I’m not the first person in history who’s ever gone through this. If you read the Reddit sub r/mypartneristrans you will find many many women (and some men) in similar situations. But when it happens to you it feels like you are completely and utterly alone. After all the thing about being trans is trying to pass. It’s a secret club. Unlike being gay where you are loud and proud, the goal of being trans is to be invisible. So we as wives are invisible too. Yes, there have been a few books written and there are some secret FB groups. But for the most part, I was alone. When I tried to reach out I found two kinds of support. There were angry wives who were divorcing their spouses, some of whom had kids, were religious, or were just mad. I didn’t fit in there. And there were the “you are with us or you are against us” wives who had accepted everything and thought any crack in the support facade was a sign of trans phobia. There was even one lovely woman who runs a FB group who claimed that any failure to support your spouse 100% in transition was emotional abuse. Sigh. I’ve always hated true believers of any kind. Nothing is that simple. There must be room for other feelings.
My therapist of many years tended to look kind of deer in the headlights when I talked about all of this, so I found a second therapist who specialized in treating the LGBTQ community. I called him out of the blue one day while literally walking down the street on my cell phone and pretty much poured out the entire story. He remained calm. So I started seeing him. He listened to my complaints about the changes, the hormones, the instability, the ridiculous amount of change. Without him I think it all would have fallen apart. He was the only person I could share my doubts and fears with. It was great. But my spouse wanted a gender therapist too. So I thought we could see this therapist together. And that ended my confidant and my support as we engaged in what has become horrific couples therapy which I dread and wish I could get out of. I continue to look for support.
My spouse started going to a support group for people in transition. And I admit I was jealous. And scared. Both that she had found more people to talk to and I was still all alone and that now she would be sharing all this with other people while I sat at home. My spouse said I was afraid she would be influenced by “the trans agenda.” But I was mostly worried that now she wouldn’t need me anymore. Suddenly it wasn’t our process anymore. I lost any sense of control or input. It was just her process and I was along for the ride. I don’t even get to hear her process, now she does that with her group. I was sullen and sulky. Which as you can imagine made my wife so much more willing to chat and share. Yeah, I know. But it did feel like she came home from group with new ideas and new courage about transition. So maybe I was worried about the trans agenda. It was hard to face that I wasn’t really ready for what was about to happen. As this became more than the two of us my anxiety level rose and I started to wonder if I had gotten myself into more than I had bargained for.
Lately I feel more alone than ever. That’s why I started this blog. You dear readers, imagined or real, are the support group in my head. And I thank you for that.