My wife and I have been together for a long time. We dated when we were teenagers in high school, then reconnected years later and finally got married. Since her transition people have asked me if I miss my “husband” or the time in our lives when she was living as a man. My answer is always “no.” Today my wife lives a happy and full life as her authentic self. I would never want to go back to the way our life was before. Watching my wife suffer with bouts of depression was hard. Not knowing that the depression was due to her suppressing the feeling that she was born in the wrong body was even harder. However, this question had me thinking. Is there anything I miss about our lives before transition?
“When my wife was living as the other gender, no one ever asked me about her genitalia or what she planned on doing with it.”
For starters, not being asked questions about my wife’s genitalia: It is amazing how after your partner begins the process of transition, people ask you whatever comes to mind. Friends, family and acquaintances alike have no qualms about asking the most personal questions. When my wife was living as the other gender, no one ever asked me about her genitalia or what she planned on doing with it. Or my other favorite question, does it still work? What a seriously rude question. I am pretty certain if I decided to ask a girlfriend or an acquaintance about their husband’s genitalia, if it still worked and what they planned to do with it, I would get some strange looks. Maybe even some choice words thrown my way and it would be totally warranted. How is it that people don’t see that as an invasion of privacy?
Public displays of affection: Before transition no matter where my wife and I were, we always held hands, stole a kiss or had our arms wrapped around each other’s waist. Our children would even poke fun at us for being affectionate in public. Those days are all but gone unless we are in a LGBTQ+ friendly environment. For starters, I hate being stared at and getting strange looks from bystanders. Like the people where I live have never seen a same sex couple before. I am totally uncomfortable in places where there are a lot of families. Children have almost no filter. Hearing a young child say “Mommy, why are those two women holding hands?” is totally awkward. And, I never wanted to be the reason that Mom and Dad had to explain same sex couples. There are places where I feel comfortable enough to let my guard down, but it’s certainly not my local mall.
“Too many transgender men and woman have been brutally beaten or killed for no reason other than the fact that they were transgender.”
The days when we left the house and I didn’t have to worry about her safety: Too many transgender men and woman have been brutally beaten or killed for no reason other than the fact that they were transgender. I sometimes can’t shake the fear that my wife could fall victim to this type of senseless violence. In some situations I feel as though I need to be on guard and subsequently protect her. This is a new and unexpected feeling that has come over me since my wife has transitioned. Some days when she leaves the house I am left riddled with anxiety. The fact of the matter is I just don’t always feel safe in public anymore. We have actually walked out of a few places where we felt uncomfortable. We live in a society that needs to teach acceptance, tolerance and inclusion of all people.
So do I miss living with my spouse the way she was before transition? The answer is still no for me. Are there some changes in our lives that I needed to learn how to deal with? Yes. Our hope is that every relationship evolves through the years. It doesn’t matter if your married to a cisgender person or a transgender person. Hopefully we continue to grow into better humans as we journey through our lives together. I unconditionally love and accept my wife for the person that she is.