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Many of you know my marriage has been on shaky ground since I came out to my wife a little over a year ago. At that time, we both thought I was “only” a part-time crossdresser. I didn’t know anything about gender dysphoria or the genetics involved in my gestation. Once I did come out, I began exploring more and researching more. I started therapy with a gender counselor. The marriage was rocked, but we were hopeful we would adapt and be able to move ahead somehow.
A couple of months later, I came to find out my need to be more feminine was more and more pronounced and two therapists within a week of each other, confirmed what I suspected – I am transgender and my male exterior was a “birth defect” that starting HRT and moving towards socially transitioning was the best (only, really) treatment. Again, the marriage was rocked, and my wife moved from cautious acceptance to grudging tolerance. I became more anxious about body hair, wanted to do more “primping and pampering”, and spent more and more time in feminine mode. My wife married a man with hairy arms, hands, and legs and she was turned off by this new version of her spouse who was becoming more feminine by the day.
In January, “we” decided to move into separate bedrooms so that she could have more distance. We had quite a few other pressing issues besides my changing body and attitude. I agreed, but it caused me quite a bit of anguish. I sensed the beginning of the end. The tolerance was getting thinner and thinner. She said she wasn’t comfortable around Brielle, that she cringed when Brielle tried to hug, lean in for a kiss on the cheek, or even sit watching TV next to each other. I hurt for her – she didn’t know about this 40 years before when we vowed “in sickness and in health”. We had no road map and no way to really cope.
I was wrong not to admit when we were engaged in 1980 that I was a part-time crossdresser, and I compounded that wrong every day for the next 40 years. Even though I didn’t feel safe to talk about it to ANYONE, she deserved better. Fast-forward to May this year. My wife abruptly determined separate bedrooms wasn’t separation enough, so we moved into separate apartments in mid-June. Since then she also told me unless we have an emergency or are required to interact, she wants virtual non-communication. We will never work out anything this way, but I can’t blame her nor fault her needs, anymore than she should mine. The worst part of it all is we know we still love each other deeply. But she will never allow herself to love another woman, whether cis or trans.
I have emotionally distanced myself in self-protection. If she wants to reconcile, she has to make clear she wants me as a mate, and not just a roommate. We both deserve better than that. As I said, I can’t fault her for how she is working through all this, but it stings that she will only be my mate if I look, dress, and act in a way she prefers. That being said, I really can’t say what my response would have been if she told me she wanted to take testosterone, wear men’s clothes, wear a prosthetic in her pants. Maybe even get breast reduction surgery. Would I still want to be intimate if I remained solidly male through her changes? I honestly don’t know.
Those of you who have not come out to your SOs, do NOT use my experience as your model. I did most of it wrongly. I do implore you to find a way to open up to them somehow. The longer you wait, the stronger the hurt they will feel that you could keep such a momentous thing secret. They will not thank you for waiting years to be honest with them, trust me!
I must say that overall, I am feeling optimistic about my transition plan. I am not sure it’s been worth all the damage, but considering I’m fixing a medical problem that threatens my life and health, did I have a choice? I think not.
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