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Wife of a newly out CD seeks help


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Hi, I’m Ursula. I need help, I don’t know how to go about supporting my partner with his exploration into his feminine side and also maintain my own mental health. 
I am a cis Bi woman, with a slight preference to men, most of the time. My husband, about a week ago came out to me as gender fluid and wanted to experiment with their femininity, I was excitedly supportive. I thought we would do the whole thing together, start small and build up. 
I have always tried to be a good ally and I know that the package does not make the person, however when my partner shaved the next day I felt a bit sad. They then started ordering more and more things to try, and two days in it was already a bit dizzying. 
I suffer what I suspect is PDD during my periods, which essentially means one week a month I am fragile, depressed and often fighting suicidal thoughts. My partner is aware of this but theirs coming out unfortunately timed with my cycle. 
After three or four days of dressing up every time my parter thought our small children or visitors couldn’t see, I broke down and told them that I was finding it hard. I explained it was moving too fast and I needed time to settle into the whole thing and get my head around it, my partner seemed to understand. A couple of hours later they’d put on some tucking underwear and left it openly in the bathroom. I again last night explained that that upset me because he’s said he would slow down and give me time to think and then just immediately did that. we discussed how I wanted to be supportive and I want to come along on the journey but they need to slow down and let me get into it with them, that I want to be part of this but it’s getting too much for me. They seemed to understand but then while doing dinner they asked if we should dress up tonight. 
I have been feeling grief all week, I miss my husband and I needed his so much but no matter where I look there’s this other person and no matter what I say they’re just not listening. I can’t talk to anyone and I feel so alone. The depression is so bad I’ve been falling asleep as soon as the kids are in bed and I have no energy during the day. 
It has been a week and I’m starting to feel angry every time they bring it up. 
I am constantly crying whenever I’m left with my thoughts.
I want to be there and be supportive but how can I? 

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  • Admin
VickySGV

Very first thing is for you to contact a therapist who deals with Gender issues, and with grief recovery!  It would be a good idea for your husband as well, but  she/he is not asking me.  If you do it as couples therapy, the therapist will help BOTH of you to set boundaries which can be anything.  I mention grief therapy because grief and other changes folllow a set pattern in our lives.  One of the first steps there is the anger and emotionality you are talking about and with guidance from a therapist you can learn how to move beyond that level, although the other levels can be real mind blowers as well.. The other thing to do is to look up an organization such as Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) which has support groups for spouses of Trans people that are free and fun. 

 

Your husband does need to get it in view that he/she has known this for a long time and for you it is new and scary.

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Thank you VickySGV x I’ll look into PFLAG now and talk to my partner tomorrow about therapy. 

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VickySGV

Glad to be able to give ideas.  Even if you partner says no on the therapy, do look for it for YOU!  I just spent the day with a roomfull of therapists who want to work with Trans and Family and they are great.

 

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He’s got himself an apt with a therapist. I don’t know when we could see someone but rn I’m the only person who knows. I have no one I can talk to, I can’t tell anyone why I’m always crying and I hate myself for not being able to be excited with him but I resent this. I resent it so much and I hate myself for that too. 

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KathyLauren

Ursula, you need someone to talk to, too.  We can listen and offer suggestions, but you need someone in real life.  Talking to your own therapist will help you to de-stress from this. 

 

It is not just the trans person that transitions.  Everyone around them, especially their spouse, has to transition too.  And you need support for that process.

 

Regards,

Kathy

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  • Forum Moderator
Charlize

Ursula i know i drove my poor wife nuts once i got started.  I had been hiding for so long that being open with her meant so much to me.  Fortunately i understood that it was bugging her so i started to slow down a bit and she also found her footing.  The idea of therapy can help both of you.  My therapist was great in that she helped with spouses as well.  

If it helps any i transitioned fully8 years ago and we're doing great.  This year will be our 49th anniversary.

 

Hugs,

 

Charlize

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Jackie C.

Hi @Ursula!

 

My sister-in-law has a co-worker who recently decided that he (he identifies as male) wants to be in his female persona full-time instead of keeping it confined to business trips. She's having a rough time of it, but naturally she won't talk to me because I'm... actually, I have no idea why she won't talk to me. I'm delightful.

 

Anyway, when I first came out of the closet, my wife said that there were certain things she wasn't ready to see. We worked out a system where she'd call on the way home and I'd turn back into Clark Kent before she pulled in the driveway. The only real contention we had at that point was my more delicate things line-drying in the basement. That was mostly because they're delicate and I can't dry them in the dryer. We worked through it.

So while I'm not a fan of ultimatums, you really need to sit your partner down and set some ground rules. Communication is an important part of a healthy marriage. You need to make sure they understand that their behavior hurts you and then... and this part is key... work together to come up with a schedule you can both live with. Then maybe offer to help with makeup. Goddess knows I would love some personal attention to teach me about makeup.

 

I understand how important this can be for him. However, there are more people than just him in this relationship. Your feelings matter too and you're willing to help and support him as he expresses his feminine side. On the other hand, he still has guy brain. You might need to hit him over the head with a brick to get him to understand that he's hurting you. Somethings guys are thick like that and they just don't get it. You need to explain it to him in simple terms. Not that you want him to stop, just that you want him to slow down a little so you can both enjoy the ride.

 

Best of luck sweetie!

 

Hugs!

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Thank you all for taking the time to respond? I cannot put into words how much it has helped. 
Jackie, I think you’re right About the brick (which actually made me lol). We did talk again today and he thought Me “needing time to take it in and catch up because I wanted to be there with him” meant he should drag me along to catch up rather than him pump the breaks while I come to terms. I think we’re in the same chapter now if not on the same page. 
he did take the kids out today which gave me a few hours to sort through some feelings, like why this is such a big deal. It’s just clothes. I honestly think if it were any other member of my family, I would be 100% just excited for them and coping but it’s my husband. Although I am attracted to women, I didn’t want a wife. I will probably be fine in a week or so, but in the meantime it’s so helpful to know there’s a community of people here who understand. Thank you xx 

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Jackie C.

Ahh! So very happy for you! May you be as happy together as my wife and I.

 

Hugs!

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I'm glad you have found some support and advice here Ursula, that you have taken the time to come in the first place is amazing. It will take you a while to readjust the internal label you had for your husband. At this stage it is not to do with your sexuality, but everything to do with the dissonance between the feminine them that has come bursting out the closet and the masculine identity they have been showing you since you met. It does not mean that you are not supportive, just giving them a mental update. Hopefully they will take your feelings on board too and reign in the enthusiasm a little until you are both in a place to enjoy the discoveries together... ?

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Sally Stone

Ursula,

I feel the need to offer assistance, but all of the ladies that have already commented, have pretty much said what's really important.  This just means they are a great bunch and can help you with your struggles - you've come to the right place.  So, for now, please know you have my heartfelt support.  The fact that you've reached out here, shows your open-mindedness, which is going to help you and your spouse immensely.  It is so wonderful that you are trying to understand your husband's gender identity despite how difficult it can be.

 

Hugs,

 

Sally

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Thank you all again. Honestly is such a comfort knowing theres people who understand. 

I have a few questions, if anyone has any advice? 


My partner has spoken to the Gp and is being referred to a gender clinic, which can apparently take two years?!!! Is there anyone they can speak to in the meantime? They have been under tremendous stress the last few years and have suffered grief and worry this is a response to that. If so coming out would jeopardise other family relationships and put our primary school age children in danger of bullying for potentially no reason. That said, if it is permanent we need to start taking steps to deal with that. They went to the gp full femme (and we’re pretty pleased with themselves when an older fella gave her a wink... lol). 
It’s so hard to know what to do and doing nothing seems just as harmful. 
mum in the UK btw, not sure if I ever said. 

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  • 5 months later...

I understand. My spouse just made the step to take T, and I was surprised by it. There were quite a few parts in his journey/thought process/decision that I wasn’t included in, and it caught me unaware. If I had been included, I feel that it would have been smoother for me. Or at least I could have been eased into it and gotten used to the idea of it before it actually happened. What I’m relating to with you is that it’s hard to be in a different place in the process than a spouse. It feels like my spouse is speeding along full speed ahead, but really I just didn’t know all the background work that he did to get him to this place. Now I feel behind in my process and like I have to catch up. 

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  • Forum Moderator
Jackie C.

I agree completely. It's why I always try to encourage people in a relationship to communicate. Successful relationships have compromises. Not doing things alone is kind of the whole point in being in a relationship, right?

 

Hugs! 

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