There’s a common thread that runs through many relationships where one spouse comes out as trans: selfishness. I’ve had it hurled at me in anger many times over the past few years.
Other trans people talk of their (often ex-) spouses leveling this against them and blogs of ex-spouses talk of their trans spouse being selfish over and over. Even the spouses that stay with their trans partner express their frustration over it.
As the date moves closer to my wife moving out, I am more deeply feeling my own selfishness as it relates to her. My grief at the dissolution of our marriage bubbles up and washes over the dreams we had together, and I feel them lingering on the edge of my consciousness, formerly pleasant dreams now plunged into wretchedness.
In the beginning, there was the happy tingle of finding that person I was willing to have kids with and the dreams of raising a family and seeing them off into the world together. The dreams of growing old together and loving each other until she or I held each other’s hand and slipped away. The dreams of lust and love, tenderness and care, support and nurturing.
Those dreams are now a vacuum that suck in regret for hurting her, imploding her dreams in the process, and also pull in loneliness, doubt, and fear.
Madness stalks me, taunting me, calling me weak for giving in and not being strong enough to resist. Then it whispers in my ear that I’m destroying my marriage and tearing my family apart over a silly compulsion to be what I am not, can never be.
Every beard hair I have removed, every article of clothing I buy and wear, every millimeter of longer hair I grow, every piece of jewelry I wear, every estrogen tablet I take, I do consciously, selfishly. The script of my life has been lost and I am improvising, going on feel, doing what feels comfortable for me and with little care of how it impacts others. The words of my grandparents echo in my head, “Be mindful of the needs of others,” while my own answer, “What about my needs? What about me?” reflects back.
Even my doubt is selfish; wondering if I‘m doing the right thing, if I’ll ever find love again and be relegated to being forever lonely, if there was something else I could have done to avoid all this, if I’ll ever blend in the way I want to. There’s no one else there but me in those moments.
Compulsion, mania, mental illness, nature, addiction, nurture; the etiology of it means fuck-all when I’m obviously willing to lose everything in my life to satiate it and find a measure of peace. There seems to be no way around it.
All for my dream of living my life as a woman.