I frequently receive posts from people that have/ or will have problems with their relationship. Either they are transitioning or want to transition and their partner is not OK with it, OR, they are the partner who is not OK with it (i.e. the non-transitioner).
I have written and re-written this post. I don’t think it is great, but hopefully it communicates what I am trying to say.
All relationships have difficulties. There is no guarantee they will last no matter how much we want them to. Leaving your partner because they are transitioning is nothing to feel guilty about. It is the reasons why you are leaving and how you do it that counts. Being afraid to tell your partner you are transgender is a valid fear. Yes, they may react badly and, yes, they may leave. But then again, they may stay.
In some cases there is nothing you can do. You feel the way you feel and your partner reacts how they react.
However, for both partners, there is a behavioural element in action and reaction that makes situations easier. This is the “why and how” part. Your behavioural actions in a situation can be far more damaging than the situation itself. How you behave, how you speak to your partner, how you physically communicate, your tone, hurtful words, are generally worse than the message itself.
We have all heard the notion of “picking the right time”. Pick the right time to talk about an issue. We can use that as a classic example of the kind of behaviour I mean. A good time is a) one free of distractions (no kids, no phones, no computers, no prior engagements) b) a time when nothing else big or stressful is going on c) you are ready and have the information you need to communicate effectively without getting too upset, angry etc d) you can see your partner is at least willing to sit down and at least listen. e) you are prepared that your partner won’t listen.
Find the most optimal time to talk about issues. Monitor your behaviour. How would you feel if your partner were doing/ saying/ behaving like this to you?
We can not always help our reactions. That is ok. It is a big shock to learn your partner is transgender or is leaving you. Just remember that it is hurtful for you both. You are both human. Try to play nice.