I can't tell you the numerous coming out stories that I have heard from transgender people and their partners. I guess it comes with the territory when you volunteer for a nonprofit transgender community center and help moderate a support Facebook page for spouses. No matter how many times I hear this same miserable story, my heart aches just the same as the first time. The transgender partner gets up the courage to come out and wants to live authentically. Then, the cisgender partner gets enraged, screams, cries, flips out, and then wants nothing to do with the relationship.
A vow is a solemn promise to do a specified thing. When you say your wedding vows to another person you are promising them forever, for better or worse. If the relationship is abusive, then you obviously need to end it. My first husband was an abusive alcoholic and I attempted for years to get him help. I tried everything in my power before walking out the door. He did not want to get better, and I felt that the home was no longer safe for my children and I. So eventually I was left with only one option. With the help of a domestic violence counselor and my AA support person, I made a safety plan, packed up my children and some necessities, and we fled.
"WE HAD BEEN MARRIED FOR ALMOST NINE YEARS WHEN SHE CAME OUT TO ME AS TRANSGENDER."
After plenty of therapy I was able to reprogram my brain and gain back my self worth. Somehow I was lucky enough to reconnect with my high school sweetheart. Not only did we fall in love all over again, but she fell in love with my three girls as well. We had been married for almost nine years when she came out to me as transgender. If I had acted without thinking and ended our marriage I would have missed out on a whole new outlook on life. In our already healthy relationship, we became closer. She found a gender therapist and that prompted me to return to therapy. Finally, I began to heal the trauma from my childhood. It gave me the opportunity to become a better version of myself, at the same time she was learning to live her truth.
It is unfortunate how many relationships break up because one person comes out to the other as transgender. My wife is the happiest that she has ever been and as a result, everyone around her is happier. The partners who turn tail and run away have no idea what they are missing out on. It makes me feel sad for them. Normally, we wouldn't look at a new food and say, “no I don't like that.“ If you want to know whether or not you will like something, you must try it first. I wish this happened more in relationships when one partner comes out as transgender. Most partners don't even give their relationships a year before ending it. Transition is not the end of the world, and it does not need to be the end of a relationship. I wish more partners knew that.
Now I may get flack for this, but I think a lot of partners end the relationship because they are worried about what other people might think of them. Society tells us that anything different than the "norm" is unacceptable. Well I think that is nonsense, and I wish more people stood up for what they believed in. I believe that love and family are the most important things we can posses. I have noticed that in the relationships that survive and thrive, the cisgender partner usually has a strong personality and they don't give two shits what anyone else thinks about them. I fall under that umbrella, and I am proud to say so. Now I am not saying that transition is all peaches and cream. It is strenuous on all parties concerned, but anything in life worth a damn is never easy. It is not meant to be. When you put in the work, the rewards are great.