The beginning of transition for you and your partner can be a frightening time. It's the start of a whole new world. There are so many unanswered questions looming over your head, and no one has any real solutions. You are embarking on an unknown journey that has not been properly documented. Most of what you find on the internet states that the rate of success for couples staying together is nil, and you are being bullied by family and friends to run away. Your life literally feels like some one has blown it up, and you are getting bombarded from all sides. Some days you just want to pull your hair out and scream at the top of your lungs. Let me tell you, if it helps you, than do it.
When my wife had begun hormone replacement therapy, it was as if someone flicked her light switch to the on position. After years of watching her put very little effort into life and suffering through bouts of depression, she was ready to live. I was not sure what that was going to be like, and quite frankly, I was a little scared, but I was determined to hold on for the ride. She was a tornado of energy. She wanted to go shopping, to get her nails done, go to the hair salon, and go out dancing, all in the same day. You name it, she was ready for it, and being a person in my 40's I wasn't sure if I could keep up. However, she was alive, full of life, and I was overjoyed for her.
“BEING WITNESS TO SOMEONE'S REBIRTH WAS AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE.”
Being witness to someone's rebirth was an amazing experience. I wished that all of our extended family and friends could have watched her blossom the way our children and I did. It was spectacular, and we all had a front row seat to her transition. Finally, she was living authentically, and her outer beauty matched her inner beauty. As the weeks and months had passed by, I noticed something happening in me that I just didn't expect. I was beginning to feel insecure about my relationship. For the first time I was afraid to lose her. Even though we had loved each other for most of our lives, the fear was real and it was intense.
There are many factors that help make up our insecurities. Our childhoods, thinking negatively about yourself, past trauma, a recent failure, a parent or a partner who is disparaging. If you add to any of those things, having your partner come out to you as transgender, no wonder I was feeling insecure. It just wasn't an emotion that I was expecting and at the time I wish I could have turned it off. My wife is the love of my life. Having feelings that I could lose her was devastating and it shook me from the inside out.
“MY WIFE WAS EMBARKING ON THIS NEW AND EXCITING LIFE AND I FELT LEFT OUT, OR REALLY REJECTED.”
In an article I read on Psychology Today, they stated that the three most common reasons for feeling insecure were, 1- Recent failure or rejection, 2- Lack of confidence due to social anxiety, and 3- Insecurity driven by perfectionism. So what exactly was I going through? After reading the article and seriously contemplating the thoughts I was having in my own head, I surmised that I was feeling rejected. My wife was embarking on this new and exciting life and I felt left out, or really rejected. It drove me crazy, and I started doubting everything that she was telling me. I did believe that she loved me, but maybe her love for me was the reason she wanted to spare my feelings. Perhaps she really wanted to be with a man and didn't know how to tell me. Or even worse, felt bad for me so she couldn't tell me. The inside of my brain felt like scrambled eggs and I was tired.
I know that I am not the only partner to have gone through a stage of insecurity. Looking back on it, the number one piece of advice I could give you is to communicate. Tell your partner how you are feeling and give them the opportunity to calm your fears, or share with you how they are feeling about the relationship. For the person transitioning, realize that your partner will go through a stage of insecurity and be gentle with their emotions. In the long run, hiding your feelings from your partner will not be good for either one of you.