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Jenny1984

My husband is telling me he’s transgender

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Jenny1984

A few years back my husband told me he’s transgender. I didn’t take it well at first, and said things I later regretted. After a few weeks I accepted that he was dressing like a woman occasionally. I even sat down with him and we had a talk about the situation, him sitting there in a dress etc. 
 

He’s not very outspoken about this thing, so I really don’t know what’s on his mind. He has a few outfits, that I know about leastways, and is spending little time on this. I’m afraid it’s because of me. I’m trying to shed some light on the subject, but he’s just smiling at me saying he ain’t gonna be talking about it right now. I’m so scared he’s is suffering because of this. 
 

In 2017 I even bought him some outfits so he would know that I was okay with it. We had a nice couple of hours before the kids got home. 
 

After that it all came to a halt. Now it’s 2020 and I know he’s never being her anymore. And I know that if I had been more supportive of him when he came out, it would have been a different story. 
 

I have tried to make amends but he just don’t wanna talk about it no more, and it’s all my fault. 
 

What can I do?

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Sally Stone

Jenny,

 

Don't take your husband's reaction personally, and it is not all your fault.  You have to understand that accepting and coming to grips with being transgender is tremendously difficult personally, and it's even harder trying to convey how we feel to someone else.  I suspect that just because your husband isn't dressing anymore, doesn't mean he still isn't transgender.  His silence may be his way of trying to cope with his feelings.

 

I think the best thing you both can do, is to see a gender therapist.  It sounds as though you are trying to be supportive, and you deserve high-praise for that, because it is never easy for a spouse.  A therapist who specializes in gender issues can help your husband come to terms with his feelings, and if you are there to support him, it will make things easier for him.

 

You might also ask if he would be willing to express his feelings here with us.  Talking to others who have walked in the same shoes can be therapeutic as well.

 

My heart goes out to you, and I wish you and your husband all the best.

 

Hugs,

 

Sally

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Susan R
2 hours ago, Sally Stone said:

I think the best thing you both can do, is to see a gender therapist.

Jenny, this is great advice from Sally. I agree that this would be the next best step. If your spouse won’t talk with you about it, it may also be difficult for them to talk to a therapist together as a couple (at least in the beginning). Couples counseling with one who specializes in gender identity issues would be great if they would try it. Your spouse might go to counseling themselves as it might feel safer for them. See if they would be open to one of those options.  If not, they can easily discuss things anonymously here, as Sally mentioned. Somehow the idea that you have changed needs to be conveyed somehow. Your spouse has lost trust even though you have done much to try to regain it...trust is one of the hardest things to get back after it’s loss in a marriage.

 

Warmest Regards,

Susan R🌷

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Jani

Hello Jenny.  My friends have summed things up well.  I just want to emphasize one thing, you are not to blame.  There is no fault to be applied to either of you.  Being transgender is not something you "decide" to be.  Also not all transgender people have the need to fully transition, meaning socially or physically.  Just identifying they are and doing whatever is needed to cope is the best response.  

 

Please continue to post your thoughts and we'll do our best to reply.

 

Jani  

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Jenny1984

Thanks to both of y’all for responding to me in such a gracious way.

 

I’m so disappointed in myself for pitching a fit when he told me. I could have listened, I could have comforted him, but instead I went off the handle on an ego trip. 

 

Gender therapy sounds like a good idea. The only problem is that he’d never go see a therapist. He’s the kind of man keeping things private. 

 

I will tell him about this site and I can only hope that he will come visit. I’m praying he will. 
 

I can see it now, in retrospect, that I failed to deserve his trust back when he needed it so much. I haven’t regained it either, at least not in full. 
 

Again, thanks for taking the time to respond to me.

 

 

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Jenny1984

Jani, I didn’t get to see your response before I posted my previous response.

 

 I just wish he could trust me again, despite my poor behavior back then.

 

 I’m so relieved that y’all accept me for putting down my thoughts in writing here. I don’t know where to go from now, and I fear he’s drifting away from me. 
 

I’m sorry, I know that I’m ranting and feeling sorry for myself even I’m the one who really shouldn’t be doing that.

 

Thanks, Jani.

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Jani

Jenny no need to apologize.  You are not ranting and even so this is why we are here.  To listen and provide support and counsel as best we can.  Many of us have spouses who have been in your shoes so we can appreciate your concern.  Have faith that you are doing the best you can.  I know you are. 

 

Hugs, Jani 

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Willow

Jenny, 

 

Let me speak from more of the position of a husband that blurted out my news to my wife  who had a similar reaction.

 

First of all, I knew something was different about me for years.  But I absolutely refused to seek a therapist.  I was embarrassed and didn't want to tell anyone my deepest secrets.  I never thought I was transgender but I didn't know.  I finally became so depressed and upset about things, I became desperate to find and talk to a therapist.  After several weeks of multiple sessions the therapist explains to me that I am transgender and that I had been all my life.  Compared to what I thought about myself, it was like having a huge weight taken off me.  I went home and tried to figure out how to share this with my wife.

 

Now, like you say about your husband I am very introverted and shy.  I even have a difficult time talking to my wife.  I'll try to shorten up this a bit.  I told her the following morning.  Like you, she didn't take it well.  Yes, its great for you but I've lived a lie all our married life was her response.  Eventually (months later) and with both of us in therapy separately, we started working things out.  

 

She allowed even helped me get some clothes and we went on a weekend trip as two girls.  Her hope was I would be so uncomfortable I would drop this.  It didn't work that way.

 

So, what is my point?  Your husband may have realized he didn't need to dress like a woman to express or deal with how he feels.  He may not want to be outward with it, maybe he felt he didn't fit in his expected appearance.  I know my wish is that I could have spent my teen years as a girl but certainly that doesn't work at my age.

 

Don't blame any of this on yourself.  It is unlikely you had anything to do with how he feels or acts now compared to how he was.  Its possible he is still figuring it out in which case getting him to come to the conclusion to see a therapist would be best in my opinion.  But if he is shy and stubborn, it has to be his idea, you can't make him go.

 

Willow

 

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Jenny1984

Willow,

 

First of all I have to express my gratitude to you for taking the time writing to me about this. After reading what you and the other ladies have been thinking about what I brought here, and from browsing the forum in general, there’s been quite a few teardrops slipping away from my eyes. I can’t imagine how he must have been suffering. I can’t imagine how all y’all must have been suffering through the ordeal this truly is.

 

 I realize that to many it is a problem that they feel they are losing the man they married. I don’t have a problem with him living like a woman, I just want him to understand that I love him and want to stay with him no matter what he decides on, but he has somehow closed his emotional door on me. 
 

I know you’re right about him having to want to go see a therapist himself, and that I shouldn’t be pushing him to do it. But it’s hard. He’s gotten me so worried about him.

 


 

 

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Willow

She is very fortunate to have such a loving and understanding wife. I think you will just have to continue to show that love and understanding but let her do what she needs when she is ready.  Yes, we would love to be able to help her too but we are all a bit stubborn about what we reveal and to whom and when. That’s probably the biggest difference I know between figuring things out at a young age and when we are older.

 

Willow

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Jenny1984

Yes, I think you’re right. Time will maybe help reinstating the trust between us. It’s just that so many years have already passed. I see him going through depression and I feel powerless. I’m gonna make an appointment with a gender therapist when I can find one. I’m gonna tell him when the appointment is made and then he can go with me if he wants to. Or will that make him trust me even less? Will he feel betrayed by that? The therapist will be able to find his name if I make an appointment. Am I making any sense at all? 

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Jackie C.

The therapist can't divulge patient information to anyone outside their practice, so I wouldn't see it as a violation of trust. You're honestly trying to help. Make sure she knows that. I've had joint therapy sessions with my wife, they were lovely. My experience with gender therapists, any therapist with their own office really, is that you step into a warm, comforting environment (not always literally, one gender therapist's office was FREEZING but I was dressed for summer) and you talk with a kind, understanding person that helps you come to terms with your demons.

 

Susan's been very supportive, though not quite as involved as you are. We've come out the other side of my transition stronger as a couple than ever before. I wish the best for you and your partner. It really is amazing when two people love each other and help one another through the hard times. I'm proud of you for taking the initiative. It sounds like your partner might need a little nudge.

 

Hugs!

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Willow

To find a therapist there are a lot of sources.  The one I used was Psychology Today. They will show therapists within a distance, what they specialize in and if the take insurance. 
 

i don’t know that you should make a surprise appointment for her.  Maybe you should make the appointment for yourself and talk about what you said and have done and let the therapist advise you.  I don’t know but  She could feel you are forcing the issue and retreat even further.  I know I would have.  
 

That said, let someone else chime in.

 

Willow

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ShawnaLeigh

I am not sure more I can add but I will weigh in on how hard it all is to speak of these things when you have lived a lifetime of male conditioning to NOT say anything.  The fear and anxiety is brutal but some manage to suppress it well and play it off, push it down and hide it.  I did this for over 40 years determined to be the male I was born as but struggling daily with the female brain that was screaming to be set free.

This did not go well for me and after a break down I was then ready to admit my truths and seek help.  I did NOT however have a loving wife who wanted to help me be who I was born to be.  

You my girl are an amazing women for coming here and seeking answers and clarification to a very hard topic to even understand then to deal with.

I also agree and gender therapist is a key factor in the healing process.  It was for me.

Life saving I would say...

 

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RobynNYC

I have to add my voice here about the importance of therapy.  For me, starting therapy was a HUGE. HELP.  It was also the hardest thing to do.   You’re conditioned for how ever long to bury this deep inside and first speaking it aloud to another person in a therapy setting is SO. HARD.  

 

Ive been in therapy for a year, the first major step I took was to tell my wife, and she is pretty relaxed. But at every moment I want to share something with her, whether it’s body hair removal or attending a supper group, I panic for a few days to a few weeks, obsess about how to approach it, and then when I finally get up the courage to talk to her, she’s totally non-plused. 
 

Anyway, my 2¢
 

-Robyn

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Willow

@ShawnaLeigh @Jenny1984 I agree, you do all the things manly.  I joined the Air Force during Vietnam.  I dated girls, got married had kids supported my family.  But in the wee hours of the night when everyone else was asleep, my feminine side would come out.  Sometimes I let her and other times I felt it was wrong and suppressed it.  Not 40 years!more like 60 for me.  Then it all blew up and I couldn’t deal with it anymore.

 

my wife is not happy about it even now 3 years since I figured it out and told her.  But she has been helpful and supportive.  Made me some clothes. Gave me some, went shopping with me to try things on and taught me about makeup.  So I have nothing to complain about.

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Jenny1984

Ladies,

 

it means a lot to me what y’all are saying. Not only has She (I’m fixing to start using the correct pronoun) been alone with all this, but it has been a lonely ride for me as well. I have told Her that I have visited an Internet forum for transgender people, but I haven’t told Her what forum, yet. I don’t know Her thoughts about me coming here, but something had to be done about this. She’s so difficult to read. I got no way of knowing what’s going on in Her mind. I’m aware that I’m too talkative about this, but I ain’t told nobody about our situation before, so it’s such a relief finally being able to share my thoughts with human beings and not just my imaginary diary. 

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Willow

Relief is so important.  Understanding you aren’t alone and that there are way more transgender people than anyone has ever counted.  Many of us didn’t know.

 

Good luck.  Your mate is so fortunate to have you trying to help her.

 

Willow

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Jackie C.

Tell her we said, "Hi!" and that we're here if she needs to talk to somebody. About half of us have been through something similar to what she's going through, though some of us have (or had) less supportive spouses.

 

We can be hard to read. We're good at hiding and a lot of us got expressing ourselves whupped out of us when we were small. Unfortunately, being "manly" means bottling up your emotions and your problems. A lot of us fall into "manly" jobs as a way to make our parents proud (seriously, at least half of us are ex-military). That's a hard habit to let go of.

 

Hugs!

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KathyLauren
1 hour ago, Jenny1984 said:

Ladies,

 

it means a lot to me what y’all are saying. Not only has She (I’m fixing to start using the correct pronoun) been alone with all this, but it has been a lonely ride for me as well. I have told Her that I have visited an Internet forum for transgender people, but I haven’t told Her what forum, yet. I don’t know Her thoughts about me coming here, but something had to be done about this. She’s so difficult to read. I got no way of knowing what’s going on in Her mind. I’m aware that I’m too talkative about this, but I ain’t told nobody about our situation before, so it’s such a relief finally being able to share my thoughts with human beings and not just my imaginary diary. 


Hi, Jenny.


Don’t feel guilty about seeking help on a forum or from a therapist.  Your mental health is important, too.  You are in a position where you have to transition, even if your spouse chooses not to.  You have a right to understand your own feelings and reactions.


From the point of view of the trans person, I can tell you how good it is to have a supportive spouse.  Your spouse may have trouble communicating, as many of us were socialized to do, but she is lucky to have you by her side.

 

Regards,

Kathy

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Susan R
1 hour ago, Jenny1984 said:

I’m fixing to start using the correct pronoun

This is a good start to gain her trust back and show you accept her for who she is inside.  I know it’s difficult to believe that this manly spouse could actually be this seemingly completely different person but it’s real. Believe me when I say...she may suppress it better than anyone here but it does not hide the fact she is who she said she was.

My wife is very accepting to the point that she love the “old” me but would not even want that person back for even a day.  This might seem very hard for you to do but if you liked your husband, you might appreciate and learn to love her as herself even more than you ever thought possible.  As many have stated on this site...you both transition together. No one says these things for the fun of it.

Also, if you slip up on the pronouns, don’t get down on yourself.  It’s difficult to do pronouns until your spouse presents as herself more often. They may not even want that right now.  Just take your time with her and be there if she reaches out.

 

My Best,

Susan R🌷

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Jenny1984
Posted (edited)

Ladies,

 

 I have never thought of it that way, I mean, that the transition is something I’m sort of going through as well. But it is, and the same goes for our children. 
 

I realize now that my transition has been going on for years already. I also realize that I’m ready for what to come now, whether it be this or that. 
 

There are positive signals too. I haven’t been using much makeup the last few years due to our work schedule, but after supper yesterday I asked her if it was okay that I started using it again. Yeah sure, she said, why you asking me? The thing is that I said it to ignite a talk about our situation. So I was like: It’s nice stuff, you can borrow them if you like. And she gave a me a big smile. I think we’re making progress.

 

Occasionally I’m reminding her of the Internet forum where she can talk about what she’s going through. I have now told her about this place. I pray that she visits.

 

I can’t express in words how grateful I am to you ladies for offering advice.

 

Jenny

 

Edited by Jackie C.
Pronoun trouble

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Jackie C.

Fixed it for you sweetie. Technically "wrong pronouns" is a rules violation, but it's hard with spouses. Especially when they're not presenting full time yet. Also, I think we all know you didn't mean it.

 

I hope she visits too. Everybody deserves to live at their authentic self.

 

Hugs!

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Jenny1984

Thanks for correcting my error. I saw it after I’d made the post, and it really bugged me. 

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Ursula

Hey Jenny! I’m pretty new to being the partner of a trans lady and can’t really add value to what has already been said but just wanted to reaffirm anyway! 
You can’t underestimate the change this is for you too, it’s so wonderful that you’ll be going through it together but don’t be too hard on yourself. 
What you said in the beginning will have been shock. And honestly as someone who didn’t see her husband as being a wife, it’s a big shock. It makes you question if you know them at all, but you do. 
It’s easy to slip on the pronouns when they’re not living out as a woman. My wife has told most of our close friends and some of our family but I still have to think “ok do they know her as he or she?” before I speak which leads to me sometimes dead naming her to her face. She’s understanding though. 
all you can do is be consistently there for her and the rest is up to her ☺️ It sounds like you’re already doing that xx

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