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Ursula

It’s been about three weeks to a month  from when my partner told me she was a woman. 
It’s been a lot, I’ve been as supportive as possible and am still trying to get my head around the whole thing. 
I’m still happy for her, still enjoy spending time with her and still love her - but the romantic side has hit a brick wall because it’s a bit too uncanny. She looks like my husband, the man I knew and loved for 20 years, but moves different and smells different and talks different. 
I have told her this and told her it is going to take time, a lot of time for this to stop feeling weird and she seemed to understand but still keeps making passes at me. I told her again tonight that rn I don’t feel comfortable with intimacy and she had made me feel more uncomfortable when she was hitting on me but I’ve clearly upset her and now she’s sad. Which is just adding to the pressure, and that’s annoying me. 
Im wondering how long it took other people to get used to the change and if there’s anything that can help?
 

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Alex C

Hey Ursula .

First Kudos on using the correct pronoun around her. I know she really appreciate  it . Second, if your uncomfortable with anyones advances ,whether it be your partner, friend or stranger and they don't response to the word NO then call the police...Now regarding your question it all depends. (As a side note, I never been married, So I might not be the right one to give advice.) from what I gather it all depends on you. Maybe seek out a therapist you can talk too, where you can hear yourself speak . But Please as I mention above if you feel uncomfortable then find a safe place.

Hugs 

alex

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Jackie C.

Seconded. Kudos on using the correct pronouns.

 

That said, your spouse is being inappropriate. You said that you're not comfortable with her attentions at this time. She is persisting. You do not owe your spouse intimate relations if you're not feeling up to it. I understand that she feels hurt. She needs to suck that up. Transitioning is a risk. There are things you can lose. This site is rife with men and women who have given up a lot to be who they really are. You don't actually owe her anything. I think it's lovely that you support your spouse, but she needs to understand that moving forward needs to be comfortable for both of you. You're in this together after all.

 

I'm reminded of a friend of mine who, when I said that I was transitioning replied with, "But your privilege!" I was prepared to give all that up. It sounds like your spouse might need to take some time for some deep thinking on what transitioning really means. It's not just, "My life like it is now, but I get to wear a dress!" There are some profound life changes coming her way. She'd best be ready to accept them.

 

Now then, if she keeps being inappropriate you are well within your rights to get the police involved or spend some time with a friend. Your spouse needs to really understand that she's making you uncomfortable and needs to knock it off. You'll be ready in your own time. That time might be "never." Again, this site is rife with stories of even supportive spouses that found they just weren't attracted to their partner as a woman. She needs to make peace with that possibility.

 

Hugs! 

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ShawnaLeigh
59 minutes ago, Jackie C. said:

That time might be "never." Again, this site is rife with stories of even supportive spouses that found they just weren't attracted to their partner as a woman. She needs to make peace with that possibility.

Jackie hit all the points I was going to make. However this one point is me.  My wife supports me and fully accepts my transition even though she doesn’t fully understand it all.  She helps me and has given me so many things to help me move forward.  Clothing and feminine items to assist me.  However she is now just my friend and we have moved away from bring spouses.  It’s sad but happens but it’s not the end all for us.  Which is comfortable for us.  
Please have your wife(husband) read some things here to gain some perspective and maybe she will understand you can not be a women And insist on it in all things and then act male when you get frisky.  That life is gone if she truly wants to transition.  At least in the way she is insisting.  

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Lou10

Hi Ursula,

 

I hope you're okay, It must be quite a time for you and hopefully you've got some good support. There will undoubtedly be tons for you to talk about over the coming months and you must be a bit 'what the heck' at the moment. It is important for your partner to understand that, although she may have spent years trying to come to terms with who she is, this is likely to be all new to you and probably quite a surprise to you too. You are going to need time to work out how you feel about all sorts of things. There is a danger sometimes for us trans people to want to rush things, after all we may have known for years and in the elation at getting it all off our chest we can get carried away without a thought to those around us. There is some good support out there which you'll probably need over time but, you just make sure you are comfortable. 

 

I'm trans and in a relationship with a man so I can't offer too much marriage advice but, I'm happy to answer any questions I can on the trans side of things based on my own experiences without their being an emotional pressure to my answer. Rest assured If your partner is planning to follow the NHS pathway it's a long one, mine took 4 1/2 years from GP referral to GR surgery and that time frame has since got longer so you'll have lots of time to work things out. 

 

I don't want to intrude but, to echo what others have said too, coercion or force is definitely illegal in the UK. I'm sure that's not the case for you, but if it is please speak to the police or a DV support group. 

 

Take care and stay safe

 

Lou

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Ursula

Thank you ladies for your responses and kind words. 
We have had plenty of discussions over the last couple of weeks and she is no longer putting pressure on me. I truly don’t think it was ever her intention to manipulate me, however we have been quite at cross purposes. She is clearly very excited about her new life as a lady where I am still (and increasing) mourning the man I fell in love with. 
She has realised that although she would like intimacy, she can no longer fulfil “the male role” as it would bring on a wave of dysphoria and the desolation it brings.  I enjoy taking on that role occasionally but I don’t think I would be fulfilled if it was the only way we could. So she’s taken to a dating app to seek the validation and attention she craves. 
I get why she’s done so and I am partly relieved but also hurt. She says she wants us to work out but she also needs to figure out who she is and what she wants. That said, I also need to do that but I’m not out there looking for a replacement in the meantime. 

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Jackie C.

I'm very disappointed in your partner turning to dating apps. While sexual gratification is important, it's a long way from the most important aspect of a relationship and I'm a bit affronted that she's doing it without making sure that you're OK with it. I understand that she's excited. It's a very exciting time, but she's still behaving badly.

 

I'm sorry she's being a ... word I probably shouldn't use ... to you sweetie. You deserve better from your partner.

 

Big hugs!

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Ursula

Thank you Jackie. To be honest a couple months ago I told her she should take a partner as  we weren’t in a good place. Either of us. I was going through severe depression and I wanted to take time for myself to get better and finally start the business I always wanted to start and she was also stressed and had developed a desire in the bedroom I hadn’t the energy to contemplate while battling my own troubles. After that discussion though we got better, he gave me space and was still feeling fulfilled, we ended up being more intimate than we had been since the kids and it felt like we were both back on track to the lives we wanted, Together. 

Now everything is different and she keeps referring me back to that conversation but we aren’t in that scenario. I never got one second thought my husband would prefer someone else, I just wanted him to have some freedom to experiment while I was getting back to my feet. My wife however, she clearly wants a man and I feel like she’s keeping me as a safety blanket. 
she did say she wants to be looked at for who she is and not who she used to be and I get it. 
this is so hard for everyone and I can’t see any right answer 

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Ursula

And I must say, what a great time to be in quarantine lmao

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Jackie C.

Oh sweetie... at least you still have your sense of humor. I read somewhere that when China lifted the quarantine, the divorce rate skyrocketed. It's a disconcerting thought. So far for me, it's just been more opportunities to make breakfast for Susan.

 

Unfortunately, you can't change someone else's heart. My biggest fear while transitioning was, and still is, that my wife finds a man she likes better. I've had the most horrible dreams where she does just that and he's both a good guy and treats her right so I have no cause to object. In my dreams I always end up stepping aside so she can be happy. They always break my heart.

It never occurred to me that things might go the other way.

 

It sounds like your wife is doing what Susan was afraid I'd do; head into my new, awesome life and leave her behind. We've had... and still have... conversations where I assure her that nothing could be farther than the truth. I certainly enjoy my new life, but I would enjoy it far less if she wasn't in it. She's my partner, and I love her. No matter what.

I'd have one of those conversations with your wife. If she's planning something that you want no part of, you need the opportunity to distance yourself. I've always felt that the secret to a happy union stems from strong communication. You need to be honest with each other. Always.

 

This might get rough. Well, rougher. You deserve so much better. Don't be afraid to reach out to a therapist if you need support. In the meantime, we're here if you need to vent.

 

Big hugs!

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Ursula

Thank you Jackie, honestly I have a friend whom I can (and do) speak to but naturally they have no basis for comparison and so being able to talk to someone who has gone through something similar helps. 
After working this evening I think we will be having another difficult conversation. 
I have never imagined my life without my husband and it didn’t occur to me that gender played such an important role when I am attracted to men and women. This should be easy. 

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BrandiBri

Are there any support groups in you area? If so, I would suggest that you attend one of their meetings. At the very least you might do well to find a therapist that you can trust to help you sort out your own feelings.

 

Good luck, hun.

 

Hugs,

Brandi

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ShawnaLeigh

I’m sorry as well about your partner seeking gratification and validation threw dating sites.  I am basically shocked that is even happening.  I could not sit by and watch this go on from the side lines and be ok with it. This sort of behavior would not be tolerated until the other partner was out on their own. Sorry just my opinion but it’s just plain wrong to do to you.  Regardless of where things may be headed.  Basic respect is not something that should be thrown away to find yourself.
I apologize as it’s gets my dander up.  
 I give you all the credit for being as understanding as you are too.  Being trans is not easy and made much harder with no support.  
I wish the very best for you hon.  

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DeeDee

Ursula, I am a little late to this thread, but know that what was said and agreed with "him" is going to be vastly different to your conversations with her. Your partner should know that instinctively. They would not want you to keep them to all of the things they had done or been in their male role. 

You are allowed to mourn the loss of the man you have known and loved for 20 years. 

Whether you can stay with the new woman in your life and get to know her too is up to you, this is just one of the risks we take opening up to people and the lockdown situation does make it SOoooo much more difficult to find some breathing space! 

Hopefully it is just enthusiasm and a bit of perspective will help, but Shawna is correct that respect works both ways. I have only ever known one openly polyamorous person and her relationships took just as much work as anyone elses. I hope you are staying safe. 

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Ursula

Thank you all again, I really can’t say enough what a wonderful pace this community is. 
it’s hard to feel alone I think when so much change is going on but you are really helping me. 
my wife and I did speak again last night but it was about other things she had been driving me crazy with (like makeup on every surface of the house) and such. She put in a huge effort to be more considerate which is great. Things are still fraught though. 
there are some groups nearby Brandi, I think they’d be mostly geared for her though, and honestly she probably needs the support more than I do. 
I feel like I’ve made her out to be a terrible a hole lol she isn’t, she’s really lovely and considerate generally. She has run everything by me to see how I feel about it first, and Im honest. 
I don’t see the point of saying “no don’t do that”, if that’s what she wants then me saying no will make her resent me, if she keeps doing it then I’ll probably resent her. I can’t see a way we get around this right now. 
I will seek support when the quarantine is over, if we both survive being locked up together lol!

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Jani
1 hour ago, Ursula said:

I don’t see the point of saying “no don’t do that”, if that’s what she wants then me saying no will make her resent me, if she keeps doing it then I’ll probably resent her. I can’t see a way we get around this right now. 

Ursula you can and should assert yourself as you feel the need.  You say she has put in a big effort to be considerate and that is good but she can't hear what you're thinking so its imperative for you to be clear.  While you might not want to tell her to not do something you can certainly tell her to slow down so you can absorb the changes.  After all she's had much longer than you to come to grips with this change in your lives.

 

All my best, Jani

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Alex C

Hey Ursula Jani Is on the money as usual..Thank her advice. Also if you can find an on line GT that might help both of right now. Be safe 

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Ursula

Thank you all again. I think we will have another conversation tonight. 
I have been open with her throughout, I told her that I find it hard to believe that she truly wants to commit to our marriage if she’s out there seeking a man. I told her that I think she really wants a boyfriend but wants me as her security blanket. I’ve also told her that I will always love her and if that’s as my best friend and not my partner, then so be it. 
she’s acting so different from the husband I knew but then keeps trying to tell me she’s the same person.

I keep retreading the thread and honestly you are all so lovely and kind. I will continue to talk to my wife and hopefully we’ll get on the same page 😊🤞🏼 
 

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Lou10

Hi Ursula,

 

I'm pleased you're both talking about it and I suppose the lockdown probably means it's difficult to avoid the subject. A number of support groups cater for 'significant others' too so you may find that helpful. I think the 'acting differently' is probably a lot to do with the relief she feels at having got it off her chest so to speak and will probably slow a bit as time goes on. I suppose you have both got to work out what you want from the future although, at the moment not many of us are thinking past the next few weeks. That is a crazy thought. If that means she wants to be with men relationship wise, she can't expect you to be the comfort blanket to return to when men as they often can turn out to be less than perfect (a conservative description). Of course, I imagine that you have so much together emotionally that you will always be really good friends. Sitting down with a third party both together and individually will probably help. Have as nice a weekend as you can and take good care. 🙂X

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Jani
8 hours ago, Ursula said:

she’s acting so different from the husband I knew but then keeps trying to tell me she’s the same person.

This is so common especially in the early stages of transition.  We all try to assume the persona of the person we hoped to have been, whilst insisting we are the same.  Not so fast!   She needs to understand she is different now but to respect the boundaries of your relationship.  While you may have suggested taking a partner I'm not sure you thought it would happen.  I believe in honoring the vows you took (maybe I'm old fashioned).   Remember that intimacy can take many forms and its not just carnal knowledge that satisfies.  Snuggling and hugging can be fun too.  

 

If she sees herself as the same person you can challenge her to be that person, within her feminine state of mind.  Just as you have to accept that she will smell and move differently, she has to accept that you have expectations to be met.  It is rare that family roles change much when one transitions.  This has been discussed here.  While my spouse accepts me as a woman, I still change the oil in our cars and mow the lawn.  Some things don't change.  Hopefully things will even out soon and she will see that transitioning doesn't give her carte blanche permission to do as she wishes.  Responsibilities don't go away.  

 

All my best, 

Jani      

 

 

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BrandiBri
On 4/3/2020 at 4:48 PM, Ursula said:

there are some groups nearby Brandi, I think they’d be mostly geared for her though, and honestly she probably needs the support more than I do. 

While I agree that she needs the support you would benefit from finding others who are going or even have gone through the same things you are going through. Her transition is not all about her, it affects you and everyone that is part of your circle. Please take care of yourself as this can be stressful and you need to stay strong for you.

 

I too agree with Jani, you need to let her know that you still love her and will support her, but at that same time you need time to adjust to this "new norm". 

 

I wish nothing but the very best for both of you,

Brandi

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