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January 31, 2022 2:12 pm  #21

Re: Feel lost

I am very sorry your STBX is causing deep distress for you and your sons.

You are not masculine at all. It's definitely emotional abuse for him to direct this bs at you.

I wonder if it's a tactic to gain more assets from the divorce. Traditional femininity is soft, kind and giving in our culture. You gotta be nice, right?  Standing up for yourself, especially for assets which are rightfully yours, is kind of masculine. SMH!

Don't be surprised if he has EMERGENCY last minute requests for money NOW. My late GIDXH did this to me. He hit up by relatives for money and started a Go Fund page for himself when I refused to respond.

Glad you are getting support for yourself and sons.  It may be best to go no contact and look for a good attorney to find out your legal and financial rights and obligations.

Lastly, we all feel we've been duped. We're not idiots. We are normal people who have been conned. It happens to the most intelligent people. You will see that as you go along. Hope all goes well for you and your sons.

Last edited by MJM017 (January 31, 2022 2:13 pm)

No - It's not too late. It's not hopeless. Even there, there's something I can do. I just have to find the will. Ikiru (1952), film directed by Akira Kurosawa 

January 31, 2022 3:23 pm  #22

Re: Feel lost


   Your impulse to support your sons is a measure of the difference between you and that self-involved, self-centered, selfish man-who-thinks-he's-a-woman.   

    I also experienced my now-ex's remaking of my own femininity to suit him.  They want to be feminine, so they re-define themselves in relation to us by insisting we are masculine. Before he dropped his trans bomb, my now-ex had already laid the ground work by telling me he loved my "butchness," although I am not butch or even close.  But, like you, his redefinition of me to suit his own purposes made me question myself.  Rest assured that it's not you--you're not masculine--it's him, trying to remake you for his own purposes. 


February 5, 2022 10:46 am  #23

Re: Feel lost

Thank you all for your responses which I have found very helpful. I think I'm going to have to go down the route of no contact as I find it too distressing to speak to him on the phone. Afterwards, I'm either in floods of tears or in a frustrated rage.
He is now telling me his trans disclosure is not the problem, trying to suggest that it's me instead - it is 2022 after all?!!! He told me last night we are separating because we haven't been getting on in the last few years and not because of his coming out as trans. I'm astounded by how quickly he has turned this around to try and cast the blame on me - I have told him every time we have spoken that we are splitting up because he is trans, I cannot live with a woman and I am not a lesbian. Also, he conveniently fails to forget that during those recent years we were not getting on, I endured his aggressive behavior, shouting and screaming which caused me to withdraw emotionally. He still believes we could get back together but I refuse to get drawn in.

It is his 60th birthday today and my sons have agreed to have lunch with him - the first time seeing him since he came out to them 2 weeks ago. I phoned my STBX last week to tell him what to say to our sons because if he wanted any sort of relationship with them they needed to hear him say certain things like; 'I'm so sorry to be the cause of so much pain and distress to you', 'I want to have a relationship with you but respect your feelings if you don't', 'I want to make things better and will go at your pace', etc.etc. I regret it now. You've got to mean these things haven't you?....otherwise they come across as fake and hollow. I did it to protect my sons as they are devastated, really devastated. However, my sons need to see him for themselves and come to their own decisions. I won't do it again.
My sons are questioning who they are and what it means to be male. My eldest wanted to look at the home movies of his childhood the other day. I have told them both that I'm the parent that is not changing, is exactly the same and that they must hang on to that to remember who they are. Also, even though this has landed on their lap THEY are in control of how they respond to this. They decide. It is their father's story, not theirs.
I feel really under equipped to help and support my sons especially when I'm struggling myself. Any words of wisdom that you could help me with in order to help them would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you so much.

     Thread Starter

February 5, 2022 11:36 am  #24

Re: Feel lost

  My now-ex also blame-shifted onto me the reason for our divorce, and minimized the trans aspect until it no longer figured in the story he was telling about why we were divorcing.  I believe this is part of the mindset they enter into--they can do no wrong, and no one else is allowed to have feelings other than total support.  I think this mindset is also behind their insistence that we can "get back together."  They see only that they should get what they want; they want to rely on our support as their spouses, while changing everything about themselves (and claiming they are the same).  It's a very entitled mindset, one that's been distorted by their fixation.

  Your decision to go no contact is the healthiest one you could make.  There's no good reason for you to subject yourself to the distress you experience when you speak to him.  You have evidence enough by now of the behavior and attitude you will encounter.  If you don't yet have a divorce lawyer, when you get one, you can direct all communication to pass through your lawyer.  Or, alternately, you can limit all contact to email only, and ask a friend to review his emails and give you only the information you need as the divorce proceeds.  

   I understand the impulse to help your sons by providing your stbx with a script.  It doesn't sound as if you have much confidence he will follow it, and his comments to you, and to them at the time he told them of his new gender identity, suggest he won't.  Your decision not to "do it again" is a wise one.  Your stbx will only hear what he wants to hear and see what he wants to see, and what he will say will reflect that.  The one relationship you have any control over is the one you have with your sons.  I'm sure they will come to appreciate your honesty and rock-solid support.  

 I do want to say one thing, however, and that's about this being "their father's story, not theirs."  It's certainly their father's story in that he's the one who has made this decision, and his decision does not reflect on them (or you), in that, it's not their shame or their burden to bear, nor their problem to solve or accommodate.  But it is their story, in that it's theirs to tell if they wish.  They didn't set the story in motion, but it is happening to them, and they have the right to tell the truth about their lives.  In fact, one of the results of this bomb drop, this earthquake of a disaster, is that they--and you--will have to rework the story they tell themselves--about the family, their father, and themselves.  I suspect that your son asking to watch those early movies is in fact part of his questioning of the story of your family, himself, and his father; looking back and reassessing.  Taking what we can from the past is part of the process of imagining a new story that allows us to go ahead into the future.

 For what it's worth, from my experience of having gone through this, and looking back on what I'd do differently, it seems to me that you are doing a very good, thoughtful job of handling what is a devastating and impossible situation.  

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (February 5, 2022 11:42 am)


February 13, 2022 6:20 pm  #25

Re: Feel lost

OutofHisCloset thank you - your replies have been so helpful to me. Thank you for reaching out.
As I read through past and present posts on this forum I see a pattern of behavior from the moment the partner comes out. I haven't read anywhere yet that the partner has been empathetic and remorseful for the devastation their disclosure has brought to the straight spouse, children, family etc. I feel I no longer know my STBX and it's all changed so quickly. He's seems to be excited about his new life while leaving behind a path of destruction.
I have learnt so much since that awful day but I'm determined to get on with my life and to be there for my adult sons when they are in need of help and support.
I'm crying less but it's always there, you know? Always there.

     Thread Starter

February 13, 2022 6:37 pm  #26

Re: Feel lost

You are so welcome, Nadine.  I'm glad I could be helpful to you.  We all pay it forward, and I have been helped--and continue to be helped--by so many on this forum.  

  It truly is gut wrenching and painful to see them so excited about leaving us behind, and so uncaring of that "path of destruction" they sow in their wake. 

 You are in the most painful early days, and there are challenges ahead to remake your life and to come to terms as best you can with what your stbx has done to you and your sons, but as so many of us have found, getting free of the source of this pain and moving ahead with our lives--living them fully to the pattern we set for them--provides a measure of peace and confidence in ourselves. Although we carry the scars, the wounds do heal.

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (February 13, 2022 6:38 pm)


April 16, 2022 5:52 pm  #27

Re: Feel lost

I've dipped. After a period of trying to get on with my life and weekly counselling sessions I am feeling very low. My STBX is living and working in another part of the country and I haven't spoken to him for about 2-3 weeks or seen him since the end of February. This has helped me take charge of my life which in turn, alleviated some stress in my life. I was beginning to feel more positive about things.
However, I am so upset with with how it's impacted my relationship with my sons. They have been quite remarkable but I have had some very difficult and distraught conversations with them.
My eldest (28) is determined not to engage with either parent and to stay on neutral ground - doesn't want to hear anything which draws him in. My youngest (25) is angry that my STBX left this announcement so late in life and the impact it has had on me. They are both speaking to him regularly and want to maintain a relationship with him but he seems to be feeding them twisted lies which cast the blame on me.
I keep saying we are separating because he is transgender and I don't want to live with a trans woman but they don't want to hear that. Instead, I hear them repeat a narrative they've been fed from my STBX which moves the focus away from the transgender issue. It's deeply upsetting.
With the help of my therapist I have realised that even though we were not getting on during the last 3 - 4 years it is totally separate to him coming out as transgender. My sons don't see it like that though. I feel the transgender issue is about him and his feelings and I am not to blame. I would still want to separate even if we had been getting on, as I do not want to live with a trans woman. I feel there is an attempt to brush the transgender issue under the carpet. I fear it will damage my relationship with my sons as there are so many things I can't tell them and it hurts me when I hear the lies he's told them. So upset.

     Thread Starter

April 16, 2022 6:20 pm  #28

Re: Feel lost

No contact is the healthiest approach.  

Unfortunately there is nothing you can do about the lies your stbx is telling your sons.  In the early months after we separated, however, it was important to me that my son understand that my stbx (at that time) had a secret life and that was why we were divorcing.  I out and out told him that people don't divorce after 35 years because they are "happier apart" (my ex's story).  But as time has passed--I'm coming up on four years divorced now--what I have learned with my son (who is a few year older than your eldest) is that the approach that has worked the best is to leave his relationship with his father (who remains closeted) to him.  I don't talk about the divorce, I don't talk about my ex, or why we separated. My son knows he can ask me what he wants, but he has chosen not to do so.  I understand that my son has a relationship with my ex, and that I am not part of it.  I just try to nourish the post-divorce relationship I have with my son. 

  I do want to say, hoping it might be helpful to you, is that like you, my marriage was on shaky ground before my ex's revelation.  Part of the reason for that is that he was "exploring" his transness for three years in secret, which had him acting in odd ways I didn't understand.  All I had was the behavior, but not the context that would explain it.   Now, as I look back through our entire marriage, I see a lot of behavior that at the time I ascribed to other reasons, and wonder how much of it was due to his inner conflicts.  I have come to believe that even before my ex "understood" the drives that were bedeviling him, his inner conflicts were affecting our marriage and our relationship.  Throughout most of our marriage, I thought--and was encouraged by him to think--that all problems were due to me.  Now I realize that was not the case at all.  I am not perfect, and have my own baggage, but a great deal of the reason we had problems can be laid at the door of his own secret feelings and longings.  I wouldn't be at all surprised if the same is true for you.

Last edited by OutofHisCloset (April 16, 2022 6:25 pm)


June 19, 2022 12:12 am  #29

Re: Feel lost

Thank you OutofHisCloset for your last post. I have found your insights and replies to me and to other posts on this forum to be helpful and I have taken some of your advice on board.
I had thought I had turned a corner, however yesterday I felt I was right back in January when my STBX revealed he was transgender. I was in a cafe with a group of friends when the Pride March participants started assembling right outside ready to commence their walk through the town. Flags, banners, whistles, cheering, a euphoric mood... the lot, right in my face. I had no idea the March was taking place and I really thought I could handle it but I ended up a complete mess and it took me about an hour to recover - it's still left me a bit shaken and knocked my confidence. I feel half the person I was and feel broken. Broken by the deception of 36 years of being with him and not knowing.

Seeing the LGBT group yesterday celebrating 'who they really are' I thought of all the people in the background, all the invisible people they have hurt along the way so they can be their 'true selves'. Of course, this wouldn't be the case for a lot of them and I have no problem with that but I do have a problem if, as I have experienced, they have hidden behind a marriage/relationship for years knowing about their feelings.
Where is our voice in this? People are so nervous about saying something seen as politically incorrect or speaking out for fear of being transphobic, that they can't even answer 'What is a woman?'. Really??? Has the world gone completely crazy?........and no, I do not believe a woman can have a penis. A transwoman yes, but not a woman.

     Thread Starter

June 19, 2022 7:37 am  #30

Re: Feel lost

I understand. I also feel compassion for the men and women that they lied to when they passed for hetrosexual.


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