Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security and make you feel helpless. For some spouses and partners of transgender people, hearing the words “Honey, I am transgender” falls into that category. The cisgender partner often experiences sadness, helplessness, and loneliness through the transition. This is not the intention of the person transitioning, just an unfortunate repercussion. No two people have the same reaction to a specific event and there is no right or wrong way to think or feel about it. We are all individuals who deal with things differently, and we need to be understanding of everyone’s individual reactions.
“IT WAS A LIFE-CHANGING EVENT THAT I AM NOW GRATEFUL FOR HAVING LIVED THROUGH.”
I witnessed my spouse blow up her life to become the woman she was always meant to be. This beautiful spirit stripped herself to the bones and bared her soul to me. Words can’t describe what the receiving end of that feels like. To be a trusted observer of someone else’s rebirth is a remarkable experience. It was a life-changing event that I am now grateful for having lived through. I have realized that this major change in our lives has made me a kinder, gentler version of myself. I am not entirely sure how or when this happened, but I am thankful that it did because my family and I benefited from the change drastically.
After going through the grieving process, and under the instruction of my wife’s gender therapist, I began therapy myself. Healing old childhood traumas played a big part in my new healthier outlook on life. Ejecting the anger and negative people out of my life was also imperative to viewing my future clearly. And, through all of this insanity my wife and I grew closer and our relationship benefited from our hard work. The recipe for a good relationship is patience, understanding, respect, empathy, and love with a heap of communication on a daily basis. I once lived my life on autopilot, and now I work hard every day to be present in every moment. It’s as if I went through a transition of my own.
“I DON’T JUDGE PEOPLE BY WHAT I SEE, I TALK TO THEM SO I CAN BETTER UNDERSTAND WHERE THEY HAVE BEEN.”
There is no perfect person who walks among us but every day I make the conscious decision to be better than I was yesterday. My wife’s transition has not only made her immensely happy and improved our relationship, but it has taught me so much. I now look at the world differently. I don’t judge people by what I see, I talk to them so I can better understand where they have been. I listen closely and think before speaking. I feel the fear that sometimes stops me from achieving the things that I want, but push through it anyway. I removed the toxic people in my life out and met some incredibly inspirational humans. We have become very active in our local LGBTQ+ community, and I enjoy every minute of it and treasure the people we have met along the way.
When I married my wife years ago, I never saw these things in our future. This was not the path that I thought we would find ourselves on. However, I am grateful to her for all of it. Today, I need to say thank you. I want to thank her for having the strength and courage to become her authentic self. I want to thank her for trusting in our love for one another and for making our family even stronger. I want to thank her for always loving me, even when I am difficult. And, I want to thank her for allowing me to become who I was meant to be. My wish is that together we continue to learn, grow, help other people like us, and love each other more deeply. I couldn’t ask for a better partner on this journey, so thank you.