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MetaLicious

Feeling Paralyzed

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MetaLicious

A couple of weeks ago, I settled on the name Michelle. It felt right, and would spring from my lips like I had always had that name. I created an email account with my new name, but I wasn't at the point where I was ready to ask others to use it. However, I shared a photo of my boys using that address, and my wife became quite emotional.  She thought it was too soon to ask, said she felt I was rejecting all masculinity, and then wondered if our marriage was a lie.  Yeah, that last one hurt the most.

 

I have been trying to think of ways to start talking to her about it, but I find it kind of terrifying.  I get the impression that she either wants me to transition very slowly, or not transition at all.  I hope it's the former, because the latter was killing me.  I'm frightened that she'll only tolerate outward expressions of my gender, and draw the line at HRT.  I'm completely dependent on her, financially and emotionally.  If she didn't allow me to proceed, it would be a long struggle for me to achieve the independence to continue my journey.

 

What really ticks me off, is since I've allowed Michelle to go out in the world, my confidence has shot up.  I have had less anxiety about dealing with people, but on this topic, angst-ridden Michael has resurfaced.  I hate it, but I admit it - I am afraid to ask where I stand, because I feel my whole world could come crashing down.

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ShawnaLeigh
38 minutes ago, MetaLicious said:

A couple of weeks ago, I settled on the name Michelle. It felt right, and would spring from my lips like I had always had that name. I created an email account with my new name, but I wasn't at the point where I was ready to ask others to use it. However, I shared a photo of my boys using that address, and my wife became quite emotional.  She thought it was too soon to ask, said she felt I was rejecting all masculinity, and then wondered if our marriage was a lie.  Yeah, that last one hurt the most.

 

I have been trying to think of ways to start talking to her about it, but I find it kind of terrifying.  I get the impression that she either wants me to transition very slowly, or not transition at all.  I hope it's the former, because the latter was killing me.  I'm frightened that she'll only tolerate outward expressions of my gender, and draw the line at HRT.  I'm completely dependent on her, financially and emotionally.  If she didn't allow me to proceed, it would be a long struggle for me to achieve the independence to continue my journey.

 

What really ticks me off, is since I've allowed Michelle to go out in the world, my confidence has shot up.  I have had less anxiety about dealing with people, but on this topic, angst-ridden Michael has resurfaced.  I hate it, but I admit it - I am afraid to ask where I stand, because I feel my whole world could come crashing down.

This was me 3 months ago so I feel your pain.  In almost the same boat with being dependent on my wife.  I too have a long road to financial freedom to move on with my life so we made compromises and set boundaries that even though are fair or even very generous of her. It still slowly became intolerable to live with. This all came crashing through this weekend and we are now working together toward a divorce but in the best and low stress as possible way.  
In short you are at a point where you know you can’t live forever as was and afraid to push towards a future of being your true self.  The financial part only increases this anxiety which I fully understand. Best advice?  Open honest and calm communication with her and try to be as unemotional as possible.  It’s not going to be easy and I struggled with being completely open as my conditioning to hide everything was hard to overcome.  
Good luck hon!  

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Jackie C.

Your wife could need a minute. Cis people don't easily wrap their heads around the reality of being trans. Remember, cis people don't question their gender.

 

Early on in my transition, my wife couldn't deal with seeing me fully made up. We established some rules and a timeline for her getting used to the idea. All the while I was open, honest and answered all her questions the best I could. I suggest you have a similar talk with your wife. She needs you to slow down. Fine, how slow? What sort of timeline is acceptable to her. At the same time, you get some input too. What will allow you to hold on while your wife acclimates to the situation?

 

By being open, honest and communicating you have a much better chance of finding a solution that works for both of you and lets you continue your marriage going forward. That's not a guarantee. Coming out as trans is a pretty big hit. Sometimes marriages sink. Still, being open, honest and communicating is the best way to keep a marriage afloat. This is your life partner. Talk to her.

 

Hugs!

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TammyAnne

Jackie is so right about communication being a key in this.

We all communicate on many levels, verbal and nonverbal.

Cis people find trans people (my opinion) confusing because of the complex messaging we send: looking one way, acting another, saying/feeling different than we appear, etc.

I probably just restated the obvious.

TA

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MetaLicious

Thank you, ladies.  It's been a trying time - my wife is trying to work on her doctorate thesis, her mother-in-law had a stroke, and will likely be moving in with us, our oldest son has has been a bit out of control...  With all that, it never seems like "the right time" to bring this up.  Goddess knows we never seem to have a moment alone to have a private conversation.

 

Jackie, I feel you are correct that I need to slow down - for her.   She hasn't spent the last four decades hiding from herself, so I think I may need to keep my own sense of urgency in check.  She has given me the go-ahead to dress as I want (she likes that I'm developing a style other than "it fits, kinda"), she even buys makeup for me!  I think maybe the big talk can wait until she has more room to breathe, but I should not sit on mhy laurels in the meantime!  I think I should prove that the me she married is not getting shoved aside.

 

@MaryMary posted something earlier today that felt so right for my situation that I wrote it down immediately: "To me transition is not to forget who I was or discard anything, it's to give myself the right to be myself..."

 

I have a therapist appointment on the 3rd.  It seems it wasn't that long ago that I dreaded therapy - now I look forward to it!

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ShawnaLeigh
8 hours ago, MetaLicious said:

To me transition is not to forget who I was or discard anything, it's to give myself the right to be myself.

This is truth.

I never wanted to kill off the male person I was.  He was a great guy, worked hard to succeed, loved his family and always did the right things as best he could.  He protected me for decade.

Transitioning to myself now does not erase that persona but absorbs the positives and discards the negative as I feel necessary.

My heart is still the same and my soul is too.  My outside may be changing to put my mind and body in balance but I have always been here.  Its my time.

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Jackie C.
9 hours ago, MetaLicious said:

Jackie, I feel you are correct that I need to slow down - for her.   She hasn't spent the last four decades hiding from herself, so I think I may need to keep my own sense of urgency in check.  She has given me the go-ahead to dress as I want (she likes that I'm developing a style other than "it fits, kinda"), she even buys makeup for me!  I think maybe the big talk can wait until she has more room to breathe, but I should not sit on mhy laurels in the meantime!  I think I should prove that the me she married is not getting shoved aside.

 

Yes, that's key. You can slow down to help others adjust, but never, ever stop striving for what you need. You're important too. I'm sure the two of you can work something out.

 

You're absolutely right, there is no "perfect time." If you wait for the perfect moment, you'll never get anywhere. There are no... well very few... perfect moments. You can't count on them and usually only realize they were there after they're gone.

 

Hugs!

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ShawnaLeigh
35 minutes ago, Jackie C. said:

There are no... well very few... perfect moments. You can't count on them and usually only realize they were there after they're gone.

Isn't that the truth.

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secondlook
5 hours ago, ShawnaLeigh said:

I never wanted to kill off the male person I was.  He was a great guy, worked hard to succeed, loved his family and always did the right things as best he could.  He protected me for decade.

 

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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TammyAnne
3 hours ago, secondlook said:

 

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.

Very well stated. And a very adult insight. I've been learning to forgive myself as well, and couldn't have put it better.

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