As promised, here is the second comment (from Connie) concerning the Cyrsti’s Condo post on how I felt when my wife and I were out very early in my transition and she started to talk to another guy:
“Better to be a wing-woman for a wife than a competitor. How would she have felt, had the guy decided to sit down next to you and chat you up, instead? There’s no doubt that the husband/wife relationship gets turned upside-down and sideways when one of them switches gender.
Years ago, my wife came to a bar where my band was playing (starring “The Fabulous Connie Dee”). After the first set was over, I was going to sit with her, but went to the bar for a drink, first. While waiting at the bar, a guy commenced to hit on me, and, by the time I got rid of him, it was time to go back on stage. A few songs into the next set, the same guy appeared on the dance floor with my wife. I remember the mixed feelings I had, being jealous (as a husband), and helpless (as a woman). I also felt jealous (as a woman), and helpless (as a husband). I really had no reason to be jealous, but I was helpless because I’d given up any rights I had had as a man and husband. It certainly wasn’t her choice for me to become her girlfriend.
At that time, we’d reached a point in our changing relationship where my wife was much more aware that my manhood was fading away than I was, myself. She’d already started mourning the loss of her husband, while I was just at a loss of how to be a husband as a woman. I’ve always felt that it is important to be aware, as part of one’s own transition, that it is a catalyst for everyone else involved to go through their own transitions, as well. Because the trans person has, most likely, had years to make the decision to transition, it would be foolish to expect a spouse – or anyone else – to make such an adjustment immediately. In our case, however, my wife’s transition had progressed further than my own, at that time.
I’m lucky, if not mystified, that we are still married, just a few days short of forty-eight years. We probably won’t be having a big celebration, and I know we won’t go out dancing. I’ll probably buy her some flowers, but she’ll know that I’ll be enjoying them just as much as she does; she has for a long time.”
Congratulations on your anniversary! The complexity of the gender situation in a transgender person’s relationship is amazing.