Reply To: Stopping transition to save family



I’m 62, retired and in my second marriage of 24 years. My first wife passed away when I was 35, leaving me to raise our 2 sons, ages 8 and 12 at the time, alone. I was out to my first wife before we were engaged and we agreed I would be closeted, only dressing in the bedroom and eventually on trips away from home. After her death I decided my most important tasks was to raise our sons to adulthood and I disconnected my connections with other transfolks at the time (1995) through Tapestry magazine and AOL. I think I was really considering transitioning at the time but had no funds or a way to do so. Staying connected and considering what my life could be was too hard to consider so I isolated myself. Along the way I met my second wife and gained a stepdaughter. I came out to my second wife on our 3 date and we took some 2 years or so to decide to get married. Again I was closeted to the bedroom and trips as Christie were non-existent since it was emotionally difficult for me. After the kids were grown, finished college and started careers I decided to go on trips as Christie and connect with transgender folks again. That was 2009. We came out to our adult children in 2015 and they are accepting of me. In 2017 I started electrolysis and told my wife I would like to live full time as Christie in retirement. She said if I go full time we would have to get divorced. She didn’t want to be married to a woman and didn’t want to feel like she would have to defend me in public. In 2018 I started HRT. In the spring of 2019 I retired. In June of 2022 I went full time. In a change of her position, she said she was okay with me being Christie in public in our hometown but that she would not go out in public with me. I saw it as a compromise on her part and said I would be in male mode for date nights once a week. I also said in the fall I would be Christie full time when I wintered with my son and our new grandson. We’re still married but this will be coming to head when I return home in April. What she understood about being transgender when I first came out to her has been an issue in our relationship as is my understanding of myself and how far I was willing to go to transition. Our future together is uncertain. She just started counseling to help her work through the issue. I’ve been in counseling for years and continue to do so. We do love each other and have both said we’ll always be friends. I’ve tried to logically prepare myself for the probable divorce or separation but I feel I really can’t emotionally prepare myself since I really feel I won’t know how I’ll take that until it happens. I’m sharing all this since it sounds like you may find yourself on a similar path. So far, I feel my family continues to be a part of my life and it is sweet to openly be myself with them. In some form, I feel my wife will always be in my life. It also may become to hard for one or both of us to see each other if we split up since there may be too many emotions involved. My way to frame it is to have faith in our relationship and do my best to communicate with her. I hope this helps.



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