I hear a lot of spouses and partners who ask why they don’t get more exposure for their sacrifices and journeys. So I sat down this week to give the sounding board to my beautiful girlfriend Mandy.
Thank you for sitting down with me and doing this. I know writing is not your strong suit so I will try to do you justice. For those who may not know the details of our story, we met after I had already started my transition, but you have been there for me during a lot of my journey. What stands out as some of the most difficult things for you to overcome or handle during the journey?
The emotions are the one of the most difficult parts of our relationship. Not being able to do anything when you are having a bad day or not knowing what mood to expect. Sex is another difficulty. Although I have always been attracted to women I have only been with men and I know how that works to make my partner happy. It’s strange that although I don’t see you male at all that you have these parts that don’t fit and don’t work the way I know them to. On top of that the hormones make it so you have no drive. We just took our relationship to the next level moving in together. So I want to be with you all the time and it feels like I have to stand back, I don’t want to pressure you or have you go through motions to please me. I know you crave the intimacy that sex brings but have a harder time finding the big “O” and it is something I have had to get used to. Trying different approaches has been fun and I have to say I love the boobs so I am very happy with what hormones have done for you.
When you say the emotions are difficult what have tricks or approaches have you found that help or work well?
I find when you are upset just holding you while you let it out most effective. Sometimes when you get the 13 year old girl attitude I have to call you out on it. It is like I’m sorry I know you have some of the emotions but I am dating a grown woman not a child.
“I’m not physically transitioning but I am right there and those changes affect me too.”
I know we talk about spouses and partners a lot and how they don’t always get the voice they deserve in the transition process. What are a few things that you think should be addressed more between the person in transition and their partner?
I’m not sure if subconsciously in their transition some people push away those that are close to them but from what I hear from a lot of partners is a lot of selfish behavior. Yes I understand this is about you but it’s also us and open communication and understanding that a couple is two people goes a long way. You have always asked how I feel and made some days more about me or us in order to make sure that everyone gets the care they need in the house. I’m not physically transitioning but I am right there and those changes affect me too. There are some skills you have picked up in your former life and I know you don’t like using some of them or you are afraid of being perceived as male for doing them. I look at as things you know that I don’t and if it saves us money for you to do them then its money towards something else. Why call someone to fix something when you know how and then you can buy new shoes or voice lessons with that money. Balance is hard but necessary.
You never dated a transgender person before me. Tell me a little about how you handled that initial attraction. Was there debate about the social impact? Did you feel reluctant at first or did you just follow your heart?
I unexpectedly fell in love with you. I mostly followed my heart but I’m not going to lie and say I didn’t consider the social impact especially how it might affect my kids and their relationship with me. They are grown so they have developed opinions on society. They had to relearn who I was also. It was just a leap of faith. I have found so far that people in my life just want me to happy.
“I am adjusting to a new role in the relationship that I have never had to fill.”
Every relationship is different. Dating different people from different walks of life always come with unique characteristic to each relationship. What do you find different or unique to dating someone who is transgender?
Balancing being the lead in the household is a new experience for me I know you haven’t been able to be the one to be pursued and have had to take lead on your past relationships. I like treating you like the wonderful woman you are, opening doors and bringing you flowers and such but at the same time I like those things too but I don’t want you to feel like being in that position makes you any less feminine. I am adjusting to a new role in the relationship that I have never had to fill. I am still getting used to it. Also letting things go – sometimes if I catch someone giving us a look. So I am not sure what they are giving us looks about but I want to tell them off but I know it doesn’t help a situation. I have to say this has happened more when I was visiting you in the south. I have only had a couple times since you have lived here.
Is there anything I forgot to ask that you wanted to add?
One thing you didn’t ask me was what the best parts of our relationship were. I am honored to be on this journey with you the good and the bad days. Getting hormones, the first time you could go without a wig when you can see the changes and see yourself as the beautiful woman you are. I love shopping, cooking and reading the same books. I love decorating our home in a beautiful feminine way with no one to say that is too girly. I love the way you take care of me and your soft and tender touch. This is a new and different kind of relationship for me I have always dated men and I know how that works. We will learn as we go and it will be worth the work it takes. You are the most beautiful person I know inside and out and I love you so very much.
I love you a lot also Honey. Thank you for your honest answers and being such a wonderful partner to me..