The gender issues that your partner may be dealing with can have a great impact on your relationship. In the beginning of coming to terms with this, you may be angry, shocked, saddened or completely shut down and afraid to tell anyone about what you and your loved one are going through. If you and your partner have been working with this for a while, you may be in a place of seeking out support from others; or wondering what their gender journey implies for you and your identity.
You are not alone. Reach out for support. Whether you make an appointment with me, attend a group, or join an online discussion, surround yourself with a few safe people who can sit with you as you sort out your questions.
Taking care of yourself, as best you can, is important for both of you.
If you aren't ready to talk-there are many resources online that can provide information. However, keep in mind that there each person's experience, expression and journey is unique. So while you may find similarities in the stories that are referenced below, what you can't know, is how your own story will unfold. In my work with couples, individuals and families who are dealing with these issues, I have always been struck by the resilience they show as they struggle to adapt to the changes that gender questioning can bring.
For those of you who have partners who are gender variant, gender fluid, cross-dressing, or transgender identified, here are resources here that may be helpful.
For Partners of Gender Variant People
Website of author Arlene Istar Lev-Transgender Emergence; a comprehensive
text on the subject of therapy with gender variant people and their
families. Below are some articles from her site:
Transgender Emergence by Arlene Istar-Lev, LCSW
Wives, Partners and Others: Living with Cross-dressing Edited by: Dixon, J. and Dixon, D. (1991)
Head over Heals: Wives who Stay with Cross Dressers and Transsexuals by Virgina Erdhart
My Husband Betty : Love, Sex and Life with a Cross-Dresser by Helen Boyd
She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders by Jenny Finney Boylan