I had a person respond to me on tumblr from my last post about my “Insight”. They had a question and I wanted to respond as a post in case anyone else had a similar question. Here was the question:
Hi, I couldn’t find your ask button but I wish to talk to you. I am 31 and I realized I was transgender (ftm) a year ago but had to give up talking to my husband about it after a few painful talks.
Recently, I couldn’t hold it in any longer and I had to discuss with him again. He’s terrified about the prospect of me becoming male. Since you’ve gone through a similar experience, would you care to help me with this? Would you mind writing me an email or a message explaining how you’ve gone through your husband’s transition, how you felt then and how it has affected you? I hope this isn’t too rude a request but you can really help me here.
I am really sorry that you had to originally give up talking with your husband. I am glad you decided to come back out to him and talk more, just like I told my husband, you need to do what you need to do.
I apologize before we even get started, this response is longer than I wanted, and even with as long as it is it still isn’t as concise and in depth as I wanted.
My husband’s transition was actually not a surprise. Even though he was very feminine looking, he was always very masculine in his outlook, sexually, mechanically, ego wise, so I was a bit startled but not surprised. We have always talked about everything. When we got married, we were (and still are) best friends.
However, I was nervous when he told me. I did struggle for the first few minutes not to say something less than positive (nothing negative, but I had to resist the urge to be selfish). Even not being surprised that much it was awkward to say the least. I attribute that less to my having revulsion or dislike of my spouse transitioning and more to just being scared.
He has helped me stay calm about this by being reassuring that he still loves me, that nothing has changed. He also was clear that he understood if I left him. I never even considered that, but everyone is different. I don’t know how someone else would react.
The biggest fear I had (and still have) is that the outward change will mean an inner change on my husband. I can happily be married to my spouse no matter how they looked. They could have remained a very attractive woman, they could become a man, or they could become something in the middle and that doesn’t bother me.
There is still a fear in me that as a man he would feel differently about me. I think this is how society raises males, the assumption that men don’t love the same as a woman. I hadn’t realized I had bought into that until my husband came out and I realized that fear was there.
As for what you can do. I will try and condense it.
- Communicate with him constantly. Talking, even if it is uncomfortable is what will help process the information. The more you talk together the more it won’t be such a foreign concept to him.
- Reassure him. You are physically changing a lot. It is scary for him. He will ask himself if you will love him still. Will you still want to do the same things, or will your personality change. He may logically realize you probably won’t change too much on the inside, but the fear is there. I still struggle with this emotionally, but logically I know it.
- Have him read as many sources as you can find on transgender, transitioning and especially FTM. There is a lot of MTF stuff out there, but less so for FTM. I will see if my husband has more sites.
- Sit and read/watch/listen to those resources with him. If you are there with him it will help bond the idea between you two and will reassure him that he isn’t just being dumped in a corner.
- Remind him, and yourself, that this is for the long haul. It won’t ever be a road that ends, and bad and good things will happen. It is a journey, not a switch that is flipped.
- Most importantly realize that he just may not accept it for whatever reason in the end. You need to remember YOU are a good person. You deserve to be who you are. You can’t live your life for someone else.
When my husband came out to me he told me he would not transition if I would lose him. I was horrified by this. If any of my friends had told me that they needed to transition of course I would tell them they need to do it, no matter what their partner says. How could I treat him any differently then a friend who doesn’t mean as much to me. So no matter what, if you feel this is your path, then take it.
This is a really long response, and I realize not very definitive. PLEASE ask me more questions if you have them. If you want to pin down a specific question or a dozen questions I am more than happy to answer them, just keep asking. I really do want to help, and this helps me process the journey as well so it is sort of a mutual healing.
Also I just wanted to thank you for asking the question, I am honored that you wanted my opinion, no matter how long winded it is :).