Starting a New Chapter

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  • #130736
    Brielle
    Participant

    Well, sooner than I had thought, my wife has decided she needs her own space to figure out what she wants going forward. I can’t be too upset because I made steps several months ago to figure out what I want – to socially and chemically transition.

    At first, I was philosophical and felt it would be better for us both to have some space. We went to separate bedrooms in January, and things between us improved a little for a while, but the last 2 months we got worse with communicating.

    I found my new place tonight – we both need to relocate since we can’t afford the place we have and a new place too. I guess it finally hit me this is the beginning of the end, so I feel resigned and sad, not encouraged or hopeful. I hoped we would stay together until I was further along in my transition, so she could see if we would be good together then.

    Now, we may never know. It isn’t all one or the other’s fault, but I’ve always internalized and “owned” the major problems so I’m feeling pretty guilty right now. I wanted to show her the better parts of me, but I guess that didn’t happen. We’re not divorcing and we do love each other, but we will be about 20 miles apart for a year at least.

    Thanks for listening to my angst. Brielle will have a day tomorrow, then I’ll be offline a lot starting Saturday when I leave for Dublin and Edinburgh with my daughter. She’s treating me to a delayed milestone birthday trip. I’ll come back on the 29th while she stays over and joins her wife for a side trip down to England.

    She is one special person – she offered for me to travel as, or have a day as Brielle but I’m not ready for international travel en femme yet. Still, it was a nice gesture, and I love how affirming she’s been.

    Hugs everyone!

    Brie

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    • #130745

      Oh Brie, you made me cry…My heart goes out to you! On June 1st I will be moving into a new place, and only time will tell if it is a home. My spouse and I are separating, and I am going to be sharing a condo with a lady who is the mother of a girl I work with. She knows I am a trans woman and is totally fine with it, so I will now be truly living as a woman 24/7. When I announced my coming out it was soon followed by my wife’s announcement that I needed to find my own place. And like you, now that I have found a place it also struck me that it is the beginning of the end and I am also facing resignation and sadness. I had hoped she would be more understanding. She says she ‘understands’ but then adds the comment, “I married a man…!” She doesn’t want a divorce and wants to stay friends, but up to now hasn’t wanted to see me dressed as Lauren at all. I asked her how we would be friends if she never wants to see me as Lauren, to which she replied, “I never said that, I just have to get used to it.” So, like you, I am torn with a lot of emotion, transitioning means leaving a lot behind as we move forward to our new beginning. I wish you well, and have a lovely trip with your daughter!

      Love,

      Lauren M

      4 users thanked author for this post.
      • #130748
        Brielle
        SILVER

        Hi Lauren, I’m so sorry you are dealing with that too. It’s nice to have a person to move in with. We are in much the same place – our wives aren’t ready to divorce and cal an end to the relationship, but they are having a hard time dealing with it all while we are near. I’m sure there are a million stories and a million more reasons beyond CD or transitioning that were a cause for separation.

        It makes it hard to know what to hope for. Do we immerse ourselves in becoming feminized and just leave the past relationship behind? Do we hope for a reconciliation? Can we (should we) stay married, yet live miles apart and only relate on a surface level? It’s hard when you see so many couples with a lot of joy and intimacy get through transitioning stronger than before.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #130746
        DeeAnn Hopings
        AMBASSADOR

        There is a parallel for me regarding change and a sense of loss. In 1996 my daughter graduated from college and I moved her to DC to start her first job. After she found an apartment, we unloaded the truck I had at the time and I drove back to New York State. Early in the drive I realized that things had profoundly changed and that there was no turning back. It saddened me, deeply, but it is the way of things I told myself. For a time it was difficult to drive with tears in my eyes. I reminded myself that she was starting a great and new adventure and that my role had shifted from guidance to support at a distance. It took a while for me to get comfortable with that and eventually I did. While the important thing is to look forward, sometimes it helps to look back and be reminded of where we have been…

        2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #130737
      DeeAnn Hopings
      AMBASSADOR

      Hi:

      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!

      6 users thanked author for this post.
      • #130768
        Brielle
        SILVER

        hi Dee Ann, thanks for the reply! i’m not  that far from your ideas. i do want to socially transition no matter what. whether i have any surgical things done will depend on health, money, etc. But if i’m 24/7 en femme and tucking, having guy bits doesn’t make much sense. plus having to take a med that isn’t too good for my system. kind of makes an orchi a no brainer. beyond that i have no plans other than laser treatments.

        i wish “just” going full time with no other changes was realistic but it wouldn’t alter my wife’s need to have her space. i figure if i’m living as Brielle the id may as well match up.

         

        hugs,

        Brie

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #130770
          DeeAnn Hopings
          AMBASSADOR

          What stands out for me, and what we all must do, is that we must apply conscious thought to our current situations and what we need to do to move forward. Life changing things are difficult to think about because our minds often want to choose the path of least resistance and avoid conflict. That’s why I often mention the possibility of working with a therapist. Some of us can sort things out on our own, but I have to believe that is a relatively small percentage. Gender identity is not something that is easy to think about because all of the possible outcomes either force upheavals in our lives or have mental health consequences. To me, that is between a Rock and Hard Place.

          One things that really saddens me is when some people transition and they feel that they need to completely abandon their prior lives. When we transition, it doesn’t seem that we become different people. I think our moral compass, and other parts of our being, remain intact. I could see it if there had been some significant trauma in someone’s life, but I don’t think that is the case for most. My speculation, anyway…

          3 users thanked author for this post.
          • #130849
            Brielle
            SILVER

            hi, i am seeing both a gender therapist and also a PhD marriage therapist. i couldn’t have had the nerve to confront my need to transition without them both! And i agree it is yragic that so many cds and trans people are so traumatized by who they were that they have to cut that tie cleanly to save themselves. i am planning on keeping my given last name and i will always be the little brother to my three siblings. but i will be firm about them using my new name and pronouns. who i sm before has made me who i am now and in the future.

            but i consider myself very fortunate to have  that option!

            Hugs,

            Brie

            2 users thanked author for this post.
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