I have been married since 1988 and am 69 years old. I have been trans since I first started paying with makeup and clothes around the age of 5. When I met my wife, I suppressed all of my desires and my inner-self for fear of rejection and loss of the love of my life. For 32 years I’ve suffered migraines and back pain due to the suppression. During the quarantine, I couldn’t take it anymore and came out to my wife. Surprisingly, the migraines and back pain went away immediately. Much more to my surprise is my wife’s complete acceptance. She helps me pick out makeup, earrings for my newly pierced ears, dresses, blouses, and heels and hose. She even has me going to a salon every 2 weeks for a pedicure and a manicure complete with Gel-X coffin nails. She gave me my t-girl name “Marli”. She totally accepts me as a woman except for those few times I need to be a man, such as with yard work and household repairs. In your experience and travels is this kind of total acceptance usual? It’s more than welcome, but also kind of scary. She says she just wants me to be totally happy.
The stress of withholding this side of us can cause an unhealthy amount of stress and tension. Not being honest with our significant others can create tension and distance as well as guilt. When my wife and I were dating I had a lot of guilt about who I am and I felt I was being dishonest. Our partners need to know who we are, especially when this is who we are.
So, in a way, I am not surprised your pain went away. I can imagine you were carrying that stress and tension for decades.
And congratulations on being honest with yourself and for being honest with her. I am very happy that your wife has accepted, and from what it sounds like, has embraced this side of you. It doesn’t matter if she understands this part of us (because honestly, I don’t understand this part of myself) but it sounds like she knows how important your gender identity is.
Is the usual? What relationship is? The dynamics between two people in a committed relationship can be very different from couple to couple. There is always a secret side of a relationship between people that most of the world doesn’t see. I can imagine the surprise my friends would have if they knew about Hannah and the conversations my wife and I have about eyeliner and foundation and fashion.
Don’t worry about how common your relationship is compared to others. It sounds wonderful.
But something to keep in mind that you revealed something very big and significant about yourself. You have introduced a new dynamic into your lives and it can be easy to overwhelm your wife. It is possible she may have conflicting feelings from time to time. She may feel that Marli is around too much and that she misses her husband. Listen to her. Especially about this. If she would like Marli to take some time off, it doesn’t mean that she is less supportive or she doesn’t love you (or her). This is a new thing for you and for her.
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