I got a question over on Tumblr (I always want people to ask any questions that come to mind) the following:
Anonymous said to accidentally-gay: Do you ever miss the person your husband use to be?
I had to think about this for a few minutes. Of course the first answer is no, then I thought of the revised short answer of “it’s a complicated no”.
I do have a longer answer, one that indicates why its a “no” but there are sometimes weird jarring instances.
DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU WANT A SHORT ANSWER :).
I am more fortunate then a lot of people in my situation. Jello has always acted like Jello. When he presented as female, he was constantly told he needed to act like a lady. He was denigrated for acting like a guy, told he would never find someone, etc. So for our entire relationship he has been the same, what you saw in behavior was what he was. None of his behaviors have changed, except he argues and is upset less (living as yourself definitely is less stress inducing). It is the same person just the package has changed.
However, that is where sometimes there is a weird instances that come in. Occasionally we will be doing something, and Jello will do what he normally does, but I will get a weird feeling of deja vu, almost as if I have double vision. Sometimes it is almost a super-imposed image of his old self and his real self in front of me.
Take for example this last weekend, we were out on a date overnight. During dinner he reached over and took one of my maraschino cherries in my drink (DON’T JUDGE ME!!!) and ate it in his quirky manner.
For a brief second though I saw his old identity in front of me doing it exactly the same way (he has done that move for decades with me, most if it in his pre-transition body). It actually made me hesitate in our talk (I was briefly confused on who was in front of me) and I explained what happened. He was really supportive and we both know this happens occasionally (and is bound to happen since we were together for 21 years before his coming out in that form).
Funny enough sometimes I look at old pictures of him, and it is jarring because seeing the female form in the picture doesn’t match with what is in my head. I guess we rewrite memories regularly, and being with him for the last two years in his real body has rewritten a lot of what I remember.
Now, I guess that was a long winded way of saying no I don’t miss who he was, but there are weird instances when I see, smell or hear something from him.
I do suspect though that normally people in my position miss the old person. I think it is normal, it is the person you originally fell in love with (especially if they behaved different on top of looking different). I do believe it becomes less so over time, your memory rewrites itself, distance makes the dissonance less. That is a rougher spot to be in, and I hope anyone in that position has all the support they need to get through it.