Now six months into my questioning, I feel like I have great ups and downs when it comes to my transition. For each step forward I take in discovering my true self, I take another step away from keeping my marriage and family together. Tonight was a shining example.
I attend a weekly transgender support group as often as possible. I am usually a frequent contributor to the group, but tonight, I really didn’t talk too much. Instead, I listened to what turned out to be a larger group of people than usual. As I listened to other’s stories and situations, I felt comforted knowing that at least one person in the group is in a very similar situation as myself. She was married and has children. She is nervous to be considering HRT and has a similar build as myself. We have a lot in common. The main difference between us is that her marriage has already ended, and I continue to fight to try to save mine despite the turmoil I bring to the relationship by considering transition. In the end, I think I may have found a new friend. We can help each other in our transitions. Coming home, I felt a little bit happy that I had connected with someone and made a new friend.
Then I got home.
My wife was infuriated that I was out until midnight (even though I asked if I could go out with group members at about 10:00). With food, drive time, and time to change out of my dress (as she doesn’t want to see me dressed), it took about that long to get home. My wife immediately offended me by telling me she was stuck at home while I was “playing dress up” and that she she’s done dealing with this every Friday night. Immediately, the mild happiness I experienced leaving my group was shattered.
Where does that leave me? It once again leaves me wondering if I can really keep this marriage together. My wife tells me she loves me and that she is trying to figure all of this out (we even had a good date night last night), but then she blows up at me. Shouldn’t I be encouraged to attend a support group and talk to others about what I’m going through? Shouldn’t I expect at least an ounce of support at home, even while acknowledging how difficult all of this is for her?
This is just one example of the ups and downs I experience. Each time I make baby steps into womanhood to see how comfortable I am in this world, it feels natural and right. I dress for my therapy sessions and when I attend the support group. I wear women’s underwear on a near daily basis under my pants, and I like the feeling (except when I tuck a little too tightly). The one major shopping trip I took months ago en femme was liberating. All positives. But I have little support and nearly zero at home. In an ideal world, my wife and I could have civil conversations about what is going on in my head and heart, but instead she blows up and wants me to leave the house. Serious negative.
As much as I love her, I’m not sure how much longer I can keep it all together. I am excited and fearful of the future. 2015 seems like it will be as confusing and challenging as 2014. Still, I hope for more ups than downs, and I hope my new friendship becomes something I can rely on to raise my spirits.