Author Topic: Struggling with marriage and faith -- support needed  (Read 386 times)

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Offline ActionLiz

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Struggling with marriage and faith -- support needed
« on: September 15, 2020, 03:33:36 pm »
Hi everyone!  It's been awhile since I posted, but things have not been going well.

I came out to my wife as MTF about five years ago, and at first she was very accepting and encouraged me to transition if that was what I needed to do.

However, she gradually became less accepting over time, and now says that she needs me to believe that I am a man if we are going to have a good marriage.  She believes that God revealed to her that being transgender is an affliction, and that He can heal me of it if I ask Him to.  The problem is that while I also consider myself a Christian, I don't think it is wrong to be trans. I believe that God values the person I am, not the person I look like.  If He were to heal me, it would be by bringing my body into alignment with who I am, not by changing me until I am compatible with my body.

She encourages me to seek out conversations with Christians who believe that it is wrong to be transgender, so they can convince me that I am afflicted and need to be healed.  She gets increasingly frustrated with me when I'm not enthusiastic about this, and sees it as me choosing not to do the one thing that would heal our marriage and our relationship.  Last night she asked me : "What is there inside you that makes you not want to move forward with me on this?" I don't know how to answer, other than that I don't think that my gender identity is a sickness that needs to be healed.  The more frustrated she gets with me, though, the more I feel like I am the one tearing our family apart. 

I don't know what to do, and I don't see a good way out of this.  I don't want her to leave, but even more than that I don't want to be separated from my children, whom I love dearly.  I feel like I can't live life apart from my family, but I also feel like it's going to happen regardless of what I do.  In the meantime I struggle to get through each day, and it is getting harder to remember the reasons for doing so.

I could use some support and advice from others who have been where I am and come out the other side. Thanks so much for reading.




Offline Gertrude

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Re: Struggling with marriage and faith -- support needed
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2020, 03:50:38 pm »
Has she always been christian in this sense? In what way did god reveal it? That's quite a flip in attitude. Maybe we need more info how or why she flipped the script.

Offline TSL_NB

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Re: Struggling with marriage and faith -- support needed
« Reply #2 on: September 15, 2020, 04:20:39 pm »
Hi Liz, I'm sorry to hear things have been difficult. :(

I've swayed back and forth in my faith over the years, and outrightly rejecting it for a portion of my life.

I have to say, though, accepting myself as I feel I am truly meant to be has allowed me to reconnect with God in a more truly complete way.

I was subject to a lot of rhetoric in my younger years about the immorality of being 'deviant.'   But, God made us, and God made us this way.  We are not mistakes, and while we have challenges in life, I truly don't believe that God would create us in a way that we should be obstacles to ourselves, simply by existing.

God is Love.  I came out because for the first time in my life, I finally can love myself completely, and I'm able to share that with my kids (my own wife doesn't feel like she can stay, and I have to respect that if that's the case....but, this is what is going to keep me on this earth a lot longer, and enjoy and appreciate the gift of life given to me).

Two pastors, Paula Stone Williams, and June Joplin, both describe coming out as a calling.  I had never thought about it that way before, but that's what it is, really.

If this is who you really are, this isn't a mistake.  You are not a mistake.   

One thing I have learned, is when I pray, that God gives me the strength to get through whatever comes, and I'm still here so far.

Sorry, I may be rambling some, but I hope this helps.   

Oh, also, if this helps, I'd recommend looking up Dana Pham, an amazing woman in Australia (on medium, she has written a lot of entries about being Christian and transgender, and her reconciliation is very inspiring).
It took over 40 years to realise, and believe, that what I am NOT, is a mistake.

(Yes, I'm a Canadian who served in the US Navy....)

Offline Northern Star Girl

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Re: Struggling with marriage and faith -- support needed
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2020, 05:33:43 pm »
@ActionLiz
Dear Liz:
I have indeed noticed that you have not posted on the forums for several years... and also I have read some of you older postings regarding Christian faith issues that you have been dealing with.

The very first thing I wish to advise is that much prayer is needed and to seek God’s guidance... it would be wonderful if you and your spouse would find a way to pray together.
It might also be beneficial to seek transgender counseling that could involve “couples” counseling.

I am busy today at work but I will be posting more to you this evening a
after work...

Please write a PM to me whenever you wish....  my “door” is always open.
Hang in there.... have FAITH.

🤗 HUGS
Danielle
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Offline Northern Star Girl

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Re: Struggling with marriage and faith -- support needed
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2020, 02:37:09 pm »
@ActionLiz
Dear Liz:
I trust that you have had an opportunity to have some prayer time by yourself, and eventually with your spouse.,  I have very few words and suggestions that will help you in your situation.   I honestly do think that some counseling will help... by yourself and eventually maybe couples counseling with your wife if she is willing to go with you.

Because you have posted here on Forums, do know that there are Christians and those that have been praying for you and know that we are wishing for your happiness and success in your marriage and in your transition journey.

Always feel free to write me a PM or send me an email at   northernstargirl@susans.org

Please keep me and the rest of your followers updated as you feel comfortable sharing.


HUGS and more HUGS, and my prayers...
Danielle
***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

Offline Confused1

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Re: Struggling with marriage and faith -- support needed
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2020, 11:01:59 pm »
Hi Liz,

In addition to Danielle, I am also a Christian. I am non binary and also married. I have struggled with who I am and my faith as well. Danielle has already given you some good advice.

My path is different than yours, but I also welcome you to PM me if you want.

Hugs,
Mike

Offline SoCal_Holly

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Re: Struggling with marriage and faith -- support needed
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2020, 03:14:04 am »
Liz:

Sorry to hear about your family trials. Very tough and no clear solution but patience, understanding, and love required.

Being an engineer/scientist, I am much more spiritual than religious.

However, as a Catholic, I CHOOSE to believe I am in God’s grace regardless if by some unexplained quirk of fate, genetics, or other unknown condition/phenomena I am transgender. In my mind this is neither sinful nor “correctable or cured” through prayer. However, prayer can lead to better acceptance, understanding, compassion, and love for we are all creatures of God and human beings.

Keep the lines of communication open. I hope this helps in some small way. Best wishes!

Hugs,

Holly

Offline Rakel

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Re: Struggling with marriage and faith -- support needed
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2020, 07:55:59 am »
Dear Liz,

...I don't know what to do, and I don't see a good way out of this.  I don't want her to leave, but even more than that I don't want to be separated from my children, whom I love dearly.  I feel like I can't live life apart from my family, but I also feel like it's going to happen regardless of what I do.  In the meantime I struggle to get through each day, and it is getting harder to remember the reasons for doing so.

I could use some support and advice from others who have been where I am and come out the other side. Thanks so much for reading.
 

Many of us deal with this very issue.

For myself, I knew I was different before I was married and started a family. Back then, we were told we just had a bad role model for a father and we could work our way out of those feelings. 50 years later, nothing changed for me. I still felt the same inside.

About 10 years ago, for several reasons, I felt alone and unloved. My feeling that I suppressed for so many years came back stronger than ever. But I still had obligations and an unsupportive spouse. As the obligations worked their way to completion, I took a long look at myself, accepted what I saw and found a therapist trained in gender issues.

Many marriages do not survive a transition. We must realize that our spouses have their own feelings as well as we do. They did not enter into a same sex physical relationship. We must respect that.

Some people do have marriages that survive when one person transitions. There are many reasons. I have one friend whose wife openly admits to being attracted to same sex relationships. No problem with this couple.  8)

Another friend has a wife who is limited by fiscal issues. If they divorced, they both would have a much lower standard of living. This friend was a cross dresser for many years, so she was accustomed to seeing her spouse dressed as female. As they got older, sex is not an issue with them. The spouse just considers my friend to be a female relative who lives in the same house. This arraignment works for them.

My point is, there are many issues here. You have to decide what is most dear to you and what you may be forced to give up if you transition. This is not easy for anyone, especially the affected spouse and children.





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I still keep my professional licence active and in good standing.


Offline Rachel

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Re: Struggling with marriage and faith -- support needed
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2020, 07:36:44 am »
So, I have always been trans. I went to catholic school for 13 years. In the summers when young I want to vacation bible school (Lutheran) and on Saturdays it was Hebrew school ( My Mon was the school Secretary and later a director at a synagogue). All my friends went to catholic school.

I had a lot of religion in my past. I think my parents thought I would be saved from being who I am.

There are 9 variations of sex not two. Kleinfelders Syndrome explains some of the gene variations. Gene polymorphism explains the T to DHT reversible conversion and the E1 to E2  reversible conversion enzyme absence. Without an enzyme present a fetus will not have a male brain and will have secondary sexual charismatics that are atypical. There are lots of reasons a person can be trans.

Ignorance can not be cleaned out of a person just as religion can not change genetics. You are who you are.

A marriage counselor saw my now ex and me for one visit. She said I deserve to be me and my then wife deserves to be with a man. If the both of you can not accept each other then it is better you part. It was a very bitter pill to take but it was the truth. The challenge is to remain friends during divorce and after. I love my ex wife. We go to dinner one or twice a month (covid has put a damper on things for the past 6 months). I financially took care of her and provide support monthly. She works as a professional too.

Being together is a choice. If you part how you part is a choice. If you stay in touch that is a choice. Being trans is not a choice. What she is asking you to do is akin to you asking her to take T.

Rachel
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Offline josie76

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Re: Struggling with marriage and faith -- support needed
« Reply #9 on: Yesterday at 05:49:10 am »
In searching faith perhaps you should start at the foundational beliefs and scripture.

Study a strict translation of Torah (Old Testament) passages. Read what Jewish Rabbi have to say.

The largest body of conservative Judaism Rabbinical Assembly has issued a resolution. “Our Torah asserts that all humanity is created by b'tzelem Elohin, in God's divine image.” The resolution further details the historical records of transgender expression in sacred texts dating back to the third century Mishnah. It then points out the current issues of discrimination of transgender Americans in employment, voting rights, and medical care. “That is always the first job of the religious community, the faith community: to bring our Jewish values to bear on our real-life situations and the real people around us,” said Rabbi Julie Schonfeld, the executive vice president of the organization of 1,700 rabbis.” The Conservative assembly has called for all institutions to advocate for transgender people. The Reform and Reconstructionist branches of Judaism have passed similar resolutions supporting transgender people. (Zauzmer, Julie. 2016, June 1).

As Judaism is the foundational religion for Christianity, and translation and interpretations of sacred text show so much variation, it is important to examine this on a basic level. The primary ancient laws of the Bible that are used to argue against homosexuality and transgender people are Leviticus chapter 18, verse 22 and Deuteronomy chapter 22 verse 5. To begin examining Deuteronomy 22:5 as it is used specifically against transgender people. The interpretations are widely varying, however the English Bible usually make a point to state that it is sinful to wear clothing of the opposite sex.

The King James version: “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment”.
The Christian Standard version: “A woman is not to wear male clothing, and a man is not to put on a woman's garment”.
The New International version: “A woman must not wear men's clothing, nor a man wear women's clothing”.
(Bible Hub, 2018).

However if we examine the original Hebrew we can see a large void in the translations. The
Hebrew words are reordered left to right.
אִשָּׁה שִׂמְלַת גֶּבֶ ר יִלְבַּשׁ וְלאֹ אִשָּׁה עַל גֶבֶ ר כְלִי יִהְיֶ ה לאֹ
No/Not Let there be Weapon Warrior About Woman Or Else Dress Warrior Dress up Woman




Looking into Leviticus chapter 18 we find the largest part of this chapter is dedicated to banning men from having incestuous relations with women they are related to either by blood or marriage. Verse 6 is a general statement. “None of you shall approach to any that is near of kin to him, to uncover their nakedness.” (Mechon-Mamre.org. 2019.) Verses 7 through 20 are quite specific with whom a man cannot pursue sexual relations. Verse 21 tells them not to make burnt offerings of their children to the fire God Molech. It does not use the word sacrifice directly, however sacrifices to Molech by other societies in the area were exactly that.
Verse 22 is the one used to argue against homosexuality.

The King James version: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind”.
The Christian Standard version: “You are not to sleep with a man as with a woman”.
The New International version: “Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman”. (Bible Hub, 2018).

Looking into the original Hebrew, again reordered left to right.
אִשָּׁה מִשְׁכְּבֵ י תִשְׁכַּב לאֹ זָכָ ר וְאֶת
And you Male Not Lie Down Lying Places/Bed Women


There remains debate about the true intent of this verse. While the English Christian Bibles translate this to stating that men should not submit to sex with men, others have argued that the specific language used and the chapter it is part of makes it more likely that it is an addendum banning male incest in addition to male-female incest previously covered in detail in this chapter. “In a recent scholarly work, David T. Stewart has suggested that Lev. 18:22 addresses male–male incest. He bases his view on the fact that the primary concern of chapter 18 is precisely male–female incest: with mother, stepmother, aunt, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, daughter-in-law, etc. A supplementary clause in Lev. 18:22 proscribing male–male incest would make perfectly good sense. Renato backs up this hypothesis with supporting evidence located in Lev. 20 and the book of Genesis.” “Renato arrives at the conclusion that male–male incest is indeed a major factor. It should be taken into account whenever Lev. 18:22 is discussed.” (Lings, K. Renato, 2009)

Additionally the Hebrew word for "male" is specific here. It is only used a few times in all of the Torah that is the Old Testament. Since the entire Chapter 18 deals with explaining to men what relatives they cannot have sex with, it becomes more clear that this last line is a simple addendum.
Suggesting "And with males do not as with the women" indicates not to have sex with equally related male family members as the female relatives already explained in the Chapter in explicit detail.

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Offline Confused1

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Re: Struggling with marriage and faith -- support needed
« Reply #10 on: Yesterday at 04:50:34 pm »
Hi Liz,

I have had all kinds of Old Testament scriptures thrown at me, but because of Jesus, we live in the New Covenant. I am going to suggest Romans 8:1-3. There are many other scriptures I could suggest, but I think an excellent one would be Galatians 3:1-3

Those scriptures should help your wife.

Hugs,
Mike

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