Community Conversation > Transitioning

Navigating Being Trans With Your Spouse

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BeckyCNJ:
My wife and I celebrated our 40th anniversary in July. We both very much love each other but I'm afraid that my pull to transition more fully will tear us apart.

My wife has known I was trans since before I asked her to marry me and has been accepting. I told her then I would not transition. As many of you have experienced, that desire/need to be who I always saw myself has has grown stronger. I've taken a number of steps toward transitioning with her acceptance. These include HRT, an orchiectomy, voice therapy and, come December, a legal change of my name to the gender-neutral nickname I've always gone by.

I don't know that all of this will be sufficient for me. I still don't expect to socially transition but I'm getting pretty close to that line and my wife wonders "what's next."

We are seeing a good therapist and I'm trying to be aware of how what I'm doing is hurting her. She says she loves the female parts of me (emotional, behavior) but she also married me because of the male parts of my being.

Any sisters out there who have managed to keep their marriages together yet more fully become the women they have always been on the inside? I welcome your advice.

Hugs,

Becky

Jessica_Rose:
Yes Becky, it is possible. Susan and I have been married 37 years. We have two adult daughters (ages 23 and 27), and one was still in college when I came out. I had no idea that I was transgender when we first got married, at most I was an occasional crossdresser. As the years passed my hidden anger grew, but I didn't know where it was coming from. I though all husbands were like me, just naturally angry all the time. Eventually my anger turned into a very short temper. Little things could trigger a rage, I would break dishes, yell at my wife and daughters, even punch holes in the wall with my fists. One day I was so enraged that I nearly took my own life, along with the lives of my wife and daughters.

About five years ago I discovered Susan's Place. One night while reading someone's introduction, I had an epiphany. I discovered the source of my anger. I was transgender, and I had been hiding my soul in darkness for decades. The first person I told was my my electrologist! On my first visit she asked to know why I wanted my beard removed, and she said the excuse of 'not wanting to shave' would not be acceptable! A few weeks later I told my wife, and she was quite upset about it. We slept in separate bedrooms for months, and there were many days I was certain our marriage would not survive. Slowly, Susan began to realize that I was becoming a better version of the person she had married all those years ago. My relationship with our daughters has also improved significantly. This past June my wife and I got married once again, and our daughters walked us down the aisle. On the day that would have been my parent's 66th wedding anniversary, Susan and I said 'I do' once again, this time as two brides.

The most important aspects are being open with one another, always tell the truth even when it hurts, stop hiding who you are, and give each other time alone to think. Most of our story is covered in my 'Rose Garden' blog. If you have any personal questions, please feel free to send a PM and we'll do our best to answer. We wish you and your spouse decades of happiness together.

Love always -- Jessica Rose

Misato:
I’ve been with my partner 17 years. So she’s been with me from when I was never ever ever ever ever going to transition, to post-op.

The best way I found to mess up was keeping secrets from her thinking I was protecting her. Awful, awful idea. Once I started telling her what was going on in my head and heart, as soon as I knew what was going on there, we were able to navigate the process together.

I do think our being asexual helped, and while our relationship is not romantic these days we are family like how blood family is supposed to be. We recognize that’s valuable, thus we’re still together albeit in a different way than when we started.

Chloe:

--- Quote from: BeckyCNJ on October 31, 2021, 06:22:11 am ---HRT, an orchiectomy, voice therapy and, come December, a legal change of my name . . don't expect to socially transition but . . the male parts of my being
--- End quote ---

       Becky, your life and mine sound very similar. Surprised you did the "orchi" thing 'cause feel chemical is better, leaves 'a 'lil T' option (mine is only 25ng/dL strictly on EV IM's). While divorced 12 years now (i wound up with house & kids) she's back and 'together' once again but 'no sex' . . If 'passable' see no reason why not 'socially' just plan on keeping the 'OE bits' for her, an often huge deal-breaker for sure! I mean who else is gonna know or care?

Nicknames work! 

Cheers "Michaela"
(Mic for short, raised in "Toms River"; claims 'didn't know' which is *not true*, BOTH "in denial"?)

EllenW:
Becky,

Like you I was married for 40 years. We both knew that I had gender issues before we were married and both of us thought it would subside with marriage. It did not. It always the 600 pound gorilla in the room. But our love for each other was strong and our marriage survived. After lots of hard work by both of us. We accepted that fact  that I needed to transition. It was slow and painful for both of us. But at the end Diane was very accepting. She picked my new name and even attended the consultations with two different GCS surgeons. It was very unfortunate that she  dies of cancer just a month before my surgery. But her family told me to go ahead and have the surgery as she would want me to be happy.

My advice is to keep the lines of communication open and honest. Keep talking to your therapist and I would highly suggest that your wife also work with a different therapist. That way she can feel safe when talking knowing that her therapist is doing what is best for HER and not what is best for you.

Wishing you the best of luck.

Ellen

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