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Finding out what's in a Spouse's closet
admin | 29 April, 2007 15:12

The last six months have been very challenging in my family. My husband told me long distance across 1700 miles that he had been visiting a transgender support group because he thought he really wanted to be a female.  At that time I was dealing with caretaking my parent who was living alone, yet needed some help.  We were both jobless, and searching desparately all across the country  while living on unemployment.  We are both baby boomers close to reaching retirement age, but not able to collect social security yet (if we ever will be able to).  

We had to limit our conversations about the topic because of huge cell phone bills.  I finally returned to Denver where he was, thinking that my parent was back on her feet with a caretaker set up for her, and that I may as well stay back there with him while job searching.  I just barely got back and got a phone call that I was wanted back on the East Coast for a 3rd interview with a company that would be the perfect next step in my career. 

So we packed up my Toyota to the roof, and squeezed the poor cat on top of the suitcases, and both drove across country in 2 days, discussing his gender issue the ENTIRE trip. At that point, I was still in the denial stage figuring that it was just a mid-life crisis issue, compounded by not being employed steadily for the last 4 years, and having to cope on his own without me in a strange city. 

Well, I got the job, moved the household back east, bought a house, and settled in, thinking that being back where he grew up, seeing old friends and places would help him get through the crisis.   We started visiting old friends and family, settled into the house, but then my full time job turned into part-time.  And he still had a challenge getting a job. So we both sit here spending a LOT of time dealing with his gender issue, and wondering where the mortgage payment, and money for other bills will come from in the next few months.

He's been a torn soul the last few months, wanting to keep his male gender so he doesn't lose me, but torn because he wants to become a woman.  I finally reached a decision a couple of weeks ago, that if he wanted to become a woman, then we needed to be talking about separaing, as I couldn't see myself married to another woman.  So we moved into separate bedrooms, talked about splitting things up, yet I gave him until 9 months from now to get a plan and move out. 

In the meantime, as we work through splitting things up, I've done intensive research on the topic, as well as watched a TV show on the topic, and come to the conclusion that this is something that he can't help.  And while I have sadness for him, I'm not angry at him, and half of me says why can't we continue as we are?  Our sex life was nil before this discovery, and I had resigned myself to it staying that way, because I thought it was due to his diabetes. 

He's also read the research I've found, and I hope he is less tortured about his issue, but still has some work to go through mentally in accepting himself this way. 

We are still planning to sell off lots of "things" inherited from his family to hopefully help pay the bills, but also save things so both of us can set up separate households if we need to.  However, I see us at least remaining as friends, and working through parts of his transition together.  Whether we stay together for the long run, remains to be seen, and depends on how both of us change through this process.

Confused TG Spouse...

User Comments
Straight Spouses Network [Reply]
Still Confused | 27 May, 2007 07:34
I attended my first straight spouses support group meeting last night, and have mixed feelings, so thought I'd think them through here. This group has mainly members of spouses who have come out of the gay closet. Although one other person has a tg spouse. We gathered for dinner... hamburgers & hotdogs, and salads and desserts, and spent a pleasant time discussing children, families, asking a few questions of ourselves like "People ask why I couldn't see this coming... what do you all say to that?".... and how are the children dealing with this when Dad shows up at a birthday party? (This is a big one with TG, and not so much with gay spouses). Then we went inside when one Spouse came whose challenges have been severe (evidently she spent the last meeting in tears). Talk at that point turned to challenges with divorce, custody battles, children's viewpoints of the situation, and various other topics. I came away with still very mixed feelings about what to do. While the overall conception of what I should do is to leave the marriage, my situation was not as dire as most of those there. We had the longest marriage, and so far no infidelity has occurred, that I know of. I left it that I was giving him time to make a decision about how much he wanted to transition, and to get himself on his feet to be able to make the journey he needs/want to make, but that I can't go on this one with him. However, in listening to the divorce stories tonight, I don't want to go down that road either, as it's going to be expensive and heartbreaking as well. Hopefully ours won't be as challenging as some in the group, but I do need to start talking with someone who knows about marital properties, etc. to be able to protect myself.
Coming out of the fog on a foggy day.. [Reply]
cybrscrybe | 06 October, 2007 09:32
Five months have passed since my last post. During that time s/he has managed to find a job, keep it for several months, and finally moved out this past weekend. During these months my feelings have solidified in the fact that I can't support him through his transition. He's also accepted the fact hat we can't live together. And we've both explored the concept that our marriage needed some work anyway. So he's moved into a room rented from another transgendered person. We have not worked through the legalities of the situation yet, although we've both visited lawyers for preliminary details. We've worked on a separation agreement, but not signed on the dotted line yet. In the meantime, I'm exploring what my life is going to look like in the future. From fear of getting old and sick by myself, to already knowing 2 single guys, and my latent sexuality being awakened, I'm driving my own self crazy. However, at least it's not the negative drain that has been occurring for the last year. I feel that now I can start to move on with the adventure of a new chapter. I've wondered for the last 10 - 15 years.. is this all there is to marriage? It's been a safe place to be, without fear of STD's, AIDS, and trying to figure out if someone is interested in you or not. But has it been too safe? I know I'm driving a colleague crazy as well. We've been chatting online and on the phone, and I've shared a little bit too much with him. Our conversations have been more about our mutual teaching job, but I've also shared some personal things. I suspect it's giving 'too much info' in my loneliness, and dragging him down. He already has a lot he's dealing with in 2 new jobs, and he doesn't need my negatives. Besides, in sharing too much, I'm giving away my feminine mystique. Well, I've got to get back to filling out the separation agreement and getting to a lawyer.
3 years later..... [Reply]
cybrscrybe | 30 September, 2010 19:44

I can't believe I let this blog slide for this long... but in the meantime I've been "blogging" my thoughts in a private diary that someday I may publish.

However, I thought that I would catch up the blog on the latest. I recently remarried this summer to someone I knew from the past. This spouse is definitely NOT GLBT, and I can't believe I put up with missing out on a real marriage for so long. It took me these three years to heal in so many ways. Even though my divorce was not bitter, and my ex and I still talk occasionally, I was injured more than I recognized at the time. And it took me 3 years to be ready to trust again. But it really feels good to be truly loved, and not just used as someone's cover.

More later... hopefully in the form of a book!!

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