Reply To: I think my wife knows


Hello Beth,

I am surprised you haven’t had any replies yet.

I’m sure there are many other girls on this site much wiser than me…but, because your posting struck a chord, I’ll try to be helpful.

Your situation sounds very difficult.  I can just imagine.  From what you say, I think it’s highly likely your wife does know.  If she hasn’t confronted you about it yet, it suggests that she’s thinking about it.  She may be shocked…or just very surprised…but it may not be as bad as you fear.  The fact that she hasn’t yet confronted you strikes me as a good sign.

I say this because if she was very angry about it, I think she would have confronted you by now.

If you are asking for advice, I would suggest you broach the subject with her as soon as you comfortably can.  At some point, you are probably going to have to tell her everything…including your desire to transition…so you might as well do that at a place and time of your choosing.

There are probably guidelines somewhere (or your counsellor can give you them) about the language you use when you do this.  Probably best not to do as I did: I came out to my wife at the beginning of January.  I had told my counsellor I was trans but I didn’t tell him that I was going to tell my wife.  He might have been able to give me advice on how to handle it better.

On the other hand, when the Army disposes of a bomb, they still detonate it. It still explodes.  You just have to manage the explosion so that everyone has been evacuated beforehand and there is minimum chance of damage.  But, as I say, however managed the explosion, it’s still a big bang…

Before I lose you with my metaphor (!), I wanted to say that, whatever you do, any disclosure is likely to be damaging.  I guess you have to face that.  I am presently living through the trauma that my disclosure caused my family about a month ago.  But, as my wise friends continually remind me, what’s the alternative?  It is highly unlikely your feelings will go away.  You have had them for a very long time.  So, if you continue to sit on them, you will certainly make yourself very unhappy and you will continue to run a greater and greater risk that your secret will slip out, at a time and place you did not choose.  Which is even worse than picking your battle by deciding when and where you will tell.

The other thing to remember is that time really does improve things.  The shock and outrage that family members feel will not last for ever.  Over time, it will metamorphose into other feelings, possibly even more forgiving ones.

I don’t want to paint too rosy a picture.  On the other hand, and though I am currently in the thick of it, I think you can weather the (probably inevitable) storm…

I hope this is of some help.



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