From what I’ve read here, on other forums and in my own community, there seems to be no predictability as to how things will go between a trans person and their spouse. I know of some couples who are still together, including my wife and me, but I also know of others for whom their marriages came to a screeching and very sudden stop.
My first wife and I divorced, but that was way before I understood that there was a DeeAnn. However, in looking back, it may have been in the mix somewhere. I think that, in an unconscious way, I think I was never really able to fully commit to my first wife and our marriage because I felt that there was a question mark about me. Obviously, it turned out that there was.
My second wife is a blessing. She is very relaxed about sexuality and gender identity. In my article (From THERE To HERE…), which is actually a video of a speech that I gave for International Women’s Day, I talk about the first time that I went out crossdressed. Halloween 2003; they were showing The Rocky Horror Picture Show on the campus of Cornell University. You could get in for free if you crossdressed. Pat, who would later become my second wife, wanted to go and initially I resisted. Eventually I gave in and we went. It was the first time that I wore a dress. But, the part that I left out was what Pat wore. It was a black turtleneck sweater, black tights, a black tutu and a lavender strap-on!?!? The student ushers were laughing so hard that they could hardly show us to our seats!! Anyway, that provides some insight as to how her mind works.
I also discuss how things sit for me. I’m not planning HRT or any surgeries. The reason is that I either don’t have dysphoria or that it really isn’t noticeable. On the other hand, my social transition is essentially complete. I’m not planning an official name change as it really would need to go beyond my driver’s license and birth certificate. It would need to cover pensions, mortgage, diplomas, all my credit cards (DeeAnn already has one of her own), Social Security, church information, etc. I just don’t see the benefit for all that work and follow up for me. However, DeeAnn is the person of record for all 5 of the organizations where I hold office and in 3 others when I am only a member. What I finally figured out is that I have never been completely male or completely female. I have always been this amalgam of perspectives, energies, likes/dislikes, etc. Once I realized that, it explained MANY things. Anyway, I feel very fortunate as to how things have worked for me, but sad that many have not been so lucky. Sometimes shit happens and all we can do is to deal with it and move forward.
Anyway, as you said, it is a new chapter. Some of us find our soulmate and some of us don’t. Some of us stay together after transition and some of us don’t. It is another variable to factor into the equation. All we can do is the best that we can.
All the best in sorting out your path!