I know your situation very well. I have gone through it. I think you are much younger than I, though. My kids were grown and living on their own and supporting themselves. I was in retirement when I came out. I told my wife first. She knew I occasionally dressed as a woman. She early on set rules and one was to only be dressed as such in the lower level of the house where she rarely ventured. Another rule was she would never be seen with me in public dressed as a woman.
I gradually broke the first rule, but at the time generally did not spend the whole day in feminine attire. I went slowly but finally had to tell her I found it hard, and then extremely difficult to abide by her rules as I knew I had to let my female spirit free. My spirit was screaming this at me internally. I finally convinced her to read my coming out letter which I planned to send to our mutual friends and extended family. I asked her to read the letter first. I think by this time she saw the inevitability of my need to move forward. She advised I take one thing out of the letter as it had to deal with genital electrolysis. It really wasn’t needed, so I did. I sent the letter and I received quite a few responses soon after. They were all supportive. I knew in my heart those who didn’t respond were probably stunned and didn’t know what to say or despised what I was doing. I have found many people have been very supportive, both male and female, and I live in a rather conservative community.
I have since gone with friends and my wife to dinner, have invited friends over, and so far I have not experienced any backlash.
My wife will never be in acceptance as she repeatedly states she married a man. I can’t disagree with her. She said she has resigned herself to what I’m doing and we continue to live with one another. We even still sleep in the same bed together. She did tell me if I get involved with someone else, we’re done. I’m okay with that. I still have no clue what gender I’m drawn to sexually. Of course my libido is nil, but it is most likely due to virtually nonexistent androgen. I would bet my levels are lower than most cis women. I’ve been on antiandrogens and estrogen 1 and a quarter years.
Regarding my children and how they took the news – my two boys were cool with it. My daughter had a hard time initially, but things have gotten better. She even gave me a very nice necklace and matching earrings for my birthday.
Lastly, my vaginoplasty is to be done this coming March. As I’ve pictured myself for many years as a woman, even to the point of actually making myself feel as if I was penetrated while having intercourse, I am more than ready for the surgery. I may never have penetrative sex (I will never have anal) but I’m having the full-depth vaginoplasty because you never know what the future holds. I do know if I ever have intercourse again, I will be very selective as to the partner. Although I certainly have no need to worry about pregnancy, there is a shitload of infectious agents out there to make hell for the rest of life should you contract one.