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secondlook

Thinking about patience

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secondlook

When I'm waiting for dinner to finish cooking, it's easy to be patient because I know that after a certain amount of time elapses, my food will be ready and I'll get to enjoy. But if, say, I was dealing with an unreliable oven that sometimes worked and sometimes didn't, it would be hard to be patient because I'd be in suspense as to whether the food is cooking or not (this may or may not be based on a real-world example 😉 )

 

That's where things stand with my wish to transition -- it's very hard to be patient right now. I know it hurts my wife to talk about my recent revelations, that anything I do to start moving in that direction is going to hurt her more. I'd like to think that over time the hurt will be less and she'll be able to tolerate things better, but she's not that kind of person. She can readily recall something that made her upset 5, 10, 20 years ago and be right back in that moment. She's a highly sensitive person, and in many ways she's an emotional open wound all the time.

 

So while it would be cruel to stop waiting for her to adjust after just two weeks of knowing the truth, it's hard to be patient because I don't know how long it's going to take for her to be able to tolerate any signs of me transitioning. Will it be a week from now? Doubtful. A month? Probably not. A year? I suppose there's a chance. 5 years? 10 years? 20 years? Never?

 

What I want is to shave my beard and body hair, start ordering clothes and accessories, start living at least a little bit of my life as who I want to be. I feel like a racehorse that's been loaded into the starting gate, but they never open the gate to start the race. As I sit here now I'm still 100% masculine in my appearance, and living this way, with no progress at all, and no real hope for any progress anytime soon, is getting tougher by the day.

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secondlook

I probably should've mentioned, my therapist canceled on me this week. Maybe if that hadn't happened, I'd feel more like I was making progress.

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MetaLicious

I like your racehorse analogy. It is very hard to patient, especially for something that you wished had happened at birth.  For me, my sense of urgency comes from already having lived two-thirds of my life expectancy.  It hit me that waiting for my children to grow up could mean never transitioning.  No better time than now, right?

 

I am sorry your wife is taking it hard.  I would suggest asking your therapist (hang in there, you will get your appointment eventually) if they can do a couple's session.  It sounds like your wife might need some help processing things.

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ShawnaLeigh

You are at a nexus of knowing who you are and what you want and at the same time you want to be in the safety and security of being your old male self and comfortable life snd marriage to help someone else deal with it.  Unfortunately some marriages do not survive a transition.  Some do though and are still going strong.  Mine will end but by no means do I have it as bad as others.  
The sad reality is you may be put in the position to make the choice to move forward or not.  Though being transgender is not a choice.  You were born this way.  Our only choice was how long we hid ourselves but in the end you need to be happy too.  
Talking and keeping open conversation with your wife is all you can do.  Don’t let it rest or be put off or shut down if it gets hard.  Eventually time will smooth things out and if not then you will eventually find your path with or without your spouse.  Sorry it’s tough love I know.  I don’t mean to hurt you.  I’ve just been there.  As have a few others.  
Good luck and keep at it. You deserve to live.   
 

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Juelie_Atlas

When I first came out to my wife, I knew she wasn't going to just accept it and I would be able to start hrt, or start seeing a therapist, or anything. I came out to her almost as soon as I knew. It has been 8 months since I told her everything and I've known about 9 or 10. Most of my marriage I have worn some kind of women's clothing, mostly panties or swim suits in private, and I've always had a kind of flair for the femme. But here we are, in the exact same situation you are. I feel like I will never be able to move forward. She is going at a pace that seems like baby steps in a 5 year old. *No such thing* but we are moving forward. I now am able to wear breast forms and bras out with her, and when I'm home I dress completely femme. She has started helping me with some make up, though she hates when I shave my beard... So I can understand completely. 

 

Like Shawna said, it may happen or it may not. I wish you the best of luck and I hope everything works out for you... I also want to mention that since we have taken this time, I've realized so much more about myself and transition. Do some research, watch some YouTube videos about others transitions and try to understand the true time commitment it takes. It won't happen overnight.

 

Good luck and hugs ❣️

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TammyAnne

Transition requires patience anyway, regardless of what we wish or others think. As said above, it's lots of baby steps that done appear to give much of a result. I prefer to think of it more like glaciation... it is slow to the observer and possibly even gentle but it is steady, powerful and inevitable to anything impeding it.

Things like shaving yield instant but temporary results. Permanent hair removal (I chose laser hair removal) is a drawn out process that is rewarding (despite the pain) in most cases giving nearly instant results aside from the ongoing crop of persistent stragglers that have to be treated over the next year. It has certainly buoyed my spirits to have that done.

Choose your steps well. Shaving your head is a more obvious step than shaving your body or wearing softer underclothes. I tend to avoid the obvious when I can, although my hair is now past shoulder length. But that's been a gradual process.

Even starting HRT won't be a magic bullet, but a slow process of a second puberty over several years.

TA

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secondlook
On 2/16/2020 at 6:20 PM, ShawnaLeigh said:

Talking and keeping open conversation with your wife is all you can do.  Don’t let it rest or be put off or shut down if it gets hard.  Eventually time will smooth things out and if not then you will eventually find your path with or without your spouse.  Sorry it’s tough love I know.  I don’t mean to hurt you.  I’ve just been there.  As have a few others.

 

No hurt done at all, in fact your advice was right on the money. We finally had a conversation where, even though she was upset, on some level she seemed to be somewhat accepting. I had to get past my fear of rejection and share more information to get that reaction. I thought it was going to hurt her more, me talking about my dysphoria and why I feel female inside, but it actually seemed to do the opposite. Not saying she loved hearing it, but she responded to the honesty.

 

There's still a very real chance that she's going to decide this is a path we can't walk together. I'd put the odds at 30-40%. I just have to do everything in my power to increase the odds of us sticking together. If I've done my best and it doesn't work out, at least I can say I didn't throw the relationship away. It'll still hurt, a lot, and for a long time, but I'll be able to live with myself.

 

On 2/17/2020 at 4:59 AM, Juelie_Atlas said:

Do some research, watch some YouTube videos about others transitions and try to understand the true time commitment it takes. It won't happen overnight.

 

Oh, for sure, I get that this is a marathon, not a sprint. Even if everything breaks my way, I know I'm many years from being who I want to be. It's just hard when it seems like I can't even get to the starting line of the marathon.

 

On 2/16/2020 at 7:45 AM, MetaLicious said:

I would suggest asking your therapist (hang in there, you will get your appointment eventually) if they can do a couple's session.  It sounds like your wife might need some help processing things.

 

I'm actually in the process of contacting therapists on her behalf (I offered to do it and she was pleased that I offered). She definitely needs an outlet other than me to talk to.

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    • ShawnaLeigh
      When I came out I was a blubbering mess and it took me days to get it all out to my wife.  She was a rock and was unemotional for my sake and just listened and encouraged me to just be honest and say what I needed to say.  It was so hard for me.  Breaking out of my shell of protection and the conditioning to hide everything for decades was insurmountable to me.   I had to remind myself it was not JUST about me but about us.  About everyone I love and care about really.  They too have to take time to accept and adjust and wrap their minds around it all.  Like you mentioned we had month or years to accept this of ourselves they have had day to weeks.  My wife admitted to mourning the loss of her husband as she sat there and watched me changing before her eyes both in personality and physical appearance.  I slowed down for both our sakes. Yes we deal with this all our lives to some degree and more so once we come out and put ourselves in high stress and anxiety over every step of it.  We seek acceptance, love and support but they too need this in return. There is no guide lines or time lines to do any of this so do what feels right for both of you at a pace that is accepted by both. You are lucky she is as accepting as she is and concerned for your wellbeing.  It seems like time and slow progression will be a good thing for you both. JMO
    • secondlook
      I support this idea!
    • MaryMary
      yeah, my ex has gone trough similar things. It's not just us that transition, other people also have to adapt. I observe that often when a SO learn we are transgender there's often a kind of mourning period/adaptation period they have to go trough. It's cool that she's making efforts and it's also cool you let her process that and give her space to adapt. What she is going trough is normal I think. My ex is an expert at writing and I sometimes say semi jokingly that she should write a book for SO
    • secondlook
      This is me to the letter. I hated that guy for so long, and now that I know who I am, I have nothing but forgiveness and appreciation for how hard he tried to do something impossible. He had to invent himself out of thin air and try to function as a person.
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      OH, don't say that!  
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      Here's a particularly relevant passage from the second link:     (I removed the citations from the original paragraph to make it easier to read)
    • secondlook
      My wife is still really upset about learning that I am transgender. Just last night she was sobbing about it. But at the same time she is trying so hard to be supportive. When I mentioned that a family member had said something transphobic over the weekend, she got mad at herself for having missed it and was truly sympathetic about how it must have hurt me.    When I noted, in hopefully a non-accusatory way, that she has at times seemed a little bit skeptical about my coming out, she admitted that she was. But then she admitted that she might just be in denial. I told her it was OK if she was in denial, it's only been a few weeks for her and I was in denial for decades!   Then this morning, she came home from an appointment and shared a story she'd read online about a young teen struggling with gender identity. So clearly she's going out of her way to educate herself and understand what's going on.   The thing she was upset about yesterday was that I had shaved my legs, and she asked me not to shave my other body hair just yet. She wants time to adjust. I think that's totally fair and reasonable. I don't want to leave her behind, I want us to navigate this together.
    • TammyAnne
      Another former smoker here. I've been quit for so long that it's completely behind me. But in the early days of quitting I was very repulsed by smoke. Now I just move away from it. But then many parts of the country smoking is becoming rarer. TA
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      Hi there and welcome! I think lots of us cautiously stuck our toes in the water at the outset. It's okay to have confused feelings. It's okay to be unsure. It's okay to change your mind - more than once even. TA
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    • Suzanne1
      I chose to place this post in the General Forum (i.e., as opposed to the suicide prevention forum), since relates more to simple academic curiosity.   "Most transgender people have attempted suicide at least once in their lives."   I've read the above quotation so many times.  It seems like a truism to be included in any casual reading about the transgender population.  However, it occurs to me that I've never actually seen reference to a study in any of the scientific literature.  I'm assuming that proper studies do exist, and that one can likely assume that I've just never run across any?  Seems like it could be a complicated subject though; lots of reasons for suicide attempts; probably lots of suicidal-ideations sans attempts; and, there are certainly co-morbid conditions that aren't just secondary to intra-psychic distress caused by gender dysphoria; also, .  Again, just curiosity on my part; just trying to learn something.   Anyone have any citations (i.e., other than pop-psych surveys)?  I'm a goodly distance from a university library, and there's a limit to what I can research through the internet.
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