i'm also going to school for psychology, thinking about possibly specializing in this after having read about it so much, it's actually a very fascinating subject...

Part of the thing i have such a hard time understanding though is with the gender role, i don't expect anything from him just because of his gender. I expect him to be a good parent, I expect him to be able to do all of the things i know he can already do, I expect him to go and do the things he loves to do, like do well in his schooling to become an emt and in the future a paramedic, i know he loves it and i support him whole-heartedly in it, heck, i even sit down and help him study, and i know nothing about it, and the blood and guts pics make me sick... but i support him in everything that i can tell that he loves and he truly wants to do... but i don't really expect anything from him just because of his gender... both me and him have always just kind of said screw what society thinks, just do what works for us...

That's very typical with some relationships I'm afraid. It mirrors my marriage very closely... baby born july 1990.. by march 93 I was a different person living at the other end of the country on my own.

I'm trying to think of the reasons for my leaving.. maybe I can offer some inside glimpses of the inner turmoil.. and it's hard to put my finger on just the one thing that really pushed me away.

It's so hard to be forced into a role .. not by partner, but by expectation of society and family.. of something which doesn't fit. I loved my wife.. or thought I did, and I loved my daughter.. it was the other stuff.. the role of father that I couldn't deal with. The world expects certain things from fathers.. whether they know it or not. I'm sure other parents will agree.. in families gender roles are expected, if not actually fixed within the unit there is a certain pressure to do "the right thing"I couldn't explain things to my wife in ways she understood.. it always came down to "so.. you don't love me.. because if you did you would try to be a good father" .. and that tore chunks out of me.. because I was trying.. trying so hard to deal with everything else that was happening to me and to be the strong father figure and to provide for my family while keeping everything hidden from everybody else.. family, friends, the world.

I don't want to imagine the way attempts at talking go.. because I could probably write the script... they start off trying to explain something, then a sense of betrayal or loss.. then accusations.. been there and I still have the scars inside from them.. it ends up better not to talk. *sigh*

What would I do differently in this 20 years later world where it is at least accepted to be trans.. if not by society at least from a medical and legal standpoint..

I would explain this is how things are.. like it or lump it.. instead of trying to fight my conflicts to just go with the flow and transition regardless. I don't think in my marriage that would have changed anything.. my ex had very strong views on marriage and gender roles within the unit.. but hey.. worth a try.

You are still at the beginning of the relationship.. 2 years in is about when the infatuation and lust aspects of the love part start to change to indifferent normality.. Sad to say the baby has added another level of pressure to this.. you didn't really get enough time just the two to really get to know each other. You need some one on one time.. to do the things you did before children.. to remember why you fell in love in the first place.

From my perspective I was trapped in a failing marriage and a gender expected role I couldn't handle.. it was get out and transition or death. I wish I knew then what I know now.. because there are so many things I would try to do differently.. maybe pack in my job and stay at home and be me and look after the child (she was way better behaved with me.. even ate her food) while my wife went out to work for a few months.. that's so 90's isn't it *giggles* when there were jobs. These days just to stay alive both people tend to work.. the old stereotypes that I was expected to conform to don't really exist.

Lose lose is a bad place to be.. I know.. your partner is probably feeling the same. Try to find that common ground if you can.. it's going to take both of you to want to save the relationship.. and if one isn't sure that it's what they want then what will happen will happen.. There needs to be room to breathe.. room to develop and to find out what is really there.

I got mine wrong,.. horribly wrong.. and it's my only regret.. but without it I probably wouldn't be here now happy and heading to my second marriage having learned how to love again.

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Guest Lyne   
Guest Lyne

Okay, I am the SO in the relationahip and I am stuggling with this quite a bit. My spouse and I have been together for nearly 9 years. She was my soulmate, but in the last year I have felt that drift away. It has only been within the last 4 months or less that the transgender has surfaced. I am not sure there are reasons to stay together, nor am I sure there aren't. It has been an interesting read here and I appreciate the openness. My own job and the fact that I'm in a small town may make staying together extremely difficult for both of us. My own upbringing may also come into play with my mind and how I can even be supportive. Why does life have to be so confusing and difficult?

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Donna Jean   
Donna Jean
Okay, I am the SO in the relationahip and I am stuggling with this quite a bit. My spouse and I have been together for nearly 9 years. She was my soulmate, but in the last year I have felt that drift away. It has only been within the last 4 months or less that the transgender has surfaced. I am not sure there are reasons to stay together, nor am I sure there aren't. It has been an interesting read here and I appreciate the openness. My own job and the fact that I'm in a small town may make staying together extremely difficult for both of us. My own upbringing may also come into play with my mind and how I can even be supportive. Why does life have to be so confusing and difficult?

Welcome , Honey......

I'm not going to defend her...that's not possible with me anymore since I came out to my wife...

It was the hardest thing I've ever done.

But us Transgendered people have thought about this for a very long time for the most part....good or bad...acceptance or denial....

And then one day out of the blue....we drop the bomb on you!

Our partner...

Not what you signed up for....

I feel just awful for having done it to my wife....she has loved me and supported me in this, but the first days were full of confusion, pain, guilt, where did I go wrong and why me , Lord?!

She did nothing wrong...not her fault...

Now, Lyne...the reasons to stay or not to stay together will have to come from you both...weigh it out carefully...

Is this relationship impossible, could it work? Do you two WANT it to work? Is it something that you just won't be able to accept?

You both have a lot of soul searching to do.....you have 9 years into it...

There are things that you will have to overcome...things that she will have to overcome....

No, Sweetheart...life can be hard and unfair....

Why does life have to be so confusing and difficult?

Very few people in life have a totally smooth sail through it....

Most of us just do the best that we can.....

We are here for you, Hon....we'll talk if you need to......OK?

LOVE...

Donna Jean

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Guest stephalie   
Guest stephalie
anyushka, I decided this morning to come back to Laura's and make a more concerted effort at getting involved with the TG community here. I've spent the last few hours reading every thread in the SO subforum and saved this one for last - as expected, it brought a smile to my face to read it. Obviously it's an old thread so I hope I don't get in trouble for posting! :P

When (and how) Zabrak and I met, he was able to (and did) hide a great deal from me. As we got to know each other better, I found my love did not diminish with each passing revelation as to his true nature. He is thoughtful and loving and dedicated, and I hate to imagine us apart.

Lately I have been a source of disappointment to him, because of my own issues. My mechanisms for coping mesh very poorly with his, and it has exacerbated every negative feeling I experience. He is like air to me, but I live every moment afraid of what he might say next.

Threads like this help me to focus on better times and how he and I can love each other in the best way possible. Thanks :)

wow, this really struck a cord with me. i have recently decided to try and become active in this community once again as well. my partner is mtf and very in the closet and because of living like this, i just feel very isolated from all communities, i guess i just have issues putting myself out there. but i often feel like a great source of disappointment with my partner as well. i can never seem to understand enough or remain calm enough through all of her difficult periods of accepting and understanding her ownself. though i love her and will never stop trying. maybe i am reading too much into your comment, but i just felt like i could really relate to what you were saying.

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Guest Stuv   
Guest Stuv

Well I'm glad I seem to have helped a little! Each of us helps each other in turn, it seems, and together we do a lot better than apart :)

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Guest Lyne   
Guest Lyne
This topic came up in therapy this past week. Another reason to stay with my wife:

We speak the same language now! I don't have to fumble around trying to explain things because she understands what I am talking about. She understands the frustration of craving a food for days, finally getting it and then, after a couple of bites, it isn't what you want after all. She gets that sometimes I just don't know what I want (to eat, to wear, to do, to watch), that I'm not just being difficult. She now understands that "I don't have anything to wear" means that 'none of this looks the way I want to'. She understands the importance of a cuddle, that it doesn't always have to go anywhere but that sometimes it really needs to.

Possibly the most important thing.....She isn't always trying to fix things for me. She understands that sometimes I just need to vent. I don't need Prince Charming to ride in on a white horse and make the fairy tale come true. I need someone to listen to me complain so that I can either get it out or figure it out. She doesn't need to figure it out for me and neither one of us always has to be the strong one. We can be equals.

more of my opinion,

anyushka

Maybe that is one good thing that can come from all of this. B)

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Guest EllenLouise   
Guest EllenLouise
Once again I have spent too much time thinking. In addition to Laura's, I am also on a yahoo group for Spouses of TGs. Recently a number of couples have broken up, split equally between the TGs and the Spouses. So I started thinking of my personal reasons for staying with my spouse. These are the ones I've thought of so far and, since our journey is nowhere close to an end, I expect to come up with more. I'm interested in anyone else's reasons for staying with their partner as well.

1) I fell in love with the person, not the body. (Yeah, the sexual orientation is something I continue to try to wrap my brain around.)

2) She is so very much happier. She smiles more and is actually a better partner now.

3) The couple's therapy we've been through has actually brought us closer together.

4) Jaime and I have both grown through this and we've worked very hard to grow together.

5) Our lives together aren't only about Transition. We talk about a variety of other things including our wonderful FTM son, our love of one-liners and old cheesy movies.

6) She likes my favorite romance authors as much as I do, and its fun to discuss them.

7) I am really enjoying watching my best friend come into her own as a woman. The fact that we now speak the same language is no small thing.

8) She is able to advocate for herself, for me and for our relationship in a way that she never was able to before.

9) The common interests between Jaime and our turning-into-a-teenager child are so huge. Its created a new understanding of puberty in Jaime and reminded me of the gentle handling needed as they both deal with their body changes.

I think part of the reason that I am able to deal with this so well is that I am very secure in my own identity as a female. (I had to regain that after my hysterectomy but it was, fortunately, there before all this came out.) I feel no threat at sharing Mother's Day with Jaime, nor any threat at our child calling her some version of mom. (BTW, Lee calls Jaime "JaiDey" a combination of Jaime and Daddy, his choice.) But, the deal is that _I_ am the one who carried him, not giving that up, sorry.

I'm interested in hearing anyone else's reason or their struggles. We're all in this crazy play together.

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Guest again   
Guest again

Great thread!---one of my fears when learning of my son's transitioning was, what will happen to his relationship with his S.O.? She is a fabulous person and I would hate to see anything go wrong there.The first thing that came to mind was that she was attracted to a female when she met my son, but now my son is transitioning to male, so where does that leave them? The counselling that my son had, before he started T, did deal with that issue but he has told me that his S.O. is very supportive of him and she was always attracted to more "masculine" women, so they feel that the fact they love and respect eachother so much; have so many things in common and are going into the transitioning with both of them knowing full well what is going on, they will come out of it even stronger than before---there are no guarantees in life, but I really hope they are right. Also, I hope they realize how lucky they are to have found eachother.

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Edu   
Edu
Okay, I am the SO in the relationahip and I am stuggling with this quite a bit. My spouse and I have been together for nearly 9 years. She was my soulmate, but in the last year I have felt that drift away. It has only been within the last 4 months or less that the transgender has surfaced. I am not sure there are reasons to stay together, nor am I sure there aren't. It has been an interesting read here and I appreciate the openness. My own job and the fact that I'm in a small town may make staying together extremely difficult for both of us. My own upbringing may also come into play with my mind and how I can even be supportive. Why does life have to be so confusing and difficult?

Your post has given me a glimpse about how my girlfriend might be feeling since I came out to her. In exchange I'd like to give you a glimpse of the other side of the spectrum, in the hope it might be helpful.

First thing first: for a relationship to succeed and overcome the obstacles in the path, both sides must be willing to fight for the relationship. This applies to all kinds of relationships, although I'll admit that transsexualism can easily become one of the toughest obstacles a couple may ever have to handle.

There is a key point both you and your partner need to understand: dealing with transsexualism is something that takes a lot of time, among other things, and there is an abyssal difference between the time each one in the couple has had to deal with it. For example, it took me a while after I came out to my girlfriend to realize how sudden this was to her; and I still think she doesn't realize how long I have been dealing with this on my own. You should make sure that your partner understands this: she most probably has had a lifetime to handle this, but you have only had four months. Because of this, she will need a lot of patience.

Patience. That'll be a challenge. Here it comes the other side: you need to understand that she has been dealing with this for a long time. She will now be taking many things for granted that you may still be unable to digest. Also keep in mind that coming out to someone is a huge step for any transsexual. In my case, for example, I spent several nights with no sleep at all, just for the doubts and nerves, before I could gather enough courage to tell my girlfriend. While I can't say for sure, I'd bet that in most cases comming out is the direct result of not being able to hide anymore. In such cases, the decision to come out is just the spark that ignites an explosion of decisions. After taking such a big step, she's probably ready to go through this path at a much faster pace.

You'll need time, that's normal. Make sure your partner understands that. But also make sure that you understand that it's you, and not she, who needs time. She has already had plenty of time. If she is going faster than you can handle, try to tell her. She will probably understand things like "I can't handle this yet" or "I'd need some more time before going that far"; but if you use phrases like "It's too soon for that" or "you should take more time" this can be quite frustrating: if she tends to go faster, it's most probably because she's ready to quicken the pace. On the mid-long term, this frustration can seriously hurt a relationship.

This won't be easy for neither of you. Actually, it might be the hardest challenge your relationship ever faces. The only thing I know that can give a couple the strength to face such a challenge is love, and I'm not even sure if it's enough on all cases. But love itself makes the fight worth the effort.

Hope this helps

Regards,

Ethain

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Joanna Phipps   
Joanna Phipps

OK now I am crying my eyes out, with all that Lynn and I have been through over the last year or two and how angry I was before that for her to turn around and tell me she wants to stay together is simply overwhelming. I have just finished writing her a letter, we have so little time when she gets home because I work nights and have to go to bed, and thanking her for being her, being so tolerant of my transition and describing how I would like the future to look. Now I am crying like a silly girl, but for once they are tears of joy.

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Guest Tammy_   
Guest Tammy_

I know all the reasons I want to and will work to stay together with my spouse.What scares me the most is when the transsition is done what then.I don't know if we will

have to move,change our lives even more,or if I can stay.Right know I say nothing can make me leave but this is uncharted territory.It is to early to discuss this with her.However I am always preparing for the next step.Can anyone give advice on how the transition went for them after there spouse tansitioned or during the transition. I always tell my kids love can with stand anything Patients and understanding will always stand behind love for support.I have no need to doubt that now.I do love my husband,but the emotional rollercoaster scares me.

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Guest anyushka   
Guest anyushka

Hi Tammy,

I have found that trying to take a bite out of the future that is too big is enough to cause a major freak out. When my Jaime first began transitioning I dealt with things one at a time. 1) telling our youngest child (the only one still at home) 2) saying goodbye to the nearly 20 year old beard 3) Telling our family therapist 4) telling her parents 5) telling our friends 6) telling my family. At times things were good and at times they were terrible.

Because of problems my family caused as well as job issues, Jaime and I are in separate cities. I drive about a 5 hour round trip to see her each weekend and we talk on the phone for hours. (The phone is an amazing way to promote communication.) She is full-time. What will happen when she's post-op? I have no idea. I try not to think that far into the future. What will happen with her and depression as it takes longer and longer to save the money for surgery? Again, I have no idea.

All I can do is be there for her and ask that she be there for. We have made an agreement to be honest and truthful with each other, even when it hurts. (I never in a million years thought I'd be watching "13th Warrior" with my spouse and we would BOTH be drooling over Antonio Banderas.) Jaime wasn't interested in guys before hormones. At least, she thinks she wasn't. But she is now. She chooses not to act on that interest because we are committed to each other.

Don't try to take it years or months at a time. Heck, sometimes don't even take it weeks or days at a time. Sometimes its hour by hour. I never thought I would be married to a woman. But I am, and I love her very much.

hugs, anyushka

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Joanna Phipps   
Joanna Phipps
Hi Tammy,

I have found that trying to take a bite out of the future that is too big is enough to cause a major freak out. When my Jaime first began transitioning I dealt with things one at a time. 1) telling our youngest child (the only one still at home) 2) saying goodbye to the nearly 20 year old beard 3) Telling our family therapist 4) telling her parents 5) telling our friends 6) telling my family. At times things were good and at times they were terrible.

Because of problems my family caused as well as job issues, Jaime and I are in separate cities. I drive about a 5 hour round trip to see her each weekend and we talk on the phone for hours. (The phone is an amazing way to promote communication.) She is full-time. What will happen when she's post-op? I have no idea. I try not to think that far into the future. What will happen with her and depression as it takes longer and longer to save the money for surgery? Again, I have no idea.

All I can do is be there for her and ask that she be there for. We have made an agreement to be honest and truthful with each other, even when it hurts. (I never in a million years thought I'd be watching "13th Warrior" with my spouse and we would BOTH be drooling over Antonio Banderas.) Jaime wasn't interested in guys before hormones. At least, she thinks she wasn't. But she is now. She chooses not to act on that interest because we are committed to each other.

Don't try to take it years or months at a time. Heck, sometimes don't even take it weeks or days at a time. Sometimes its hour by hour. I never thought I would be married to a woman. But I am, and I love her very much.

hugs, anyushka

Anyushka, congratulations on making it this far with your wife. I have had family problems too but luckily the family that caused the problems are in another state so they kinda dont count on the greater scheme of things. Surgery can be a daunting task to think of let alone get the cash together for. It is the main reason for Lyne, my lovely wife, and I to be moving back to Canada. It will take me another year past my original plan but the govt will pay for it so that is good.

Like an old super of mine used to say, how do you eat an elephant... one bite at a time.

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Guest Wren   
Guest Wren

About a year ago my girlfriend came out to me. We had been dating for a little over a year at the time. I was out of town for my cousin's wedding. When she told me, I freaked out. I was crying and shaking as she told me everything over the phone, because I was scared.

I was born and raised in an Italian Catholic family. Just from brief conversations with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc... I know that none of them are tolerant of the "children" (I'm 20 and still considered a child) marrying or even dating anything that was "queer" according to them. This includes transgenders. While I haven't always agreed with my family's opinion of the rest of the world, I have come to value their love and just overall presence in my life.

I was so scared when she came out to me because, while I knew I loved her and wanted to be with her forever, I also knew that my family would disown me.

So I spent the rest of my out-of-town weekend thinking things over, trying to decide what I would do. When the wedding came, I was still confused. During the ceremony, the priest gave a little sermon on love. I don't remember exactly what he said, but there was one part that just made things "click" in my head. I thought to myself, "I love her, to hell with my family."

Over the next two months, I would have an occasional episode where I'd question myself, my orientation, what my family would say if they found out, how I would be seen as a lesbian, and just about everything else that an SO can think of. I would cry and she would hold me.

I have now been "episode free" for 10 months. In that time, I have helped her pick a name (Eve), find counseling, come out to a few of our friends, and bought and made several outfits for her to wear when she goes out as herself.

Other than myself and those few friends, she is still "in the closet." She can't tell her family because their pretty much like mine and she fears being disowned. She goes to school and work and hangs out with most of her friends as a "he." She keeps almost all of her female clothes at my house so that they can stay hidden from her family.

The other night, as a way to "test" her mom to see if she would be accepting if she came out, she made a transgender joke referencing to herself. Her mom said, "I already have two daughters, I don't need another one." This crushed her. There have been several similar conversations with her family, albeit none of them were as devastating as this one.

So what exactly are my reasons to stay with her? There are so many, but here are the big ones. First off, because she is an amazing person. I could go on and on about that. She has always been by my side through all of my problems. Secondly, because she needs me and my support more than I need my family. Third, as corny as it sounds, she is my soulmate. There is no one else that I could share a relationship with like the one her and I share.

That's my story.

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