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NancyBalik

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Donna, Yes, our lives have some similarities— but, one obvious and important difference. We’ve made a very different life choice. Reading your story makes me feel very sad, for you, for Deb, for your lost relationship, for the great cost to the two of you. She is hurting. She has lost her husband, clearly still depends on you and misses your companionship and friendship.

You mention your “first wife.” Perhaps a difference is that I have been with my wife since I was 18 (not married, but started dating). We are inextricably bonded. Not to sound like a martyr (I’m no saint), I can not bring myself to hurt her, so I live in this “weird” balance I have created. We have been together over 50 years!

I think we ask a lot (maybe too much, maybe the impossible) of our female partners who fell in love with us as men to make a transition with us and love us as women. I understand why many women can not make that switch and feel cheated and angry when their husbands announce that they are no longer men. It has hurt me when my wife has told me “I married a man.” — but, I get it.

My guess is that you will be coming to terms with the harsh reality that your choice to live your life as Donna means that your marriage to Deb (which you committed to as your male self) is over. You’ve changed the terms of the contract, so it is not surprising that she wants out. She just seems to be struggling with the loss of what she received from the relationship, I.e., companionship and support.

Again, I think it is sad. I’m sad for you that your choice involves losing your marriage and your long-term friends. I’m sad for Deb, as she seems to be losing a truly nice person, and I feel sad for myself and so many others like us who must struggle with the misalignment between their gender and their romantic bonds. Don’t lose sight of the fact that this is far easier for you than her because you are moving on to something new, something that you are excited about, a new life as a woman. Even though she is the one who physically “left,” psychologically you are the one who left her. It is easier to be the one who is leaving and moving onto something new than to be the one who is left. Sorry you have to go through this to realize yourself. Nancy
 

Donna

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Nancy, thank you for bringing me into reality. All your word are true.

One thing you should know though, and I have said this before in the forum, is that my wife has zero tolerance for anything related to my transgender. She would not allow me to crossdress at home when she was not there. I was willing to limit it to that as infrequent as that might be and all I was asking her for was to let me know 15 minutes before she was coming home. That's when she said that she wanted a permanent separation. So if I wanted her to stay I would have to completely suppress.

As it was, I was able to do that for 6 years between 2012 and 2018 and then when she started to go out of town to visit her mother 3 times a year, being alone I could not hold it back any longer the 3rd time she made a trip in 2018. I continued to crossdress when she was gone for things that had a predetermined time like a women's Bible study where I knew when she would be coming home, but the stress from hiding and possibly coming home early was awful.

After one of her trips out of town last year in October, I was wearing false nails and I lost one of them. Sure enough she found it and that started the sequence of her wanting a permanent separation if I did not make efforts to get counseling (again) to stop crossdressing.

So it was inevitable, because of my transgender and torture from envy of all she had it is impossible for me not to be Donna, at least once in a while, so do I have a choice, yes an impossible choice.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that this is far easier for you than her because you are moving on to something new, something that you are excited about, a new life as a woman

That is oh so true. It is easier for me and I am happier now and she is much sadder. I truly wish that I could suppress and control my desire because the life I had with her was wonderful and I wish I could have it but every time I have that thought I also think about living with her and experience the envy, and I know that then I would be the sad one and that is not good for either one of us, as you know that would sneak out with anger over stupid little things that she might do. Also we would be aware of that cloud hanging over our head, the fact that at any time in the future I would act out and here we go again. That's why she wanted a permanent separation, she did not want to go through that one more time.
you are the one who left her

Is that really true? Did she give me a choice? It was an impossible choice. The compromise would be 0% me, 100% her way.

Again, Nancy thank you for analyzing my situation so thoroughly, especially about her feelings. It will help me going forward and help me love her for who she is, and will allow me to take care of her as much as she will allow, as that was the promise 36 years ago at our wedding ceremony.

Donna
 

Linde

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Donna, my ex and I were together for 36 years, too. I bet that at one point, Deb will come around and you can become good friends again, like my ex and i are now.

Hugs
Linde
 

Donna

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Even though she is the one who physically “left,” psychologically you are the one who left her

I have a song that really sums up who left who and why. Just listen to it. I think that I am the one she is singing about but it can work for the other person who is in the relationship because they are making choices to break up too. It's sung by Cher and the name of the song is "I Hope You Find It" and the video has the lyrics.

It applies to all of us transwomen that are married.


Donna
 

Donna

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Donna, my ex and I were together for 36 years, too. I bet that at one point, Deb will come around and you can become good friends again, like my ex and i are now.

Hugs
Linde

Highly unlikely Linde, unless she changes her religious beliefs, highly unlikely. For her it's God first then her husband.
 

NancyBalik

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Donna, I hope that you understand that there is no judgement in what I wrote to (about) you and your wife. I see myself in your story, find it so very sad, probably because I know that there are times in my life that I could have been living the same outcome. I have so much wanted acceptance from my wife! When I read stories of people like you and me going out with their wives as two girlfriends or having their wive help with makeup, etc. I experience true ENVY.

On the flip side I think that as I try to emulate women I try very much to understand how a woman might experience things and/or feel — put myself in her shoes, figuratively.

The main point I was trying to make is that for a woman who married a man to lose her husband to a world she does not understand is beyond what many women (most?) can handle. It seems that your situation is complicated by her having a spiritual belief that transgenderism is morally wrong. By suggesting that you left her psychologically, all I am suggesting is that you asked to change the marital contract, that you moved on to a new world of Donna without her, then asked her to catch up.
In contrast, I have been able to negotiate a less-than-perfect, but tolerable balance of under-dressing, wearing fem pj’s to bed, her knowing (tolerating) my dressing when she is gone, etc. I can’t say what I would do if my wife demanded that I never wear anything fem.

Again, I think it is really, really sad that who we are can destroy otherwise good and healthy relationships. Seems such a waste... Best, Nancy
 

OzGirl

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My marriage 'contract' included me being trans, and my wife bought me a beautiful full length emerald satin nightie to wear to bed. She allowed to fully dress a few times and decided she couldn't stand it, so I was only allowed to dress when she was not home. I always made sure she came home to her favourite meals served up right after she arrived, but she would sometimes get away from work early, and catch me still dressed, cooking her meal. I would scurry off and change, and one night her meal was ruined. She realised this situation was ridiculous and next time she came home early, she told me to stay dressed and keep cooking. Shortly after that she relented and allowed me to stay dressed all the time at home, with the proviso that I never let anyone else ever see me, and I never start HRT.

She realised I had to start HRT to survive, but her intention was to leave me. When I finally got onto trans forums and learned about supporting wives, I cried. I'm not sure it was Envy or just sadness that after absolutely doing everything I could for her, and being forced into transition, she still planned to leave. I think me telling her about supporting wives ( I was open about everything) made her feel guilty about our situation, and she realised that even as I was transitioning, she still liked living with me. But she couldn't stand the thought someone might suggest we had a lesbian relationship, so the thought of divorcing me and continuing to share our house as friends got traction. This has worked, and, though our relationship is missing cuddles, we still walk into the bathroom while the other is naked, share interests and cherish our time together. Seriously, 12 months ago I would have been envious of the life we live now!

Hugs,

Allie
 

Donna

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Allie, you are extremely lucky to have a wife like that. I too have bent over backwards to shower her with love and do all kinds of things for my wife that are above and beyond what is normal, while we were together and now even more. She bought her own condo and I had to do all kinds of things to save the deal in dealing with the bank and sellers. Now that she moved in there there were all these things that needed to be fixed and she wanted the same enhancements that we had at my condo and I have been to her place at least once a week to do this.

Still she does not budge, but I usually get a hug when I leave, but not the kind of hug I used to get. Since she is still my wife and she wears her wedding ring I will continue to take care of her. I know things will change if I want to go over to help as Donna. If I don't want to change back to drab then she will not see me and the support will end and probably she would want a divorce.
 

Randi

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Your situation is very poignant Donna, and I can relate. My wife hates it all, though she is making an effort to be tolerant. But I don't really feel the love there for Randi or the acceptation of me as a trans woman. Some of that is because I have not forcefully advocated for myself enough, but it would be hard. She has very entrenched ideas about gender. We sleep separately now and we are struggling to have a housemate relationship, but it still doesn't feel like a safe, supportive environment. It may be for the best that you have the freedom to experiment and find out who Donna really is, though I know that loss of love is a major blow.
 

NancyBalik

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Allie, You have gone through so much to be who you are, and certainly model honesty and openness in trans relationships. Of course you didn’t know that you’d need to transition when you got married. You both tried to live without it, but ultimately you could not.
 

Donna

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Donna, I hope that you understand that there is no judgement in what I wrote to (about) you and your wife. I see myself in your story, find it so very sad, probably because I know that there are times in my life that I could have been living the same outcome. I have so much wanted acceptance from my wife! When I read stories of people like you and me going out with their wives as two girlfriends or having their wive help with makeup, etc. I experience true ENVY.

On the flip side I think that as I try to emulate women I try very much to understand how a woman might experience things and/or feel — put myself in her shoes, figuratively.

The main point I was trying to make is that for a woman who married a man to lose her husband to a world she does not understand is beyond what many women (most?) can handle. It seems that your situation is complicated by her having a spiritual belief that transgenderism is morally wrong. By suggesting that you left her psychologically, all I am suggesting is that you asked to change the marital contract, that you moved on to a new world of Donna without her, then asked her to catch up.
In contrast, I have been able to negotiate a less-than-perfect, but tolerable balance of under-dressing, wearing fem pj’s to bed, her knowing (tolerating) my dressing when she is gone, etc. I can’t say what I would do if my wife demanded that I never wear anything fem.

Again, I think it is really, really sad that who we are can destroy otherwise good and healthy relationships. Seems such a waste... Best, Nancy

I sort of agree with you, except that for me it's hardly a choice. We have had three separations because of my transgender. Each time I missed her so much (and she missed me) that we got back together again and I tried to abstain only to fail again and have another separation. This last time I was able to suppress for 6 years, the longest in my lifetime, before I failed again, so it was failure to suppress, inability to suppress that resulted in permanent separation. We both finally realized that it's a vicious circle. What's the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

I feel that "it" is destroying an otherwise good and healthy relationship, not a choice by me, because I have proved that I was willing to change but "it" is bigger than anything I have control over.

Also there was no negotiating with my wife. She would not even want to talk about it and anything I told her she would tell me it was not true, my own words were wrong. She is an otherwise wonderful wife and person, a husband could not want anything more.

Still Nancy, I really appreciate your comments. There is much truth to them.
 

Donna

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Your situation is very poignant Donna, and I can relate. My wife hates it all, though she is making an effort to be tolerant. But I don't really feel the love there for Randi or the acceptation of me as a trans woman. Some of that is because I have not forcefully advocated for myself enough, but it would be hard. She has very entrenched ideas about gender. We sleep separately now and we are struggling to have a housemate relationship, but it still doesn't feel like a safe, supportive environment. It may be for the best that you have the freedom to experiment and find out who Donna really is, though I know that loss of love is a major blow.

Thanks for your comments Randi, it means a lot to me.

I have to agree with you Randi, I could not live like that, sleeping separately and like room mates. Up until the last day before our separation we were sleeping together and doing lots of cuddling as we knew that would come to an end soon. Maybe we both thought that the other would change at the last minute, but at that point I had already gotten a big mortgage to pay her off for the condo I was keeping and she had already bought a condo to move into with her own mortgage, so I think we were trying to get as much physical contact as possible before her moving out.

Talk about poignant!
 

NancyBalik

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Donna, Of course your being transgender and your powerful urges to dress are not a choice. I would never suggest that. As someone who experiences the very same urges, I know it is not a choice, and of course your efforts at suppression were doomed to failure. This is not about “fault” or “blame,” rather about perspective, ability to empathize with what is has been like for her to “lose her man.” From all I read, and from comments I get from my own wife, I believe that it is a unique woman who can psychologically accommodate seeing “her man” in a female personna. Bottom line, it seems, as sad as it is, neither of you could choose to stay together and incorporate Donna into your lives. I get it how hard you tried! (BTW, Donna is a very pretty gal!) Nancy
 

OzGirl

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It is a sad truth that over 80% of marriages fail through transition. Only very special wives and husbands can stay with their spouses through transition. And of those, not so many are happy partnerships. None of us can help this, my advantage was that Mary knew and understood my condition before we married, and she knew before me that I couldn't stop. Even then we divorced, so we are no longer a married couple, but friends sharing a house. I know how hard you have tried to keep your relationships together, and those who can should realise how lucky they are, and those who can't should not feel it is in any way their fault. Like Nancy, I put myself in my wife position, andI couldn't find a way to come to terms with my husband becoming a woman. I did take my wife's husband away, but she knows I put my life on the line to avoid this. I believe this is why we are together as friends, but I am in my late 60's and this was pretty much the relationship we had prior to transition.

I so feel for those who try to do this at a younger age with an active sex life and children to cope with, and you have to feel it is almost an impossible task. I so envy those few who have managed to get through this and retain their spouses.

Hugs,

Allie
 

Donna

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It is a sad truth that over 80% of marriages fail through transition. Only very special wives and husbands can stay with their spouses through transition. And of those, not so many are happy partnerships. None of us can help this, my advantage was that Mary knew and understood my condition before we married, and she knew before me that I couldn't stop. Even then we divorced, so we are no longer a married couple, but friends sharing a house. I know how hard you have tried to keep your relationships together, and those who can should realise how lucky they are, and those who can't should not feel it is in any way their fault. Like Nancy, I put myself in my wife position, andI couldn't find a way to come to terms with my husband becoming a woman. I did take my wife's husband away, but she knows I put my life on the line to avoid this. I believe this is why we are together as friends, but I am in my late 60's and this was pretty much the relationship we had prior to transition.

I so feel for those who try to do this at a younger age with an active sex life and children to cope with, and you have to feel it is almost an impossible task. I so envy those few who have managed to get through this and retain their spouses.

Hugs,

Allie

Allie, I do understand you and my wife for wanting a separation and I don't begrudge her for it. I can't imagine us living together with me as Donna, as I love to dress very feminine and I know she could not handle it and I would not be happy to tone the femininity down. I might be spending way too much time on it instead of with her, or not sharing the workload equally.

Actually I wonder why some wives do stay with their transgender husband and I'm sure the reasons are all different. Some financial, some nowhere else to go, some to avoid loneliness, some for love.

I guess the best I'm going to do is stay married living separately and hopefully be friends and still see each other for support and companionship. To do that I will have to not come over as Donna so I will have to change back and forth as needed and I don't know how difficult that may be. I know my wife takes her marriage vows seriously, more than most as it was a promise to God and I feel lucky about that because when we see each other the meeting is pleasant and not bitter at all. I sometimes wonder if she is enjoying her independence and doing whatever she wants without taking me into account as she was always agreeable to doing together whatever I asked for and did not initiate all that much.

Donna
 

Donna

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Donna, Of course your being transgender and your powerful urges to dress are not a choice. I would never suggest that. As someone who experiences the very same urges, I know it is not a choice, and of course your efforts at suppression were doomed to failure. This is not about “fault” or “blame,” rather about perspective, ability to empathize with what is has been like for her to “lose her man.” From all I read, and from comments I get from my own wife, I believe that it is a unique woman who can psychologically accommodate seeing “her man” in a female personna. Bottom line, it seems, as sad as it is, neither of you could choose to stay together and incorporate Donna into your lives. I get it how hard you tried! (BTW, Donna is a very pretty gal!) Nancy

Oh Wow Nancy! Thank you for the compliment. I would say the same thing about you!
BTW my real last name is very similar to yours and some people have pronounced it just as I guess yours would be pronounced.

Donna
 

Linde

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To do that I will have to not come over as Donna so I will have to change back and forth as needed and I don't know how difficult that may be.

Donna
Donna because I was kind of gender fluid a few year ago, my plan was to present male whenever it is of advantage to me, to prevent mansplaining (car places, construction markets, etc.). that worked pretty well for a while, but the more I drifted to the female side, the harder it was to do for me. I would not be able at all to present male these days, I simply lost that male edge.
It might be similar for you.

Hugs
Linde
 

Donna

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Donna because I was kind of gender fluid a few year ago, my plan was to present male whenever it is of advantage to me, to prevent mansplaining (car places, construction markets, etc.). that worked pretty well for a while, but the more I drifted to the female side, the harder it was to do for me. I would not be able at all to present male these days, I simply lost that male edge.
It might be similar for you.

Hugs
Linde

Yes I know what you mean. As it is I try to keep it to a minimum now as I am uncomfortable that way and only if I have to. When I have to, I am OK because it is serving a purpose, but the minute I don't have to be that way, I can't stand it and immediately change back.

I am only 3 months into my independence, so I'm sure I will experience many changes in me and in my relationship with my wife. I like to take things slowly as I am better at figuring things out that way.

I imagine it gets hard to hide the breasts after a while. Oh well, I'm a few years away before I have to worry about that.
 

NancyBalik

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Funny story about choosing my (fictional) last name. I’ve referred to my femme self to myself and on various forums as Nancy for many years. I went to purchase makeup at a Merle Norman studio a number of years ago with a primary goal of matching foundation with my skin tone. As I was checking out with over $100 in cosmetics, the gal who helped me asked for my name to put in their computer so that they’d have a record of my purchases to get the right colors next time. Made sense to me, but Nancy didn’t have a “last name.” I panicked a little bit (I was in male mode, btw, and was going to make a quick dash to my car, I’d let her leave some makeup on my face until I could get home, finish the job and dress). Nobody else was in the store in a small strip mall. All I could think of was Bali, then I realized that was the brand of undies I was wearing, so when she asked for me to spell it, I added a k. No shit! That’s how Nancy became a Balik. :) Nancy
 

Linde

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All I could think of was Bali, then I realized that was the brand of undies I was wearing, so when she asked for me to spell it, I added a k. No shit! That’s how Nancy became a Balik. :) Nancy
Why could you not use your standard last name, just with Nancy in front of it?

When I did my name and gender change, I had the chance to change everything, but I decided to keep my last name, because that keeps me in line with my family background. Now that I am in the process o change my birth certificate, I am glad that I did so.


Hugs
Linde
 
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