Why Am I So Afraid ...
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Why Am I So Afraid to Tell My Wife?

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Posts: 3
Topic starter
Active Member     Canada, Alberta, Edmonton
Joined: 6 years ago

It's been many months since I'd last seen my therapist; her name is Kelly. She's one of us, and she's great at making me feel comfortable in acknowledging who I am.

But… she said that it's time to tell my wife. I know that I need to; I'm sure that my wife knows anyway. And… I said that I would. I even gave a timeline for doing so. Sadly, I keep finding reasons not to.

I'm an electrician by trade and a retired soldier. I exist in this world of manly men. I believe that I only have few friends that would accept me after finding out who I am. I've come to terms with it; I don't like most of my friends anyway.

And something tells me that my wife would accept it, possibly find it arousing. Yet, I still haven't told her...

We have two beautiful sons. One is seven and the other is three. For the last eighteen months we've been trying to have another child. We would like a daughter (but we'll love whoever we get). There have been two miscarriages within that time.

Couple that with the economy—I live in Alberta Canada. Right now, there are 25,000 electricians who are unemployed. In the last eighteen months, I've worked seven of them. It's so bad that I went to school to prepare for a different career. My wife's hours were cut last fall, and we've been waiting months for our income tax return to come, just so we can pay the rent. There's so much uncertainty and stress already in our lives.

Yeah, I keep finding reasons not to tell my wife... "It's not a very good time," I tell myself. I mean, she doesn't need the added stress. But when will I convince myself it's the right time? I know that I'll be diagnosed with gender dysphoria. I know that my therapist will push for me to get gender affirming surgery. And I know that I can wait for that surgery if I choose. I have the freedom not to follow through if I choose.

I understand why I'm afraid to tell my friends. But why am I so afraid to tell my wife?

12 Replies
Posts: 23
Eminent Member     United States of America, Massachusetts, West Newbury
Joined: 6 years ago

I also have to tell my wife. We argue often and I one time mentioned that I have a fem side and she agrees. I said I want to talk to a doctor, but she didn't really agree.
I will reinforce my position, because I will go to the doctor in 10 days.
I felt so trapped and nervous, then I thought what if I had to tell her I was HIV positive since I was with other people. ( I am not HIV positive). But telling her I wanted to begin hormones sounded easier to do.
I still need to talk to my wife and I am going to choose a time and just do it. The sky wont fall, but there may be some adjustments.
We all deserve to be happy with who we are.

Posts: 3
New Member     Germany, Alsace
Joined: 5 years ago

I imagine your reasons are similar to mine Christina, you don’t want to hurt her, you don’t want to upset home life, you feel guilty and perhaps a little unsure about who you are becoming. I have no solution to offer, just want you to know you are not alone and there are those out there who understand.

Monique xx

Posts: 12
(@Anonymous 361)
Active Member
Joined: 6 years ago

HI, I told my wife in the first year of our marriage, after there was a dissucion on the radio. over the following years in general the subject was closed. That was some 47 years ago, my wife has given me many times to leave, but for many reasons i have't. But have found times when having time to let my fem side take over (when alone) it has let me relax and take control of my self.
Like you I'm a tradesman working in a male dominated society, being an Auto sparkie. working in a mill and also a fitter turner. The socalled friend there have been there since school (have'nt moved from the area) they are now more work aquatances rather than friends and have found i don't need them. I have my wife and 3 growen up kids of all i love.
I also have 3 alsome female friends that i have confided in and my sister inlaw as well. One of these friends left work under a cloud and blurted out about me, and from what i understand most of the 300 workers know a little, but only one has told me my confidance has been broken, and work hasn't changed.
My regrets are i never told my mother, grandmother or sister who have all passed. As time has gone on i have struggled with my own emotions, depresion is a common part of my life and arguments are regular.
I told my wife several years ago that Sharon was more than just needing to feel more relaxed, was a life style and the urge to be was greater than ever before. During the times of being on shift and my wife working being Sharon was an every day event on several i would accidently (on purpose) forget time and Sharon was still out when she got home, knownly what the reaction was going to be, but Sharon did'nt want to go back in the closet. but it open the door to me keeping some of my fem clothes in my draws.
I now don't have to purge any more as we all have done in the past. I will be retiering next year at 67 so it will be interesting how we will be getting on.
So where does this story fit into your situation. To be fair to you and your family dont leave it to long before you tell your family as it gets harder in time. While your kids are young there acceptance and loving you for who you are will be easier. Even if your marriage can't stand the preasure you's are young enough to make something of your life. There are groups out there that can help you get work, as gender policies are being more accepting.

Good luck with your choices, take care

Posts: 46
Ambassador - Editor
Trusted Member     United States of America, Washington, Camano Island
Joined: 6 years ago

Always hard to tell our SOs. It's a balance of our needs versus the needs / wants of those we love.

Posts: 718
Honorable Member     United States of America, Virginia, Fairfax
Joined: 6 years ago

Fear of loss is what held me back for a time, but it eventually was trumped by what was happening with all my pent up stress from 20+ yrs of self suppression. What I can say is that the way I told my now ex-wife was wrong and while I doubt the outcome would have been different it expedited the process. I know now that things were not stable enough between us to start with. My point is that you need to makes sure your relationship is on a solid foundation and communication is free flowing before you deliver an earthquake.

Posts: 12
(@Anonymous 361)
Active Member
Joined: 6 years ago

Its ok to slow down for a bit. Keep taking fun little steps towards your goals. But slowing down can help you see clearer. Just until you get your bearings.

Posts: 4
New Member     Australia, Queensland
Joined: 5 years ago

I keep telling myself that if I leave enough bread crumb clues in conversation that she will either start to realize it, or start to reply to them in the same manner they were left - sparse and sparkly. It feels lazy, but safe. I would love this bandaid torn off in one yank, but it has been a few years and will soon become overt at this rate anyway. Interesting times ahead.

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