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September 17, 2018 9:38 am  #11


Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

Kel wrote:

I'm now the Deputy Director of the Straight Spouse Network.  That was all born from wanting to help others in my former situation. I believe it's one of the callings in my life. The amount of people my situation has in turn allowed me to help is no mistake. I was put into that fire because I was going to be a fireman.  Lol.

Kel

I love this.   The SSN is so lucky to have you Kel. 


I am here every day (except an occasional weekend when I'm busy).  Part of my healing was feeling like my awful experience had value if I could use it to help other people.  So the more I can give back to others and help ease their journey, the more I feel like there was a reason I went through what I had to go through.  
I'm so thankful to Kel and Daryl and Rob and many of the others who were here for me 2 years ago when I was in the midst of all that pain. 

Our forum has grown steadily and increased the frequency of new members.  Unfortunately.  
We do seem to see new people come in waves.  I've noticed that over the last couple years. 

As the world changes and more and more LGBT people feel safe to come out of the closet we will have more straight spouses.  Our numbers will continue to increase.  Until, at some point fewer LGBT people will feel the need to hide in the closet, so they won't get married to straight people.  Then we will see less new straight spouses.  This is part of the reason why the SSN allies with the LGBT movement.  


-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 

 
 

September 17, 2018 10:20 am  #12


Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

I know what you are saying Phoenix, I feel the same way.  I have said in my story that I really don’t know what my XH affiliation is.  Reading a recent new posters story, triggered memories and thoughts about my XH. Left me wondering, what exactly is his thing?  Is he a woman trapped in a man’s body?  Who the hell knows and it’s not my problem anymore.

Bottom line is, whatever “their” problems are, the affects on us straight spouses are the same, in the fact that it’s not what we “signed up for”.

     Thread Starter
 

September 17, 2018 11:32 am  #13


Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

phoenix wrote:

 As the world changes and more and more LGBT people feel safe to come out of the closet we will have more straight spouses.  Our numbers will continue to increase.  Until, at some point fewer LGBT people will feel the need to hide in the closet, so they won't get married to straight people.  Then we will see less new straight spouses.  This is part of the reason why the SSN allies with the LGBT movement.  

I have become an active supporter of the LGBT community, and this is the main reason why. Until people are free of the need to hide in a closet, there will be gay and trans spouses coming out of it and straight spouses hurting. The pain and sense of betrayal I have felt over this and the damage that it has done to me is something that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. 

 

 

September 17, 2018 3:25 pm  #14


Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

I've talked to many LGBTQ people in real life who are appalled at the fact that a gay-in-denial partner puts their straight partner through this.  They look back on their own experience and say that it was difficult for them to always be "out", but that they never considered another option.  I've been surprised by how many gays felt like it's bolstered their own confidence in what they went through - because despite how difficult it was for them, they chose not to hurt someone else on their journey. There is a sadness that comes over them when they realize that there's another part of the story they didn't realize was happening. And that to some degree, the str8s are their partners in the LGBTQ journey - another group of people who've been harmed by homophobia. The victims of the victims.

I talked to a gay man last week on my bus, and we discussed for a few minutes how sometimes, the children often get ignored by the gay parent in their coming out frenzy.  That most of the gay men who were always out don't have children, and being around them makes them uncomfortable.  They are inconvenient to both the gay parent and their partners.  They stand in the way of plans, and they interrupt life.  And so often, they seem to be discarded once the gay in denial parent is no longer in denial.  They are collateral damage.  This gay man I was talking to had never even considered this before.  It was a silent, invisible issue.  One that my children suffer through every day.  One person "finding" themselves meant 3 kids losing their grounding in life in so many ways.

Kel
 


You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm.
 

September 17, 2018 6:04 pm  #15


Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

Unfortunately, society's acceptance of trans people will not in fact end the plague of middle aged men suddenly deciding they are transgendered, because this "condition" often manifests at mid-life.  Read Bailey and Blanchard on autogynephilia.
  I am 100% for gay and lesbian rights.  What I and many other women on this board have experienced with the "transgender" experience is that autogynephiles are, as Lawrence writes, "men trapped in men's bodies" who WANT to be, but are not, women.  It's pretty basic logic, people: a male cannot become female.  A female cannot become male.  Nor can you be "a man in a woman's body" or "a woman in a man's body."  I'm with the the lesbians who are hounded and harassed by so-called transwomen but males (and with their penises) for not wanting to have sex with them: sever the T from LGB rights. 
  And frankly that the SSN official line buys the transactivist line makes me feel further victimized.
 

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (September 17, 2018 8:15 pm)

 

September 17, 2018 6:30 pm  #16


Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

Kel wrote:

I've talked to many LGBTQ people in real life who are appalled at the fact that a gay-in-denial partner puts their straight partner through this.  They look back on their own experience and say that it was difficult for them to always be "out", but that they never considered another option.  I've been surprised by how many gays felt like it's bolstered their own confidence in what they went through - because despite how difficult it was for them, they chose not to hurt someone else on their journey. There is a sadness that comes over them when they realize that there's another part of the story they didn't realize was happening. And that to some degree, the str8s are their partners in the LGBTQ journey - another group of people who've been harmed by homophobia. The victims of the victims.

I talked to a gay man last week on my bus, and we discussed for a few minutes how sometimes, the children often get ignored by the gay parent in their coming out frenzy.  That most of the gay men who were always out don't have children, and being around them makes them uncomfortable.  They are inconvenient to both the gay parent and their partners.  They stand in the way of plans, and they interrupt life.  And so often, they seem to be discarded once the gay in denial parent is no longer in denial.  They are collateral damage.  This gay man I was talking to had never even considered this before.  It was a silent, invisible issue.  One that my children suffer through every day.  One person "finding" themselves meant 3 kids losing their grounding in life in so many ways.

Kel
 

Kel,   It's because the gay's who trick, use, and discard their families have narcissistic personality disorder.
 

 

September 17, 2018 6:35 pm  #17


Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

OutofHisCloset wrote:

Unfortunately, society's acceptance of trans people will not in fact end the plague of middle aged men suddenly deciding they are transgendered, because this "condition" often manifests at mid-life.  Read Bailey and Blanchard on autogynephilia.
  I am 100% for gay and lesbian rights.  What I and many other women on this board have experienced with the "transgender" experience is that autogynephiles are, as Lawrence writes, "men trapped in men's bodies" who WANT to be, but are not, women.  It's pretty basic logic, people: a male cannot become female.  A female, cannot become male.  Nor can you be "a man in a woman's body" or "a woman in a man's body."  I'm with the the lesbians who are hounded and harassed by so-called transwomen but males (and with their penises) for not wanting to have sex with them: sever the T from LGB rights. 
  And frankly that the SSN official line buys the transactivist line makes me feel further victimized.
 

Agree. 

 

September 17, 2018 8:21 pm  #18


Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

It irks and irritates me no end to have my experience and that of other women married to men who out of the blue start acting like caricatures of girly girls who've posted here invalidated by the SSN position.  You'd think this would be the one place we could come for validation of what we've seen, experienced, and reported.  You'd think our experience might get people to re-think the dominant narrative.  Instead, our experience is discounted.  It feels a lot like the gaslighting I experienced from my stbx.  

 

September 17, 2018 9:51 pm  #19


Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

OOHC, I agree with so much of what you posted. I, too, wish the "T" could be removed from LGBT because of the harassment and bullying many lesbians have received because they didn't want to date a trans woman  with a "lady stick." I agree that males cannot become females or be a "woman trapped in a man's body." I also agree that a more open and accepting society wouldn't help those men with mid-life onset autogynephilia, or unfortunately, the women they marry.

However, autogynephilia does not always happen mid-life. My spouse started crossdressing around the age of 10. If he had been able to openly dress, I don't know if he would have transitioned any earlier than he actually did, but I do feel quite certain I would have known about it before we got too serious rather than around my 20th anniversary. I also don't think that my STBX is unusual in that this was something that started in childhood. So, I do think that a more open and accepting society would help those people and those would be spouses.

I also think that as long as it is such a touchy and hotly debated subject that it is hard for these people to get the help they really need. Now, if someone goes to a counselor and says he has female tendencies or is uncomfortable with his "maleness," he is automatically diagnosed as having gender dysphoria and is encouraged to begin hormones and is counseled on how best to come out and start living life as their "authentic selves." The idea that these compulsions could be something else is given no consideration. However, we know that transition does not solve or cure the feelings of dissatisfaction or depression that these people have.

Anyway, as the STBX str8t spouse of a trans woman, those are my thoughts.

 

September 18, 2018 7:12 am  #20


Re: Thank You to the “old timers” AND How do you do it?

Stronger, 
    We agree on quite a lot.  Where I'm don't think I can agree is on the acceptance of autogynephlia as a reason to start living as if one were one's idea of what a woman is. 
    Autogynephlia is a condition that to me is analogous to other psychological conditions, say, bipolar or depression, and/or those that come with body dysmorphia, like anorexia.  In none of these cases do we encourage people to treat their feelings by validating them and saying that the only way for them to feel better is to indulge them.  We don't tell an anorexic with a skewed image of her body that she should carry on not eating and that her emaciated body looks as she imagines it does--better than her healthy self.  We don't tell bipolar people on a manic high that yes, they do speak with God (or are God), or that their spending sprees are healthy instances of treating themselves as the special people they are.  We recognize that the people who exhibit such behavior and beliefs are suffering from disordered thinking.  I grew up with a bipolar father who became paranoid; he believed people were out to get him and were persecuting him 24/7 for years (he eventually took his own life).  He refused help, refused even to believe there was something wrong with him; he wanted us all to accept his reality, to believe his paranoid story, and he cut us all out of his life because we refused to do that. Should I have validated it?  Would his paranoia have eased or he become more psychologically healthy if I had?  Of course not.
   When I saw my stbx acting the way he did when he was caught in the grip of the intense pink fog of feminizing, when he believed he was indeed a woman in a man's body, when he was over-the-top emotional and self-consciously calling others' attention to his emotional outpourings, when he "craved" (his word) wearing a bra and sleeping in a slip, when he was determined to transition and live as a 6 foot 4 inch, 300 pound, 58-year-old woman (but had the self image of himself as a slim young sex kitten), when I heard and saw how he began to gender every gesture and item of clothing and behavior--things that have nothing to do with gender--I knew that I was dealing with the same kind of disordered mindset and behavior I'd seen in my father.  I wasn't seeing the actions of a man who had suddenly become his authentic self; he was acting anything but authentically, more like an act, or stage-y, and believing things about women and men and gender that were absolutely not authentic, but cherry-picked out of porn or romance novels. I, a woman a foot shorter than he is, had been kissing him for forty years, and never once when I craned my neck up to meet his kiss did I believe I was  "exposing my vulnerability in exposing my throat," or get sexually excited by this thought.  But he believed this and did get excited by it.  He considered this gendered view to be a law of nature, that "women are vulnerable," and therefore in order to allow him to feel like a woman I had to start standing on a step above him so he could lean his head back to be kissed.  My asking him, what about short men and tall women? My pointing out to him that body postures had to do with height differences and not essential facts about women fell on deaf ears.  He developed obsessions about sexual fantasies he wanted to live out, centered around women's apparel and feminizing practices like shaving.  (I wrote on another thread of his obsession with having me shave his legs and put stockings on him.)  
    Should he have been encouraged in this behavior and in these and other like beliefs, and told that yes, he should live this warped reality of his, and that I and others shared it?  I conclude that he should not be, although I did encourage it by participating in it for far too long, and I could see the effect, which was only to escalate his behavior and encourage ever more bizarre beliefs about women, men, gender, himself (he decided, for example, that he had "many women" inside him).  But yes, as you say, he found himself a trans counselor who accepted on his say-so that he was "really" a woman, and had been denied the opportunity to "become one" as a child, and who thereby validated both his beliefs and his behavior, both of which, as I say, only got more extreme with validation, but which only I was there to experience and see. 
     But what would the result have been if he'd at 10, when he felt the first inklings of sexual excitement during his first early experience of cross dressing, when he first put his mother's slip on, he'd been set on the path to a public manifestation of this desire, been encouraged to define his entire life by it?  Would he have become just another person like you and me or any of our gay or lesbian friends and relatives?  If he'd been encouraged to live his life as if he were a girl/woman would he have become a woman like us?  He wouldn't.  He would remain a male with XY chromosomes.  Even with SRS (or its new designation of "gender reassignment surgery), he would never have anything but a semblance of a woman's genitals, and never their function or a woman's experience of them; he would never have the same embodied experience as women, have a period or get pregnant, or be plagued with endometriosis, or live in fear of breast cancer.  My stbx never wanted those last two experiences of being a woman, by the way, never even thought about them as part of a woman's experience of her body; what he wanted was to revel in the sexual turn on of hard nipples. When he thought of being socialized as a girl he thought only of the giggly fun of slumber parties, never of being passed over or taught to defer to others or not be too loud or move with abandon. The fact is their experience of being female is and will never be to be "just women."  It's a sexual paraphilia.  
   And yes, I, too, am aware of the studies that show transition does not cure their depression--which to me is proof positive the men who do transition continue to be reminded, as my husband said happened when he looked at himself in the mirror, that they are "a man in a dress."  They are tormented by what they want, and they are tormented by knowing they can't have it, and when they're given the green light to act and believe that they can, they're tormented constantly by doubts and fears it isn't real, they don't pass, they aren't accepted, and their response is too often to insist and insist to others and to themselves that that's who and what they really are, and to surround themselves with more trappings of femninity, as if those would "prove it," and devote themselves more and more to the pursuit of feminizing or escaping into the sexual pleasure the masquerade provides.  Some transwomen take their insistence and their demands and their need for validation as women public, and they invade the spaces set aside for women's safety, because their need for validation is greater than an abused or raped woman's need for a feeling of safety in a women's shelter, for example. A Miranda Yardley, someone who can admit to and live with being a feminized man and not "a real woman," is rare.  
   I just don't think that telling men with a psychological condition they can become women is in their own best long term interests--psychologically and socially--nor, as you say, does the evidence support it.  I don't think it's in women's social interest, nor in the interest of lesbians who want to live women-identified lives and aren't attracted sexually to males and want not be hassled by males who insist they be considered as sexual partners. 
    So yes, I wish that affirmation weren't the frontline treatment of choice.  If it hadn't been, perhaps my stbx could have been helped to re-integrate his personality in a way that would have allowed him to commit to me, and for us to commit to a marriage together going forward.  That didn't happen.  Instead, I got ultimatums from him, and was subject to an expectation both from him and from the larger community of trans activists and gender specialists that it was "my duty" to accept and that the problem lay with me.  That his health depended on my acceptance.  That I, essentially, was responsible for his feelings.  All of which was nothing more than a directive to torment myself, an erasure of my experience, a denial of my needs, and would, if I acquiesced to it, would do me great psychological  damage.  So that's why I say it feels to me, when I read the SSN official line, that I feel abandoned by the one place that SAYS it's here for me. 
    And to be working on a college campus these days is to be surrounded by those who believe this dominant narrative, and who not only push it but villify those who do not accept it.  Instructions on what pronouns to use and the policing of acceptable speech acts, the emergence of such things as "micro-aggressions, which depend not on any agreed on eggregious behavior but merely on the feeling and perception of the one aggrieved, the not-so-veiled directive to ask each student on the first day of classes what their preferred prounouns are (and then being told that this might itself be traumatizing to someone who doesn't want to be 'outed') or to include my own "preferred pronouns" on the signature line of my email, and on and on an on.  Not one of these "specialists" and "advocates" and "allies" so self-righteously demanding these things have my own first hand knowledge and experience (or even depth of reading!), yet they are so convinced of their own position that even if they did listen to me, they'd discount what I have to say.
   My own position these days, then, is "I know what I know. I know what I and others have experienced.  I know there's a pattern to it.  I know my husband is not motivated by a deep yearning to 'be authentic' (except in a very limited sense of expressing a sexuality in which he derives and experiences pleasure from feminizing himself). I know what I went through and what I saw and heard. And nobody can take that away from me or tell me I didn't see or hear or experience it.  I know what I know."  So when I do speak to my friends, I try to stick to the specifics of my own experience and story, and let the trans wars play out around me without engaging in them, because I fought my own personal and painful fight for three years, and I'm not willing to subject myself to the gaslighting of having my story and my experience denied or minimized, or to be villified as "intolerant," or, at best, shrugged off as mere collateral damage in the grand celebration of the narrative of "living one's truth" (while I'm told MY truth is a lie and denied the right to speak or live my truth!).  When in ordinary conversation the topic comes up and I have an opportunity to educate other people one-on-one through that story, I take it.  That's the only way for me to keep healing from this trauma.
  

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (September 18, 2018 9:51 am)

 

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