Friday, 7 October 2011

Meeting the wife

By now I know - or know of - at least half a dozen couples who are made up of a trans female husband plus a natal female wife. Mostly I haven't met the wife, but the possibility exists for anytime in the future, whether by design or accident. I could be faced with 'here she is now, let me introduce you' at very short notice. And it's a daunting prospect, much more challenging than meeting a potential partner or lover on a date, which seems a casual and inconsequential thing by comparison.

I try to put myself in the wife's place. I imagine her thinking like this.

Wife: 'My husband is fading, or at least changing, and with that our relationship and our whole future. Why is this happening? Because of a condition that has flared up and taken my husband over, and seems to be the most important thing in his universe, despite protestations and reassurances that it isn't so. And now this. I'm being asked to meet someone just like my husband. OK, she's not an embarrassing parody of a woman; in fact she's pleasant, sensible, engaging, has a nice voice, nice hair, has made herself look almost pretty, and is dressed quietly and tastefully. She's very natural, and I'd be happy to meet her in the street, just by myself. But not here in my home. Not with my husband present. She's living proof that he can be so transformed that the old person is totally lost. I like her, but I fear her too, and she's definitely not the sort of person I want my husband to see, because she'll just give him hope.' 

I've no idea whether any wife actually has these thoughts, but what if I'm guessing correctly? You can see why meeting the other half fills me with some anxiety. Don't get me wrong: I'm in no danger myself. All might very well be smiles and laughter and good manners. But only on the surface. At a deeper level, an introduction to me could simply make matters worse. I'd be an agent of destruction.

I really do want to find that I'm completely wrong here, because I'd absolutely love to meet the wife and listen to her side of things.


  1. As far as I could see, meeting other trans people and finding them to be normal friendly people was of great help to my wife. Instead of my being led away by Evil Trannies, she found new friends, and people who were understanding and sympathetic to her.

    Of course not all spouses take it that way. But if you meet one then the fact she's prepared to meet you suggests that she wants it to work as much as you do.

  2. We could put this to the test soon if you like.

    You could not lead me astray, I wandered of long ago...

  3. @Caroline: are you bringing Julie down as well for your visit to Brighton? If so, I'd be excited to meet her! (Yourself as well, of course)


  4. I was intrigued by this post Lucy and just had to comment. The whole subject of 'the wife' is thinking got me thinking too. Although I am now divorced about six years I still live with my ex. (a long story) but I have never known what she thought about my transition or anyone else's. We were married for thirty years and throughout that time she never discussed much with me about any subject. When I came out about three years before my op. she never disclosed what she was thinking and I think this is the case for many wives. Some women can handle the whole thing with no problem and resign themselves to the fact that hubby has changed and there is little they can do about it. They either accept it or reject it. The husband usually has no idea what her response might be when he (she) reveals the truth and that is the first main stumbling block for anyone desiring to let out. As for the wife being a little apprehensive on meeting other transgendered folk, that may be true for some but others want to find out more and to their surprise they find that we are not all weirdos! Many do form new friendships and subsequently enjoy a new social life together. I wish my ex was like one of those women but even so our relationship has improved vastly since our divorce and we socialise together although not with transgendered folk.

    Shirley Anne x

  5. This post really made me think Lucy...I've read it through maybe half a dozen times.

    As one of the 'wives'(though of course Jane and I aren't married)you have met...I was curious to meet you.

    Curious in the same way I am to put a real person to any other online entity and yes...always interested and curious to meet other trans women. But pretty early on I found in general you all have the one head, mostly two legs, no horns, tails etc etc.

    So certainly with you it was more about the former than the latter curiosity.

    I hope your fear wasn't too intense :) becuase I found you inspirational and the ease with which we chatted was certainly not a surface thing.

    You are indeed pleasant and well presented etc etc.... but everyone is different and the inspirational part is that life just goes on.

    I think meeting people like you can help make the difference between resignation and acceptance and thats a REALLY important distinction.

    Acceptance of a trans partner is a difficult bridge to cross even for someone like me (I reckon i had a head start being fairly liberal, open minded, bi sexual, non-monogamous and already knowing some transgendered people).... I can't imagine coming at it from a position of total heteronormality.

    But I'm very much of the opinion that every trans individual who gets out there in anyway (as opposed to going into total stealth mode) has got to be helping educate people that trans is fine.... its just a part of life and as I goes on.

  6. You sure can come up with the darnedest(is this a real word?) topics. But I absolutely loved it, as I am smack dab in the middle of part of this. My wife has only recently learned that I am transgendered and trying to learn what this all means. You have given me much to ponder. For that I am thankful.



  7. It won't come as any surprise to you that I identify strongly with this post and I am so very, very pleased to have welcomed you into our home.

    Yes, my natal female wife has had enormous problems coming to terms with 'Angie' and yes, the feeling that her husband is fading is very real. But we are still madly in love with each other and determined to see this through.

    Perhaps we are unusual, but having close friends who are trans (and one who is especially close) has helped us both, more than words can tell. So, thankfully, your imaginings don't apply in our case.

    Sadly, the last planned meeting of the three of us didn't materialize; hopefully the next one will.

    Angie x

  8. My situation parallels Jenny's, although we have had our moments...

    Nice post, Lucy, and we will feature it on T-Central.

    Calie xxx

  9. I think the wife most likely will be pleased to meet other trans people and see that they are just "normal people" and not all freaks like she fears her husband might become. So, even though what you say is a possibility, I'd say that's rather unlikely.
    Don't be that worried if the situation arises. :)

  10. Thank you everyone. One has these fears. I'm starting to concentrate more on how it might be for those I meet, not so much on how I feel. And when you begin to think like that, it can quickly undermine your swagger and self-confidence.

    I've been SO lucky, and not had bad public experiences, but it's made me a bit over-sure of myself and I tend to assume that I'll be well-received everywhere. But it may not be so: I now envisage situations in which I could easily be received with concealed dismay.

    However, the balance of the comments is that I shouldn't worry. I'll take much comfort from that!



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