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Support » Personal Torment » Yesterday 10:14 am

What you just had was an epiphany, one that causes the scales to fall from your eyes.  He's been doing this to you your entire marriage, and you've been telling him not to do it, and he's kept doing it, and you've been thinking for years that he just doesn't "understand," and that if you just explain it to him again he will stop doing it because he must care for you. 

Now you've understood that this action, repeated over sixteen years, does not represent a lack of understanding that he can be educated out of, but a lack of care for your feelings, and a concrete expression that your anxiety doesn't matter to him, and that he's willing to turn this back onto you, making you the one with the problem-it's your anxiety, not his behavior--which is another way to say, it's not what I did that's the problem, it's your reaction to it, which is an abusive DARVO tactic ("deny, attack, reverse victim-offender").

 Now that you've seen this, you're going to recognize it elsewhere in the dynamics of your relationship.  It's going to help you disengage emotionally, and give you some laser focus on what it is that you want.

Support » Limbo » August 6, 2022 8:11 am

The reality is that your family is going to be utterly transformed whether you remain married and attempt an MOM or divorce.  Whether you stay or go, you and your husband are going to be going your separate ways in all but household affairs.  Your husband is going to be exploring his new identity, which he cannot do as your partner--you're not, for example, going to be asked to accompany him on a date.  Nor can you counsel him on changes in his wardrobe, or on other changes that accompany a shift in culture, which I doubt he would want your advice on, anyway.   

 Your children are going to confront changes whether you divorce or stay together.  That's simply a given.  The question is what you want to convey to them, and why.  Is it healthier for them to stay in a nuclear family that is, in many ways, a nuclear family in name and form only?  If their father dates and their mother doesn't, is that a healthy model for them?  Is "marriage above the happiness of the two parties in it" what you want to convey to your children?  Or is it important for you to convey that a marriage rent by this unresolvable event  can end peacefully?  And are you sure it can? 

   It's also not uncommon for the newly out to at first express a desire to retain what they have; it's a kind of fail safe option that makes the next step out into the world of gayness possible, so be prepared for a change of perspective over time on both your part and your spouse's. 

 The other reality is that "all the options" that are "filled with pain and loss" are going to be mostly yours, whether you're in an MOM or divorce.  You husband is gaining something: himself, authenticity, new friends, a new mode of being.  You are losing something: a husband, the comfort and solidity of the relationship you thought you were in, etc etc.  

 His adjustments are going to be of the "how do I become this new person in a new and exciting world of possibility" variety, while yours are going to be

Support » Trying to comeout » July 28, 2022 6:47 am

You're in the wrong place.
This is not a forum for people trying to come out. 
This is a forum for the partners of those who are not straight.  

If you want to do right by your straight spouse support her through the individual therapy she is going to need and a divorce settlement that is generous to her.  

Support » What to do, what to think? » July 27, 2022 9:42 pm

" I read some of the stories and think that jeez I'm not even worth pretending to fight for"

I think we all feel some form of this, no matter the particular details of our stories.  I know I had the feeling about my trans identifying husband that I was such a bad woman he didn't even want to be a man.  I also had the feeling that I wasn't as important to him as wearing women's clothes.  I lost out to lingerie!   What the hell did that say about me?

 I think this is part of how we react to rejection--we internalize the fault and blame ourselves.  Once I realized that I had been conditioned over many years of marriage (I had been married 32 years when my now-es dropped his trans bomb) to take the blame for whatever was wrong in our marriage, it became easier to stop blaming myself and internalizing his rejection.  His rejection was on him; he was the one who was at fault, and there was no reason for me to take on to myself his blameshifting judgement.  And there's no reason for you to do it, either.  

Support » Today is not my day » July 26, 2022 9:02 pm

 When you receive the inheritance do not mingle it with marital funds.  Put it in an account in your name only.  Even if you live in a state (if you live in the U.S.) in which an inheritance is not treated as marital property, if you put it into a joint account it will be considered marital funds and your spouse will be entitled to half.  Also please check and find out whether you live in a state in which inheritance is considered marital property.  If it is considered martial property, you might ask a lawyer whether taking possession of the inheritance after divorce could prevent your spouse from being able to claim half.

Support » He's starting therapy. Trying to stay strong. » July 25, 2022 11:43 am

   Yes, please see an attorney.  When you're dealing with legal matters, it's smart to hire someone who knows the law.  And when you're dealing with a double-dealing spouse who has already demonstrated just how selfish and self-centered and entitled he is, it's the better part of wisdom not to trust he will be fair.  At the very least, have a lawyer look over your settlement to ensure you're getting a fair deal before you file it with the court.

General Discussion » Managing through to a split, need help! » July 25, 2022 11:35 am

   It's hard.  This stage you're in is hard, the one in which you see the truth but would prefer it not be the truth, the one in which you realize that in order to live your truth--the honest truth--you're going to have to give up a whole life and a way of looking at the world and don't want to have to do this, the one in which you understand that your oh-so-damaged husband, the one who is willing to sacrifice you to his need to remain in the closet, the one who saw you always as something of use to him in perpetuating his lie and his self-deception, but never saw you of value as you, in and of yourself, and don't want to believe it even though the evidence is staring you in the face.  It's hard.  It's so hard.   

You can't make him do the right thing, and you can't control the narrative after you leave, and yes, it's highly likely that he will continue to live in his closet with few people the wiser, and he will continue to benefit from that.  You will have to be the one to do the right thing.  And, yes, in some ways you will emerge with the short end of the stick.  And yes, that is unfair, so unfair.  And yes, it will infuriate you and eat you up inside--for a while.  But you will also be free to build your own life on honesty, and you will know that you have emerged an ethical person, who knows right from wrong and has chosen to honesty over lies.  

For what it's worth, your children are being hurt right now and will continue to be hurt, whether covertly by the inevitable ways in which your husband's deceptions and outright lies condition your home, or overtly, by a divorce.  They will, that is, be hurt whether you stay or go.   The difference is that with honesty, they can begin to understand what they have seen and felt around them, and begin to take charge of their own lives. 

Support » He's starting therapy. Trying to stay strong. » July 24, 2022 8:27 pm

Please see a lawyer to understand both your rights and obligations under the law.  If your spouse goes into debt for feminization procedures--surgery, hormones--you may be on the hook for that debt.  You need to be able to figure out how to protect yourself.

Support » He's starting therapy. Trying to stay strong. » July 24, 2022 3:45 pm

You say you will have to "live with accepting what comes," but given that you know that even though he may be repressing his urges now he continues to have them, and that they will again emerge, maybe you might also think about you, and what your course of action should be.  To act, that is, rather than react. 

Support » New to this and HATING it » July 22, 2022 9:50 am

It's not uncommon for our newly out spouses to want to keep one foot in the marriage while stepping out into their new selves and lives.  They are hesitant to give up their safe and secure lives, and the support of a spouse and family.  At the same time, we, grappling with news we don't want to hear, knowledge we don't want, a desperate wish for our lives not to change, and the hurt of knowing our spouses do not love us as we wish they did and thought they did, often wish to cling to any semblance of hope our marriages can continue.

  The truth is that after disclosure things can never be the same, either for her or you.  I give you a lot of credit for being able to perceive that her disclosure changes your own perception of her, you, and your marriage, that "a switch has flipped."  You don't want a wife who has sex with you as "an exchange or a favor."

  It sounds to me as if when you weigh the alternatives to divorce, none of them--"marriage on paper only, a separation, a mixed orientation marriage, or an open relationship"--sits well with you.  Divorce is hard to contemplate, but the change in your wife and in your marriage may mean it is the best option.  Just because your wife didn't deceive or betray you doesn't mean that you shouldn't divorce.  For a marriage to work, both parties have to be available and present, and lots of people have had to divorce because alcoholism, drug addiction, or mental illness mean their spouses are simply not able to participate in the marriage and hold up their end of the bargain.  


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