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SaraAW

Came out to my wife

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SaraAW

Last week, a my GT appt, I talked about coming out to my wife soon. I had a good plan. I was still trying to work up the courage, when I was less than careful and my wife noticed my painted toenails. She confronted me, like she has in the past when she has noticed things. This time, instead of denying it and changing the subject, I told her. 

 

I am still not sure where we are at.  We both cried a lot, I was honest in answering her questions. She wanted to know how far I would take this. I told her I didn’t know, just far enough to make my pain stop and truly feel free as me. 

 

She he said she wants me to stop, that she can’t accept this right now, that she didn’t sign up for this and that she married a man. We lost our 3 fur babies over the last year and a half. She is still grieving and one of the things she said after I came out is that she doesn’t want to grieve anymore. It nearly broke my heart. 

 

In our talk and crying she kept asking why I’ve been lying. I straight up told her it was because I am afraid. I am still terrified. I feel better having at least told her. Now there are 3 people that know, her, my GP and my GT. 

 

She kept asking why and why I’m going to therapy. I told her I have been having a hard time dealing with figuring out who I am, that my job has been stressful (which she knows and I has been supportive about in the past) and the death of our pups and kitty. She keeps sling me how that could make me a woman, not understanding they are not related. I am working through these issues separately. I get the feeling she’s looking for a reason why I am doing this. I told her a hurt so much from hiding that lots of the time I don’t feel like a man and instead feel like a woman. The little things I’ve done, like paint my toenails, shave my body hair and wear feminine underwear help me feel like me. 

 

Throughout she she kept she was scared I would leave. Before we were married, I did leave once.  However, I think in addition to actually leaving, I think she may also mean the male me disappearing. I told her throughout that the only thing that I really know is that I love her and don’t want to lose her. She did eventually start telling me she loved me. 

 

So after lots more crying and the talking dried up, we sort of fell back into our usual routine. We watched several hours of a show we like, I did laundry and made us something to eat. I asked if she wanted me to sleep on the couch and she got mad at me, she asked why I would want that. I told her it was because I wasn’t sure if she wanted space and that i definitely wanted to sleep in the same bed still. 

 

All this to say, I feel better having told her, I am still absolutely terrified and I have know idea what today, let alone tomorrow brings. 

 

Thank you to everyone on here, for your stories that keep me going and the advice you share.   Hopefully my next post is shorter and happier. 

 

*hugs*

 

Sara

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reyindium

I don't have much to say except that I truly empathize with your situation. I recently came out to my spouse a couple months ago, who knew my gender was flexible from the start but apparently had no idea I wanted to medically and socially transition to full time male (terrible miscommunication on my part). Things have been in a limbo between us ever since. Like you, we returned to routines with efforts on his part not to use feminine labels with me (pronouns haven't changed though). But there have been a lot of tears, because we still love each other but he "didn't marry a man" so if I change my body or pronouns, etc, it would over between us. So I'm in therapy to grieve over the fact I will live a life of dysphoria to preserve this relationship and our life together. And our life together is awesome (until I came out) so I believe it's worth fighting for.

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SaraAW

@reyindium Thank you. I too will fight for what my wife and I have. I hope over time she will come to accept more of the real me. At this point it’s one day at a time. I hope you can keep the love going and maybe he can become more accepting of the true you over time. 

 

*hugs*

 

Sara

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QuestioningAmber

I had a similar reaction when I came out to my wife a couple of months ago. She knew about my cross dressing and was a part of it actually. It has taken a couple of months of therapy for both of us, but it has reached a point where she helped last weekend with doing a make over, so it can happen where she may come to accept it. It is also possible she may not, in which case I would recommend working with a gender therapist to figure out how to navigate it going forward.

 

I think the one day at a time is the best way to go about it for now. 

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Susan R
6 hours ago, SaraAW said:

She confronted me, like she has in the past when she has noticed things. This time, instead of denying it and changing the subject, I told her

Hi Sara, This was my defense mechanism of choice during most of my life.  It worked well for me until 2017.  I suddenly realized I was living in a world where most of my family and friends knew more about my "secret" than I was willing to acknowledge or accept.  The years of denial only kept me from acknowledging the truth...not them.

 

It took a lot of courage for you to finally tell the truth after your wife's confrontation.  I wish I could have mustered up this kind of courage much earlier in my marriage.  I guess there's a time and purpose for everything.  Just know that this was a positive step in the right direction toward you finally becoming who you are.

 

6 hours ago, SaraAW said:

She wanted to know how far I would take this. I told her I didn’t know, just far enough to make my pain stop and truly feel free as me. 

This all brings back so many of my own memories.  How this would change our unknown future was the biggest huddle for my wife.  We have no way to know just where our transitions will take us at this early stage in the journey.  It would sure help to logically plan out things If we knew what's coming up next.  Your wife has to wait to find out just like we do.

 

6 hours ago, SaraAW said:

So after lots more crying and the talking dried up, we sort of fell back into our usual routine. We watched several hours of a show we like, I did laundry and made us something to eat. I asked if she wanted me to sleep on the couch and she got mad at me, she asked why I would want that. I told her it was because I wasn’t sure if she wanted space and that i definitely wanted to sleep in the same bed still. 

Maybe your wife was just starting to feel life returning to "normal" in your daily routine after your long 'coming out' discussion and needed some time to absorb all that was said.  When you asked her if she wanted to change sleeping arrangements, her first thought may have been..."ok, here we go...you're trying to change things up on me again".  Of course, then she got upset.  I also stepped on several land mines early in my coming out to my wife.  What actually changed things for the better and eventually moved to full affirmation was our continual communication of feelings, our needs, our love for each other, and understanding of one another.

 

Best of Luck,

Susan R🌷

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Carolyn Marie

I think you were very brave to tell her, as I know how difficult that conversation is.  It's important to get the air cleared and have a chance to discuss things and for you both to be honest about your feelings.

 

There is no way to know how your marriage will work out and whether your wife can adapt and accept the new situation.  Everyone is different.  I felt terrible, too, and wasn't sure my marriage would last.  But it did, and we're still together and living a good life.  I hope you have the same result.

 

The one piece of advice I will give is to be patient and communicate everything, honestly.  She will be going through the stages of grief, and will be transitioning right along with you.  That is going to take a lot of love on both your parts.  I wish you well.

 

HUGS

 

Carolyn Marie

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SaraAW

Amber, Thank you. One day at a time is how I plan on tackling this. If I think too far ahead, I’m sure my brain will come up with all kinds of nightmare scenarios. I have 2 more weeks for my next GT appt, it seems like an eternity. I may try and bump it up.  Thank you. 

 

Susan, thank you for sharing. I’m not the best at conversations to begin with. With this, I feel like the blast from the first land mine blew straight onto the next and the next.  I really want to keep going with the open and honest talk, not sure she does yet. 

 

Carolyn Marie, thank you. My plan is to take this as slowly as I can and at a pace we both find acceptable. I hope we can make this work, as you have with yours. If not, I’ll deal with that bridge when we get there. 

 

Yesterday went by pretty much as a normal day, until it was time for bed. I didn’t want to bring anything up throughout the day, giving her time to process. She started crying and telling me she wanted me to make the problem go away and go back to it was before. Then she said she needs time.  She told me she’s being selfish and knows it but that’s how she feels. I told her I love her and that I will try to do what I can for her and her wishes and that I am continuing therapy.  She said she worries if I do bottle everything up, it will eventually explode worse and that I will blame her for whatever happens then. I can tell she is as scared and confused as I am. My heart is hurting for both of us so much. 

 

Thank you again to everyone who is part of this site, you all are an inspiration and such a loving and comforting community. 

 

*hugs*

 

Sara

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reyindium
3 hours ago, SaraAW said:

She said she worries if I do bottle everything up, it will eventually explode worse

My spouse holds similar fears of me growing to resent him for asking me not to change my body. I believe his concerns are valid, because I struggle with anger already at feeling like he's indirectly policing my body. But he's not forcing me to be with him and I tell myself that I can't resent him for being straight anymore than he can resent me for being trans...

Thank goodness I have therapy to help manage my crap.

 

Sidenote: Both of our spouses would benefit from therapy as well, to help them organize their thoughts and feelings too. Just my 2 cents..

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QuestioningAmber

Another thing my therapist has suggested as we get closer to transitioning is to go see a couples counselor that works with these kind of issues to work things out together also.

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SaraAW

@reyindium  I feel very similarly and am trying to be as understanding as I can, especially as I have been dealing with this alone for quite sometime and for her, it’s really fresh. 

 

I wholeheartedly agree about spousal therapy, unfortunately my wife’s past history with the mental health services makes the likelihood of her actually agreeing to attend almost zero. I floated it and the look of contempt on her face was scary. 

 

I’m going to keep the dialogue open and be there to answer her questions the best I can. I’ll let her lead at her pace for awhile and I’ll continue with my own therapy. 

 

I hope things improve for you. Thanks for sharing  

 

*hugs*

 

Sara 

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SaraAW

@QuestioningAmber  thanks for your reply. I definitely agree that this would be helpful. Unfortunately, I don’t think this will happen. My spouse is not open at all to the idea.  Maybe in time though. 

 

*hugs*

 

Sara

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Krisvm

I don't have too much to add. I just want to agree it can be tough but take it one step at a time. My wife is supportive now in a lot of ways but it took time and every step forward I take which seems logical to me can be hard for her. 

Just keep going and be true to who you are. 

Love and hugs, 

Kris

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anond

I am sorry that you had to go through that experience. Recently I informed my wife about my GD as well. I never wanted to have that discussion with her. She was the first person to show me love for who I am. I tried ny hardest to repress for her, I did not want to lose such a good person in my life. I just wanted to be accepted by people so I tried to be the man they wanted. Yet I should have been the person I was.

 

Physically I am still male, mentally I am female. Yet I found out I could romantically love a woman. It might be a different kind of love we have but it is still love. If things don't work out between the two of you, you don't have to make it a complete loss. She might lose a husband but she can gain a relationship with the real you.

 

I avoided all romantic relationships because I tried to supress who I was not to suffer more abuse from the people in my life. I tried not to get into a romantic relationship with her, however I did enjoy her friendship in the beginning. Yet the longer I was with her the more I felt accepted and loved. I wanted to make her happy because seeing her happy made me feel better. I was hospitalized for my depression and I was going to let out the truth why I was there. Yet she cam everyday to visit me and support me. I fell in more in love with her because of this, I felt maybe being with her I could somehow live as a man.

 

I married her, but I feel terrible because I wasn't honest about myself to her. However I was honest about my love for her, I truly do love and care for her. I know I did the wrong thing but I didn't know how to live. I know she is hetrosexual and is attracted to me as a man. I know I am attracted to men, my wife is attracted to men. We might have to find new relationships. If you could stay friends with your wife would you be happy. Do you want your wife to be physically attracted to you as a woman?

 

Just remember love is a powerful thing and move people to do amazing things.

So don't give up hope, find strength in the length you were willing to go to be with her. Thinking about a partner leaving you, cheating on you, finding love elsewhere is not healthy. We betrayed their trust and must be aware of the harm we caused. Yet don't dwell on it because you both have lives to live. Anyways I just wanted to share my story and feelings about this to you in hopes that it helps you know you are not alone.

At least we are not dead leaving them with more self doubt and not knowing why we took our lives.

 

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SaraAW

Thanks for sharing @anond.  It does help to know we are not alone. 
 

We are due for another good conversation about our future, but we’ve had house guests pretty much nonstop for the last month and a bit, except for the last week, where she was away visiting some of her family. 
 

I do hope she can come to accept me as a whole, including as a romantic partner. If I had to settle for her just staying as my best friend, I could still find a lot of happiness in that. 
 

If she can’t accept me, it will be tough.  I’ve tried suppressing as much as I can recently, but it has been hard. With her away for a week, I lived as me every night after getting home from work. It was so amazing, even my therapist noticed a huge change in my mood. She also noted my mood change as we discussed what I would do when my wife got home later that evening. 
 

We have a small window of less than a week until her mother comes to stay with us for a week or two. I am hoping to have some dialogue about us in that time.  
 

I am also hoping  to go to my first local trans support group this week. Just waiting to get the full details from the organizer. I’m hoping to build out my support network and meet some allies that can help me as I continue forward. 
 

*hugs*

Sara

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Jani
16 hours ago, SaraAW said:

We have a small window of less than a week until her mother comes to stay with us for a week or two. I am hoping to have some dialogue about us in that time.  
 

Sara make sure if you are able to talk, that you don't leave anything open that might cause distress between you two while her mother is visiting, i.e. come to closure on any point of discussion.  

 

I think going to a support group will be fun, scary and enlightening, all at once.  Enjoy yourself. 

 

Jani

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SaraAW

Thanks Jani. I definitely need to make sure there is closure on any talks, as the relationship between my wife and mother is not great. I do not want to be adding any fuel to the fire. 

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NB Adult

Sara, 

Best advice I can offer from my own experience is to have a lot of long and amicable conversations in a peaceful manner, never raising your voice or sounding condescending and always be as emphatic toward her as possible. Wives do scream, cry and become extremely emotional over this, after all it is a shock and not at all what they signed on for when they took their vows. Your patience will pay enormous dividends. My best to you!

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SaraAW

Thanks NB.  I don’t think my wife will need to worry about me raising my voice, as a complaint she has had about me forever is that I do not show much emotion and that I am too logical and rational.   
 

I will need to make sure I do not condescend though, I have a hard time suffering fools or foolish behaviors. 

 

Have a great day!

 

*hugs*

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NB Adult

Good luck Sara!

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ShawnaLeigh

Your story has touched me deeply.  I am not out and still quite naive on how much my wife know or guesses about me.  I suspect she knows something is “off”.  But she has not questioned me once.  
I am scared to death of this conversation and have hidden myself in fear of it daily.  
I secretly hope to be caught somehow to force me into it but then again that’s being selfish as I should have the courage to tell her.  She deserves that much.  
I read through all the letters to XXX on coming out and I feel this is a good way for me too.  
I would just stammer and blubber and cry.  
out of the two of us she is the more dominate. Very little emotion.  Very logical and business like.  I’m the cry baby.  
I hope one day I can get past this stage.  She is the only one I fear to tell.  Most of my family is out of state and I rarely talk with them.  My parents have passed.  I have two kids and I’m ok letting them know when I do come out. 
my wife is my world and I am so afraid to hurt her or worse loose her.  

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SaraAW

@Nivegnal  My wife is still upset I hid it from her. What she can’t grasp is that I wasn’t ready to tell her as I had almost no answers at the time and was really feeling shame. We have had only very brief conversations since as we have had people staying with us almost non stop since the initial conversation. 
 

I honestly don’t know that I would I have really done a whole lot different if I could have a do over. It was one of the most stressful things I have ever done in my life. It took everything I had to bring it into the light. I am still stressed about it both the situation with my wife and the fact I am not out to anyone else other than my therapist, my GP and my endo. 
 

I am going to have a much more in-depth series of conversations with my wife this weekend, as we are finally going to have some alone time. We will see how it goes. 
 

I wish you the best of luck in coming out to your spouse. Everyone is different and will handle the news in their own way. You may end up with a super supportive partner. 
 

*hugs*
 

Sara

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Jackie C.

Best of luck Sara! My conversation was a little different from what you're going to have, but Susan and I are closer now than we've ever been before. Over the weekend she was telling an old friend how much more pleasant I've been to have around the house since I've started transitioning. Note here is that I'm OUT out. I present as female all the time, I'll happily answer questions to the best of my ability and I'm not ashamed of being transgender. I'd rather I wasn't mind you, but I think part of being trans is making the most out of a difficult situation.

 

Your wife sounds like a wonderful and caring individual. You're still the person she fell in love with, you're just sharing a little more of yourself. I think it's telling that you came out to her and she stuck around. I think you'll be OK.

 

Hugs!

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NB Adult

Being willing to sit down and talk through all of the issues she has is critical.

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Jani
2 hours ago, SaraAW said:

My wife is still upset I hid it from her. What she can’t grasp is that I wasn’t ready to tell her as I had almost no answers at the time and was really feeling shame.

This was me too so you're not alone.  I found it difficult to explain to my wife something I couldn't explain to myself.  Counseling helped me a lot.  

 

All my best.  Jani

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ShawnaLeigh
3 hours ago, SaraAW said:

@Nivegnal  My wife is still upset I hid it from her. What she can’t grasp is that I wasn’t ready to tell her as I had almost no answers at the time and was really feeling shame. We have had only very brief conversations since as we have had people staying with us almost non stop since the initial conversation. 
 

I honestly don’t know that I would I have really done a whole lot different if I could have a do over. It was one of the most stressful things I have ever done in my life. It took everything I had to bring it into the light. I am still stressed about it both the situation with my wife and the fact I am not out to anyone else other than my therapist, my GP and my endo. 
 

I am going to have a much more in-depth series of conversations with my wife this weekend, as we are finally going to have some alone time. We will see how it goes. 
 

I wish you the best of luck in coming out to your spouse. Everyone is different and will handle the news in their own way. You may end up with a super supportive partner. 
 

*hugs*
 

Sara

I wish you all the best with your conversations and your marriage.  The first time I came out to my first wife it was easy and she was totally supportive.  We shopped together and she taught me make up. It was wonderful. Then we got divorced a year later and my world crumbed.   She eventually couldn’t do it any longer even though I was not truly out still being in the military.  Still a guy in public and at work or every where outside our home.  
ot was crushing.  Having to go deep in hiding again. I almost took my life.  My fear of this happening again is crippling.  
I hope to work through my fear and one day tell my wife now.  
Good luck this weekend ❤️

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It's a complicated story though, I'll tell it some other time.  But yes, I've come across pre-T trans men complaining about this issue online. It is a thing and a quite annoying one, specially if you want to not only pass as male but also attract one. I'm really not excited about the thought of having a girl in my face and wanting to snog me. However, I do realize it must be quite difficult to attract a guy who likes guys and that's going to treat you like one when you're not even on testosterone yet. But, bloody hell, I absolutely despise having to play the role of the "cute" 24 year old girl in order to please a straight guy. And I'm a bloody people pleaser, a dreadful thing to be.  I just miss romantic/sexual interaction so much. Even just a bloody kiss would feel heavenly. But I really don't want to use my "female qualities" to attract someone.   Quick note: My inner being might not be female but it's also not all "manly". I'm shy and silly, which pretty much makes me a dork. If I had been born in a male body, I would have been the teenage boy with the awkward laugh that barely speaks but, when he does, talks really fast and then goes home kicking himself for acting weird around people again. This teenage boy would, of course, then lock himself in his room and spend hours playing the latest videogame in solitude. If you imagine him as a girl, you'd basically be imagining my teenage years (and my present life).  All this to share that I am not and doubt I'll ever be the stereotypical "dude".    *A shout of despair* I don't know what to do... Help! Someone! How can I have any sort of romantic interaction without being seen as a girl? Has anyone here been able to be perceived as a guy in the dating world before taking T?   I had many opportunities during this pitiful time of abstinence but I still couldn't go through with anything. I'm just really sick of lying and not being able to enjoy sexuality. My last kiss/sexual act was in march 2017. It's bad.  I want to enjoy my youth! It's slipping away!     *Don't let my profile pic fool you. I really bloody look like a girl in the real world.  If you saw me in person, or in another photo, you would never guess how uncomfortable I constantly feel. 
    • NB Adult
      You have us for now, and we are a motley tribe but we are here for you. Perhaps some day you might find the nerve to discuss just a tiny amount of personal things with one of those nice folks that you have come to trust, you may be surprised and get a very positive and uplifting response which might form the basis for trust and future conversations.
    • Jani
      That's so nice to hear!   Remember to pay it forward yourself. 
    • Jani
      A signature is just a representation of your name.  By "signing" you are attesting to that which came before (i.e. a letter, or a post on a forum).  Sometimes you must sign your full legal name (for a contract) but otherwise your signature is what it is.   If your name is Jane Doe and you sign J. Doe or JD that is OK.   I have blended my first initial and last name together for years and it became known as my signature.  I actually used a version to sign artwork when I painted years ago.  I think the goal is to be consistent and not flip flop around.  Practice until you arrive at something your like.     Jani
    • ShawnaLeigh
      That’s fantastic.  Must of made you feel so good.  ❤️
    • Lucca
      What are the legal and practical ramifications of changing your signature? Do I need to have a legal name change first? And can I sign with just my new first name? I don't like signing my last name with my current signature, it just takes too long. (I saw a video from Molly Burke a while ago, who is blind, and she signs her name with just her cursive initials since it's hard to write anything longer when you can't see. I thought that that would be super convenient for anyone, regardless of sightedness.)The guideline I've always read is that a signature can be literally any mark on a page as long as it's consistent, but that doesn't really tell me how to change my signature in a legally valid way. I mean, the first time I use my new signature, it's by definition not consistent with my old one.
    • Jackie C.
      Great news! Lesbians are awesome! Cake for everyone!   Hugs!
    • Lucca
      I think that there's a grain of rationality to the resistance to the term "cisgender", in the sense that it's a label that is being applied to a group that did not create it or approve its use. It's usually considered better form to refer to demographic groups and subcultures by terms they've created themselves, which is why the terminology surrounding transgender people has changed so much during the last couple decades when trans people took control or their own narrative.   I think the necessity for a neutral, maximally non-stigmatizing term to distinguish trans people from non-trans people outweighs the complaints from cis people about it, particularly considering that the term "cisgender" is just about as objective and value-nuetral as a word can possibly get; it's literally just the latin word that's the opposite of "trans" plus the word "gender". But I can at least kind of understand where the complaints are coming from.   I saw a TERF post once rejecting the term "cisgender woman" as offensive, and preferring the term "natal woman" instead. I mean, sure, I'd be fine with the terms "natal woman" and "natal man", that's pretty neutral, too, but in the end we just have to pick something and stick with it, and "cisgender" has become far more popular, and most people are ok with it. There just isn't any turning back the clock, and the objections to it are weak and arbitrary enough that I don't think we need to put any effort into changing it.
    • MaryMary
      yeah, I don't know. I do, maybe naively, think that cisgender exist just as a word to talk about a group of people who are not transgender. In a conversation always saying "those who are not transgender"  every phrase is not a very nice way to express oneself.   I do think, and maybe I'm somewhat cruel, think that those people who react negatively to the word cisgender are a little bit of spoiled child. I've been called a lot of thing in my life, lots and lots of them a lot worse then just "cis" who has very little negative connotation. Even in some ways positive connotation because if you say to a transgender woman she's indistinguishable from a cisgender woman it's seen as a positive thing to say...   anyway, just my 2 cents
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