Transgender diary: divorce is not just on the cards, it is the cards

I don’t know what I am supposed to feel, but relief is as unexpected as it is welcome.  I was feeling green shoots with my wife, feeling as if she could come to terms with things, that we might be able to reconcile, or stay together.  The words separation had not yet sunk in.

She has been friendly, or at least cordial, and at least on the surface, of late.  Communication when we are not in each other’s company is still curt, to the point, but now with all of us together under one roof, it doesn’t seem weird.

So, I asked her, “are you sure that separation is what you want?”

“Yes, we will need to separate, to untangle, and will need to get divorced.”

“That’s new.”

“I told you last time,” she said of our conversation in the park a month or so ago.  We had not spoken since.

“You never used the word ‘divorce’ before.”

“Yes, I did.”

“Have you taken advice?”

“Yes, I have, and you should too.”


“In the ___,” she said.

“Why?” knowing full well the answer, that the place is famous for being pro-wife to the extent that people go there just to get a divorce.”

“Because I’m resident there.”  It is amazing that just saying, “I am resident” is enough…she doesn’t live there.  I have a house there.  Either alone or apart, we have spent perhaps 4 weeks there over the past 4 years.

“How did you find your lawyer?”

“My ___ used her,” but he didn’t live there either, had an even less tenable attachment to the country.  Hmm.  Better get some advice.

“You don’t want to do therapy?” I asked.

“What, so we can talk about you?”

“No, but it might help.”

“I don’t need help.  And if I do, I will seek it out.  That’s what my friends are for.  They’ve helped me through this.”

“Who have you told?”

“That’s none of your business.”  I gave a couple of names, she confirmed yes.  

“How did they react?”

“That’s none of your business either.  They’re my friends.”

“What about X and Y, we met them together?”  This was the couple that gave me a teapot as a gift a few years ago, and when I took the teapot with me to another house that I have been living in to give space, she said, ‘I didn’t know we were taking our things out [of the family home].”

“She’s more my friend than yours.  You don’t really need friends like I do.”

“How did she react?”

“She was supportive, that’s all.  It’s really none of your business.”

“I will be seeing her.  I think it is fair that I know.”  She didn’t want me to know of any other mutual friends that she had told.  Since the only other time we had talked about things she had said she would ‘keep my secret’ and that any discussion of it ‘would kill her father’ I figured it would remain so.  But once you start telling people, you lose control of the narrative.

We were talking about it because I wanted to tell the children.  She doesn’t want me to.  Wants me to wait a few more months.  At least that is better than waiting until they are legally adult.

“Have you thought about how to tell them?”

“Yes, I’ve spoken to my therapist about it.”

“Which one?”

“All of them.”

“I want you to wait.”

“I don’t like lying to them.”

“Please wait.”

“You should read up on how to tell them.”

“Sure, but I think the most important thing is to be truthful to them.”

“I’d like us to do it together.”

“I’m not comfortable with that.  Especially since you are not happy with it, have said some very hurtful things.”

“I told you I was going to lash out at you.”

“I don’t think that its healthy for the children to equate me being trans with us getting divorced.  It may be your reason, but that puts it in a negative light.”

“Promise me you won’t tell them now.”

“No, I won’t do that.  I’ll tell them when it feels right.”  I just worry that she will tell them first, or that she will find out, now that she has told people that are the parents of friends of theirs.  And what is she talking about that I don’t need friends?  Now, more than ever.

We talked about being transgender.

“I think you’re gay, you should look into that.”

“It would be convenient for you.  Convenient for everyone.  Funny how being gay is so much easier.”

“I’m serious.”

“I don’t like guys.  I don’t like men.  I don’t like male energy.  I’m not attracted to men, not physically, not mentally, not emotionally.” I realised recently that in order for me to accept my own masculinity, that I needed to embrace my femininity. This is the path towards feeling whole.

“You’re going to go through puberty again.  You’re going to be moody.  An emotional wreck.  You will discover that being a woman isn’t that great.”  She’s a member of a secret facebook group that offers the opportunity for spouses to vent and express in a safe place.  It seems that there is a lot of trans hate in that group.

“It’s the mental changes that I look most forward to.”

“Do you have a doctor?”

“Not yet, it’s expensive.  I tried to sign up on the NHS, but there is a 4.5 year waiting list just to get a first appointment.  There are more than 160,000 people waiting.  But yes, I will have to go private.  There are doctors.”

“Are you going to do it all the way?”

“I don’t know what I am going to do.  I am non-binary.  In England, the NHS won’t take you unless you say that you are committed to a full transition.  But with a lifetime of testosterone coursing through my body, what does ‘full transition’ even mean?  I will only ever be somewhere in-between.”

“You are such a gorgeous man.”

“I think I will only look better.”

“I could like it when it was being like David Bowie, but this is too far.”

“Who knows.”

“I don’t want to see you in a dress.”

“I choose clothes because I think they look good on me.  I am still getting used to which ones do, but I don’t choose things that look wrong.”

“To you.  But to me, it will all look wrong.”  In the end, we had to stop talking as she found it too much and ended up crying.

I asked her what her brother thought.

“He’s just worried about your safety.”  This echoed something she had already said to me.

“So is one of my therapists.  She is worried about a particular kind of “conservative white man” who is prone to violence against marginal people.”

“I just worry that someone will spike your drink.”  I thought how this was just a reflection of her own fears.  She, like so many people, think that we are trans because we are sexual deviants, that we do this to get some kind of kinky thrill out of it.  It is this kind of thinking that leads to the debates around bathroom use, to the debates around trans people in sports.  This kind of thinking is a form of bigotry.

“Why would someone spike my drink?”

“Because they want to take advantage of you.”

“But I’d have to be in a bar with strangers for that to happen.  I don’t go to bars now.  I never have.  What makes you think I am going to go to bars now, or adopt risky sexual behaviours?”  What kind of weird shit is going through her mind?  Its funny.  I receive a lot of beautiful energy from the women I interact with.  The only thing I have noticed is that which women are sending it has changed since I have been out.  

I have no fear about dating and finding people.  Up until now I have been politely declining.  But I know that not all women are rigid in their desire to be with an alpha male, that not all women define their femininity in opposition to a man, that not all women are hung up on what “it looks like” or have so much shame.  I also know that I meet way more women since I have been out than I did before—and that is because they are both curious but also a non-binary man is much less threatening—they can see my gentleness all over me, not just wonder whether it is there.

I asked her if she wanted the house I bought with money from my inheritance on my mother’s death.

“I can’t afford it; it needs work.”

“You could afford it if you get a job.”  Well, wouldn’t that be something.  

“You will have to get a lawyer and your lawyer can talk to my lawyer.  I can’t talk to you about this stuff.”

“That’s going to be expensive.”

“I know,” and she is thinking that I have to pay for her legal fees too.  But even in a world of a 50:50 split of assets, anything I spend on her lawyers is coming from money that she would get.  I would like to think that we could be reasonable, fair.  But I sense that when she says, “don’t worry, I will be fair,” she doesn’t mean that at all.

“You will find somebody,” I said, “you’re still a gorgeous woman.”

“I can’t do dating apps.”

“Me neither.  I hear about the most horrific dates from S and T, it sounds horrible.”

“That’s not me.”

And yet, I don’t feel in the slightest that I will not find a partner.  Even in a dress I am finding women putting out positive energy to me.  Sure, I understand that most will look at me as a threat.  My wife was originally attracted to me in part because I am not traditionally male.  I have spent a lifetime killing male toxicity in me, and I wear it on my shirtsleeves.  Now, quite literally.  And though perhaps small in number, there are some who will respond to that.

“It isn’t fair of you to say to me that this was pre-meditated.  That I was wearing a mask.  I told you when we first started dating.”

“You also told me when we first started dating that if I wasn’t going to marry you, then to not waste your time.”

“I was looking for a partner, not something casual.”

“I think you used me to have children.”  She has said this before, and it makes me sad that she feels this way.  The most beautiful thing in my life ever has been the existence of my children.  And now, to see what fine people they have become.

“Of course not.”

“Well, maybe you didn’t know it consciously,” she said, “but I still think it was deliberate.”

“How could I be deliberate about something I didn’t know about?”

“I just feel used.”

Despite the heavy nature of this conversation, it is easier to be in the family home now.  It doesn’t feel so bad.  She has indicated to me which ‘friends’ of our mutual friendships can be mine.  What an odd thought.  I don’t think of it that way.  If they want to be my friends, they will.

“I’d like to tell my friends in person.  I’d rather they hear it from me, than from someone else.”

“Have you told your family yet?”

“No, but I have decided to go with the difficult ones first.”

“D. will be thrilled.”

“Probably.  But other than inform, I don’t want to get into it with him.”

“Well, you don’t interact with him much anyway.”

Let the untangling process begin.

In the meantime, I have reached a new level of conversation with my two main therapists.  With the hypno-therapist, bless her, we are working so much on the future, and on inhabiting a state of Grace…what that means, what it takes, what the obstacles are.  And with my main talk therapist, it is about navigating the obstacles and challenges that lie before me.  I am ready a poignant book written by the mother of a transgender child.  It is amazing how much it speaks to me.  I will review it when I am done.

Somehow, the turbulent waters which lie ahead are a source of calm to me.

28 thoughts

  1. I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Getting a divorce can be such a mental mind game. Mine left me scarred and wanting to die… Long story I guess… Just trying to say I understand your sadness, maybe even some anger. I think you’re a beautiful and honest person, at least that’s how I read your posts. 😊 The pictures you shared were very lovely and you truly seem like a loving and beautiful person.
    Wishing you much strength and some luck and I hope you’ll be OK in the end. All my best 🍀 ♥ 🌻

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much. That’s really sweet. I try. We’re all human. But I can’t help but feel that the further I go on this path, the more I wish to leave behind my own toxicity. It is like shedding layers of skin. We all have it. But there is nothing truer than what you put out is what comes back to you. Just trying to be true to me, and that means that I can be there for the others in my life who matter to me.

      My best friend said to me the other day, “I want a slave too,” after I told her what it meant to me. And she is a submissive! Life is beautiful and making the most of it what it has to offer is an incomparable joy. Be good.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. You are very welcome! I’ve always enjoyed your posts since I started following you. It saddened me when it became more obvious that your relationship was not so well. I hoped your wife would love you for who you’ve always been, but unfortunately some people are very gender sensitive, as I call it.
        Being bisexual, I enjoy both male and female expressions, if I may call it that. I think, because I fall in love with a person not a gender, that I see things in a different light. A light that your wife unfortunately can’t shine because she’s not that way. And while she should not do anything against her will, it saddens me that she treats you as you describe in your posts. You seem more deserving than that. I truly believe you’re a caring and kind person and hopefully you may shed the bad layers, the toxidity and move on to a (maybe?) better part of your life. Where you can truly be who you are… I wish that so much for you, to feel free and loved for who you am, for what you do or even don’t do.

        Life sure can be beautiful but sometimes the real beauty is hidden and hard to find. Much love from me to you, wishing you all the best ☀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. This is a very sweet comment, and much appreciated. I understand the idea that if someone changes so much, you might not be attracted to them sexually anymore. I wouldn’t like it if my wife said she was becoming a man. But I wouldn’t stop being her friend, wouldn’t stop being with her. We haven’t had sex in 15+ years, and already the sex was no good, but that was because we were incompatible that way for many reasons, gender being perhaps the least of them.

        I told her when we first started dating, because I wanted her to know what she was signing up for. I do feel betrayed by her now, and find it kind of ironic that she is accusing me of being deceitful and narcissistic–why is it that narcissists are such gas-lighting people? I never thought of her this way before, but there you have it–I guess stress brings out the worst in people.

        In the meantime, I am looking forward to the future, looking forward to dating, to meeting people, and not having a partner who doesn’t want to grow.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. I recognize things in this from my divorce, and how my feelings for my now ex wife changed from loving to worse… My ex knew I am autistic, knew I dealt with severe depression and she said she loved me and wanted to marry me. And then later, I get blamed for the failing because of the things she already knew… I totally get the narcissistic bits you’re describing… I have felt them too.
        I wish my English would be better so I would have better words to describe my thoughts. It all feels so basic while my emotions are much more than that.
        I do hope you will be able to breathe again in a while, feel yourself shedding of the toxidity, allowing you to be “just you” and that’s all you need to be.
        I did look forward to dating as well but even with liking a person, not a gender, I’ve had no luck and stopped trying. Getting too many cat-fishing fakes took the fun out of it.
        While I’d love a love, I’m now learning to love myself and be OK with “just me”.
        I really wish you all the best and I do hope you won’t give up your blog. I love reading your posts and I’m even brave enough to reply to yours, as your space here makes me feel respected and safe. And I thank you for that! 🌸
        Much love ♥ from me to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hi Cynni, thank you for sharing this. I admire your courage and openness. I have learned so many new words in the past year, but gaslighting is one of my “favourites”. In reading about narcissism and trying to find it in myself, I discovered that one of the tools employed by narcissists is to gaslight…to make the people in their lives believe that reality is something totally different than it is, that they are the crazy ones. I could feel the indignant reaction of my therapists towards the accusations both of my wife (who I don’t feel is a narcissist–she is just angry and hurt) and the dominatrix I saw (who just may be a narcissist) that I was the opposite of a narcissist, that I struggle to defend my own boundaries. I did an extraordinary astrological reading with someone and at one point he talked about boundaries and how that was the greatest struggle of his own life, to protect his own agency…and I think that this is what comes with the territory of being in a society that is not comfortable with the “other”. We seem to be relentless in our desire to put people into boxes. But the very act of putting people in a box is a kind of bigotry. We are white, we are brown, we are whatever colour, we believe in this, we believe in that, we are gay, straight, bi, polyamory, etc…we are boy, girl, or something different. And we spend so much energy on this, and it is really not helpful. Who is better off because of it? Transgender people by definition represent a resistance to being put in a box. We are only 1% of the population, and yet, look at the debate, and how angry it is. Intersex people, curiously, are actually 2% of the population, but we almost never talk about that. Why? Someday, perhaps humanity will learn to live and let live. That is a someday worth hoping for. Thanks for chiming in. I love that you are here.

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Thank you for your reply dear!
        Gaslighting is such an awful thing. I truly tried to get myself off this planet because of it 😔.
        I do hope your story will have a happy new beginning where you can explore this world of being you! ♥ You truly deserve to be happy, as does your wife and kids, so I hope you’ll be able to find something that works for all of you.
        Sending you much love and strength 🍀 Your blogging friend, Cynni 🤗 🌹

        Liked by 1 person

      6. Thank you. You’re the best. Gaslighting is awful. I didn’t even know the word until this past year. I have realised that even though I think my wife means well (I will give her the benefit of the doubt, and I know she is hurting), every conversation with her about “us” ends up being hurtful. It isn’t even her words, but the place they come from–that her mindset, her attitude, her thoughts on all aspects of me, our relationship, etc are seen through a lens of bigotry towards being transgender. It is a shame, and it makes me need recovery time after being around her. Oh well. I am sure it will all work out.

        Liked by 2 people

      7. You’re very welcome 🌻 I unfortunately get it, I’ve been gaslighted at the end of my relationship a lot as well. It happened before it too, but I had no clue. I just learned the phrase this year due to a post by Cherie… Sorry, can’t remember her last name, she had an anti-bullying blog site.
        If you ever wanna chat with someone, just let me know. I always enjoy chatting and learning new things and seeing things from new perspectives. Mine are kinda limited due to my autism, so any chance to learn, I’ll grab!
        Wishing you a lovely weekend dear 🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      8. Thank you for your thoughts. I don’t think of my wife as a gaslighter or as a narcissist, but she has displayed those traits because she is struggling to come to terms with her self-identity and her evaluation of her self as a result of my being trans. We have an open and non-hurtful talk this morning about the division of assets and getting along, and our mutual wish to fast forward through the divorce and be a year from now and past it all. I am cautiously optimistic that we will get through this without being nasty. I was able to tell her that her reaction to me felt like bigotry…and she was able to say that I was accusing her of being a bigot…and I was able to say that it feels like that and to explain how some of the things she was saying were hurtful to me, and she heard it, and then even made a joke about it later…which felt good. We have created a schedule that will allow us to move about in our homes so that we don’t have to see each other at all except when the kids are around.

        Liked by 2 people

      9. Ow that sounds like a positive talk for the both of you. I do hope you’ll be able to work it out the way it works best for both of you and the kids. 😊
        My divorce and move to a new place took about 6 weeks… I do believe my ex had been planning for a long time as it was over before I really understood what hit me… It’s better in the end but the way things went between us were definitely not healthy, most of it being nasty and stealing from her part.
        So I really hope you both can work it out in a proper and civil way, as I believe that’s way healthier as to how it went for me.
        Wishing you, again, all the best as I do believe you deserve it. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      10. We take it where we get it! Thank you for sharing. I think our divorce has the chance of being quite ugly, because our affairs are very tangled, and her desires and my own are counter to one another, but also operate from very different logical places–our conception of fair in our case has not much overlap…that is going to be a challenge.

        In the meantime, I am now free, even if I have to deal with this. We have agreed that it is okay for us to start seeing people, with two ground rules: not in the family homes, and don’t talk about it to each other or the kids for now.

        I hate to hear about the nasty and stealing part of your ex-wife…that is horrible to see someone you love be so betraying…but in the end, I am glad for you that it is in the past, and also when you act out that level of vitriol, it stays with you and poisons you…and that is her punishment…when you wish ill on others, it ultimately just degrades you…I also hope that she can move past it…

        Blessings on a Sunday…be light, be beautiful, be you!

        Liked by 2 people

      11. You are very welcome my dear! I just read your latest post and I’m very happy for you on so many levels! If we’d live closer I’d invite you for some drinks to celebrate 🎉
        As always, I’m wishing you all the best 🍀 and much ♥ love! Thanks so much for sharing this with me, with us your readers.
        A new week has stared here and yours will in a while. I hope all days will be positively blessed for you. 🌻

        Liked by 1 person

      12. Thank you Cynni…I am still pinching myself. It was so easy, I keep thinking they must have thought I was joking…but today, out and about in town, I bumped into one of my kids, dressed, and he didn’t bat an eyelid. Okay, I was wearing women’s trousers, not a skirt or a dress, but apart from that, anyone would notice that a pink blouse and a long knee-length sweater are certainly not “normal” male attire…so this child got to see me one day after learning about it. The goodness of small blessings!

        Liked by 2 people

      13. You’re very welcome! And that’s wonderful news. So happy that they “just” accept you for who you are, how you want to be. That’s so lovely! Really great 🌟

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I admire how you are navigating these turbulent waters, my beautiful friend. And you are right, you will have no trouble finding a partner because you have a beautiful spirit. Good things lie ahead for you. I can’t wait to read about it ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hello beautiful human. Me neither! My wife keeps telling me she thinks I’m gay, and I am thinking, “I hate men!” Of course there is that little bit about my dirty little fantasies! But those are never strictly “consensual”. Hah. You are so right. I was with my bestie last week, and she has known I was transgender since maybe even before I did, and she was asking about why men “like to pay for it”. Boy is that a big topic. In my case, I can say that I just learn so much. The person I am seeing now is so different than the last one–and how I react to her is so different too…it is going to spark an avalanche of new musings on submission once I figure out how I feel. And my “harmless” flirting with women I meet is no longer bounded by the ring on my finger. I took the important step last week of taking my wedding band off and putting it away. I wear a wedding ring from my wife through my navel, a kind of permanent mark. I need to take it out and find something new for me. I think I know what it will look like…So much of what my wife says to me is loaded with social shame, and while it is hard to hear it, and to feel at least momentarily what is conveyed, it makes me feel sorry for her. She is missing so much of the beauty of life inhabiting her world. I read something beautiful this morning. You cannot say the rainbow is black and white…As my bestie says, “she doesn’t know what she’s missing…she could have a girlfriend and a boyfriend. And I think I kind of like the idea of a slave. Do you think I could have a slave?” I have spent some time in session with a new therapist–egads, not another one–who is more gender aware…and my hypnosis therapist…and what we have discussed is the State of Grace…what does it take to embody that? How? And I regard submission as a process, a pathway, not an end state, and that it has so much to show me, to teach me. Submission is deeply spiritual, or at least has the potential to be, but it is also a travel companion towards grace…and I feel that embracing my innate femininity is putting me in touch with people, with nature, with the world, and it feels so darned beautiful. I hope you are well. You are most certainly cherished.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Sometimes I think she sees glimpses of it…but she asked me today, “do you think you are at all feminine?” And then proceeded to list off the male character traits that she believe I demonstrate in spades. I won’t go into them, as she also described them as the ones we might associate with negative male associations–a bit ironic given that we had just talked about me learning to accept my male self as a necessary step towards happiness and fulfilment. My reply after reframing those negative male traits with more positive language was to say, “you don’t see these parts of me because our relationship was founded on a dynamic that didn’t allow room for these things to exist. Some of my friends, however, see this side of me, and would characterise what you just described in a very different way.” My wife would be floored, for instance, to think of how important submission is to me. She has heard the words, but doesn’t know what I mean. And I guess on the face of it, for someone who has been a CEO on and off since I was 30, that might seem unobvious, and yet, we learn to compartmentalise to survive, and you will know from your own life and from what we both share with the millions of people out there like us–the need to submit has nothing to do with competence, dependence, weakness, or any other “superficial” trait, but is more born from a need to be held a certain way, how listening and being supple is emotionally and spiritually fulfilling…I do believe that so much of my success in life is directly attributed to both my submission and my non-binary self, as these are the parts of me that teach me to walk in the shoes of others, and if there is one thing in my life that has made me good at anything, it is this ability to read people, to understand people, and to feel their energy in a sympathetic way. Ever since a child, I was always someone that people confided in, shared secrets with, was open to…and that is that being non-binary means I am not judging…”don’t cast stones when you live in a glass house” is the essence of lived experience. Have a beautiful day.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I think it is probably quite “normal” that she only sees you through the lens of masculinity, as that has always been her reality of you. It is too bad she isn’t more open to getting to know the parts of you that you are now embracing more openly. She might learn that one can be both commanding and dominate in some situations, and serve another wholly and without reservation in a different context (which also requires great mental strength). You are so beautiful, both inside and out…and yet, this person you have been sharing your life with doesn’t seem to know the “real” you. I wanted to share an affirmation with you that I often say to myself. “My life is just beginning”. Smiles at you…..and yours is too! XOXO

        Liked by 1 person

  3. You seem to be navigating with grace and that is what will return to you ten fold. Even the words you use to speak of your wife. There will be rough waters ahead with the divorce but if you maintain your dignity, the outcome will be in your favor.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you. That is a beautiful word and one which I aspire to live by. This is exactly what I spend 95% of my time with my “favourite” therapist on…how to live in a state of grace, how to eliminate feelings which are not consistent with that, how to step out of the shadows and embody that.

      You hear such awful stories of trans people being targeted for violence, and so on. And I know that someday I will surely experience prejudice and hate. But I don’t try to pass, I don’t wear make-up or wigs, I am just me, and I think that somehow the energy that comes with it, one of joy, absence of shame, brings out the best in people–or at least pushes people to re-examine their prejudice.

      I was walking down the street today and a contractor who I am not working with–he bid but didn’t get the job–went out of his way to shout out to me by name and wave as he drove by as I flounced down the street. Life is delicious.

      Liked by 2 people

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