Author Topic: Could use some encouragement  (Read 803 times)

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Offline mamatree

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Could use some encouragement
« on: August 03, 2020, 08:56:59 am »
My husband of 12 years (we've been together 17) recently came out to me as trangender. He's actually very confused (and has started to see a therapist) and says that he likes his body and being a man, but also that he wishes he was a woman and experiences dysphoroa sometimes. No changes to pronouns yet. Maybe he's nonbinary, but also, he has so much shame wrapped up this that I think he could be a very, very repressed woman.

I am terrified for the future. My therapist suggested I might be encouraged by the examples of couples who have made through transition but the examples I am finding seem to confirm one of the fears I already have -that we'll be able to live as friends but not lovers. I keep trying to imagine my partner as a woman and I feel repulsed. Then I feel horrible and guilty for feeling that way.

I have spent 17 years building a life I love and want and have two young children. Both divorce and being married to a woman feel equally devastating. It feels like no matter what happens from this point forward, I will be unhappy in life. I know that my husband needs to explore himself and live openly and honestly in order to be happy. I guess if one of us has to live a life that makes them miserable, it might as well be me, but it is really depressing to have no hope for the future.

I guess I am looking for other straight partners whose partners have transitioned to the same sex and who have been able to have a truly happy successful relation that includes sex (and not polyamory, which is not an option for us). Is it possible? Or do I need to just accept that my marriage is basically over and I can hope for friendship at best?

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Offline Devlyn

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Re: Could use some encouragement
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2020, 09:30:20 am »
Hi mamatree, welcome to Susan's Place!

Here's your encouragement: This can work.  :)

What it takes is open and honest communication. Brutal honesty. I'm wondering if you've said everything you just told us to your partner? Because everything that both of you are feeling needs to be put on the table. All of it, positive and negative.

We understand that this is a real twist to everything you knew about your life so far. Most of the people here took years, or decades to come to terms with this internally. We know that it can a very long time to process this and come to terms with it as well. A lot of people seem surprised that once they come out to their partner, the relationship isn't back on an even keel once the shock is over. That's a bit of wistful thinking.

We all support you, and your partner, and will open our hearts and souls to you to try to get you and your relationship through what is sure to be an extremely difficult time.

Here's our standard welcome pamphlet to help you use the site. I'm going to put a Significant Other badge on your profile as well. See you around the site!

Hugs, Devlyn

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Offline Northern Star Girl

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Re: Could use some encouragement
« Reply #2 on: August 03, 2020, 09:43:00 am »
@mamatree
Dear Mamatree:
I see that our lovely member @Devlyn has already Officially Welcomed you but please allow me to also  WELCOME you TO SUSAN'S PLACE.   You will find this a friendly, helpful and accepting place to share your successes, failures and frustrations as you are on your transition journey. 
Here, as you get involved in the Forums, you will find subjects and members that can identify with your concerns.  You may even make some new friends here.

Be certain to look over the LINKS at the end of Devlyn's Welcome Message reply that she just sent to you.   There you will find IMPORTANT information about this site that will help you to safely navigate and to utilize this site effectively.

Again, wishing you a warm WELCOME !!!!  I am looking forward to seeing you around the Forums.
Danielle
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A New Chapter: ALASKAN DANIELLE's Chronicles
I am the HUNTED PREY: Danielle’s Chronicles
Things change re: ALASKAN DANIELLE
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Offline Northern Star Girl

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Re: Could use some encouragement
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2020, 09:43:12 am »
@mamatree
Dear mamatree:

OH, another thing....  Please feel free to stop by the Introductions Forum to briefly tell more members about yourself!
 
With more exposure to more members here you will be able to get more responses to your questions and concerns.

Wishing your well as you continue to be involved in the forums.

NOTE: Now, after all of this Greeting and Welcoming stuff, I will give you and others the thread back so that the conversation can continue.


Again, Welcome to Susan's Place.
Danielle         cc: @Devlyn
***SEE MY LINKS BELOW
The Ramblings of a Northern*Star Girl
A New Chapter: ALASKAN DANIELLE's Chronicles
I am the HUNTED PREY: Danielle’s Chronicles
Things change re: ALASKAN DANIELLE
Positive Mindset... put away negativity

Started HRT:   March 2015
Went Full-Time    December 2016
Quit my male-mode job and relocated to a very small town in Alaska in January 2017
I'm a blonde, blue eyed woman, Age 40

Online Maid Marion

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Re: Could use some encouragement
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2020, 10:05:57 am »
Hi Mamatree,

Everyone is different.  Some more than others. 

I consider myself TG and told my partner, but never went on HRT or had any surgery.
Like your husband, I'm OK with my body as it is.  I'm 5' 3" petite hourglass.
I have a feminine voice and mannerisms.  I also have a large collection of tools and have learned to use them.
Though I've stopped collecting new tools in favor of buying new clothes.   ;D

Marion

Offline mamatree

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Re: Could use some encouragement
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2020, 10:08:18 am »
Yes, we've talked about everything.

But I feel horrible whenever I tell him my feelings and fears because I want to be supportive. He is such a caring and loving person that I am truly afraid he'll ignore his needs in order to be supportive of me -though he says he won't. I can tell though, how scared he is when I tell him these things. And he's already starting from such a place of fear and shame that I feel like I am hurting him badly when I express doubts.

We have a very loving and communicative relationship -in fact, I would have said that we've always openly talked about everything. Not true, it turns out. I 100% understand why he never told me (or even admitted to himself) the gender identity situation...but at the same time, my cards have always been all out on the table and I thought we were building a mutually desired life together. Now I don't know if there can be a mutually desired life in which both of us live authentically. At the same time, divorcing feels like a half-life as well.

In some ways, our life right now is better than it has ever been. I can tell he's happier, and our bond feels stronger. It feels more intimate. ...But he also hasn't made any decisions regarding his identity and hasn't begun to transition, other than doing some more feminine things -growing his hair out, painting his nails, shaving body hair. Some of these things have been ok for me, but other things, like long hair, have been harder. I find long hair very unattractive, and the fact that I haven't been able to adjust to it really worries me. (It has been long for about 18 months, but I didn't know it was related to gender identity during most of that time). Long hair seems like the most minor of physical changes that might happen.

Am I doomed to just live with a certain level of unhappiness? Maybe that is what I need to resign myself to.

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Offline Gertrude

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Re: Could use some encouragement
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2020, 03:11:07 pm »
I haven't transitioned yet, but my only advice is see a therapist that understands this and that it takes some time. Your spouse is going to have to figure it out and what works best for them. I can only tell you that there's a lot of bump and grind at times and in my own experience, it's not only the shame and indoctrination for me, but the fear of losing a relationship and having my world turned upside down. So the contention for me is between being fully authentic and being safe. I don't think I can stay in the middle for the rest of my life. A good book about a hetero couple going through this is She's Not There by Jennifer Finney Boylan. Another is My Husband is a Woman Now by Leslie Fabian. Anecdotally from what I've read, about one third of relationships continue. I wish you the best of luck and I hope it works out for the best for everyone involved.

Offline SarahEL

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Re: Could use some encouragement
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2020, 05:26:35 pm »
I think Devlyn really hit it on the head and you say this is happening anyway, but communication all the way through is important. Also therapy is essential for your husband and you, so you can both find what you need out of this life.
One thing to remember though, whatever happens this is rarely a choice and as such no blame should be cast between you.
Me and my wife have been dealing with this for 3 years now, and to all intents and purposes she is like you - unable to live within a lesbian relationship. We have tried very hard but just as I cannot be forced to be male, neither can I expect her to be forced to change her sexuality.
Some people cope, and that is lovely, but keeping the communication going means at least you both will get something out of your futures and possibly remain the best of friends..
I hope it all works out for you.
xx
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Offline RobynD

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Re: Could use some encouragement
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2020, 05:58:05 pm »
Whatever does happen, just by coming here and putting this out there, shows your love and care for your spouse. That reaction is far different from what many others experience and you have every right to be proud of your relationship, the communication, and the love you have built for one another.

Other than the advice to see LGTBQ+ aware/trained therapist, the one thing I can offer is to take things slowly on relationship assumptions or decisions. You have plenty of time and maybe more options that you can currently see. You've got each other and that's a big deal, whatever the future brings in terms of your marriage, work to hold on to caring and friendship. 



Offline Nadine Spirit

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Re: Could use some encouragement
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2020, 07:21:43 am »
Hi, sorry for your difficulties.  That super sucks to have this come out of the blue. 

I'm not sure where you are headed, but I can let you know what has happened in my case.  I considered myself a cross dresser for years.  My wife knew and we frequently would go out with me dressed that way.  She said "I am fine with this but if you ever transition I WILL leave."  Well, I changed my hormones in 2017, and in 2018 I socially and legally transitioned.  Are we still together?  Yes. 

Why?  Hard to say exactly.  She is bisexual, but was clear she married a man for a reason and at one point wanted it to stay that way.  We are more educated now on trans issues and concerns.  My changing my hormones also dramatically changed our relationship in that I stopped being a massive jerk like all of the time.  So that was nice!  We also communicate frequently, like annoyingly so. 

In your circumstance I am not sure how it can work, sorry.  I often say to people that relationships can work with transition, but there needs to be lots of communication AND a workable solution to people's sex drive.  I am trans and cannot change that.  I am also attracted to females and that is not changed either.  I cannot possibly fathom trying to say to anyone, hey I know that ______ does not turn you on, but just deal with it and do it anyway.  Um, no.  Not an option.  Though I will say that possibly, maybe very tiny possibly, maybe you might be a little bi sexual?  If so then I think it could work.  Well that or you agree to polyamory, which you already said no to, or to having an asexual marriage.  I suppose those could work, and in fact I know of some who are doing those very things.  But I know for me that could not work.  You gotta do you boo!

Offline Birdie on a Wire

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Re: Could use some encouragement
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2020, 04:25:46 pm »
Hi MommaTree...
First, I know you're feeling scared, uncertain and like you've been thrust into some sort of alternate reality.  I'm so sorry you're feeling this way and I can almost guarantee your spouse is feeling horrible for being the one who brought this in to your marriage.  Big hugs to you both.

I keep trying to imagine my partner as a woman and I feel repulsed. Then I feel horrible and guilty for feeling that way.

Both divorce and being married to a woman feel equally devastating.
I'm curious what it is about imagining your partner as woman that has you feeling that way. Is it you don't think they will pass as a woman? Is it imagining physical contact with your spouse as a woman? Is it being seen by others in a relationship with a woman? None of that? All of that?  Perhaps it's something to explore with your therapist and see if it is something that is just now a knee-jerk reaction. Perhaps there is a way to overcome that feeling.


I guess if one of us has to live a life that makes them miserable, it might as well be me, but it is really depressing to have no hope for the future.
This statement really stuck out for me and I feel the need to snatch you up into a big hug and say, "No.  No, that is not true at all. You have every right to be happy and secure and fulfilled in your relationship as does your husband. 

I guess I am looking for other straight partners whose partners have transitioned to the same sex and who have been able to have a truly happy successful relation that includes sex (and not polyamory, which is not an option for us). Is it possible? Or do I need to just accept that my marriage is basically over and I can hope for friendship at best?
So the good news...
I came out as transgender to my spouse about a year and half ago and have been on hormones for two months. We're happier now than we have ever been in our 12yrs together. We're closer and have a stronger connection than ever.  And not to get into the details but our sex life has actually been better than it was before. 

A marriage can survive this... YOUR marriage CAN survive this. From what you describe it sounds like you have a strong foundation so that's a plus for you two. 

Best wishes to you and yours.

Offline RandyL

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Re: Could use some encouragement
« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2020, 04:15:37 pm »
Wow, so many parallels to my own marriage. A couple of thoughts in addition to the many good thoughts already on here...

You are each entitled to your own feelings. If you feel bad, that's ok and your partner should be able to acknowledge and support you through it, even if it seems like their fault.

Perhaps you can get past your revulsion at your partner as a woman by just focussing on them, the person you've always loved? One person's wife here said she's not a (lesbian) homosexual, she's a "Kathysexual". Meaning that although not attracted to women in general, she remans attracted to her partner.

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Offline Sylvia

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Re: Could use some encouragement
« Reply #12 on: August 28, 2020, 08:32:13 am »
Hi Mamatree, a bit late seeing this but I am the female partner of a MTF transitioner. He (still uses male pronouns) has been on E for over 2 years now, has feminised quite a lot, has breasts etc but he isn't out. No one knows. Our kids don't know. No one has questioned why he wears nail polish and macara, not even our kids...

Like you, I was devastated and thought it was the end of my world. But it wasn't and isn't. What you said

 I guess if one of us has to live a life that makes them miserable, it might as well be me, but it is really depressing to have no hope for the future.


- this was me 3 years ago (when I first found out). But we are ok - so far at least. Still in love, still together and I'm not as repulsed as I thought I would be. In fact I'm the one who wants to be intimate but he doesn't. But that is another matter for another post!

The way I saw it was to see how things go and not make any rash decisions. 3 years ago I'd never have thought we'd be where we are now. He isn't overly female, and hasn't changed names or pronouns, so I guess that helps. It's not a compromise, as he really doesn't want to be high femme, so likes the andro look. I can live with it too.

Don't get me wrong, there isn't a day goes by when I don't wish this hadn't happened, but I am accepting it now, and see he's much happier in himself (still a long way to go on that though), and I'm not as unhappy as I thought I would be. We have a pretty good life, lots of fun together, lots of love and cuddles.

The key has always been honesty and communication. That was the big failure at the beginning. He didn't tell me anything - I found out - and he did lots of things behind my back. It's taken a long time to rebuild the trust - it's still not there completely. I think your husband has a long way to go to find where on the trans spectrum he is - and I strongly believe there is a very wide spectrum - and it could be painful for you both.

Feel free to PM me and wishing you lots of love.

Syl

Offline mid-life wife

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Re: Could use some encouragement
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2020, 09:28:19 am »
Mamatree,

Please don’t give up trying to make your relationship work. I know you’re looking for straight partners of people who have transitioned, but I’m adding my voice here because my view might still be relevant...

My husband is like yours in that he suffers from dysphoria and identifies as male and uses male pronouns. He sees a therapist, but is doing more work on his childhood and family dysfunction than on gender identity issues. He appears to be uninterested in transitioning or doing anything beyond talking to a therapist. We’ve been living this way for several years now and although I’m coming close to giving up, that’s because we don’t have a close relationship like yours.

The fact that you two communicate a lot and have that warm relationship can be a great foundation for coming through any adjustments stronger. If you can still talk while raising kids, you’re likely to be able to talk through other life transitions. It sounds like you trust him and he’s a truly good partner and parent, so that’s another point in favor of trying to make the marriage work.

The shock of finding out about my husband’s dysphoria gave me a sense of panic and made me feel that I needed to do something, take some sort of action. Staying with him while he’s finally opening up and exploring feelings has been an adjustment, but once I thought about what was important to me, it made staying less difficult. My thinking was this: if I leave I might regret not trying to make the relationship work (we had been married a bit longer than you — about 20 years.) So, my advice is pretty standard here: try to put aside any shock or panic and consider what’s important to you. Taking time to think about your priorities is going to help you in whatever transition you encounter or choose.

In terms of being worried about being repulsed by your partner’s body as he transitions, I’d guess that the feelings will have more to do with care you both take in listening to and responding to each other’s emotional and sexual needs. I’m not a good person to address that aspect— my husband has never appeared to have a sex drive, and that’s one of the things that makes me think about giving up on the marriage. It sounds like your relationship is better, so I’m happy for you and want you to realize what you have.

I’m sorry this is sort of late and terse.  I’m trying to balance honesty with encouragement as well as with some of the more raw emotions, so I can be quite stilted as I write.

Let me know if you’d like to communicate through messages.

You have my wishes for peace and love,
mlw

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