Author Topic: The Challenge to a Wife  (Read 43479 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline NancyBalik

  • *
  • Posts: 83
  • Reputation: +3/-0
Re: The Challenge to a Wife
« Reply #60 on: October 17, 2018, 04:38:07 pm »
Wow Athena, The two of you are really in the middle of it. It wasn’t clear from your post whether the two of you are currently in therapy—hope you can find someone familiar with these gender struggles. I so respect your devotion to your kids. That has a lot to do with why I did not and will not move towards transition. I think we end up choosing between so many conflicting important priorities: our own gender identity, our love for our spouse, our kids, sometimes extended family. My wife won’t even talk to me about gender any more, but I’ve chosen to stay. Sometimes I feel weak for staying, sometimes I feel like the sacrifice is worth it for what we have left together (and how I retain “Nancy” in myself). One thing I’d predict: you wait until your kids are 18 and your life and world will look differently then than it does now. But you’ll have to figure out how to live well and be married healthily in the meantime—you can’t just “serve out the time.” (well, you could, but it’d suck.)

My heart goes out to you both. I can relate to how absolutely awful it is to be in the middle of this. Best, Nancy

Offline Virginia

  • Childhood trauma survivor with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and male & female alters
  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 633
  • Reputation: +21/-0
  • I live in Virginia; My nickname is "VA" (Vee Aye)
Re: The Challenge to a Wife
« Reply #61 on: October 17, 2018, 05:13:14 pm »
she is hoping I can "snap" out of it). And thinks I may have Dissasociate Identity Disorder, be Autistic (I scored high on an online test), or otherwise be mentally ill and that a cure to this would cure my desire to become some form of Transsexual

I have Dissociative Identity Disorder as a result of childhood sexual and psychological abuse and this has been the case for me.

Gender Dysphoria and the need to dress as a woman, dysphoria about their male body and genitals, extreme guilt related to masturbation, dreams about becoming a woman, sexual fantasies about becoming a woman, and sexual confusion are all common in cisgender men who experienced sexual abuse as children. One in Six men are sexually abused before the age of 18; it is a much more likely cause of these symptoms than trangenderism which only affects 0.6% of the entire population. There is an excellent discussion group on the Male Survivor website if you would like to read about other men's experiences: http://www.discussion.malesurvivor.org/board/ubbthreads.php?ubb=cfrm

It is common to have opposite gender alters in a DID system. In my case, my mind created a 13 year old girl to cope with the abuse I experienced as child. DID affects 1% to 3% of the population so its prevalence is comparable to the majority of major chronic psychological disorders.

It is EXTREMELY difficult to determine the underlying cause of these symptoms. It took three years of therapy for my psychologists to correctly diagnose me with DID. I was completely unawares I had a female alter, let alone remember the horrible things that caused my mind to split into 5 different identities. The mind's ability to protect  a person from things too painful to remember is astounding. It can take YEARS of therapy to unravel the complex life a transgender person who was abused as a child.

You can read more in my post, "Childhood Trauma Survivor Misdiagnosed as Transsexual with Gender Dysphoria" at https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,176195.msg1548804.html#msg1548804
~VA (pronounced Vee- Aye, the abbreviation for the State of Virginia where I live)

Offline NancyBalik

  • *
  • Posts: 83
  • Reputation: +3/-0
Re: The Challenge to a Wife
« Reply #62 on: October 17, 2018, 07:17:47 pm »
Virginia, I believe you that you have DID and that you have suffered greatly. However, I want to throw out a caution about extrapolating from your own experience that there is a statistically significant number of men with DID who have dissociative states as a female that is mistaken as transgenderism. I’m sure you are aware that DID is one of the most controversial diagnosis in psychiatry, and the incidence in the U.S is estimated to be 1-3% (5-9 times more likely in genetic females). We’d have to assume that if Athena had DID, one of his alters was female. Plus, there would be evidence of other dissociative symptoms (lost time, other alters, history of chaotic personal life, etc).

My take is that his wife is grasping at straws and denying the reality of the gender issue by telling him he is disassociating or autistic. Somehow it would be more tolerable to her if it was a mental health problem (maybe one a pill could cure and you know that meds alone don’t cure DID) than gender dysphoria that, if they face head-on, will alter the course of their lives.

Again, this doesn’t take away from your diagnosis. I just suspect that yours is an exceptional case. Nancy

Offline Virginia

  • Childhood trauma survivor with Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) and male & female alters
  • Family
  • *****
  • Posts: 633
  • Reputation: +21/-0
  • I live in Virginia; My nickname is "VA" (Vee Aye)
Re: The Challenge to a Wife
« Reply #63 on: October 17, 2018, 09:15:10 pm »
Not an exceptional case at all when you consider how exceptional transgenderism itself is, Nancy.

I want to throw out a caution about extrapolating from your own experience that there is a statistically significant number of men with DID who have dissociative states as a female that is mistaken as transgenderism.

There is no need for caution; it is the norm for a DID system to have opposite gender alters in a DID system. There are quite a few of us here who experience exactly this. See this thread devoted to forum members with DID who have opposite gender alters and those with dissociative conditions who need to express themself as another gender at https://www.susans.org/forums/index.php/topic,218553.msg1934547.html#msg1934547

I’m sure you are aware that DID is one of the most controversial diagnosis in psychiatry

DID is controversial because it has been inappropriately used as a legal defense and because of the way it is misrepresented in movies. The causes of the dissociation as a coping mechanism for trauma are well understood. DID itself is is recognized and its symptomology outlined in DSM.

the incidence in the U.S is estimated to be 1-3% (5-9 times more likely in genetic females). We’d have to assume that if Athena had DID, one of his alters was female.

Yes, DID is much more likely than the 0.3% of the population who are transgender. Transgenderism also shares many symptoms experienced by survivors of childhood sexual abuse which affects 1 in 6 men and 1 in 4 women. As I mentioned above, if Athena had DID, they would also likely have opposite gender alters in their system. It is speculated that a higher percentage of women are diagnosed with DID because men manifest the symptoms of their conditions differently and tend to end up in the penal system.

Plus, there would be evidence of other dissociative symptoms (lost time, other alters, history of chaotic personal life, etc).

This would not be the case. DID is a disorder of secrecy; a victim's life depended on hiding what they were doing. As such it often enables a person to life an apparently normal life for years. 28% of MPD/DID patients are diagnosed in their 40’s or later, and the average time in the psychological health care system before a person is correctly diagnosed with DID is 10 years.

My take is that his wife is grasping at straws and denying the reality of the gender issue by telling him he is disassociating or autistic. Somehow it would be more tolerable to her if it was a mental health problem (maybe one a pill could cure and you know that meds alone don’t cure DID) than gender dysphoria that, if they face head-on, will alter the course of their lives.

It would be a horrible misjudgement for Athena's wife or anyone to see any mental disorder as somehow more tolerable than gender dysphoria or to that, or to believe it would not alter the course of their lives.
~VA (pronounced Vee- Aye, the abbreviation for the State of Virginia where I live)

Offline NancyBalik

  • *
  • Posts: 83
  • Reputation: +3/-0
Re: The Challenge to a Wife
« Reply #64 on: October 18, 2018, 06:06:40 am »


It would be a horrible misjudgement for Athena's wife or anyone to see any mental disorder as somehow more tolerable than gender dysphoria or to that, or to believe it would not alter the course of their lives.

This—I agree with wholeheartedly. Mental illness is no joke. Thank you for your thorough and thoughtful response. Where I think we might agree is that all caution should be taken for a proper diagnosis, rather than explanations being hypothcized by an individual’s family to explain their penchant for women’s clothing and their desire to be a woman. My point was that the wife seemed to be saying essentially, “You’re not trans, you’re crazy.” I’m not saying that’s preferable (or that DID or autism is crazy), I’m exaggerating to make the point.  Nancy

Offline Grad0507

  • Newbie
  • **
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Reputation: +1/-0
Re: The Challenge to a Wife
« Reply #65 on: October 24, 2018, 10:20:18 am »
I don’t relate to this article. I am signing on to have a husband AND wife. As Virginia said in Une Nouvelle Amie, he has never had to lie to me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Athenajacob

  • *
  • Posts: 39
  • Reputation: +1/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: The Challenge to a Wife
« Reply #66 on: October 27, 2018, 10:45:08 am »
Not an exceptional case at all when you consider how exceptional transgenderism itself is, Nancy.

Yes, DID is much more likely than the 0.3% of the population who are transgender. Transgenderism also shares many symptoms experienced by survivors of childhood sexual abuse which affects 1 in 6 men and 1 in 4 women. As I mentioned above, if Athena had DID, they would also likely have opposite gender alters in their system. It is speculated that a higher percentage of women are diagnosed with DID because men manifest the symptoms of their conditions differently and tend to end up in the penal system.

This would not be the case. DID is a disorder of secrecy; a victim's life depended on hiding what they were doing. As such it often enables a person to life an apparently normal life for years. 28% of MPD/DID patients are diagnosed in their 40’s or later, and the average time in the psychological health care system before a person is correctly diagnosed with DID is 10 years.

It would be a horrible misjudgement for Athena's wife or anyone to see any mental disorder as somehow more tolerable than gender dysphoria or to that, or to believe it would not alter the course of their lives.

Thank you both for your thoughtful discussion (apologies I do not really know how to tag you both or know if you will even see this post).

Since I have posted my wife and I have been going to a therapist specializing in transgender and non-binary issues and it has been very helpful for me. I have made clear to my wife that this is a joint enterprise that my biggest priority is her and our son.  One of the most helpful things we did was create a chart with "must-haves", "nice-to-haves/possible" and "possible but not likely"; must-haves are things like I need to dress full-on when alone or with just my wife and I, ultimately I want to go out dressed with my wife somewhere on a semi-regular basis, hidden dressing (such as underwear, or painted nails), laser hair removal (still wobbling on this, but I know it would help a lot), learning make-up, and a couple of others; nice-to-haves/possible are HRT (a lot of research and understanding before I would do this, I just am very skeptical--my wife pushes it more than me oddly enough, because of her fear that this is where everything is going), feminization surgeries (other than bottom surgery) and a few others, and the possible but not likely is full SRS and being with a male partners. I have bisexual inclinations as a result of sexual abuse, but have never sought a relationship with a male, but I felt it to be appropriate to acknowledge my wife's fear that this could happen.

We have talked at length about marriage divorce, post-nups (I also have windfall stress as does my wife, which puts a magnifying glass on this issue, but also makes it easier for her to stay with me since I essentially can economically support the family regardless of discrimination--I waited a long time to come out fully because of this, and am still not 100% out, just a smattering here and there).

We have a resonable equilibrium now, but I am struggling to a degree to understand exactly what is going on with me. I have a strong desire to be my wife's "man" and able to do it reasonably well for short sprints. As an example, when things were really bad I was able to snap into a like 1950's dad persona (I lived with my grandfather who was very much the consumate patriarch for around a decade); the dog respected and listened just like our son, I used the trick the karate instructor used you kind of look down and get a very masculine voice and ask them to repeat various phrases using the term "sir", for example, "Was that respectful to hit daddy? You need to tell me 'sorry sir' or you will have a consequence"; this was required after my son--relatively soon after adopting this persona (he is around 4)--punched me as hard as he could in my gonads--after throwing out 5 toys (permanently) and having this talk with him he yielded; but I think he was confused and trying to dominate me and be in control.

Anyway, the point is I do feel like I can adopt various personas and in my field (law) I struggle with the idea that I could ever be really fully out even without my wife's concerns--for example, when I worked as in-house counsel the main attorney invited all the male attorneys to golf but omitted the female attorneys--I cannot imagine how they would have treated me as a transgender attorney, but I digress.

Another important item I noticed is that Virginia mentioned many with DID end up in the penal system; I could have seen this with me too; I had delinquency issues coupled with hopelessness in my teens and became a legal professional in large part because of it. Also, living with my grandparents for a decade while I went to high school, junior college, university and then law school was very helpful as it relates to the severe anger issues I had (which have finally started to taper off almost 100% as I have acknowledged my femaleness in some way almost daily--interestingly the pornography habit also greatly reduces the more I acknowledge it as well).

I must say though, my wife is actually very supportive--we have taken to calling it an "issue" and not labeling it as a way to help her cope, but we genuinely do love each other--thank God. And thank all of you!

Offline Moonflower

  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 178
  • Reputation: +5/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: The Challenge to a Wife
« Reply #67 on: October 27, 2018, 05:33:06 pm »
I have made clear to my wife that this is a joint enterprise that my biggest priority is her and our son.

 One of the most helpful things we did was create a chart with "must-haves", "nice-to-haves/possible" and "possible but not likely"...

We have talked at length about marriage divorce, post-nups...

We have a resonable equilibrium now, but I am struggling to a degree to understand exactly what is going on with me. I have a strong desire to be my wife's "man" and able to do it reasonably well for short sprints...

I must say though, my wife is actually very supportive--we have taken to calling it an "issue" and not labeling it as a way to help her cope, but we genuinely do love each other--thank God. And thank all of you!

Thanks for sharing all of this good news! So great to see you both working so hard to work this out for both of you. Keep reaching and prioritizing!
:icon_wave:
1999 married :icon_archery:
15 years ago I started discovering the woman hiding behind my husband's facade
Fall 2018 my baby's coming out full time! Hello BlueStar!  :icon_female:
BlueStar beginning HRT

Offline Athenajacob

  • *
  • Posts: 39
  • Reputation: +1/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: The Challenge to a Wife
« Reply #68 on: October 28, 2018, 11:35:16 am »
I don’t relate to this article. I am signing on to have a husband AND wife. As Virginia said in Une Nouvelle Amie, he has never had to lie to me.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

To me what you describe is the way things should go, a person should be able to disclose who they are up front, or that this is something that needs to be explored during the marriage at a minimum. It is a good thing you do not relate, that is a good sign that your SO can be open with you and that you are open to them. I wholeheartedly wish you were in such good company that you never felt even the slightest bit alone.

However, I would offer that many of us are not "lying", there is a severely strong impulse to revile parts of ourselves not accepted by society and even externalities that push us away from being ourselves. As a personal example, I expressed that I had potential gender issues to a Psychologist and after a few moments of talking with him and asking if I was likely to have issues in a marriage with a woman he told me, "have you done anything live?" I thought he meant if I had slept with a transgender person or with a man (with me being) en femme (which I have never done, my wife, other than some unfortunate incidents, is my only sexual partner), and so I said "no"; he then said "well, then you're fine, just marry someone nice and understanding". So I basically did that--but I did not properly disclose it before marriage because I thought it was more of just a fetish to be controlled--however, I was able to come out as a crossdresser shortly after our son was born. My wife was supportive, but very tenative about staying with me if I fully transitioned, so I mostly stowed the conversation until around a month ago.

Another counter I have is that past generations were far less accepting than ours, and so (even in my case) telling a fiancee or girlfriend--even when love is there--can cause the relationship to fail. And so anxiety in losing people we love is yet another brick in the wall of shame forcing us into self-imposed exile. Imagine telling someone for whom care deeply about a secret, and having them react with anger, disgust and rejection--the fear of this holds many of us back, and then when we do come forward our fears are confirmed. You and your SO have such a beautiful potential to change this, I truly am so happy for you!

I don't want to go on and on (I guess I still did, but hopefully its useful framework to thing about below?), but perhaps you can find people who had a SO transition or come out during the marriage where the cisfemale wife was able to (or even excited) to continue the marriage. I wouldn't worry too much about lying, truth is relative, especially when often our survival (or advance through society in the context of work, etc.) depends on hiding.

You and your SO, depending how "out" they are will have many of the same experiences and concerns all married couples of our experience have: (1) economics: who works where and how much do they make; can your SO be "out" in their field and/or what are the consequences of this--I could be naive and say "people should accept me regardless", but this is not often the world, although I do hear encouraging stories, (2) Children/Family: is your SO "out" with your and their family, are they "out" with your kids? My wife has serious concerns about development and emotional impact of me being "out" in front of our son, and so I am clandestine for now, (3) Transition: will your SO transition, and if so what does this mean? Will they present as female part or full time, will they undergo HRT (is HRT safe? This is a huge concern for my wife), will they have feminization surgeries?--and going back to economics, how will this be paid for? Are certain jobs/insurance more accommodating?, (4) Geography: Where will you both live? Certain states are more friendly towards us, California, Oregon, Washington, Massachusets and a few others seem good (you can google maps and review); if your SO fully transitions and changes their gender marker (it sounds like this is not on the table, but if there is any possibility its a consideration) this may require legal maneuvering in a given state, and many states have very arduous processes for facilitating this change per my understanding, (5) Relationship Dynamics: What are the expectations for each partner in the relationship--my wife struggles with feelings that she needs to be the "Man" in the relationship; I explain to her I do not need this, I am the breadwinner and will always be, I am larger (about a foot) and will probably always be stronger; but other things like cooking (I am far better, but she has anosmia so I think that's a lot to do with it) is something I prefer to do to reduce her stress, and I try to do laundery and clean a bit, and signaling a waiter/waitress is something she is more comfortable with--I tend to be a bit too passive in that context, (6) Safety/Living: Not knowing the extent of the potential transition of your SO, safety may be a concern (largely dependent upon geography; but this can change, e.g. will your ability to travel be curtailed--at least if your SO is en femme?), how will neighboors react, which bathrooms will be used (I know this sounds a bit ridiculous, but there are serious issues surrounding this and lots of angst and even hate driving certain groups to be very alarmist about which bathrooms transgender folk use due to concerns of sexual impropriety)--I was at disneyland yesterday with my family, presenting as male, and although I know where a few neutral bathrooms are, I often have to urinate; I began to realize that this would be much harder on my family if I am en femme because my wife cannot lift and I am not really sure which bathroom (other than family bathrooms) I should take him in--I suppose the mens if safest, but it creates an unnecessary anxiety for all of us that is more apparent and frequent than may be considered at first glance.

You have a beautiful opportunity and I am sure everyone here wishes you well--I am sure if you look you can find others with your experience--the experience which I sincerely hope becomes far more common than the stories of a husband coming out as a wife during the marriage.

Offline Grad0507

  • Newbie
  • **
  • *
  • Posts: 23
  • Reputation: +1/-0
Re: The Challenge to a Wife
« Reply #69 on: October 30, 2018, 02:08:10 pm »
To me what you describe is the way things should go, a person should be able to disclose who they are up front, or that this is something that needs to be explored during the marriage at a minimum. It is a good thing you do not relate, that is a good sign that your SO can be open with you and that you are open to them. I wholeheartedly wish you were in such good company that you never felt even the slightest bit alone.

However, I would offer that many of us are not "lying", there is a severely strong impulse to revile parts of ourselves not accepted by society and even externalities that push us away from being ourselves. As a personal example, I expressed that I had potential gender issues to a Psychologist and after a few moments of talking with him and asking if I was likely to have issues in a marriage with a woman he told me, "have you done anything live?" I thought he meant if I had slept with a transgender person or with a man (with me being) en femme (which I have never done, my wife, other than some unfortunate incidents, is my only sexual partner), and so I said "no"; he then said "well, then you're fine, just marry someone nice and understanding". So I basically did that--but I did not properly disclose it before marriage because I thought it was more of just a fetish to be controlled--however, I was able to come out as a crossdresser shortly after our son was born. My wife was supportive, but very tenative about staying with me if I fully transitioned, so I mostly stowed the conversation until around a month ago.

Another counter I have is that past generations were far less accepting than ours, and so (even in my case) telling a fiancee or girlfriend--even when love is there--can cause the relationship to fail. And so anxiety in losing people we love is yet another brick in the wall of shame forcing us into self-imposed exile. Imagine telling someone for whom care deeply about a secret, and having them react with anger, disgust and rejection--the fear of this holds many of us back, and then when we do come forward our fears are confirmed. You and your SO have such a beautiful potential to change this, I truly am so happy for you!

I don't want to go on and on (I guess I still did, but hopefully its useful framework to thing about below?), but perhaps you can find people who had a SO transition or come out during the marriage where the cisfemale wife was able to (or even excited) to continue the marriage. I wouldn't worry too much about lying, truth is relative, especially when often our survival (or advance through society in the context of work, etc.) depends on hiding.

You and your SO, depending how "out" they are will have many of the same experiences and concerns all married couples of our experience have: (1) economics: who works where and how much do they make; can your SO be "out" in their field and/or what are the consequences of this--I could be naive and say "people should accept me regardless", but this is not often the world, although I do hear encouraging stories, (2) Children/Family: is your SO "out" with your and their family, are they "out" with your kids? My wife has serious concerns about development and emotional impact of me being "out" in front of our son, and so I am clandestine for now, (3) Transition: will your SO transition, and if so what does this mean? Will they present as female part or full time, will they undergo HRT (is HRT safe? This is a huge concern for my wife), will they have feminization surgeries?--and going back to economics, how will this be paid for? Are certain jobs/insurance more accommodating?, (4) Geography: Where will you both live? Certain states are more friendly towards us, California, Oregon, Washington, Massachusets and a few others seem good (you can google maps and review); if your SO fully transitions and changes their gender marker (it sounds like this is not on the table, but if there is any possibility its a consideration) this may require legal maneuvering in a given state, and many states have very arduous processes for facilitating this change per my understanding, (5) Relationship Dynamics: What are the expectations for each partner in the relationship--my wife struggles with feelings that she needs to be the "Man" in the relationship; I explain to her I do not need this, I am the breadwinner and will always be, I am larger (about a foot) and will probably always be stronger; but other things like cooking (I am far better, but she has anosmia so I think that's a lot to do with it) is something I prefer to do to reduce her stress, and I try to do laundery and clean a bit, and signaling a waiter/waitress is something she is more comfortable with--I tend to be a bit too passive in that context, (6) Safety/Living: Not knowing the extent of the potential transition of your SO, safety may be a concern (largely dependent upon geography; but this can change, e.g. will your ability to travel be curtailed--at least if your SO is en femme?), how will neighboors react, which bathrooms will be used (I know this sounds a bit ridiculous, but there are serious issues surrounding this and lots of angst and even hate driving certain groups to be very alarmist about which bathrooms transgender folk use due to concerns of sexual impropriety)--I was at disneyland yesterday with my family, presenting as male, and although I know where a few neutral bathrooms are, I often have to urinate; I began to realize that this would be much harder on my family if I am en femme because my wife cannot lift and I am not really sure which bathroom (other than family bathrooms) I should take him in--I suppose the mens if safest, but it creates an unnecessary anxiety for all of us that is more apparent and frequent than may be considered at first glance.

You have a beautiful opportunity and I am sure everyone here wishes you well--I am sure if you look you can find others with your experience--the experience which I sincerely hope becomes far more common than the stories of a husband coming out as a wife during the marriage.

Thanks.
1. Maybe if they already know him?
2. Yes
3. Yes, but no T blockers
4. Colorado
5. He cooks
6. We intend to travel
I have not asked about the bathroom scenario. That’s a good question to ask.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Offline Charlie Nicki

  • Finally finding myself
  • *
  • Posts: 1,886
  • Reputation: +16/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: The Challenge to a Wife
« Reply #70 on: October 30, 2018, 02:55:12 pm »
I just read it and it helped me understand my ex's position a bit more. I have to congratulate all significant others who decide to soldier through this process and who make it through together. You are real life heroes!
Latina :) I speak Spanish, English and a bit of Portuguese.

Offline Athenajacob

  • *
  • Posts: 39
  • Reputation: +1/-0
  • Gender: Female
Re: The Challenge to a Wife
« Reply #71 on: November 04, 2018, 06:08:01 am »
I just read it and it helped me understand my ex's position a bit more. I have to congratulate all significant others who decide to soldier through this process and who make it through together. You are real life heroes!

Yeah, I feel if you nix out all the societal oppressive morass, that people really are just people. I love my wife, we have many issues and many wonderful connectives that allow us to endure. My wife's biggest problems largely are not acceptance of me, but the fear of the unacceptance of others of both of us--with me leading the charge into the territory of inviting (of course undeserved) public scorn (of both silent and loud varieties).

I just want to tell and reflect my truth, that's it--and provided no one is harmed I wish and hope other human beings with their own travails, insecurities, shortcomings and other failings can recognize that we all are a bit of a mixed bag, but most of us really just try to do good.

Tags: article