Community Conversation > Coming out of the closet

How I'd like to approach my wife, if I'm ever able to

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JamieH:
So I've been putting a lot of thought into this.  If you've followed me you know I'm new to allowing myself to enjoy my feminine feelings and struggling between the amazing excitement of what could be vs the incredible feelings of doom about dropping a nuclear bomb on my family.  I'm terrified of losing my wife, and possibly kids if things were to go poorly.  Beyond the relationship loss, it could financially ruin me.  She's a homemaker and I cannot afford 2 rents, child support, alimony, etc.  If she moved back to Boston and abandoned me I'd be entirely alone here in CA and not sure I could get through this alone.  I'd most certainly be unable to afford any of the transition therapies that I have in mind.

I'm just going to write a script as how I want to start the conversation.  Everyone's different, none of you know me or my wife so I know you can't help me in that regard, but perhaps if anyone has any thoughts on how I may articulate things better or take her feelings into consideration better.

Ok, so here goes...My idea is to tell her I have to go out for a few hours but need to talk to her first.  then after tell her the reason I'm going out is to let her have some space to process and offer to take the kids with me to the beach or something.

"Babe, I need to go out for a few bit to run some errands but I want to talk to you about something before I do.  This is not an easy thing to talk about but I want you to know up front that none of what I'm going to tell you changes anything about how I feel about you, how much I love you and the fact that I want to be with you and only you forever.

Since I was maybe 5 years old I've had a lot of confusion and internal difficult with my gender identity.  I don't fully understand what it all means but the feelings have only grown stronger over time.  I've repressed them, successfully for years sometimes at the expense of my happiness.  I've convinced myself that this isn't real and that I can deny and bury it for the rest of my life.  The truth is, the feelings are so strong that denying it is becoming impossible and I've had a few therapy sessions.  In plain and honest terms, for my entire life I've wished that I was born female, I feel my soul is female, and I don't know how to handle it anymore. 

I'm not telling you today that I'm transgender or that I'm going to transition, but my feelings strongly lean that way.  I'm exploring in therapy and trying to understand myself.  I don't want to mislead you that this is just a cross dressing fetish or that occaisional cross dressing will resolve my dysphoria.  I don't want you to assume I'm going to completely and fully transition but I cannot tell you that I'm not.  My feelings can be very strong, and at other times less so.  Today, transitioning seems like a possible path for me, but I've made no decisions.  I want to include you in any decisions I make.

The simplest way to put this is that if a magic box appeared and I could choose between two buttons, the first making me perfectly content as a male and all this goes away and a second button that would make me wake up tomorrow as a fully realized woman, I'd press the woman button.  My answer to that question has been consistent my whole life, even in times where I've been doing a really good job of hiding and repressing.

I'm going to leave for a few hours and give you space to process.  Now and/or after I return I will answer any question you ask with absolute honesty.  I know how shocking this is, and how hard to hear it is and I want to do anything I can to help you understand me. 

I can take the kids with me if you want.  All I ask is that this conversation does not leave this room no matter what, and I need a promise on that.  I do not want to be "outed" to anyone as that would be catastrophic to me and trigger a real mental health crisis/emergency.  My therapist sees couples too.  So if you need to talk about it, please let's see her together or find another couples therapist we're comfortable with."


Oldandcreaky:
Jamie, I think what you wrote is good, but you might not be able to deliver a monologue. You might be interrupted. There might be tears. Be ready for this fair question: "If you've known since five that something was amiss, why didn't you tell me before we were married? Before we had kids?"

JamieH:

--- Quote from: Oldandcreaky on August 26, 2021, 05:10:09 pm ---Jamie, I think what you wrote is good, but you might not be able to deliver a monologue. You might be interrupted. There might be tears. Be ready for this fair question: "If you've known since five that something was amiss, why didn't you tell me before we were married? Before we had kids?"

--- End quote ---


Thanks!  Yes I pretty much expect not to get that all out, but I'll ask at the beginning for her to just let me speak first....

And yeah I'm anticipating that question.  My wife actually triggered me pretty significantly last night, though obviously unintentionally as she has no idea.  Her brother is going through a brutal custody battle with his ex wife.  One thing that came to light after the divorce is that she's saying she's a lesbian and has recently gone thru a few girlfriends.  This wasn't known when they were married and isn't the reason for the divorce.  They've had a toxic horrible relationship forever, never should have gotten married, and she's an evil toxic, cruel and abusive person.  Anyway, my wife was telling me about his recent court proceedings and then got talking about her sexuality and said

 "can you imagine, being married and finding out your spouse is gay?  Like you always here about it but never think it will happen to you and was kind of laughing".  I'm not gay, but yeah, kind of in a similar situation.  So I know she'll want to know why I never figured this out earlier and spared her.

I think my response is just that I've been so deeply in denial about that I've convinced myself it wasn't real and that I thought I could just live forever denying it was an issue.  But I need to put some more work into this response as that isn't going to suffice....

TXSara:
This is going to be a really tough one, Jamie.

All I can say is that the longer this goes, the more you are going to have to deal with trust issues.  When I told my wife that I dressed, we had been married for over ten years.  I didn't tell her before that because I was (my words) in "remission" for most of that time period.  I seemed to have these feelings ebb an flow over the years, and I really thought I had pushed them down for good once I got married.  Wrong.  Once they started to come back (strongly this time), I told my wife.  She STILL holds it against me and "harpoons" me with it when we argue.

When I came to the realization that I wasn't just a crossdresser -- that this was something much more, I told my wife within a week of that epiphany.  I think that has helped us quite a bit, but she still questions how long I "knew" before I told her.

Even now, I hold some level of shame associated with my gender dysphoria, and tend to "click off" this website or any other associated with transgender issues when my wife comes in the room.  She read me the the "riot act" about it last night -- for her, it is difficult as hell to deal with the idea of her husband becoming a woman.  It is WAY WORSE if she doesn't feel like I'm being completely transparent.  It was actually a good talk.  I told her that I'm not sure she wants the play-by-play -- she claims that she does.  We'll see.

I guess all I'm saying is that you need to find a way to be completely transparent to your wife.  In my (very limited) experience, honesty and transparency are the only things that are going to give you a fighting chance.

I'm hurting for you, because I know how hard this is... good luck.

~Sara

jennifer7020:
I came out to my wife -- accidentally --  2 1/2 weeks ago. She saw my notes for therapy, ripped up.. and figured it out. With the idea the emotions are still really raw here, some ideas for you--

1. Ask your therapist for help. Help with what to say. Ask your therapist if she or he is available for your wife to speak with after coming out. Either in a short call, a joint session, or a full session of her own. My therapist has been an angel.

2. What throws my wife for a loop is "have you dressed in our house??". Yes! I tried to stuff my feelings into being a fetish. It didn't work. My wife truly resent me having secretly done things in our house while she was away. If you are in a similar place, be prepared.

3. Yes! you are going to be asked "why didn't you tell me?" and "why are you telling me now??" Plus hear "I wish you'd never told me". I am 30+ years into marriage. We met in 1984. I was 19 and we were in college. I've explained for me it is generational. You hid it. Tell her on campus? to have her sorority know? really??

4. Again.. I get woken up at 3 am to talk. Interupted during my work day (I am still part time from home). I was cycling this morning.. and she called and had me stop to talk. Be ready, "out" is not one talk. It is weeks of grieving from her perspective. Yes, grief. She will believe that she's lost "you" and can't get you back. Nearly a direct quote there.

5. Also.. be prepared for "I want you out". My answer has consistently been "you know once I leave you will never let me back".  My guess is it is a bad idea to leave after telling her. She will want you there for questions.

6. Oh and my therapist's best advice is to slow down. be sure to communicate you are committed to your wife and marriage. You won't do anything without her knowing.. she'll like that.

if it helps, my wife said for years when any transgender topic came up "I love you as a man. only a man.". she is struggling. I have read your other posts.. and think maybe your wife may be ok with it.

good luck


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