Why Am I So Afraid to Tell My Wife?

It’s been many months since I’d last seen my therapist; her name is Kelly. She’s one of us, and she’s great at making me feel comfortable in acknowledging who I am.

But… she said that it’s time to tell my wife. I know that I need to; I’m sure that my wife knows anyway. And… I said that I would. I even gave a timeline for doing so. Sadly, I keep finding reasons not to.

I’m an electrician by trade and a retired soldier. I exist in this world of manly men. I believe that I only have few friends that would accept me after finding out who I am. I’ve come to terms with it; I don’t like most of my friends anyway.

Exceptional Voice

And something tells me that my wife would accept it, possibly find it arousing. Yet, I still haven’t told her…

We have two beautiful sons. One is seven and the other is three. For the last eighteen months we’ve been trying to have another child. We would like a daughter (but we’ll love whoever we get). There have been two miscarriages within that time.

Couple that with the economy—I live in Alberta Canada. Right now, there are 25,000 electricians who are unemployed. In the last eighteen months, I’ve worked seven of them. It’s so bad that I went to school to prepare for a different career. My wife’s hours were cut last fall, and we’ve been waiting months for our income tax return to come, just so we can pay the rent. There’s so much uncertainty and stress already in our lives.

Yeah, I keep finding reasons not to tell my wife… “It’s not a very good time,” I tell myself. I mean, she doesn’t need the added stress. But when will I convince myself it’s the right time? I know that I’ll be diagnosed with gender dysphoria. I know that my therapist will push for me to get gender affirming surgery. And I know that I can wait for that surgery if I choose. I have the freedom not to follow through if I choose.

I understand why I’m afraid to tell my friends. But why am I so afraid to tell my wife?

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Kim Dahlenbergen
Kim Dahlenbergen(@kdahlenbergen)
1 year ago

I am curious what has transpired in your life since posting this back in 2019.

Meran Berwyck
Meran Berwyck(@meran)
4 years ago

Wow, heartbreaking to say the least! I can feel the difficulty. I doubt I can give the right advice but will shed what I think. No matter the struggle, if you’re having financial difficulties, it’s not the right time. DIfficulties like you expressed make people stressed, not just yourself. People around you, those close to you. I’ve been married and divorced twice! I came out to both. The 1st totally flipped out! We divorced shortly after, less than a year of marriage. The 2nd initially accepted my dressing as long as I kept it at home behind closed doors. She… Read more »

Cynthia S
Cynthia S(@skippy1965)
4 years ago

The reluctance is understandable-no matter how much we may BELIEVE we KNOW how someone will react, we can’t truly know until the moment happens. My ex couldn’t tolerate dressing at all much less if things progress towards ANY transitioning. As Cloe says below, be sure everything else in your relationship is on a rock solid foundation before trying to add this “complexity” to it. That said, you and your therapist know your situation bst and where you are in your journey. You will know when the time is right.

Stephanie Kennedy
Active Member
Stephanie Kennedy(@qtystephanie)
4 years ago

Hi Christina I am not a therapist I will admit I have been therapy for many years. I was diagnosed with dysphoria 10 years ago. I take medication it helps alot. I am also an electrician there is a sever shortage of trades people were I live. The wages keep going up. The amount of work has forced the system to put people my age back in the system. Generally most professionals have to go where the work is. That is true for all trades and professionals. I recently have come to understand through so much work and professional help… Read more »

Xander Kelley
Xander Kelley(@xanderkelley)
4 years ago

While i have a husband we are separated so i do not have to deal with telling him. I on the other hand have ex in laws in my life that dont accept it. I am actually moving to a different city so i can live my life without their criticism. They are very against transtion. My mom supports me. Thats all i need.

Karlia Ferrier
Karlia Ferrier(@karlia)
4 years ago

I keep telling myself that if I leave enough bread crumb clues in conversation that she will either start to realize it, or start to reply to them in the same manner they were left – sparse and sparkly. It feels lazy, but safe. I would love this bandaid torn off in one yank, but it has been a few years and will soon become overt at this rate anyway. Interesting times ahead.

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Jessi Girl
4 years ago

Its ok to slow down for a bit. Keep taking fun little steps towards your goals. But slowing down can help you see clearer. Just until you get your bearings.

𝓜𝒾𝓈𝓈 𝓒𝓁ℴℯ́ 💋💋
Active Member
4 years ago

Fear of loss is what held me back for a time, but it eventually was trumped by what was happening with all my pent up stress from 20+ yrs of self suppression. What I can say is that the way I told my now ex-wife was wrong and while I doubt the outcome would have been different it expedited the process. I know now that things were not stable enough between us to start with. My point is that you need to makes sure your relationship is on a solid foundation and communication is free flowing before you deliver an… Read more »

April King
Active Member
April King(@april-king)
4 years ago

Always hard to tell our SOs. It’s a balance of our needs versus the needs / wants of those we love.

Sharon Lewis
Sharon Lewis(@sharon)
4 years ago

HI, I told my wife in the first year of our marriage, after there was a dissucion on the radio. over the following years in general the subject was closed. That was some 47 years ago, my wife has given me many times to leave, but for many reasons i have’t. But have found times when having time to let my fem side take over (when alone) it has let me relax and take control of my self. Like you I’m a tradesman working in a male dominated society, being an Auto sparkie. working in a mill and also a… Read more »

Monique Duprés
Monique Duprés(@moniquetg)
4 years ago

I imagine your reasons are similar to mine Christina, you don’t want to hurt her, you don’t want to upset home life, you feel guilty and perhaps a little unsure about who you are becoming. I have no solution to offer, just want you to know you are not alone and there are those out there who understand.

Monique xx

Chris Landwer
Chris Landwer(@cdland)
4 years ago

I also have to tell my wife. We argue often and I one time mentioned that I have a fem side and she agrees. I said I want to talk to a doctor, but she didn’t really agree. I will reinforce my position, because I will go to the doctor in 10 days. I felt so trapped and nervous, then I thought what if I had to tell her I was HIV positive since I was with other people. ( I am not HIV positive). But telling her I wanted to begin hormones sounded easier to do. I still need… Read more »

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