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Offline Sylvia

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New here
« on: September 11, 2017, 11:47:08 am »
Hi, not really sure where to start. A couple of years ago I discovered my partner of 25 years has been dressing in women's underwear. It took a year to raise it, and finally a year ago, he admitted it, and also that he has gender issues.  He shaves his whole body, wears make up (not a lot) and has fake breasts, which he never wears in front of me. He says he absolutely doesn't want to transition completely, but has considered taking hormones. He doesn't wear female clothing on the outside, but neither does he wear particularly masculine clothing (tight fitting leggings/trousers etc. I hate the way he looks. We have two teenage sons.
I'm in complete turmoil, but am trying hard to be understanding. Can anyone give me any tips on how to cope/accept? He has had gender therapy and I am looking for some myself. At times I am just about ok with it, at other times, I'm actually horrified, angry, confused and terrified. He loves me and is not interested in anyone else. I love him madly too. We do talk and communicate and I sometimes say very hurtful things to him, so when we make a bit of progress, we can suddenly find ourselves at loggerheads too. I have absolutely no one I can talk to. Would love to hear from others in a similar situation.

S

Offline Cheaney

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Re: New here
« Reply #1 on: September 11, 2017, 12:22:34 pm »
I would really recommend seeing a Gender therapist. It has made the world of difference for my wife. We did go through what you described early on where she was indifferent for awhile and then just hate it the others. She is absolutely awesome now. There are times/things that's she's not ready for in my transition but that's normal. And then there is other times where she absolutely goes to bat for me when it's needed. Like when my family spouts their bigotry and I'm not around.


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Offline elkie-t

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Re: New here
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2017, 12:27:08 pm »
It's not easy for both of you... You don't want his crossdressing to affect your boys (it's not transmittable, yet it may affect his image with them), and he needs to do it and probably really strong.

I think there could be different routes to take - one could be complete honesty and openness inside the family. It doesn't break any laws for a man to wear a dress and your boys might learn to accept transgender people better knowing there father is one of them. But it generally works if he can be made looking convincingly cute and kids are young enough to learn it as a norm. By the time they are teenagers, it might throw in a monkey wrench into family dynamics (teenagers seem to be the most opinionated about everything, lacking both trust to their parents words and experience of their own to see nuances).

Another strategy could be agreeing to find ways for him to be out at times knowing he can do it with your approval and help without the risk to be exposed to the children. It can be some more or less regular time when you'd pick kids to go to grandma (so he can dress up at home), or I'd suggest - letting him to have some safe places to be out a few times a month (because sitting in the house alone is quite boring). I used to store my feminine clothes in a rental storage - so I could dress up (and change back) way outside the house and not risk my kids to find those clothes. Then I would change and go visit friends, or some event or a meeting (or in my case, I might go hiking or camping en femme) - then change back. I would keep the pile of dirty clothes in a  separate bag and when it would get big enough - I'd just go to a laundromat offering "wash and fold" service, and drop the bag with dirty clothes off, then picking it back a few days later.

So, something like that can be worked through to mutual satisfaction, if both are willing to communicate. And if not, it will sooner or later lead to separation and divorce, because children grow up and what is unthinkable when kids are so young and sweet and love their daddies, it's not as scary when they are big enough to be out of the house on their own...



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Offline Sylvia

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Re: New here
« Reply #3 on: September 11, 2017, 12:55:57 pm »
Thanks for your replies, glad to know my feelings are not unique. At the moment, he spends a lot of time away from home as he works abroad, so is able to keep things separate. He does bring his clothes home to launder, but he does it himself. He says he has no interest in wearing dresses or wigs, or anything 'obvious' - he has long hair so doesn't need a wig! He thinks he's had gender issues all his life but never expressed them. He is in his 60s now, so I think the aging process has brought it to the fore.  He is still in the 'finding out who he is' stage. He also works out a lot, and has lost a lot of weight (he was never overweight) - too much in my view- and wears 'bodywear' to keep his figure. I don't want him to transition completely - and he is adamant that that is not even a consideration for him, but who knows how far it will go. Can people just 'partly' change and be happy with that?

Offline Devlyn Marie

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Re: New here
« Reply #4 on: September 11, 2017, 01:12:00 pm »
Hi Sylvia, welcome to Susan's Place and thanks for opening up to us. Keep those lines of communication open, that's the key to success. We can't tell you how far she needs to take this, but you're both going to experience a huge range of emotions. Best wishes on this journey, you are involved with someone who will have a unique perspective on life due to seeing it from both sides.  :)

See you around the site!

Hugs, Devlyn
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Offline gallinarosa

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Re: New here
« Reply #5 on: September 11, 2017, 01:25:57 pm »
I recently discovered my husband's gender dysphoria as well (still uses male pronouns, etc.). He has only dabbled a little in crossdressing and not terribly into it. He also says he does not wish to publicly transition though right now we are working with a gender therapist and he is looking for ways to express his female identity in a way that makes him happy and gives him relief without overwhelming him or causing him a whole slew of other complications.

For us what is working is: taking it very slowly, reflecting on each step as it is taken, having completely open and honest communication, talking a lot, being kind to one another, being grateful for each other, and both couple and individual therapy for both of us.

As the CIS spouse, one thing that will mess you up is if you think too much about the unknown future. There is really no way you can know how you will feel in the future. What seems scary today might feel like nothing in three months. So no need to waste a bunch of emotional energy on stuff that may or may not happen and how you may or may not feel about it. Be as honest as you can about the present and trust each other in that. You might even find the present to be nice. My husband and I have been so much closer and so much nicer to each other, that it is sort of like a new honeymoon phase. So we are enjoying it while we can and letting our therapist help us cope with accepting an unknown future.

Good luck!

Offline Sylvia

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Re: New here
« Reply #6 on: September 11, 2017, 01:50:47 pm »
Thanks again, yes I think we have to take things slowly but also don't want to spend the rest of our lives talking (we're not young). And yes, he has become a lot more loving and we've got closer. We actually went two years without sex, but now we are gradually working our way back - although his lovemaking has changed.

Will keep posting.

Offline elkie-t

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New here
« Reply #7 on: September 11, 2017, 04:15:52 pm »
Can people just 'partly' change and be happy with that?
Yes, people are often satisfied with little changes for a long time. And we are oftentimes our worst regulators - those 'I don't want to wear a dress', 'I never go out in public', etc often comes from our own fears and not from our wives.

But as time goes on, experience gained, novelty wears off, just dressing in panties (or skirts for that matter) alone in our houses becomes boring and no longer exciting, we realize many of our fears aren't that scary, we live our life only once, etc. Some crossdressing husbands (me included) might not be completely honest and even if we know what we want, we might doubt it would be acceptable to our wives and don't open the whole deep well of desires all the way through the bottom (this forum recently discussed a wishlist idea - it might be a good tool for you to communicate his desires and let you have some idea and control over it).

Having said that, if he says he doesn't want to transition now (in his 60s), he's most likely won't want to do it in his 70s. Would he be 20 yrs old, I'd not bet what he will think about it in his/her 40s.

Offline Sylvia

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Re: New here
« Reply #8 on: September 12, 2017, 01:06:27 pm »
He is here now (was away working for a few days) and we have talked. He is still adamant that he does not want to transition, wear a dress or present as female. He says he prefers to be more adrogynous - neither masculine nor feminine. Would that be non-binary (I had to google that as I'm not au fait with all the terms yet)? However, in other conversations we've had he has said he does want to be more female than he is. In his 60s he absolutely does not want surgery. What more could he be looking at? He says he's not sure himself but he has talked to his therapist about hormones. I've said that if he went down that road I am really not sure I could continue in the relationship - I'd see it as the end of any sexual relationship - he has a very low sex drive as it is, I don't want to lose it altogether. What more does he want? I noticed today he is wearing a pendant he has just bought himself - a skull, so not very feminine! He wears lots of wristbands, two earrings, a little eye make up and foundation, has no body hair, except on his head where he has very long hair. What more will he do? Oh, he also doesn't want to be referred to as 'she' although he does has a 'femme name', which I know. I call her the other woman  >:-)

Offline Laurie

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Re: New here
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2017, 02:13:45 pm »
Hi Sylvia,

  I'm Laurie, mtf and i used to think I was a crossdresser. I discovered otherwise last November when I discovered the term Gender Dysphoria and when I did some research into it I found that I fit into the definition.
  I was married for over 20 years an crossdressed the whole time. At best my wife tolerated it. Eventually my dysphoria and behaviors tore my family apart and my heart was ripped from my soul with the divorce. If that was not bad enough we attempted to keep my dressing from my kids. In doing so my daughter was  hurt by it and her mother would tell her to either stay in her room or stay outside while I was in our bedroom  doing my thing dressing. I recently found out she has blamed me for this and  her poor childhood being raised it a home full of secrets and conflict. Thank to a so called support group she got involved she blames me for all the bad things in her life and her own personal problems believing she wouldn't be having them if it wasn't for me. I thought I had been forgiven for my part in all this but in April I found out otherwise when I came out to her. As a result I have lost her and my 5 grandchildren.  Once again my heart has been ripped out.
   I would not wish this upon anyone. If you can I hope you and you husband be open and honest with each other and both of you should seek counseling, both separately and together. Don't not make a big deal of it with your children either but when the time come, if it comes, explain to them what is happening in terms they can understand. Help them grow up with an open mind to differences in all kinds pf people.
  What happened in my home need not happen in yours.

 Hugs,
   Laurie
« Last Edit: September 12, 2017, 10:19:52 pm by Laurie »
Hi, I'm Laurie
“Sit with me, and I'll not be alone. Hold my hand, and I'll not feel alone. Cry with me, and I'll no longer suffer alone.” ― Richelle E. Goodrich,

Dec   4, 2016 Started estradiol and spironolactone
May 18, 2017 started electrolysis
May 20, 2017 doubled estradiol
Jun  26, 2017 Last day in male attire That's full time I guess
Aug 26, 2017 another increase in estradiol




Offline Sylvia

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Re: New here
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2017, 02:27:25 pm »
I'm so sad for you, Laurie. That is the last thing I or my partner want. He has said that he would not sacrifice our relationship for his gender. But neither would I want to think I've prevented him from being what he needs to be. He would resent me forever. It's all so hard :(

Offline Tommie_9

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Re: New here
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2017, 03:11:26 pm »
Hi Sylvia,
I can only speak as the MtF transgender person in our marriage. There has already been a lot of excellent marriage advice given, so I don't have much to add. Maybe reading about other married couples' experiences will help in some way. My wife and I are very happy together, and I've always been sensitive to her feelings dealing with this. I respect what she likes and doesn't like, except when it comes to my taste in clothes - I even have to pick out her clothes or else she would look like a granny all the time.  :-\

It sounds like I'm kinda like your husband in that I'm happy expressing publicly as non-binary-femme. I have pierced ears, and always wear earrings and other jewelry, which is kinda funky in the conservative area of the South where I live. I'm a manager at a news media company, and it caused a bit of a stir when I first began wearing them to the office. It's no big deal now.

I have kind of a longish pixy cut hair style (see my avatar), which I like, not real long. I dress androgynous almost all the time, keep my nails a tiny bit long and well-manicured, paint my toenails and wear flip flops out sometimes. Yep, I catch people looking at my feet sometimes.  :laugh: I like to present as binary female as often as I can when I'm shopping for groceries or at the mall. I'm more of a tomboy and don't wear dresses, so we sound a lot alike. I tried a wig when my hair was shorter, but it was hot and looked like a dead beaver sitting on my head -- not a good look. This has gotten too lengthy, but I wanted to share this with you as a spouse thinking you'll see that where your husband is in his transgender journey is not uncommon and can be accepted on the outside world. Stay happy and good vibes your way!
Tommie
Finding 'self' is the first step toward becoming 'self'. Every step is part of a journey. May your journey lead to happiness. Peace!

Offline elkie-t

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Re: New here
« Reply #12 on: September 13, 2017, 12:09:51 am »
He says he's not sure himself but he has talked to his therapist about hormones. I've said that if he went down that road I am really not sure I could continue in the relationship - I'd see it as the end of any sexual relationship - he has a very low sex drive as it is, I don't want to lose it altogether.
I think you made a huge blunder here. You used a threat when he voluntarily trusted you and told about hormones. And they actually might be beneficial for his overall health and helping his anxiety, yet in low enough dosage might not cause much visible effects. And even if they would, you're basically saying that would he have to take some medicine prescribed by doctors for health reasons and that medicine cause some unexpected side effect )such as gynecomastia), you would not want him as a husband? What if let's say you have a breast cancer and have to get a surgery and your husband tells you he won't love you without your boobs? How would you feel towards your husband then? Would you still be as open and close and trusting him, even if you don't divorce him right there and then?

Online ElizabethK

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Re: New here
« Reply #13 on: September 13, 2017, 03:03:04 am »
Hi Sylvia

Welcome to Susan's

I have been married to the same amazing woman for the last 30 years. My gender issues have always been around and in my 30's I tried to come out and transition however at this stage my kids were young and my wife asked me not to transition and was quite relieved when I appeared to "stop". I didn't stop I just began to do it secretively again and bury all the emotion that went with it. Over the next few years the tension and pressure within me built until finally I could not contain it any longer and my GD began to manifest itself in physical ways.

My wife had her issues and still does to this day...she went and had a session with my psychologist and since that day has been a lot better and we continue to work on anything she is uncomfortable with. We are constantly communicating about how we are both doing. I care for her deeply and do not want any hurt or harm to ever come to her as she is my soul mate. Our future is not what we originally thought it would be but so much richer because of the close bond we now have.

As the time has progressed we have grown closer that we have ever been...there are no more objects between us. We laugh we cry we love each other as best we can. I really hope you are able to work things out to the point where you can both be happy.

He may well find a point at which he is happy without full transition, HRT and surgery or any combination of them. There is no "right" way to transition or be Trans.
"You have the right to live an authentic life!"Alex Jolly

Transition Begun 25 September 2015
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Offline Sylvia

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Re: New here
« Reply #14 on: September 13, 2017, 03:28:29 am »
I think you made a huge blunder here. You used a threat when he voluntarily trusted you and told about hormones. And they actually might be beneficial for his overall health and helping his anxiety, yet in low enough dosage might not cause much visible effects. And even if they would, you're basically saying that would he have to take some medicine prescribed by doctors for health reasons and that medicine cause some unexpected side effect )such as gynecomastia), you would not want him as a husband? What if let's say you have a breast cancer and have to get a surgery and your husband tells you he won't love you without your boobs? How would you feel towards your husband then? Would you still be as open and close and trusting him, even if you don't divorce him right there and then?

Hi Elkie, I do know I shouldn't make threats etc - it wasn't he who told me about the hormones - I asked him outright if he had thought about it and he reluctantly admitted that it was something he had discussed with the therapist. Unfortunately I flipped at that point and said it was a step too far. Maybe I hadn't realised how much of a gender issue he has. I really just thought he was happy with a bit of make up and nice undies. This shocked me to the core and it's taken us a while to get through it, and last night we really talked, even discussed the hormone options and had amazing sex ;) I also have never said I wouldn't love him as a woman, I just don't think I could stay with him, as his 'wife' (we aren't married). However, he is nowhere near that, and still insists he doesn't want to change totally. He sees the hormones as more of a mental issue - will help his mind more than his body. I know we both have to think about it.

Offline karenk1959

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Re: New here
« Reply #15 on: September 13, 2017, 06:02:09 am »
There are two things to realize here, one by each one of you ~ for him, he needs to know that just like he is wired to want to be a woman, you are wired to want to be with a man and signed on to your marriage to be with a man, so there are two people here, not one TG with issues and the other a bystander.

for you ~ do not look at him as a transgender woman, but as a person full of love who didn't choose to be the way he was.

You both need each other's help to get through this, it is isn't easy

Offline Devlyn Marie

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Re: New here
« Reply #16 on: September 13, 2017, 11:08:05 am »
He is here now (was away working for a few days) and we have talked. He is still adamant that he does not want to transition, wear a dress or present as female. He says he prefers to be more adrogynous - neither masculine nor feminine. Would that be non-binary (I had to google that as I'm not au fait with all the terms yet)? However, in other conversations we've had he has said he does want to be more female than he is. In his 60s he absolutely does not want surgery. What more could he be looking at? He says he's not sure himself but he has talked to his therapist about hormones. I've said that if he went down that road I am really not sure I could continue in the relationship - I'd see it as the end of any sexual relationship - he has a very low sex drive as it is, I don't want to lose it altogether. What more does he want? I noticed today he is wearing a pendant he has just bought himself - a skull, so not very feminine! He wears lots of wristbands, two earrings, a little eye make up and foundation, has no body hair, except on his head where he has very long hair. What more will he do? Oh, he also doesn't want to be referred to as 'she' although he does has a 'femme name', which I know. I call her the other woman  >:-)

It's very complicated, Sylvia. Identity is not the same as presentation. I'm non-binary, I don't identify as a man OR a woman. I choose to present as a woman through my clothing, hair, jewelry, etc, and people generally see me that way, but they cock their eyebrows the second I speak because I use my male voice.

Hugs, Devlyn
Veteran, US Army

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