Trans Widows' Escape Committee 4 - A New Hope

(963 Posts)
TinselAngel Sun 03-May-20 12:23:13

Who would have thought we'd make it to thread 4?

Let's have some mutual pats on the back for the amazing support women on these threads have given to other trans widows, and the accidental consciousness raising that has come about as a result of this community.

This is a support area for women who are, or have been, in unhappy relationships with male partners who are transitioning, or exploring their "gender identity"

If you are in that position-
1. You are not alone
2. It is not a situation that you should be expected to tolerate, let alone celebrate.
3. There is always a way out, if you want it. The thread is called Escape Committee for that reason

Remember: women talking to each other is a powerful weapon!

We now have a website which has been very well recived, and if any women who have contributed to these threads would like to write their story for inclusion on the website that would be wonderful.

Do post to get the new thread going. Links to the website and previous threads will follow.

As ever our thoughts are with the women still stuck in these relationships- check in, we do worry about you.

OP’s posts: |
TinselAngel Tue 04-May-21 21:46:54

Bunshine

No worries. I definitely agree that it's important to give ourselves the ability to air our feelings with no apologies.

I do also think I might not have been clear. I think trans-identified people with a moral compass wouldn't have married their spouses under false pretense, so I am thinking somewhat about the idea of the HSTS.

I'd be really curious to know the exact statistics of how many late-transitioning males either do or don't show the two big mental health/personality disorder red flags of domestic abuse and 'creepy sex stuff'. Not a study I'd imagine we'll see anytime soon, unfortunately!


I can't imagine we'll ever know as it will never be studied!

I think we cross posted.

Do come over to the new thread smile

OP’s posts: |
Bunshine Tue 04-May-21 21:29:42

No worries. I definitely agree that it's important to give ourselves the ability to air our feelings with no apologies.

I do also think I might not have been clear. I think trans-identified people with a moral compass wouldn't have married their spouses under false pretense, so I am thinking somewhat about the idea of the HSTS.

I'd be really curious to know the exact statistics of how many late-transitioning males either do or don't show the two big mental health/personality disorder red flags of domestic abuse and 'creepy sex stuff'. Not a study I'd imagine we'll see anytime soon, unfortunately!

TinselAngel Tue 04-May-21 21:26:36

New thread here:

Trans Widows Escape Committee 5: And so it continues...
http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/womens_rights/4236287-trans-widows-escape-committee-5-and-so-it-continues

OP’s posts: |
TinselAngel Tue 04-May-21 21:13:12

Bunshine

*@TinselAngel*

No, that's very true. And centering women is more important. But I also don't want to automatically be labeled a transphobe and have my post censored, and sandwiching positive with negative seems to help avoid that. Happy to be more direct in the future.


I know I can sound harsh but I just want trans widows to be able to speak about their own experiences. No other woman would be expected to say "of course there's lots of men like my ex who are lovely..."thanks

OP’s posts: |
Bunshine Tue 04-May-21 19:17:38

@TinselAngel

No, that's very true. And centering women is more important. But I also don't want to automatically be labeled a transphobe and have my post censored, and sandwiching positive with negative seems to help avoid that. Happy to be more direct in the future.

TinselAngel Tue 04-May-21 18:21:06

* I'm sure there are plenty of people with very genuine and very distressing gender dysphoria who very much have a moral compass and wish to simply get on with fairly average, normal lives.*

If this is the case, they still make trans widows, so let's not spend time sympathising with them on here. It's the one place where we really shouldn't feel awkward about centring women.

OP’s posts: |

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Bunshine Tue 04-May-21 18:15:06

Thank you for telling your story, *@ProudExclu*. You're absolutely right, that relief just after you get out is incredible. After a very scary incident that showed me in no uncertain terms I was not safe living with my ex occurred on a Friday, I slept at friends' houses until Tuesday, when I took the day off work and moved everything that was mine while he was at work. I moved into a house share that he didn't have the address for with two other ladies in their mid-30s and remember very clearly moving all my boxes and furniture into my little room, and just collapsing on the bed. There was sadness that the marriage I'd had so much hope for was such a disappointment, but more than that, a palpable relief that he couldn't get to me and was out of my life. It gets so much better once you extract yourself from the madness, doesn't it? flowers

There's a running theme here that your story highlights as well. And, having listened to quite a few very reasonable trans commentators as well, it seems like the trans community has a bit of a PR issue on its hands. I'm sure there are plenty of people with very genuine and very distressing gender dysphoria who very much have a moral compass and wish to simply get on with fairly average, normal lives.

I also can't pretend that in so many of these stories of especially late-stage male transitioners, there's serious dysfunction that gender issues seems to act as a lightning rod for.

It's like, and I'm sure I'm not alone in these feelings, I married a 30-year-old Central European engineer who bought his first house at 26 and seemed like a stable bet, who enjoyed weight training and riding motorcycles cross country. As this progressed, I ended up with a 35-year-old club kid with a pretty intense eating disorder, serious abusive and narcissistic tendencies, and multiple addictions, who enjoyed snogging other people's husbands, watching lots of transgender porn and who knows what else, holed up in his room.

A friend of mine had it much worse; her ex would totally disassociate when he was dressed, sexually assaulted her, and there's good evidence he was a danger to children.

In short, some individuals just seem to be sitting on top of SO MANY comorbid mental health and personality issues, I'm worried that those underlying problems are simply being swept under the rug and not addressed, and 'transition' is seen as the solution for everything. I certainly hope not, and that these people get actual help instead of shallow 'gorgeous, darlings.

I watched my ex try to 'date' (long story, we split before I could leave) and that was a disaster was well. His expectations were so overblown, it was incredible. He would flirt with these guys late at night, then arrange a date the next day. If they cancelled or didn't call him back when he wanted, he'd basically shout abuse at them through the messaging service until he blocked them. Narcissistic rage in action.

Around that time, as I'd been functionally single and mourning for a long time, and having gotten a very compassionate go ahead from a therapist friend in the States, I started dating as well. *@ProudExclu*, your after story is a lot like mine. I basically left-swiped anyone that had traits even remotely like my ex, and three years on, I'm in a brilliant relationship with an emotionally literate, kind, honest, stable man who was vetted throughly before I allowed myself to be emotionally intimate.

When you're on that sinking ship, it can feel like there's no hope. But getting free and healing can be one of the most life affirming, joyous journeys. You get to reclaim everything that's been pulled out of you. It's a real hero's journey, and lots of us have been through hell.

But, the lessons you learn while going through this absolute maelstrom are turning you into a boundary-setting, self-advocating badass behind the scenes. There's a whole corner of the internet dedicated to post-traumatic growth, and I think women like us certainly deserve that.

That's enough of a ramble for today, I think. smile Hope you're all well!

ProudExclu Tue 04-May-21 16:36:01

@QuinnMovesOn I find it effects me more around anniversaries of certain events of the last 3/4 years (thankfully no children together and shorter relationship than many) He is currently advertising for men to shag him in public where teenagers hang out, around prime time for teenagers being there (he knows this too we used to go for walks around there).

I’ve told the police for what good it will do. It’s almost like he is above the law.

Fortunately the town we are from is not very woke. There are a handful of popular well liked and respected trans people. None of these people would associate with my ex and consider him a man with a fetish attempting to cover up his history of abusing women and children. He has a new trans twin who turns out to have lived with a long term friend and is a convicted sex offender (something relating to underage girls). Birds of a feather. They even look alike and are both hulking great tall manly men.

I have also since leaving met other members of the trans community who, when they realise who my ex is usually proceed to tell me how he has messaged them and they took one look at the mental garbage all over his profile and decided not to reply.

I know others are in more woke areas where their ex is able to garner more sympathy and I do not know how you incredible women cope with that and I’m so thankful he hasn’t been able to and is just seen for what he is - an abuser.

I spent months thinking everyone thought it was me but once I’d left I had several key moments with the wider public where I could almost feel the veils fall from my eyes.

The reality is he sits in a one bedroom flat in the room I decorated surrounded by my stuff that will never fit him wishing he was me. He thinks he is bothering me posting pictures I can smell through the screen, begging dirty smelly fat old men to shag them and hold them. I’m sat in my house being treated like royalty and trying to decide which of my 5 bedrooms is gonna be my walk in wardrobe. He can get to fuck.

@socialworker222 If you had told me a year ago that my life would be how it is now I wouldn’t have believed you.

A year ago I didn’t have a penny or a full outfit of my own and actually literally a year ago today to the hour almost I had collapsed and been taken to hospital due to the convulsions and the results of an injury sustained weeks before I left.

I feel like I am dreaming instead of having a nightmare.

I promise you that no matter how impossible it seems leaving is the better alternative. The day I left. Walking out that door to the taxi a friend had organised with a female driver. My feet felt like they weighed ten stone each. Every step felt like hard work. Time slowed down. I remember sitting on the pavement outside for ages. And then walked to the place I’d chosen to meet the driver at. I still have a picture of the sign for Chester zoo I took as I felt like he didn’t have control for the first time (we lived about 100 miles from there).

But I also know it’s not that simple. If it was I would never have moved in with him in the first place. Even if you’d told me all about the wonderful life that was waiting for me, it wouldn’t have made leaving that day any easier. But i want you to know that when it does happen you WONT regret it.

You women are so strong I’m sat in the car having a bit of a cry because as much as I can’t believe I’m not the only one I’m so sorry to know that there are others going through the hell ive been lucky enough to escape.

Sorry for the ramble flowers

socialworker222 Mon 03-May-21 17:02:10

Hello Proud. It's good to hear from people who are out the other side and feeling better for it. Gives hope to those stuck in the middle of it, or unable to imagine life being okay or manageable if they move on.
Good tip there Bunshine, focussing on the behaviours, not the supposed tortured necessity of it, or discovery of true authentic self. Just the crappy neglect of partners and children, the debt, the lies, the cowardice and avoidance, the regressive adolescent self-absorption, the absence of any responsibility-taking, the refusal to apologize, the failure of empathy or concern for others. All that applies in many of these cases, and the supposed underlying cause becomes rather irrelevant. It's just a sh** way to treat people you supposedly love and have made commitments to.
That video looks good; need to make time to watch it.

QuinnMovesOn Mon 03-May-21 04:20:32

@ProudExclu, welcome. Glad to hear you're doing well now. Though as others of us have learned, the trauma from this experience can take a long time to recover from. This is a terrific space to get support.

KickingBishopBrennanUpTheArrse Sun 02-May-21 22:37:04

Hello everyone and thank you for thread 4 Tinsel! Marking my spot and will catch up soon!

ProudExclu Sun 02-May-21 18:49:33

Hi. I’m a 31 year old woman. My ex came out as trans. I tried to support it but he just abused me really. Despite the fact he still stalks me and is currently actively but very covertly doing so now I consider myself out the other side. I have a fabulous partner who adores me and knows everything. There’s nothing he could find out about it that would change his view of me. We live in a beautiful big house in a nice area and I don’t have to constantly struggle like he caused us to. My partner is also bi-leaning and very comfortable with his sexuality and mine (I am openly bi). So he understands a lot of things I’ve had levelled at me in a way others don’t.

I hope everyone here is doing well.

TinselAngel Sun 02-May-21 01:13:55

I've not had chance to watch that interview yet but I'm told it's good.

OP’s posts: |
me4real Fri 30-Apr-21 20:54:04

@Justtryingtobehelpful Yes, I thought the interviews there were very impressive.

@TinselAngel I had someone on a group I'm on who was wondering where she could get support with what she's going through. I recommended these threads.

Justtryingtobehelpful Thu 29-Apr-21 12:14:38

Hello Ladies,
Seen this and thought of you all ....
youtu.be/9CUsIvrokOU
It's lovely and refreshing to see an alternative, but underreported, perspective being given such support.....

Justtryingtobehelpful Thu 29-Apr-21 06:43:27

This post has been hidden until the MNHQ team can have a look at it.

TinselAngel Sun 25-Apr-21 12:08:10

Shall I start a new thread today or leave it for a bit ?

OP’s posts: |
TinselAngel Sun 25-Apr-21 11:47:45

This is the point at which "not my circus, not my monkeys" needs to become your mantra.

OP’s posts: |
KickingBishopBrennanUpTheArrse Sun 25-Apr-21 09:42:50

Bunshine

*@SouthernTW* It's such a difficult time. Things will be so much better soon, though, with this out of your life.

I would, however, caution about managing your expectations regarding him taking much responsibility for the damage he's done.

I worked for years to get my ex to go to therapy for the compulsion, obsession, and finally cheating. He went to a well known organization in the UK that 'specializes' in these issues. I was incredibly naive to think he would get the help he needed. He and the counselor didn't cover any of it. Just how to move forward in his 'journey'. Disappointing isn't the word. Also probably malpractice.

I tell this story as an example of the fact that he will probably choose to fall headfirst into the current narrative of 'how amazing are you, darling' instead of confronting the damage he's caused. The issue is very one sided in public discourse and I've not seen one example of accountability for all the points you've mentioned.

It's difficult to get the fact that there is usually, for 'late-stage male transitioners', a suffering family on the other side of this behaviour acknowledged. Forget the added revelations of infidelity, huge expenditures, lying, cheating and betrayal (common almost the point of seeming de rigeur). They aren't a good look (ha!), so will most likely be swept under the rug by himself and his 'supporters'. Further, if he's got narcissistic tendencies, he'll only want to present his 'ideal' self, and will probably try his damndest to throw any memories of bad behaviour down the memory hole.

However, I've found that removing mention of gender identity entirely helps keep me centered and is how I choose to communicate with others regarding the experience. He came into our relationship with a lot of secrets, he had a lot of clandestine relationships, he was emotionally absent, he cheated, he treated me very poorly. In your case, he was spending loads of money in secret. That's a clearer picture of his behaviour. Because, regardless of the reason, he acted like a terrible person.

I hope this helps. The gender stuff was used as an excuse for my ex's sh%t behaviour so many times, it took me awhile to break through the cognitive dissonance to see things clearly. Like, he can act like a victim all he wants, I know what really happened and I am confident in my appraisal of the situation. Getting to that point is hard won, but provides so much peace of mind. flowers


Absolutely - focusing on what they did wrong without mentioning their "stunning and brave journey" highlights that they are just yet another middle aged husband and father who lied, cheated, abused and then blamed his family.

Bunshine Sun 25-Apr-21 09:34:50

@SouthernTW It's such a difficult time. Things will be so much better soon, though, with this out of your life.

I would, however, caution about managing your expectations regarding him taking much responsibility for the damage he's done.

I worked for years to get my ex to go to therapy for the compulsion, obsession, and finally cheating. He went to a well known organization in the UK that 'specializes' in these issues. I was incredibly naive to think he would get the help he needed. He and the counselor didn't cover any of it. Just how to move forward in his 'journey'. Disappointing isn't the word. Also probably malpractice.

I tell this story as an example of the fact that he will probably choose to fall headfirst into the current narrative of 'how amazing are you, darling' instead of confronting the damage he's caused. The issue is very one sided in public discourse and I've not seen one example of accountability for all the points you've mentioned.

It's difficult to get the fact that there is usually, for 'late-stage male transitioners', a suffering family on the other side of this behaviour acknowledged. Forget the added revelations of infidelity, huge expenditures, lying, cheating and betrayal (common almost the point of seeming de rigeur). They aren't a good look (ha!), so will most likely be swept under the rug by himself and his 'supporters'. Further, if he's got narcissistic tendencies, he'll only want to present his 'ideal' self, and will probably try his damndest to throw any memories of bad behaviour down the memory hole.

However, I've found that removing mention of gender identity entirely helps keep me centered and is how I choose to communicate with others regarding the experience. He came into our relationship with a lot of secrets, he had a lot of clandestine relationships, he was emotionally absent, he cheated, he treated me very poorly. In your case, he was spending loads of money in secret. That's a clearer picture of his behaviour. Because, regardless of the reason, he acted like a terrible person.

I hope this helps. The gender stuff was used as an excuse for my ex's sh%t behaviour so many times, it took me awhile to break through the cognitive dissonance to see things clearly. Like, he can act like a victim all he wants, I know what really happened and I am confident in my appraisal of the situation. Getting to that point is hard won, but provides so much peace of mind. flowers

Zeev Sun 25-Apr-21 08:30:45

SouthernTW, flowers

SouthernTW Sun 25-Apr-21 03:58:59

We told the kids about the divorce. They still don't know about the tg issue. My daughter asked him, "I don't understand how this went from you losing weight to getting a divorce?" I wanted to say, "You and me both, sugar."

Anyhow, I am resolute that I am not going to let him repaint himself as a victim of his so-called gender identity. What about all the lies, deception, and online cheating? Not to mention the money he spent on his online escapades. I could have had a housekeeper with that money! He has not kept his side of the street clean. My son is pretty much done with him and even my daughter is perfectly happy only seeing him a few hours a week. Part of me would love to ask him if it's worth it.

Thank you fellow transwidows for sharing your stories. You have given me boldness in getting out of this situation.

highame Thu 22-Apr-21 09:08:01

Just dropping in to give you all my continued support flowers

socialworker222 Thu 22-Apr-21 08:43:20

The similarities and repetitive nature of these behaviours never ceases to amaze me, and strikes everyone joining these threads.
Bishop I too am in a good place, free, glad I'm rid of him, but sometimes get waves of anger about 1) money, 2) treatment of my children and 3) as you say, the deceit. My ex was middle-class, buffered by private money, and worked in about the most sympathetic 'woke' profession possible, to make his move. He too waited, knowing his secret, using me and leading me into family life, until trans stuff became very mainstream around 2015, Bruce Jenner, that boxer. He had no fear of discrimination or violence as popularly believed, and no fear of major repercussions for him. Coming out as 'trans' was not at all 'brave' despite the protestations of his colleagues and some friends; when I asked if he feared anything making this move, the single thing he feared was 'being laughed at'. Not mortal violence or discrimination, rejection, loss of his family (which he got), but derision. The vanity and delusion of this smile. So I don't buy the victimhood at all. Coming out as trans now, you are handled with kid gloves by all around. We don't live in homophobic parts of the world, and he carried enormous male and class privilege before doing this.
I talked to a divorcing friend yesterday and noted that you can either fight this, try to get someone to behave ethically and decently, try to get them to communicate, respect other's boundaries, and treat children well, but they repeatedly don't. So you either don't get what you want, and spend time/energy on trying, or you don't get what you want and stop investing time and energy. The latter works much better for me. I never got an apology, or recognition of the impact of this, or fair treatment, but I now don't waste more of my life and time on him where possible.
So so many people are secretly sceptical; over two thirds of my colleagues are dubious about trans identity, concerned about women's rights, and question gender ideology. But absolutely none of us say a word. Doesn't mean we buy the nonsense.

KickingBishopBrennanUpTheArrse Mon 19-Apr-21 17:57:59

SeasideM yes you're right, boundaries are so important.

Going grey rock, giving away nothing that can be used against you (eg I told him the phrase gaslighting & he used it to describe me to lawyers) and absolutely refusing for you or the children to be their narcissistic supply. I found that my lawyer & barrister, CAFCASS social workers and family court judges saw through it all instantly and he was told that this was not his opportunity to air his "issues" but that it was ONLY about the child who had suffered a "bereavement".

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