My Story

I was in a hospital bed. There were dozens of people present. Doctors, nurses, friends, family, acquaintances, clergy, strangers.

“Can I just get my abortion now?” I asked the doctor. “What’s the delay?”

Like many dreams, this one seemed to go on forever. Things were surreal. I felt sick and feverish.

“We’re just running some more tests,” a nurse responded.

“Buy why?” I demanded. “I just want my abortion.” I couldn’t understand why anything further should stand in my way.

I got up to pee. “There’s nothing more lovely than the silhouette of a pregnant woman,” said a bystander, with admiration.

I looked at my belly with horror. “You mean I’m showing?” I had thought I was less far along. “Then we’ve really waited too long. Let’s get the abortion underway. Please.”

I was back in the bed. “You’re experiencing some complications,” the doctor said. “Let’s not be too hasty,” someone added. There was a general murmur of agreement in the room.

“I’ve been in this hospital bed forever!” I yelled. “I’ve waited long enough! I’m sick. I’m exhausted. I want out. I want to leave this room and move on with my life.” I reached a desperate note. “When will this end? Why can’t I terminate this pregnancy!”

I pondered the dream for half the next morning before I realized that the pregnancy was my marriage.

That I had tried and tried, had done my due diligence, had become sick and exhausted with trying. That I had tried long enough.

This blog is my story.

I lived happily — blissfully unaware how happily – for 14 years with a man who seemed sensitive, kind, intelligent, liberal, and feminist. We were deeply in love and the kind of couple people looked up to. My marriage was permanent; it defined my future. Two years ago, I would have told you we were unshakable. I couldn’t imagine a scenario that could break us up. My husband was also, to all outward appearances, happy. He enjoyed life and was uniquely easygoing and content. Those qualities made him a joy to chat with, to vacation with, and to live with.

Then my husband woke up one day feeling a little “gender-fluid.” Within months he developed the conviction that he was a woman and he “came out” to everyone he knew.

He left his job and he dropped out of life. While I worked outside the home, did all the housework, ran all the errands, and even moved us from the city we lived in back to the hometown we missed — from the planning to the packing to the coordination with realtors and financers to selling the old house and completing the final paperwork to buy the new one — my husband laid on the sofa and cried. He cried because someone “misgendered” him. He cried because his shoulders were too broad for his new dress. He cried because he couldn’t completely eradicate the stubble on his face. He cried because his new habit of flipping his hair back with a limp wrist had gotten him mistaken for a gay man.

My formerly easygoing partner became incredibly uptight. What if someone thought he looked manly? What if he had to get the mail in jeans and a t-shirt? Could he enjoy camping anymore, if it meant that make-up and dresses were impractical? Were strangers laughing at him? Were his friends and family talking about him?

He got counseling and joined support groups, where he “learned” that he was “literally” a woman, and not just someone who identified as one. He announced to all comers that he’d found his “true self” and had become “happy” for the first time in his life. His alleged happiness didn’t stop him from spiraling into an even deeper despair. He became suicidal. He was prescribed antidepressants. He adopted bizarre beliefs and became hysterical if anyone questioned them.

All interests were abandoned for endless monologues about transgender rights and his “gender identity.” One by one, his friends and family began to tell him that they didn’t recognize him anymore. This made him angry.

He became unavailable to the marriage. He lost his capacity for empathy. He couldn’t explain, couldn’t compromise, wouldn’t even slow down. I had been the primary focus of his life, but now I was secondary, or worse.

I lost him. We all lost him. I became a “trans widow” long before I admitted defeat. I tried to get him back, an embarrassing number of times, before I reluctantly initiated the divorce. He isn’t coming back.

I love him, but staying with him would mean completely losing myself.

“Men should think twice before making widowhood women’s only path to power,” said Gloria Steinem.

She surely speaks of an oppression, and perhaps a solution, more sinister than mine. But perhaps I had to lose him to really find myself.

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21 thoughts on “My Story

  1. Remember when a mid life crisis meant a motorbike? Your story is incredibly sad and I think both you and your husband are victims of the pernicious cult that is infecting social media space. Many teen girls share your husband behaviour, seeking happiness and identity, thinking the log they have grabbed in their swirling river of distress will take them to shore. Unfortunately, they have grabbed hold of a crocodile. I hope finding what a strong sensible woman you are will restore your pride. The reaction of family and friends vindicates you. Thank you for the courage of sharing. the best hope for families caught up in this cult is not to feel alone.

    Liked by 8 people

  2. Have you considered expanding on this blog and turning it into an ebook (maybe with a POD version)? Either on its own or possibly as part of an anthology with certain selected articles from blogs in your links page?

    I can think of a couple of Glosswatch’s (e.g. “9 reasons why ‘cis’ isn’t working”) which would definitely work in conjunction with yours and no doubt there’s more, but I digress. The first point is have you considered it or would you like to? If not then I’ll drop it, of course.

    Liked by 1 person

      • i lent my counsellor the female erasure book with chapters marked… yours and gas mark 6. jackies experience of counselling is similar to mine… so thank you for allowing me to help my new counsellor understand where we are coming from. i hope with all my hopefulness she will go on to help other women like us trying to exit these relationships while dealing with the ambiguous grief that precludes resolution. it really pisses me off when people assume these were terrible, miserable relationships – they are not. the victims dont even realise they are being abused until its too late because they are living in a world of their own, which has nothing to do with the life he is living.

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  3. Shared on FB. I wonder how many people across the U.S. and globe could relate to your brief yet edifying story of what it’s like to lose a loved one to all of this. I will read your blog. I’m curious to find out how your ex came to these conclusions about himself and how much of this arose prior to his social media and trans cult experience and how much arose prior, just from general news reports etc. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great question. His unhappiness and troubles all arose after a great deal of exposure to trans ideology online. Before he researched that type of stuff, he was a cross-dresser for several months and was centered and happy. He wrote a blog criticizing many of the more extreme claims of transgender ideology but he has since renounced all that and deleted the blog.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. I have just started reading your blog. I am about 2 1/2 years into this with my husband. During that time, I have done a lot of research, read countless papers on “gender identity” and gender dysphoria, observed behaviors, and watched, in such a short period of time, how this has become some kind of epidemic. What I have read from your blog, so far, is succinct with conclusions I have come to.
    It was hard to find a “support” group for partners of transgender that did not make people feel guilty for not being supportive of their transitioning husbands, but I did find one. We are seeing the same things as you and I think I can say, from all of us, thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I am sorry for your loss.

    I am a transwoman. I feel certain that this fact will get me much derision from you, and from your followers .. I hope that you can understand that not all of us are like that. We literally do try to keep our marriages together; I certainly did.

    I have had to face facts: my marriage to my wife of now 34 years was over a long time ago. We’d both checked out, but were too lazy or ignorant to realize it was time to move on. It was my transition that broke the camel’s back .. but there were plenty of other factors.

    Trans people do exist, believe it or not. I am sad that we seem to be the source of your unhappiness.

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    • I hope you’ll read more carefully, because you seem to be filled with the usual misconceptions:

      * The observation that men aren’t women does not equal derision.
      * My marriage failed because of transition. Your marriage failed because of transition. I”m not sure how this illustrates that “not all of us are like that” or anything else.
      * I never said trans people didn’t exist.
      * I never said trans “people” cause me unhappiness. However, that doesn’t make men women. It is in fact trans people who will not abide me.

      Liked by 1 person

      • This sounds very typical of what has come out of the trans culture…gaslighting. In fact, I would say it is the greatest gaslighting event in history…one small subculture manipulating the entirety of society.
        These words are almost exact of what I have heard from my husband and many other people in the trans community. It is shocking the similarities.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. are there any similarities to coming out gay at mid life? I was the straight one happily married to a straight man. I realized at 40 and told him and came out and he left but not before telling me “that I was selfish, I should have known 20 years earlier, that I conspired to keep this from myself, from him, from the world”. It took a tank load of strength just to keep going. The divorce sucked, the raising the kids while they were wicked young as a single mom and working extra job to the full time one sucked (divorce is impovershing sometimes more so to the one that took time out to birth and lost her foothold on the career power step). But when you listened to my ex talk, back then, he sounded like your posts above. He would say” I was narcissistic That I could not all of a sudden be lesbian. that no one cared that I was gay. ” That this “issue” was dominating the family.” I ended up just being more of a divorce that had no life for about a decade. But of course that could have been just the exhaustion. But I really think it was the way he owned my own process. What part of a human being can change? Do you feel the same way about orientation? That is is indelible from birth to death?

    To speak on your posts as pertains to transitioning. I have to say I agree with you. After almost 20 years of being an out lesbian mama dyke that is a feminist – I don’t end up getting along so great with my transwoman friends. They dominate my conversations with them. They want to talk about heteronormative things that I do not. I don’t want to spend the weekend talking about dressbarn or make up. I do not present in a way to make myself appealing to men so their asking my questions about how to affect this end I find not just boring but misogynistic. When I try to explain that I get a blank face or resistance. My favorite subjects are women’s studies, feminism, activism, breastfeeding, child rearing and nurturance if we are talking about kids and family stuff that just elicits no response. Time and time again transwoman seek me out on profiles or when I am out – when I tell them I am physiologically attracted to whatever society deems non heteronormative they don’t get me. I’m a lost cause for friendship and they dump the friendship. I think I have a stamp that says nice lesbian on my forehead and then when I open my mouth we have the incongruous moments.

    I am sorry for what you went through.

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    • This is complicated. On the one hand, I’d never rob someone of processing their sadness and disillusionment after marrying a gay person and wasting time as it were and having to start over later in life. That part of the experience is probably similar. While I one hundred percent get why gay people remain closeted and get married, that doesn’t keep it from sucking for the people who married them. Whether or not your ex did it in an obnoxious way is another story, and I can’t speak to that.

      On the other hand, my ex wasn’t transgender before we married. I’m sure some people, especially transgender activists, will dispute this, but even my ex himself admitted this in the first several months of cross-dressing. Admittedly, we can’t be sure about what goes on in the minds of others and whether they’re lying earlier instead of later. But we can make a pretty good educated guess.

      My ex was into growing a huge beard, had traditionally masculine hobbies and had a number of hyper-male role models. He was happy cross-dressing as a lark until he spent significant time on the internet talking with the transgender activists who disparage cross-dressing and encourage the myths of disagreement-is-abuse and transition-or-suicide. Coincidence? I think not.

      There are a number of links out there showing a dramatic increase in the number of people self-identifying as transgender, a 400% increase of children to gender clinics, and a phenomenon of “rapid-onset gender dysphoria.” There’s a social contagion aspect here, and I might be less inclined to believe it if I hadn’t watched it happen. (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/07/08/number-children-referred-gender-identity-clinics-has-quadrupled, http://4thwavenow.com/2016/07/18/the-adolescent-trans-trend-10-influences, https://4thwavenow.com/2016/07/02/rapid-onset-gender-dysphoria-new-study-recruiting-parents)

      Additionally, he could have certainly parted ways with me in a kind and compassionate way. Instead he arbitrarily decided I was a “transphobe” based on the opinions of these same online influences, after I’d put in a tremendous amount of emotional labor supporting him and trying to work it out with him, and smeared my name on social media and among our friends. He stalked me after our divorce and got mad when I dated someone else like an entitled, possessive, crazy ex-boyfriend. He doesn’t speak to me, has given friends ultimatums that if they are friends with me they can’t be friends with him, and told his family they’re not allowed to invite me to holidays anymore (they want to).

      I doubt you did any of this to your ex. It’s male behavior, for one thing. But it also highlights a difference between being gay and being trans. Being gay is about pursuing your own happiness, regardless of what people think. Being trans is about getting people to think what you want them to think (that you’re the other sex and all that goes along with that) and rejecting those who don’t fall in line. Being gay is about pursuing satisfying relationships. Being trans is about pursuing a personal agenda even as it sabotages relationships.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m so sorry that after being married for 14 years, your husband accused you of being transphobic. I believe it was very wrong of him to assume that YOU would just change your own identity to lesbian and continue the relathionship (I’m a 58 year old lesbian).. The heavy narcissism and entitlement blows me away. In my own small part of the word we have “transwomen-lesbians with penises” demanding women-born lesbians lesbians have sex with them. When we balk, we are bigots and TERFs. But the reality is that they are profoundly homophobic and a better description of them would be “Male Rights Activists”. What gaslighting! It’s crazy when a man demands a lesbian blow him and refusal garners hatred, accusations and rage. Kind of like a rapist, of course (google “cotton ceiling”). I believe there are a lot of dangerous and unstable men jumping on the bandwagon and I’m so sorry this happened to you. The betrayal is bad enough, but I feel that the additional gas lighting is unforgivable. You have my sincerest sympathies.

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    • “I believe it was very wrong of him to assume that YOU would just change your own identity to lesbian”

      Oh, my sexual orientation was not the problem. I’m already lesbian-leaning bi. However, as you alluded to yourself, being a lesbian doesn’t help you with a relationship with a MtF because a MtF is not a female. Lots of things went wrong but my ability to be attracted to women was not one of them.

      Thanks for your support.

      Like

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