Much is written about whether the wives of MtFs will stay with them. It’s usually framed, by trans politics at least, as a simple matter of whether or not wives will “accept” their spouse’s new identity. If they accept, the marriage will last. If they reject, it will not.
It’s not that simple. The MtF transgender experience, whether you think of it as a mental disorder or an identity, is more or less incompatible with marriage. It sabotages marriage. That it may be unavoidable doesn’t make it untrue. That it may be sad doesn’t make it untrue.
Some women stay, yes. As far as I can tell, they fall into more or less three categories:
- Women who don’t like sex and who are willing to become content with the fact that their once intimate partner is now more of a shopping buddy.
- Women who do like sex and seek it elsewhere, usually via opening the relationship.
- Women who can’t afford to leave, financially, emotionally, or otherwise.
Transgenderism, how dost thou sabotage marriage? Let me count the ways.
I am No Longer #1
He used to look at me; now he looks at himself.
He has become unable to empathize with me, or anyone else. More than one friend has recounted trying to talk to him and getting “Me me me me me me me” from him in return. Each friend used these exact words, unaware that others had used them.
A great narcissism has begun to permeate everything he says and does. His social media feeds have become an endless stream of selfies and self-congratulatory posts. His new interest does not leave room for interest in me.
Communication Breaks Down
One million topics have become off-limits.
Pronouns, names. Discussions of the appearance, clothing, habits, sex organs, socialization or treatment of me, of him, or of others. Housework division, jobs. Fertility, menstruation, sex. His feelings, my feelings, his friends’ and family’s feelings. Politics, restrooms, book clubs, baby showers, kids. Mental illness, depression, the medical community. Reality, compromise. The past.
These are some of the things we can’t talk about anymore, no matter how gingerly they are approached. These are things we used to talk about all the time. Less than one year of trans politics and dysphoria has completely broken down our ability to have a frank, honest, sincere conversation of nearly any kind. I have argued for the importance of getting communication back into our relationship; I have begged and pleaded. To no avail.
We don’t talk.
Something as innocuous as “I feel cute in my new blouse” now equals “I’m rubbing my cis privilege in your face.” God forbid I speak about my concerns or my future.
Any deviation on my part is considered victimization.
This is now a marriage in which he gets to speak and I have to remain silent.
My Sexual Attraction Wanes
Secondary sex characteristics in women include enlarged breasts and hips. Secondary sex characteristics in men include facial hair and an adam’s apple. These are the features that signal a person’s sex even when they are clothed. These are the features that attract mates.
Transgender people would like to have these removed.
Notably, removing these characteristics does not make a person look more like the other sex, but instead renders him more sexually neutral.
Lesbians and straight men want to attract women. Gay men and straight women want to attract men. Only (autogynephiliac) transgender people care more about how they look to themselves than how they look to their current or potential partners. Only they sabotage their ability to attract the people they are attracted to.
My spouse removed his secondary sex characteristics and then expected me to work harder to conjure up attraction to him within myself. That’s taking me for granted. That’s a disregard for my sexual needs.
His Sexual Attraction Wanes
He’s too into himself to be into me.
He’s too busy admiring my outfit to notice my body.
He’s too dysphoric to enjoy feeling unreservedly attracted to me with all that that entails.
He has too many other things on his mind.
He says he’s attracted to me, but actions speak louder than words. He doesn’t touch me, kiss me, look at me, compliment me, or initiate sex with me. He doesn’t try.
Our Sex Life is Doomed
Hormones cause loss of libido, erectile dysfunction and pain in the sex organs, eventually rendering sex just not worth it. Invariably, despite propaganda to the contrary.
Few transgender people will take hormones off the table. My concept of marriage, like most people’s, includes having a permanent, exclusive, interested sex partner, notwithstanding the interference of unexpected illness or the like.
This is to say nothing of the devastating effects of SRS, for those facing that reality.
Infidelity Becomes a Concern
My experience with a spouse’s group tells me that transwomen almost always eventually seek sex with men.
“Many… formerly heterosexual MtF transsexuals have sexual fantasies about men… Often the imagined partner… seems to be present primarily to validate the femininity of the person having the fantasy, rather than as a desirable partner in his own right.
I never suspected anything, but this isn’t a good time for denial. I wouldn’t be smart if I didn’t schedule an HIV test.
Our Marriage is No Longer Recognized
While not the most important part of marriage, it’s nice to be recognized as a couple.
Once, early in our dating, we sat in a sushi restaurant across from each other, gazing into each other’s eyes while we talked. “You two are in love,” the server said appreciatively. “Everyone can tell!”
Everyone can tell. It became a shorthand phrase that we used in place of “I love you.”
After we got married, we learned that mentioning we were on our honeymoon got us hotel upgrades, free coffees and desserts. We played it up to see how many discounts we could get. We called it “dropping the h-bomb.”
After he began to live as woman, we went to a birthday party for an old friend of ours we hadn’t seen in a while. Nearly everyone present was part of a couple. A toast ensued and people began to share couple stories. When it was time to tell ours, we were skipped.
When we dine in a restaurant now, we are asked if we want separate checks.
Once or twice a gay man has flirted with him right in front of me.
I don’t blame people for being confused. Why would I be with a man who doesn’t appear to be interested in women? Why would he dress to attract someone who isn’t me, unless he isn’t into me?
This is not heterosexual privilege. My past relationships with women were recognized as relationships. There is a fundamental difference between recognition and approval, though approval is always nice too.
I once enjoyed both with this person, but that is lost.
He Has Dropped Out of Life
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.
With his new identity came depression, suicidal thoughts, and an inability to handle or concentrate on any of the mundane details of life.
He failed to close a dwindling bank account and acquired hundreds of dollars of overdraft fees. He failed to pay a ticket and got his license suspended. He stopped speaking to a number of friends and family members.
I don’t have a helpmate, to borrow a term that sounds a little religious. I don’t have a husband. I don’t even have a conversational partner.