This Valentine’s Day eleven years ago, my wife asked me to marry her. In that moment all of my dreams of a happily ever after became a reality. The years of abuse I suffered at the hand of my ex-husband melted in the background. Prince Charming had finally found me. My daughters would have a father who loved them over everything else in life. I would have a partner who truly loved and respected me and together we would grow our family. I had spent too many nights crying myself to sleep. It was my turn. I deserved to greet every day with a smile on my face, my soul at peace, and a happy heart.
“If I knew then how this marriage would evolve, would I have said yes?”
If I knew then how this marriage would evolve, would I have said yes? A strange thing to ponder, I know, but my brain just works that way. My wife and I met at preforming arts high school and dated on and off for years. We were crazy in love with an emphasis on the crazy and in awe of each other’s talents. I always told people that she was the “male” version of me. Which in retrospect sounds funny. Being slightly older than my wife, I graduated before she did. Looking for a one-way ticket out of my parent’s house, I met my ex-husband, we got married and I had my first child at twenty-one. Through the years, I often thought about my high school sweetheart and wondered what life would have looked like had we stayed together.
My wife and I found each other again, eleven years later. I was in the process of a nasty divorce and she was rebuilding her life after living with her ex for years. We decided to catch up over dinner and drinks. Leading up to that evening my anxiety was at an all time high, but as soon as I was in her company, it was as if we had seen each other a month ago. As our relationship blossomed, she fell in love with my girls and in no time at all, we were all inseparable. I was living this dream life from the pages of a fictional book and I wanted to make up for lost time. The girls were ten, six, and one and a half and constantly asking when my wife was coming over. I enjoyed watching their relationship grow and I was thankful that my wife could fill a void they so desperately needed to be filled.
“I have known my wife for twenty-nine years. At any point did I notice any signs that she may be transgender?”
I have known my wife for twenty-nine years. At any point did I notice any signs that she may be transgender? No, I did not. Before she came out to me, I didn’t even know what the word transgender meant. I knew there were people in the world that didn’t identify with the image that stared back at them in the mirror, but I had no idea of the misery that it could cause in someone’s life. I had no idea that someone I knew for so long could repress such feelings so deep. If I had to go back eleven years ago and answer that proposal again my answer would be the same. Yes, and with all the ups and downs that came with along with it, yes.
As partners of transgender men and women we need to celebrate one another and the strength we bring to our relationships. We know what unconditional love looks and feels like. Not many people can honestly say the same and some people admit to simply being bad at relationships altogether. Every day I learn something new as we grow stronger together. It’s not always going to be a bed of roses but this kind of love is built on a foundation of stone. I said yes then and I say yes now and I will say yes for all our tomorrows. I can’t imagine my life without her love in it. So, Happy Valentine’s Day to my love and to all of yours.