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Feminism: Sex & gender discussions

Trans Widows escape committee

972 replies

TinselAngel · 01/12/2017 15:55

This is a second attempt to start a thread for women who have been, or are still in unhappy relationships with Trans partners.

Having got out of a marriage to a man who transitioned shortly after we split, it would be good to be able to support others in a similar situation.

I know there's a few of you out there?

OP posts:
Farinthepast · 05/12/2017 08:32

Emily your husband sounds like a real charmer! "I want, I want, I want!" Where do your needs come in all of this? Are they ever voiced and acknowledged by him or just swept aside because his needs are "more important"?

QuarksandLeptons · 05/12/2017 09:07

Flowers Emily. Please know that you have lots of women here to listen. You do what you need to and we will be here for support whatever happens.

You sound very strong but your husband sounds like he has made you feel like you have no options. But you do. You’re articulate and clever and insightful and if you did just leave you would find a way to make things work for you and your children. I’m not pushing you to do this, I obviously respect your decision to do what feels right.

What he is putting you through is intolerable. You don’t need to justify to anyone why it is. It’s coercive and abusive.

If you did leave, do you have family or friends you could stay with until you find your feet?

I just wonder whether biding your time with him means that due to his controlling behaviour you can’t actually form a plan to leave him. Maybe the nuclear option of just leaving unexpectedly would allow you to have space to think through the best route forward for you and your children.

birdbandit · 05/12/2017 09:09

Holy moly Emily. Please locate some cash, and use it to speak to a lawyer. KNOWING what your out situation really might be, would be great therapy. He will if he is anything like mine, he thinks that everyone has a price. Right now he is acting as if he owns you. Lawyer up. Assume he has all the usual on your phone and leave it at home, make paper notes. Could you buy a PAYG for typing here etc? Knowing you are clawing back some control helps.

You don't need to act on it, I am not trying to bully you into leaving, but knowing helps. You might decide to laugh at his satin clad repellent ass, if it nets you X per year and you fancy a nice retirement away, once the kids are grown. Or you might discover that despite his threats, you will be OK.

This isn't your secret to keep. If he insists on living this way, let him explain himself to the kids and family once you have gone. You could be very Nicole Kidman about it, dignity is attractive. Let this foolish man make a fool of himself. If you weren't there "as an anchor" what would he do? And would this prove you correct and not crazy?

Take photos. Not to hurt him with, photos of his stuff if not of him. Document this binge, what he says, because next time he is on a martyr purge, he will try to minimise your experience, make you question your memory. If you document you will know, really know, that it is him and not you whose grasp on reality is questionable.

And if you can find a way of stopping this being on your mind all the time, if you can sleep through the night, please tell me how!

thesamesamestory · 05/12/2017 17:00

Name changed for this.

Holy hell, are we all married to the same man? Here's mine:

  • high earner in IT

  • started with stockings, just an occasional sex thing, then wanted it more and more, and now after 16 years of marriage he has "always been a girl inside" and "if I love him I should love the real him, I'm sorry, her"

  • also moved us far, far away from family and friends - now I have no earnings, no support network, and no work permit

  • says my "trust issues" are due to my "PTSD from my childhood" and don't have anything to do with his well kept secrets or double life. Also says I have to go and "fix my issues" and then we can be happy

  • sex life always a bit crap and he doesn't want it that often - apparently it's way more interesting to stare at himself in the mirror in skirts and stockings and every now and then lift the skirt so he can admire the outline of his ladydick

  • spends his money on clothes - he only has "a dozen or so" skirts whereas I manage with two or three. Although I no longer want to wear feminine clothing since they remind me of his male body in silly little girl dresses.

  • admits he wants to be "taken" by a big burly man while wearing "girly" clothes but apparently this is not gay because he doesn't want to know the man (?)

  • always talks of being "a girl" and the outfits he likes are mostly for teenagers, even though he's a gray haired 46-year-old and built like a rugby player
WindowsNeedCleaning · 05/12/2017 17:59

oh these stories are so so so sad. I wish you all the strength to get away from these awful men. For as much as they think they are women, it's a rare woman who is so utterly selfish and neglectful of others' feelings as these men.

Flowers to you all. Please don't let these men take you away from yourselves. Their fetish is not your fault or fate.

norahnamechange · 05/12/2017 18:33

I wonder whether some women are blindsided by the 'unique' nature of this fetish? What I have read above seems on a par with the emotional abuse and coercive control relationships that I read on the relationships board
To those of you lovely women upthread affected, perhaps spend some time looking at some of the threads on that board where you can see women starting to clear their heads (with the support of others) and start to make some moves to regain control and remove themselves from their toxic relationships? The principles are the same - even though the presentation of these situations seems very different - and are perhaps particularly silencing?

GuardianLions · 05/12/2017 19:00

Flowers women. But your male partners piss me off. Devious, controlling, self-centred, entitled fetishists.
I know of women who daren't tell their male partners they are on anti-depressants and the like. I am glad you are writing here, doing your own thing, despite their attempts to totally control you (although please be safe).
You deserve to have your situation understood and to have that name for your condition 'trans widows'.
Sorry I have nothing useful to say - but I am on your side.

Datun · 05/12/2017 19:30

I am also on your side.

I’ve just see this short video from a woman whose husband has come out as trans.

She is calm, incisive and rational. She remarks how her husband transitioning has actually made him more unhappy. And how the media are oh so reluctant to talk about this.

GuardianLions · 05/12/2017 19:48

Thanks for the video Datun

DJBaggySmalls · 05/12/2017 19:58

thesamesamestory Flowers

''Its OK - I'm not gay'' is the trans widow version of 'But we took you to Stately Homes''.
I do wonder if they target abuse survivors, who tend to be easier to isolate than those with strong family ties.

( the Stately Homes thread; )

RandomMess · 05/12/2017 20:10

I suppose any one that selfish or narcissistic will seek a partner they can control, even if it's only subconsciously. Anyone who isn't kind and soft hearted enough to let them have what they want will have been ditched quickly.

KOKO ladies Thanks

TinselAngel · 05/12/2017 21:00

For those of you still in these relationships (as I was not that long ago), the main gaslighting is your husband's assertions that it is you that has the problem for not being able to accept it, that you are narrow minded or unreasonable, that its not really that bad or unusual, that you should love the "real" him. ("Her").

Whereas in reality if you do not feel comfortable with anything in a relationship then it is NOT OK.

The constant lies undermining any trust and causing continual anxiety over what is next. Feeling like you're being dragged along in the wake of somebody else's whims and impulses is impossible to deal with for any length of time. (Sorry for mixed metaphors).

Hold onto your own beliefs and values. Don't let them be browbeaten out of you.

PS- every husband on this thread has been a high earner in IT- it further convinces me there's a connection to autism in all this.

OP posts:
TinselAngel · 05/12/2017 21:25

PPS, thanks for the video @Datun, I just got round to watching it, and that's pretty much my story.

I'd love to speak out more, if I didn't have a daughter to protect.

OP posts:
TinselAngel · 05/12/2017 21:35

@birdbandit the only way I found to stop the situation being constantly on my mind was antidepressants. I went on them after my first appointment with a Counsellor when she said I was too anxious for her to help. I realise they're not for everyone though.

(Sorry for repeated posts, just catching up).

OP posts:
birdbandit · 06/12/2017 09:40

That video!

It was harrowingly accurate, the spiral from tranny porn, my experience is freakishly similar.

Wow, thanks for the share.

She talks about a community of wives, does anyone know who she is referring to? I need friends who understand the crazy.

birdbandit · 06/12/2017 09:45


My worry about anti depressants is that by using them I might then find this situation more tolerable, be numb to the grim. I feel he is so tricky I need to be sharp.

I probably misunderstand how they work etc. I want to know that any decisions I make are my own.

Maybe later, but not now. I am very glad they worked for you.

abbey44 · 06/12/2017 12:32

Hi, I'm another one here to count in.... I'm 15 years out of my marriage now, but these stories, well, they are mine too. It wasn't so open then, and I never told anyone what was going on. I thought I was the only one. I wish I'd known then what I know now - I don't think I'd be quite so fucked up if I had. I don't think I'll ever have a proper relationship again.

Counselling then was less than helpful - one counsellor told me it was my 'unsympathetic attitude' that was causing the problems and another was so agog at the lurid details that she couldn't help her eyes popping out on stalks and gasping 'wow, what did he do then?' and 'how did that make you feel' The answer was 'shit then and even more shit now' and I haven't been back since. I thought I could just parcel it up and lock it away, but it doesn't work like that, does it? I'm actually scared now to try and deal with it because I think I might just go into meltdown and then what...?

We had two sons, who were 6 and 9 when we separated. They had no idea about any of it; I didn't want anything to change the way they looked at their dad. I didn't say anything to anyone else because I felt protective of his professional name and reputation, which would have been affected (20 years ago there wasn't much trans-acceptance) but he threw me under the bus and told everyone that I'd left him for another man.

The lies, deceit, the escalation and barging through of boundaries (I'd tried so hard to find some way we could accommodate his needs), the gaslighting... It's all so clear with hindsight, but when you're in the middle of it, you just can't see a way out. Reading these accounts brings it all back.

Datun · 06/12/2017 12:34

She talks about a community of wives, does anyone know who she is referring to? I need friends who understand the crazy.

bird. As far as I know she was talking in Belgium. I don’t know how that helps, if at all.

Maybe google her and see where a bit of Internet surfing takes you.

birdbandit · 06/12/2017 13:12

Given how closely our husbands and ex all seem to follow the same script, how similar these men are in action, it does slightly detract from their assertions that they are unique victims of their special essence.

Mine has let people believe I am crazy, that I have sexual difficulties, and that I have had an affair.

I am not so sure that nowadays I would need to let this happen. Not my secret, and anyway, if I were to keep him in the closet wouldn't that make me the bigot?

birdbandit · 06/12/2017 13:14

Abbey, glad you got out, sorry if this is bringing bad things up again for you.

birdbandit · 06/12/2017 13:39

I am certain Shannon wouldn't have been allowed to give that talk in the UK, and if she had, she would have faced a lot of abuse from activists.

abbey44 · 06/12/2017 14:36

Thanks bird, it does a bit, but not necessarily in a bad way, if that makes sense. For so long I thought it was just me - just me that this had happened to, and just me that was the cause/root of the problem (because that's what he told me) and the more I learn from stories like yours and everyone else's the more I can see that it really wasn't. The narrative is so so similar - ironic really, as they all tell themselves they're so unique Grin.

Funnily enough, his latest gf called me a few months ago for some reason and we got on really well - it appears that he hasn't changed at all in the meantime, and I felt relieved that it wasn't part of my life any more.

I do feel cheated - for myself and for our children - of the family life I thought we'd had and would have. I don't think he will ever understand that. Never mind the headfuck he put me through.

If this thread and others like it can enlighten other women and make them see that this isn't how their lives have to be, then it can only be a good thing.

RedToothBrush · 06/12/2017 15:04

Isn't it odd. I read through this thread out of interest because my brother is trans and its destroyed my family.

What jumped out were two things. I distinctly remember when I was 10 a conversation my Mum had where she said that me and my brother were born the wrong way around. I should have been the boy and he should have been the girl. I think she said it repeatedly but I remember this one instance with such clarity. I can remember where I was and what toys I was playing with. There are few conversations I remember so well. I don't know if it made a difference but I am three years older. I was more dominant as the eldest, whilst he was passive. He also was small, terrible at sport, rather sickly, an August child and quite feminine. In terms of the male 'pecking order' he would be towards the very bottom.

Through my teens and early twenties I very much struggled with being a woman. I hated it. I wished I had been a man. I wished that I was not so obviously female and perhaps could be more androgynous. I wished I could be in a band and play guitar and 'look right' as women with guitars 'don't look right'.

I struggled with being a woman to the point that I hated it so much I said I did not want children. I told DH this and he accepted it. He was very upset when I broke down and said it was more complex than that. In the end for numerous reasons I had a CS on mental health grounds which I had to organise before I would agree to getting pregnant.

My brother insisted I was not told until after he had changed his name and was some way into treatment 'because of my husband'. DH is 6' 2" and very much a stereotypical alpha male.

When he did come out, he then approached my Mum saying that I was being unsupportive and that I was disrespecting him. I had barely spoken more than a dozen words to him on the subject, more because I wasn't around much and in the process of moving house. Again it was made about my husband too. Apparently my approval was incredibly important.

The second thing that jumped out, was about when he did dress in women's clothes, it was disturbing on a number of levels. It was the choice of clothes, and the fact he tried to look like me, but in a twisted way taking in one of his hobbies (which I won't mention as it is too identifying but it has connections with sexual interests and connotations).

In the end I cut contact pretty quickly with him, because I felt it wasn't about being trans, but about the behaviour that being trans enabled. I said to myself early on that I would have not have accepted the treatment I had as my brother, so why should I accept it because they were trans. To not do that would be bigoted. I still hold to that strongly. It wasn't until recently that I started to realise that it was actually an abusive dynamic. I was always framed as the one 'with the problem' and I believed this. I was caught up in my own internal conflict about how could I be so intolerant and not liberal minded enough. Again something that I now see for what it is; a con trick.

I fear greatly about the future and how it might impact on my son. My Mum bought into the narrative, without question and there is pressure for me to 'make up'. I have told her that in no uncertain terms that it will not happen.

I do worry about what she will say to my son about it all. I think back to the comments my Mum made when I was a child, and ask why they seems to significant to me for all those years and whether the idea of being trans simply provided a confirmation bias reaction for both my brother and my Mum. Would the same have happened to me, if I had different influences? I also wonder if she might do the same to my son, if he is feminine in build. At the moment he is small and 'pretty'. He will not have any brothers or sisters as I couldn't go through pregnancy again as I hated it that much, and because I wouldn't want him to have a sibling who did what my brother has done to me. He is even a September child, quite by design.

It has all been a significant contributor to my collapse in self confidence and my mental health problems. As time goes on, I wonder more and more if deep seated insecurity and jealously are drivers. Its consistent with the emphasis on power and its also consistent with abusive traits and behaviour which it enables because of that power.

Of course, this is not something I can have a conversation with any of my family in a rational manner. The narrative of victim and bigot has been set up and ingrained. I dread when my parents die in more than one way.

I can not image the same if it was my partner not my brother. It would be even more destructive and toxic.

Its also why I feel it so important that research into why someone comes out as trans is just so important. The destructive nature of it, isn't due to bigotry or narrow-mindedness. Psychologically, its impossible to 'just accept' because of the way it affects the nature and dynamics of other relationship because your own identity is very much connected to the identity and role/position of others in your family. It is categorically not the same as having someone homosexual in the family for this reason. The fact that there is such a resistance to this type of research is also somewhat alarming.

I do believe there are consistent and repeated patterns of behaviour that are not discussed or even known of, because there is so much stigma for the families of those who come out as trans and very often the families have others they want to protect from the shower of shit that even raising questions or concerns brings.

Those of us close to those who are trans, seen to be very often saying something very different to this idea of idyllic notion of declaring yourself to be want ever you want without any notion of realities or the impact on the identity and well being of others.

My best wishes to the trans widows on this thread. I do not envy you situation as it is far worse than the one I face. I only say, don't doubt yourselves. You feel something for a reason, even if you can not articulate it or express it for various reasons. It absolutely is not bigotry. Separate the behaviour from the identity. Watch how the two are combined to justify the unjustifiable.

birdbandit · 06/12/2017 15:19

Wow Red, that's a big one.

I totally understand that when you have been abused, and in this instance by your brother, that you fear history repeating, and in this instance with your son.

Your son is growing up in a different world with a different mother. You can buy him Cordelia Fine books, you can be the well educated and experienced mum who having lived with this, does things differently. You aren't going to be projecting your ideas of what is suitable gender based activities onto your child, creating a grim mental health situation for your child, should he not follow the defined gender roles.

Your mum makes me very angry.

I guess from what you write that your brother has a sexual and escape fantasy that he is a woman and more specifically you, in the same way I understand my husband has about women and (uggghh) me.

You know that it isn't your crazy don't you?

Tell your mum to beat it.

Alwaysinmyheart · 06/12/2017 15:27

I don't know if this has been posted before, but I found this woman's account very powerful, very similar to what some of you have posted here and again, very much emotional abuse.

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