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covercrops

My (cishet M) fiance (AFAB) may be genderfluid or trans and I'm terrified

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covercrops

First of all, I am brand new here, so I apologize if I break any forum rules or mess up the preferred nomenclature here. This is probably going to be fairly long. It is also going to be very frank. I do hope that I do not say anything ignorant of offensive, but if I do, please call it out and let me know. Now more than ever I need to be on my "A Game."

 

My AFAB fiancé has just revealed to me that she is going through a gender identity crisis. I am going to continue to use female pronouns for her in this post, as she is still figuring this out and doesn't want to change that. I will refer to her as Hannah.I am a cisgender straight male, and I am scared. Trans issues and social justice issues in general are things that I have always been very invested in, so in many ways I feel well-equipped to deal with many aspects of this, but I am terrified of of the reality that this could one day result in me losing my partner. 

 

So, the background:

 

My fiancé and I have been together for 9 years. Our relationship has always been... I mean as close to perfect as I think a relationship can be. We don't yell at each other. When there's something wrong, we talk to each other. We are always receptive to each others needs, and we are always willing to change ourselves and our behavior for each other. We are deeply in love with each other, and we have always been absolute teammates. We are truly partners in life. We support each other in everything we do, and our lives are deeply intertwined. We have worked together professionally (she actually became my supervisor for some time, about 5 years into our relationship), and we've been through all kinds of life transitions and changes together. Everything life has thrown at us, we have taken on together and came out stronger. We've always been each other's constant. No matter what changes happen, we always have evolved together. The *only* problem in our relationship - and it is significant, I don't mean to downplay it - is our sexual compatibility. I am very low libido, and she has always been pretty high libido. It is something that we have worked on, and continue to work on, together. It has never been a deal breaker, but it is something that I carry guilt over. But I don't want this to be about that.

 

So, Hannah has been struggling with depression. She always has had depression, but these last 3 years or so have been particularly rough. Her self-confidence has plummeted in many ways, and it's been hard. It's been hard, but it's been manageable. I don't love her any less. The other day, Hannah came out to me as struggling with her gender identity, and I imagine this is likely a strong link to the depression. From my understanding of our conversation, she is still trying to figure this all out. She's not sure where she fits in, but genderfluid has maybe been the best description she has found thus far.

 

With that said, she has expressed to me that she has days where she feels utterly trapped and hopeless in her body. I've dealt with some existential anxiety in the past that has some similar symptoms/feelings, so I feel like in a way I understand how terrible this feeling can be. This feeling of being absolutely trapped, and having nothing in your control to help it or fix it, or not knowing what you can possibly do to feel better. This feeling of utter hopelessness. This feeling of being trapped in an existence that you don't want, but cannot control. I'm not trying to equate my experience, just that I am sympathetic to this feeling. Anyway, she has expressed body dysphoria. She explained there are days she feels horrible in her body and with her appearance. She explained it like... she feels like she was put in the wrong body, and she's trapped - her "real" body doesn't exist. On those days she may dress down. On those days she may not like her breasts being touched. On those days she doesn't like hearing gendered compliments. Not necessarily pronoun-related, but things that remind her that she is in a woman's body. She also explained that there are days where she feels great in her body. And there are days she feels nothing. So she is thinking that she may be genderfluid, but she has only begun exploring this and she is really unsure of what any of this means. It is something she thinks she has felt all her life, but is only now truly confronting the reality of it. 

 

So... I'm terrified. I am a straight male, and the body dysphoria is horrifying me. I don't know if I would be capable of being in a relationship with a man. There are many scenarios that I know we can work through. If there are days that she doesn't want to be touched in certain places, or she doesn't want to be called certain names or titles, or she *does* want to be called certain names or titles, we can do that together. There are so many scenarios where our relationship moves forward, and even gets stronger. I am prepared to support her. I am prepared to fight for her and help her through this. I am prepared to be by her side through whatever comes - through coming out and helping her family and friends understand this. I am prepared for her to not understand what she wants or needs. I am prepared to experiment and discover what she needs. I am prepared for growing pains through this. I am prepared for her to be frustrated at times. I am prepared for her to be depressed and confused and scared. I am prepared to make mistakes and hurt her and work through them. I am prepared to work on this. We will both have to. I want to do absolutely everything we can to make this work. I am prepared to be absolutely supportive through all of this for her, because I know what she is going through is far more terrifying than what I am. I have the privilege of my identity. I know she is dealing with the same fears I am, plus her gender on top of this. I am so proud of her for sharing this with me, and I am ready to go through all of this change with her. We have not found a challenge we could not take on together yet.

 

There is not a version of Hannah that I have seen yet that I haven't been absolutely in love with. No matter what she has gone through, I have 100% loved her all the same, every single day. I mean that very strongly. I say this to mean, if there have been time periods where she has been struggling with her gender and I just didn't realize - times where she didn't want her breasts touched during sex or no sex at all, or times where she dressed more masculine, or whatever else I may have wrongly attributed to her depression when it was actually gender/body dysphoria - I have never loved her less in those days. So, if that's all this becomes, I'm happy. I am prepared for more of that, and I'm prepared for it to be more extreme, but... I don't know where my limit is. I know I cannot see myself in a relationship with a man, I just don't know how masculine I can tolerate. I can adjust pronouns and adapt to most surface appearance things. I can adapt to a lot. But there is a limit... somewhere. I'm not sure where that is, but I'm also not sure where she wants to go - and neither is she.

 

My fear is that what is actually happening is that she is coming to terms with her true gender identity. She told me that she truly doesn't think she wants to transition, and that she doesn't even think it would help. But she also said that there are times she has fantasized about having a male body; she's not totally sure that this fantasy felt good to think about, but it might have. I'm just worried that this current stage of genderfluidity is a stepping stone (and I am so sorry if that is an ignorant thing to think) in becoming more comfortable and confident with what she isn't strong enough to confront yet - that she is a man. But right now on a day-to-day basis she is still... Hannah. I just cannot lose her. She is everything to me. I cant picture my life without her, and I'm so scared. I'm so scared of what this can mean for us. But she needs to do what is right for her. If she realized that she needs to transition, I cannot hold her back from that. It just wouldn't be fair. It isn't fair to ask her to live her entire existence as someone she isn't. It sounds like hell. I cannot ask her to live in hell for me. I cannot ask her to live in hell for us.

 

But that prospect somehow feels worse than a breakup, because it's possible that the Hannah I know will be gone forever. It feels like a death. And even worse, she may still love me... and there will be so much that I still love about her... and that just makes it worse. I don't think I would be able to cope with being her friend. I couldn't handle being reminded of who she used to be and who WE used to be.

 

I know I'm jumping the gun. This is all reactionary, as she only revealed this to me a night ago. I'm just... spiraling right now. I'm just so scared of losing her. What we have is so special. I know people move on from these things and find other people, but I truly, truly do not believe I would be able to. She is my first. My first serious relationship, the first and only person I've had sex with, and we've built so much together. We have a home and a dog, and have built such a fortress of a relationship. I just can't lose her. I don't know what I'll do. I'm just so scared. I will do everything in my power to make this work, but I just know I have limits.

 

So... I just... I don't know what I need right now. I need to know if there's hope for us. I need to know if this doesn't have to be as horrible as I fear it could be. Is it possible that she can learn to deal with her dysphoria without transitioning? Could it be a matter of learning to cope with it as it comes - dealing with bouts of dysphoria? Is it just too early to tell? She has only just begun confronting this; she has only told this to her therapist, and now, me. I guess... again, I just need some sense of hope. Is there a scenario where she becomes more comfortable with her body? Where she learns to cope with the dysphoria and manage it or even eliminate it without transitioning? If she one day decides to transition without HRT, how extreme can that be? What do I need to be prepared for? Is it possible that she may not even be trans at all, or are these pretty sure-signs? Could it be linked to her depression - and if so, what's the chicken and what's the egg? Has anyone ever had a gender identity crisis as a result of depression? But I also need to be prepared for the reality. What does genderfluid look like in a relationship? How serious is it really? Am I overreacting? Is the body dysphoria as serious as I'm taking it? How treatable is body dysphoria - with and without HRT? If she does end up needing HRT, what can that look like? Is there any chance that I will still be attracted to her? How drastic of a difference could I expect? Can I make it work?

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Jani

Hello and welcome to the forum.  Thanks for being understanding.  

 

If she is not, I recommend connecting with a Gender Therapist (LMHC Counselor) to help her sort things out.  While many think this is something they can do (I did, but it didn't work out), a GT can be invaluable.  Mine was great.  She says she doesn't think she wants to transition but this isn't something to be concerned with quite yet.  Once she comes to terms with her gender identity, then the time will come to make choices about what to do to live a happier life.  Does it mean finding a different mindset?  Does it mean going on low dose testosterone?  I don't know and she won't either until she can settle into an idea of "who" she is inside.  Until then listen, be kind and give her some room to explore.

 

If she is up for it she can also join here to connect with others going through the same changes.

 

Jani

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SaraAW

Good advice from Jani. Really good on you for being supportive. My spouse is not so supportive of me, but we are still together and I do love her dearly. I can’t see it from your perspective, but I can tell you what I want from my wife, which may be similar to your wife’s, maybe it will help you some. 
 

1) Acceptance that I am not Cis and that I don’t truly know yet what I need to be comfortable within myself.  
 

It sounds like you’re already working on this one. 

 

2) Time. Time for both of us to process our feelings, find an understanding and work through challenges. What today may seem like a deal breaker for either of us, with time and #3 we may find acceptance, understanding and compromise. 

 

As this all happened yesterday for you, this may be really pertinent. 
 

3) Honest and open dialogue. She needs to know how I feel and I know to know how she feels. Without this, we will never be able to discuss the challenges each of us are facing and overcome them.  This also includes sharing what hard lines exist today for us both. 
 

It sounds like you already have this in place, so don’t let it slip. 
 

4) The ability to self express my identity when I need to. I can suppress for awhile, but the longer I do, the more I hurt. 

5) Some compromises. Like any other part of a relationship, there needs to be compromises. It can’t be all one sided. 

I hope you find some of this helpful. *hugs*

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Charlize

Welcome.  I went to a gender therapist and she was there to help my wife as well.  It sounds like you have a wonderful relationship.  Try to take a deep breath and give whatever happens some time for both you and Hannah.  My wife said she could never be a lesbian.  What friends and relations would think was overwhelming.  It has taken time but we are doing better than ever.  Certainly things have changed but love has grown.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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NB Adult  (Inactive)
1 hour ago, Charlize said:

 My wife said she could never be a lesbian.  What friends and relations would think was overwhelming.  It has taken time but we are doing better than ever.  Certainly things have changed but love has grown.

 

It is just the initial response and knee-jerk reaction by any CIS women when her husband shocks her with the news, "Guess what honey, I'm trans!" If that CIS woman takes her marriage vows seriously and actually loves her significant other beyond just the security of a paycheck, then the fear of being in a lesbian relationship will dissipate entirely over time.

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ShawnaLeigh

I agree.  Please encourage her to see a gender therapist and please involve yourself as well.  I wish I had a spouse like you being in such love with her, so committed to helping and making things right for the both of you.  Reaching out to a trans forum to seek help and ideas. 

 

My wife is very close to this way, but will not stay married to me once I am fully transitioned.  So Im on a time line of when it happens we are done.  Not gone from each others lives but not married.  It is still hard to accept for me but I am finding every day is better then the last.

 

This a very hard concept for a CIS person to deal with.  Being told your spouse has a gender issue and wants to change.  The shock must be incredible and very scary as you feel like this is the beginning of the end.  Its not.  By staying with "her" even if she becomes a man, does not make you gay.  The relationship is just different from the basic idea of the man and wife ideal  as most people label it.  A therapist can explain this better I am sure.  

So for now just encourage and be there.  Help and get involved and tell her it is ok.  I m sure she is having all these feelings too of loss or impending loss.  

You are extremely brave to do what you just did in my opinion.  She should read all that too because it is beautiful and heart felt.  Amazing.

Good Luck and we hope to hear from you again and maybe your wife as well.

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Jackie C.

I'm not sure what I have to add here, but first off: Breathe. Nobody ever made a good decision while they were panicking. This is a big deal. Somebody just threw a big rock in your pond. Let the ripples settle so you can think clearly.

 

Secondly, you love Hannah. Full stop. Would you still love Hannah if she had a double mastectomy for breast cancer? How about a hysterectomy? No matter what, Hannah will still be Hannah. Her personality might rotate a bit, with different parts being presented more forcefully... if that makes sense... but Hannah will still be the same person on the inside. They aren't going anywhere.

 

I think in western society there's a lot of pressure on cis men to not be homosexual. The reality is that sexuality isn't a binary condition to start with. I'd put myself at about a 5 on the Kinsey scale for example. I prefer women, but I see the appeal of certain men (not very many. To be honest since I've been transitioning you smell icky, but some). Very few people are completely heterosexual or homosexual. To put it another way, "You'd be surprised what you're up for when it's being offered right in front of you." I think that if you love each other, you'll adapt.

 

Now then, Susan and I survived my coming out. We did it by being open and honest with each other. The lines of communication never dried up. As a male (seriously, I remember EXACTLY how easy it is to shut down), you might make it a point to ask Hannah how they're coping. You're going through this together, so it's important to keep talking like adults. No arguing. No shouting. Crying is OK. Sometimes you have to let the pressure out.

 

On to gender therapists. Get one. Attend meetings with Hannah if you can (this has been totally OK with every therapist I've had. It's still polite to ask). Help them work through their issues. Together you'll figure out what you both need to be happy. It sounds like that will still be each other, but if it isn't, then you need to figure out what you want to do about that. The point is that relationships are hard to start with. This new wrinkle is going to make things a little harder. However, it sounds like you're willing to put in the effort to make a go of it.

 

I think once you relax a little, you and Hannah are going to be OK.

 

Hugs!

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covercrops

Thank you everyone for the responses. I'm still quite scared for the future right now, but I recognize that it's too early to tell where things may go. I'm just trying now to keep it together and not let this affect our relationship now, because I know our love for each other has not changed. I know it's human nature to be afraid of the unknown, but truthfully I never thought I would be so shook by something like this. Like I said, I consider myself to be decently well-informed on trans issues and identity philosophy, and this is something I have thought about a lot. I have thought plenty about what I would do if my partner was trans... I just never really thought it could actually happen to me. I thought I knew everything about Hannah, but it turns out there are things she is still learning about herself. It's funny, what actually triggered her to tell me was that we were in a long car ride and discussing trans issues. It's been a topic on my mind a lot over the last several years, and I discuss the topic with her very frequently. This time she was very quiet. I suppose because she was ready - or at least felt it was time to share it.

 

4 hours ago, SaraAW said:

1) Acceptance that I am not Cis and that I don’t truly know yet what I need to be comfortable within myself.  
 

It sounds like you’re already working on this one. 

 

2) Time. Time for both of us to process our feelings, find an understanding and work through challenges. What today may seem like a deal breaker for either of us, with time and #3 we may find acceptance, understanding and compromise. 

 

As this all happened yesterday for you, this may be really pertinent. 
 

3) Honest and open dialogue. She needs to know how I feel and I know to know how she feels. Without this, we will never be able to discuss the challenges each of us are facing and overcome them.  This also includes sharing what hard lines exist today for us both. 
 

It sounds like you already have this in place, so don’t let it slip. 
 

4) The ability to self express my identity when I need to. I can suppress for awhile, but the longer I do, the more I hurt. 

5) Some compromises. Like any other part of a relationship, there needs to be compromises. It can’t be all one sided. 

 

1. Yes, this is something I'm very prepared for. I have had trans acquaintances (I actually have a co-worker whose wife transitioned well into their marriage. I may reach out to her) and friends, and it's not a concept I'm uncomfortable with. 

 

2. I think this is the big one. It's just so hard for me not to begin projecting the absolute worst-case scenarios. But you're right, there's no knowing yet how this will play out. And it won't happen all at once. I won't wake up one day in bed with a man.

 

3. Yes, we spoke more last night about this and everything has been very open and honest. I still feel hesitant to share all my fears, or just how seriously it's affecting me right now, because I'm afraid of my fears and doubts affecting her exploration. I wouldn't want my fears to bias her in such a way that she doesn't allow herself to explore the most extreme options. She needs to find her truth, and I can't - our relationship can't - hold her back from that, as scary as that may be. But, if I'm allowed to be perfectly honest, there is a very selfish part of me that so desperately doesn't want to lose her that I just don't want her to explore things like HRT and surgery. I really want to exhaust all other options before we get to that point - and I'm sure we will. I just cannot at this time see myself attracted to a man, and maybe that's close-minded of me, but it is how I feel right now.

 

4. I am definitely prepared for there to be times where she wants to express as a man. I'm prepared to adjust my language for her (I realize I'm still using feminine pronouns here, but like I said, this is still what she wants and is comfortable with), my behaviors, her behaviors and presentation. I think there's a lot I can handle, I'm just not sure how far I can go before I'm too uncomfortable.

 

5. This is an interesting one for me to hear. We make plenty of compromises with each other throughout our relationship, but I'm not sure how much compromising I should expect from her on this. I've always operated under the impression that when it comes to things like transitioning and body/gender dysphoria, there is no compromising. That it would be morally/ethically wrong of me to expect any compromises, as this is the very foundation of her life and identity we're talking about. If it is as painful and difficult as I understand it can be, I just don't see how this could play out. Am I off base here? Can you, or anyone else, share any stories of CIS/trans couples compromising, and how that can look?

 

1 hour ago, ShawnaLeigh said:

I agree.  Please encourage her to see a gender therapist and please involve yourself as well.  I wish I had a spouse like you being in such love with her, so committed to helping and making things right for the both of you.  Reaching out to a trans forum to seek help and ideas. 

 

My wife is very close to this way, but will not stay married to me once I am fully transitioned.  So Im on a time line of when it happens we are done.  Not gone from each others lives but not married.  It is still hard to accept for me but I am finding every day is better then the last.

 

This a very hard concept for a CIS person to deal with.  Being told your spouse has a gender issue and wants to change.  The shock must be incredible and very scary as you feel like this is the beginning of the end.  Its not.  By staying with "her" even if she becomes a man, does not make you gay.  The relationship is just different from the basic idea of the man and wife ideal  as most people label it.  A therapist can explain this better I am sure.  

So for now just encourage and be there.  Help and get involved and tell her it is ok.  I m sure she is having all these feelings too of loss or impending loss.  

You are extremely brave to do what you just did in my opinion.  She should read all that too because it is beautiful and heart felt.  Amazing.

Good Luck and we hope to hear from you again and maybe your wife as well.

 

Yes, she also discussed with me that she has been thinking about seeing a gender therapist for some time now. She has been seeing a therapist for a couple years now about her other issues (depression, family issues, etc.), but as this has come to the surface, she realized she may need to see a specialist. Unfortunately, the therapist she found does not accept her insurance, though I don't see this as an excuse. I want her to see a therapist, and we are also discussing going together or separately. I certainly think it's a good idea for me, as well. We will figure out how this will look as time goes on (group sessions, two independent sessions, or some combination).

 

I must ask - has the feeling of your inevitable split become easier to cope with over time? How has your partner been about this? Do you think it is becoming easier for them? Do you think you'll be able to maintain a non-romantic relationship with your partner? My fear is that I just won't be able to cope with a split, and if we do split, I wouldn't be able to cope with being her friend. It would just be too difficult. 

 

I am not concerned with being labeled "gay." It doesn't really bother me what others think to call this type of relationship. My concern is that if Hannah does transition, I just won't be able to maintain attraction to her. I'm afraid that all of the romantic attraction will be there (hell, I'm afraid even that will fade, but maybe that isn't reasonable), but that I will no longer be physically attracted to her. I'm afraid of how that can impact the relationship.

 

And thank you for the kind words. There is actually nothing in here that I haven't expressed to her already, except for maybe the severity of my fears right now. She knows I'm scared; I know she's scared, too. She knows what I'm afraid of. She just may not know how seriously this is affecting me right now. I'm not sure I want her to know the full extent of my fear and panic right now, because I know (or at least really hope) that it will fade as the change becomes more normal. Also, as I've expressed before, I really don't want my state to affect her exploration. I believe all options need to be on the table for her right now. But it's so much easier to logically believe that and type it out then to actually do it. There is a very selfish part of me that just doesn't want her to discover that she's trans. To not even explore it as an option, because I just have such low hope for that scenario. But I also know that this would probably still doom the relationship if that's what she really needed. I just cannot accept the possibility of an inevitable breakup right now.

 

1 hour ago, Jackie C. said:

I'm not sure what I have to add here, but first off: Breathe. Nobody ever made a good decision while they were panicking. This is a big deal. Somebody just threw a big rock in your pond. Let the ripples settle so you can think clearly.

 

Secondly, you love Hannah. Full stop. Would you still love Hannah if she had a double mastectomy for breast cancer? How about a hysterectomy? No matter what, Hannah will still be Hannah. Her personality might rotate a bit, with different parts being presented more forcefully... if that makes sense... but Hannah will still be the same person on the inside. They aren't going anywhere.

 

I think in western society there's a lot of pressure on cis men to not be homosexual. The reality is that sexuality isn't a binary condition to start with. I'd put myself at about a 5 on the Kinsey scale for example. I prefer women, but I see the appeal of certain men (not very many. To be honest since I've been transitioning you smell icky, but some). Very few people are completely heterosexual or homosexual. To put it another way, "You'd be surprised what you're up for when it's being offered right in front of you." I think that if you love each other, you'll adapt.

 

Now then, Susan and I survived my coming out. We did it by being open and honest with each other. The lines of communication never dried up. As a male (seriously, I remember EXACTLY how easy it is to shut down), you might make it a point to ask Hannah how they're coping. You're going through this together, so it's important to keep talking like adults. No arguing. No shouting. Crying is OK. Sometimes you have to let the pressure out.

 

On to gender therapists. Get one. Attend meetings with Hannah if you can (this has been totally OK with every therapist I've had. It's still polite to ask). Help them work through their issues. Together you'll figure out what you both need to be happy. It sounds like that will still be each other, but if it isn't, then you need to figure out what you want to do about that. The point is that relationships are hard to start with. This new wrinkle is going to make things a little harder. However, it sounds like you're willing to put in the effort to make a go of it.

 

I think once you relax a little, you and Hannah are going to be OK.

 

Hugs!

 

Thank you ,this is very encouraging. Your second paragraph is absolutely right - my love for her would not falter in those situations you described. I do feel that there are some differences in the comparison, but ultimately you're right. 

 

On your third paragraph, you bring up a lot of good points. I agree: society is especially hard on men to repress any homosexual feelings or thoughts. This is something I have done a lot of introspection on in my life, and I feel pretty comfortable about - for better or worse. However, social indoctrination is very strong, and I can't say with certainty that I have broken past those ingrained biases and cultural stigmas entirely. With that said, I know that I am not very masculine man. I relate to women easier, and I find myself more uncomfortable trying to relate to more traditionally "masculine men." It feels like they have a script that I don't have. There's a way of speaking among traditionally masculine men that I just don't fully get. I can try to fake it, but like I said... I just don't have the script. I have also experimented with men (well, one man) when I was young. This is actually something I have never said out loud or shared with anyone - so you're all the first to hear that! Though, if asked, I wouldn't hide it. It's not something I'm ashamed of or even embarrassed by, and I suspect many more men have experimented and just don't want to admit it. Anyway, I mean all this to say that... I'm pretty comfortable with my sexual preferences. I recognize when men are attractive, and I can even be attracted to men on some level, but I'm fairly confident that I could not be in a sexual relationship with a man. Never say never, I know, but I'm pretty sure. Which scares me in this situation.

 

Yes, we have cried together already. We do not shout, and we do not get angry. I can recall exactly two moments in our 9 year relationship where either of us got angry or raised our voices. We've actually been accused of being in a poor relationship for this reason because "all couples are supposed to fight!" I don't know, maybe it's not the most healthy, but when we get upset or hurt each other, both of our instincts tend to be to blame ourselves. 

 

And yes, we will be looking into therapists very shortly. She has one in mind already, but they don't take her insurance. I'm encouraging her to still go, but we may still shop around. I would like to go as well, either together, individually, or both. 

 

Thank you for the encouraging words. I'm still very scared, but I'm trying to reach a place of being hopeful. It will take some time.

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ShawnaLeigh
2 hours ago, covercrops said:

I must ask - has the feeling of your inevitable split become easier to cope with over time? How has your partner been about this? Do you think it is becoming easier for them? Do you think you'll be able to maintain a non-romantic relationship with your partner? My fear is that I just won't be able to cope with a split, and if we do split, I wouldn't be able to cope with being her friend. It would just be too difficult. 

 

I will try to answer these the best I can.

1.Yes it has gotten easier.  It was terrifying for me at first due to many financial factors as well as that I just can not imagine living without our life together.  Our home.  We do not have kids together but she was a step mom to mine brought into the marriage.  Its the only kids she has ever had.  Over the past month or so since I came out I have had a lot of fear and anxiety but have had time to process it and what this all means to her as well as to me.  In reality we have a great marriage and I would love for it to just continue, but there are always things that could of been different or better.  Things by themselves would not be a show stopper but collectively they bothered me a lot.  Things we talked about but never changes for the better.  So honestly there is a very small part of me that wants to move on and have what I feel I deserve in a marriage.  Since I have been told she will not stay married to me when I fully change I am not exactly keeping that from happening.  I'm not on a fast track but not going super slow either.

 

2+3. She was freaked out at first but she is very logical and keeps her emotions in check very well.  I do not.  So after a long weekend of me crying all the time we were able to talk about it.  Slowly over the next week or so we were able to drag it all out and truly talk about it.  We have grown closer in this time and we communicate on a level we never have before.  Though its almost like she has accepted me as a women fairly quickly and can talk to me like one when she never could before.  It s much easier on the both of us now that we can share feelings like this.

 

4. This one is tough for me.  I obviously would prefer us to stay married and romantic but I fully understand her point of view.  She is not a lesbian nor wishes to stay in a marriage that would ultimately label her as one.  I'm told that it does not make her one just by proxy but she disagrees.  Ultimately her choice.  This hurts me as I felt our love could transcend this but I was wrong.  She supports and encourages me. Understands I have no choice but to be who I am and she understands why. Helps me at every turn to become a women with tips a tricks. She says, she will help me every step of the way but only as a close friend.  I am now looking at it as not an end to our marriage but it is in a transition on its own.  evolving relationship that I have never experienced before so it is scary but it feel right.  It will be different, sure, but not in a bad way. We are still sharing our home and everything that deals with running and maintaining one.  I am in the spare bedroom now needing my own space during this but our sex life has not ended yet.  We of course both agree that if either of us moves on to be romantic with anyone else, our living arrangements would end too.  But admitted that neither of us is interested in dating or going down that path again anytime soon.  Honestly I can imagine it right now and do not wish to dwell on her being with anyone else nor who the heck would want me now anyways.  

 

The loss of love or just when it diminishes is always a sad thing to consider.  Heart break is so brutal. So painful on its own.  Add this issue and it is unbelievable.   Especially at this point for you now with it being so raw still.  Time does heal and in this, I can tell you true, being divorce three other times.  It hurts every damn time.  Bad.  To the point of total heart break and soul ripping pain.  You want to just end it all but you don't somehow. 

It eventually gets better.  I may sound callus but it is the truth.

I am not saying try and get there in your head.  Not now.  You two are not there at all.  Don't plan a future before you know the full scale of what is going on with her and within yourself. Give this time and patients and I encourage her/you/both to seek help.  

 

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SaraAW
5 hours ago, covercrops said:

 

5. This is an interesting one for me to hear. We make plenty of compromises with each other throughout our relationship, but I'm not sure how much compromising I should expect from her on this. I've always operated under the impression that when it comes to things like transitioning and body/gender dysphoria, there is no compromising. That it would be morally/ethically wrong of me to expect any compromises, as this is the very foundation of her life and identity we're talking about. If it is as painful and difficult as I understand it can be, I just don't see how this could play out. Am I off base here? Can you, or anyone else, share any stories of CIS/trans couples compromising, and how that can look?


I have decided as a compromise to my wife to not do certain things, really just do the bare minimum to allow me to safely get by, in order to give her time to process. It’s really a one sided compromise, but as I love her, I’m doing everything I can to keep us together. 
 

I am not saying you should expect compromise, but if you both share openly and honestly where you’re at and what you need, then each of need to decide how much you can accept. 
 

I can tell you some of the things my has asked me not do, hurt. I’m willing for a time to compromise, but it is not forever. I do not know that telling her what she needs to do is the right thing, but telling her how you are feeling definitely is. It is then up to her to decide what to do with that. 
 

Even though it’s her journey, you’re along for the ride too. That’s why I’ve been willing to do or not do certain things for my wife, for a time. This was and is ultimately my decision. Just like it is your decision what you are willing to accept from your spouse.  This has also given me more time to reflect on what I need vs want in my transition. When I first came out to her, I was ready to go warp speed ahead. It likely would have an been an epic disaster if I just continued to speed through. 
 

I agree with others, therapy is definitely one good idea for you both. I’ve been trying to convince my wife to go either with me or on her own, but no luck yet. She had a traumatic event in the past dealing with a mental health worker that has left her very much against the idea. 
 

Just remember to slow down, breath, take it one day at a time and keep your communication flowing. 

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