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Thread: Feel like I'm failing at life...

  1. #1
    Junior Member Joan.Meredith's Avatar
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    Dec 2014
    Pasadena, MD

    Feel like I'm failing at life...

    I feel like I'm falling apart.. My wife talked with our pastor, and I've been told by him that there is no place in the world for Joan. Also I don't know if my wife will let me dress even androgynous at all, let alone as Joan. I need to find a happy medium, but I don't know if there is one. I feeling desperate right now.

    Then she asked me how I felt about her, the other week. I might have said something here? Well, my love has changed into more like a sister. So I'm dealing with the change in her from telling her that. Honestly I want to be with her but not sexual with her. I cant be sexual without help, and then it's just not full filling. Our relationship has changed so much that last two months, it's starting to make my head spin. I'm beginning to understand why my wife has been acting the way she has.

    She hardly shares the bed with me any more. Most of the time she gets in bed after I leave . I go to bed, and she stays up and falls asleep on the couch.

    I feel more pain than I have in a while. Was repressing Joan better for me and my family than letting her out? I don't know, I do know that she is out and she is in pain a lot. So is John though. I've got to figure this out, or I feel like I'm going to implode.

    It has been a struggle to wear my wedding band the last two days. Only my feminine ring that's the only ring I've got on. I have been wearing both, but after the talk with the pastor, and my wife. I can barely wear it.

    We go on vacation to Florida tomorrow night, I know I should be happy. I'm miserable. I just want to crawl into a hole and .. .... I don't know. ... ....
    Last edited by Lorileah; 01-31-2017 at 01:09 PM. Reason: Please read the rights of content section of the FAQs
    Joan Meredith,
    Slow to live the dream
    I'll get there when I get there

  2. #2
    Member Elizabeth Ann's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    I am really sorry you have to go through this agony. I wish I could say something more comforting, but all I can do is give you a virtual hug. I know many people turn to religious leaders for guidance, but perhaps that can be supplemented with someone more neutral. Most of the professional counseling community these days are safe enough that you could agree to a choice by your wife.

    But please don't do anything rash or irreparable. You are not failing at life, despite how it may feel at the moment. Don't give up.

  3. #3
    Junior Member Genni's Avatar
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    Jan 2016
    Southwest Colorado
    You are going through some tough times, dear girl. Go enjoy your vacation and keep talking with your wife. Try to be as open and honest with her as you can. I hope you will go see a counselor other than your pastor when you return. It is likely that you are on the road to some big changes in your life and a good therapist would be a huge help as you find your way.

  4. #4
    Aspiring Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    Dec 2016
    Denver, Colorado

    I'm not a gender therapist, but my sense is that you are experiencing extreme gender dysphoria. Been there, done that, many times. It is very difficult to deal with but it can be brought under control. So, I know what you are talking about and it is extremely difficult for loved ones to understand. They think you have lost all your marbles. That said, there is hope, but it will take action on your part to address it.

    First of all, don't force your feelings and desires on your wife. She does not deserve that and you come across as a dictator and not many wives these days will tolerate that for a minute. Assure her that you recognize the problem it is causing for "our marriage." And then go do something about it if you desire to stay married. But never make her feel that all the problems are because she can't accept who you are. In fact, there is a bit of a problem on her side, but only a little bit. DON'T SAY THAT TO HER. The fact is, the problem is with you and the dysphoria you are experiencing. If you are going to insist on anything insist that she trust you to obtain therapy help to deal with your feelings, your dysphoria, and get things under control. Don't tell her she needs to go to therapy too as that is a threat to her and is her choice.

    To deal with it, find a gender therapist and go into that experience with a completely open mind and be totally honest with the therapist - don't hold anything back. Without all the information they may not be able to properly help you. But in going to therapy don't have expectations that they will help you to do what you are feeling you would like or want to do. They will first help you to understand what is going on within you and then they will help you find a comfort zone. It may be transitioning or it may be just an agreement. Furthermore, during therapy your feelings may change as you come to understand what is going on. You are gender variant, that is for sure, but what kind? No way to tell as the dysphoria has fogged up the view. At some point your wife may be invited in for a discussion and it may be a session or two or more just for her and the therapist. That may lead to joint sessions.

    But the first mission is to get you stable with respect to the dysphoria you are experiencing. That is common among people like us, but it is not normal because it has terrible effects on our day to day lives or with our relationships. Anything that does that - addiction, gender dysphoria, depression, etc. - is not normal and needs correction. If you don't know which way to turn but feel you need help then seek the help. It is really, really hard to Think your way out of this because the dysphoria itself has muddled your thinking and is acting as a block, even if only a partial block, to your figuring it out and self correcting your feelings.

    I feel very badly this has happened to you; it is a story that is all too common. But there is hope. To bring the hope to a realization you must act and act quickly before things get worse. I was like you 4 years ago and my wife was terrified. Today we have a good relationship. Is it ideal? Is what I wanted? No, but we are still very much in love and share a great deal, just not Gretchen. My wife went to therapy as well as me. But it was mostly my responsibility to find the path to a comfortable compromise. Didn't take long, but without it we would have given up on 44 years of marriage. That was not an option for me or her.

    Good luck.


  5. #5
    Feminaut Julie MA's Avatar
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    Dec 2016
    Joan, I feel so much for you and this situation. All I can suggest is to decide on your top priorities and make decisions on where to go based on those. Male problem solving talking there. No matter what, it sounds like somethings need to change, and already have begun to. When things have been most difficult for me, I focus on my health, diet, exercise, sleep, etc. This clears my head and helps make the decisions easier. Julie
    Inside my heart is breaking
    My make-up may be flaking
    But my smile still stays on

    Such is CD life (sounds so much better in French)

  6. #6
    Member Helen Waite's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    First thing, find another church. You don't need dogmatic condemnation. Then find an unbiased counselor for counseling.

  7. #7
    Gold Member alwayshave's Avatar
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    Dec 2011
    Washington, DC
    I will second finding another counselor. Bringing religious convictions into counseling is not right. I don't have a problem with someone who has a differing opinion than me about gender, it should just not be someone who is suppose to be helping you emotionally.
    Please call me Jamie, I always_have crossdressed, I always will, "alwayshave".

  8. #8
    Senior Member Laura912's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
    East coast
    I know at least two pastors who are accepting and understanding of gender issues so a second or third opinion is needed there. You need a counselor who is trained in gender issues. It may require a drive to a larger town to find one. Your sexual dysfunction could well be wrapped up in all the stress with which you are dealing.

  9. #9
    Senior Member phili's Avatar
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    Mar 2016
    San Francisco Peninsula
    Chiming in here with all the good advice-Social customs and your wife's gender training are a comfort to her, and she is trying to find 'authority' figures like the pastor to tell you to get back in line, so to speak, with her views of safety and 'right' behavior. That makes it really difficult, since your social safety net is of course centered on her as your wife, and,as I tell my wife- 'we promised to love and cherish, honor and protect..."each other. My wife, like yours, is still betting on being angry, dismissive, citing society's conventions as de facto definitions of what is ok, etc. It's lousy, but it is to be expected. I have to keep telling myself that she apparently feel just as certain of her disgust/fear/anger as I am of my happy genderfluidity. How to resolve that in marriage is definitely a counseling process, since trying to have a conversation about it, as I am sure you are finding, is so difficult when your gut instincts are so different.

    My main point here is that you are not the problem- social customs and gender biology, etc are complicated and there is lots of variation. When the gender dysphoria time bomb explodes, which it has for you, it is disorienting, but that is because the environment around you is not set up for it. It is like finding yourself in a strange country where you feel you don't fit. The good news is that in a different environment of people you would be totally normal and could state how you feel without fear, so you can live your life normally as your self.

    Making the transition to the right environment may seem impossible, but as Gretchen says, time offers us and our loved ones the space to get to know each other differently. I don't want to be a stick figure to my wife, and she has to get over feeling that the stick figure was real and something she bought the rights to.

    My two cents:
    Breathe, and then smile- you are a real and good person, clearly, AND part of what is normal in this wonderful Creation, AND to be celebrated for what you bring to the table of mankind.

    Laugh- because what else are we going to do when trapped in a hall of mirrors and we need help!

    Accept that your sister doesn't want to sleep with you right now, let all points of conflict go, as best you can, and concentrate on your actions being steady and truthful and humane.

    Go to a good counselor, and after a while ask your wife to go too.

    Go to a different church- this is smart because you can find an accepting church, and no one is going to mess with your choice of church! Churches are meant to provide refuge, support, love, and affirm the beauty of Creation.
    We are all beautiful...!

  10. #10
    Aspiring Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    North Texas
    I think a lot of us have been in your situation in one way or another. Some have ended their marriages while others have worked things out and there are some that seem to able to quit cold turkey.

    I agree with someone else who suggested that you find a different church, or at least a different spiritual counselor (although, there are some issues with seeking a counselor that agrees with your side -- from your wife's perspective)

    I know how you feel, I've gone through the same things, sexually, sleeping wise, etc... I have thought of different scenerios on how to make myself happy or to end the anguish. For now, we've come to middle ground so to speak. For you, you should at least try and see it from your wife's side and empathize with her, but that is a 2 way street and she needs to try and understand you too.

    Life is complicated. The "abundant life" eludes many and was never really promised in the Bible. I pray that you will find peace.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Suzanne F's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    San Francisco Area
    This sounds like you are TS. I also think you should see a professional gender therapist. I was asked not to come back to my church when I began transition. It was very painful. I am sorry you are experiencing this but repression is not the answer if you are experiencing gender dysphoria, it will get worse if not faced. I went through transition and am still married even though it has been very difficult. PM me if you need anymore of my story.
    Life Is One Big Dilation

  12. #12
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    You have been hovering around that transition line, talking about hormones and surgeries...

    The reality is the closer you get to that the more your life gets disrupted. Everything is affected. It gets hard. It gets real. The life you had gets shredded. It is painful.

    Be careful, it only the begining if you keep moving that direction.

  13. #13
    Gracious Colleague looking_good's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
    Eugene, Oregon
    My heart is with you both in this very difficult situation. Others have offered sound advice regarding counseling and support for you, so I am thinking a bit about your wife for a moment. If you have already had these thoughts and ideas, please forgive me.

    She is experiencing a major 'change' in her primary relationship. Were I in that place, one of the many things I would feel is a loss of security in my most important relationship. Perhaps giving her back some of the control and security (along with some time to process and cope) could be helpful. Dialogs around 1) This is a part of me that has been difficult to share. Not sharing it before probably seems dishonest, but it is a journey I am on, I am learning as I go, so I have opened up to you now. Not talking about it at this point is probably worse for us. 2) I understand this is not something you expected and probably do not want. Perhaps we can agree to limits and boundaries? 3) There ARE couples who have gone down this path and found peace. Perhaps there is something to learn from their experiences.

    This is not my field, nor my innate gift - probably obvious at this point. I would perhaps look down the road and see what might be in this for her? In our case, I find myself a more empathetic partner ( I hope). There is a deeper level of trust now. I've learned I can share anything with her. And of course shopping for clothes with her is now a real delight!
    127 124 106 077

  14. #14
    MtF Transgender
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    100 km from Montreal, Quebec.
    I don't think it's a "social acceptance" problem. Joan cannot function sexually with his wife. That is not a social problem Gender identity issues are not a problem if they don't impair social or sexual function and for most of us here that appears to be the case. It's not society that is causing Joan to be unable to fulfill her wife sexually. That suggests that there is a deeper underlying problem. It may be transsexualism, it may be she's more attracted to men than women... we don't know, only a competent therapist can tease that out of her. There are lots of reasons for sexual dysfunction of course, many of them are physical diseases such as prostate cancer or diabetes to name a couple. I think most wives, especially as the couple ages, can find ways to cope with that. But a younger couple as Joan appears to be, and related to gender issues is another matter altogether and I think it's a reasonable expectation for either a man or a woman in the prime of life to have a physical dimension to their marriage. One thing my gender issues have never impaired is the ability to have a normal and fulfilling (for both of us) sexual relationship with my wife. I don't think our marriage would have survived without that. It's tough for a woman to marry a man and find out she's not really married to a man... and it sounds like this may be the case here.

    Joan I echo the others here, get counselling. Your pastor probably doesn't fully understand gender issues. He's right in a sense that "Joan" has no place in the marriage because Joan cannot have a conjugal relationship. But he's dead wrong to think that you can wave a magic wand and make Joan go away. Hopefully some balance can be found to make the marriage work... and here I think the spiritual aspect is important, for healing, and a relationship with God, at least for me, has helped me take stock of my situation and realize "it's not all about me". Marriage will always be about compromise whether gender issues are involved or not.

  15. #15
    Aspiring Member Acastina's Avatar
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    Jun 2011
    I agree with Helen, alwayshave, and Laura. A unilateral consultation by the wife with a clergyperson has a low probability of fully exploring and moving toward a resolution of what you're describing, which is a marriage that is becoming dysfunctional. You and your wife need to understand that you're not the first couple to experience this dilemma, and that there are many, many ways of approaching/exploring what is happening within you that are healthy, constructive, and affirming of your commitment to each other. A conservative pastor with a dogmatic worldview is a hand grenade under the tent flap here without a broader discussion and gaining more knowledge about gender variance and how to fit your individual version of it into your family situation.

    Ultimatums and sleeping separately seldom resolve anything. You need to find a gender-competent therapist, and soon. I know full well that feeling of a genie being let out of the bottle and feeling overwhelmed by emotions we can't readily control. It's not your fault that it happened to you, but it is up to you to find a way out of the helplessness. Good luck, and Godspeed.

  16. #16
    Gold Member Dana44's Avatar
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    Mar 2015
    Central Texas
    Joan, Get a therapist and find a new church that will understand you better. Spiritual help is very helpful in the right circumstances. You have a wife. Perhaps your sexual issues are far deep and need to be understood. That is also why you need a counselor. You need to be at peace with yourself. Take care of your health and your spiritual self. Julie is right about that. I have gender dysphoria also, but my SO is acceptable but does not under stand. why i am like I am. But I told her that I don't quite understand here either. So we accept each other lovingly. Oh I wish more women would be understanding of us. But in your case if you want her, treat her well and follow what Gretchen said. Marriage and relationships are important and .Love and protect her as best you can. But if you are going to go the transition route you seriously need to find help. Therapist or Counselor.
    Part Time Girl

  17. #17
    Silver Member Jodi's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Sorry to hear this. It's a tough time. Whether you want to admit it or not, your marriage is over. Face that fact. Time to prepare for a divorce. This starts with hiring the best lawyer you can now. Tell your lawyer up front about your tg.

    People might think I am callous, but I've been through this. She will have a good lawyer, you will also need one.

    You can be pillaged into the poorhouse and lose all contact with your children--worst case scenario. I've seen it happen to friends.

    Divorce can get really nasty. Remember--Hell hath no fury like that of a woman scorned.


  18. #18
    formerly: aBoyNamedSue IamWren's Avatar
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    Sep 2015
    First off, I'm so sorry you feel this way Joan. The tone of your post is so melancholic... i just hope you don't do anything rash.

    I'm curious what's happened though that had your wife talk to y'all's pastor. I mean just six weeks ago you wrote a post that described how she was keeping a look out for CD and transsexual movies for you two to watch when you both saw The Danish Girl. And you've made it sound that she's rather supportive even ok with you getting FFS and breast augmentation.

    I saw in an older post where you said you're attracted to men. Did your wife know this prior to talking to the pastor? And in this post you said your relationship with her has changed in the past two months... how? And why do you think that is? How long has she not been sleeping in bed with you?

    There are quite a few more hard questions that could be asked and that you should face that I think are relevant and important to what's happened between you and your wife and to the feelings your having (i.e. wearing your wedding band, not wanting a sexual relationship with your wife, want to stay with her, viewing her as a sibling)

    I'm sorry if it seems as though I'm calling you out but honestly, I think you owe to yourself and very much so to your wife to be completely honest about what's driving these feelings.

    Thinking of you and yours and keeping you in Light.
    I am not a woman nor am I am man... I am an enby. Hi, my name is Wren.

  19. #19
    Banned Spammer
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Between here and there but mostly here close to the donuts.
    I too think you need to see a gender therapist instead of a pastor. Religious dogma doesn't mix well with gender issues.
    I'm a religious person but most pastors aren't gender therapists. Pastors have their place yes but not in this case.
    I do hope you find an answer to your problems.

  20. #20
    MtF Transgender
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    100 km from Montreal, Quebec.
    Well I'm Catholic and both my spiritual director and confessor, from a conservative religious order, have been terrific. They never tried to offer gender therapy. What they have done was listen to me, comfort me when I was in distress, and reassured me of God's mercy. When I spilled all to my elderly 80 y.o. confessor in tears, he simply said that I was made that way, it wasn't my fault (he knows my childhood story), yes I should try to overcome my faults, but not to the point of making everyone else around me miserable. Then reminded me of God's constant mercy and then gave me absolution. No wrath, no sermons. You can imagine, I came out of the confessional walking on clouds! What's remarkable is that my wife had outed me spiritual director. It made no difference to him nor to our relationship. Completely non-judgmental.

    I think the spiritual dimension should not be ignored. It's not meant to replace gender therapy, but can complement it and help support you through the rough patches.

  21. #21
    Platinum Member
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    Dec 2008
    S.E.Baltimore Co. Maryland USA
    Hi Joan, I agree with the other ladies that you need to remove yourself from that church......
    Having my ears triple pierced is AWESOME, ~~......

    I can explain it to you, But I can't comprehend it for you !

    If at first you don't succeed, Then Skydiving isn't for you.

    Be careful what you wish for, Once you ring a bell , you just can't Un-Ring it !! !!

  22. #22
    Junior Member Heather J's Avatar
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    Nov 2009
    Sorry to hear about your problems, I can relate to just about all of them, but look at the bright side it could always be worst, you could be unemployed too !... (Going on 6 months for me)

  23. #23
    Silver Member Barbara Jo's Avatar
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    Sep 2009
    "Upstate" NY USA.... Site of the first crash of the "Vin Fizz"
    Rule number one......
    One must like themselves.

    if someone does no like you, screw them and do no let them dictate how you feel!
    Happiness is not a future condition. It is a Present state of mind.

    "....And it's only the giving that makes you what you are" - Ian Anderson

    "It's all right now, I learned my lesson well..... You see, you can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself." - Ricky Nelson

    "It is hard to imagine a more stupid or more dangerous way of making decisions than by putting those decisions in the hands of people who pay no price for being wrong." -Thomas Sowell

  24. #24
    I am me! TrishaTX's Avatar
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    Apr 2015
    Keller texas
    I don't have anything the ladies haven't already said, I just want you to know we all support you.
    No regrets except I should have got dressed & stepped out sooner.

  25. #25
    Silver Member Sometimes Steffi's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    Nation's Capital
    I think there's a lot of good advise here, starting with Gretchen. Unfortunately, some pastors can be pretty dogmatic. My pastor actually saved my marriage. He is pretty open to LGBT and crossdressing. Rather than condemning me, he actually supported me, which took a lot of wind out of my wife's sails. Maybe your pastor should talk to my pastor.

    Also, and I'm not stating this as advice for you, but this is how it worked out for me. I reached the point that if she decided to leave me because of my crossdressing, I would not stop here. The way I put it to myself is that if she made an ultimatum that either the crossdressing had to go or she would go, that she might be surprised with my answer. We have maintained a fragile DADT relationship since then, and I am "allowed" to go out with my CD friends twice a month. I usually do it less than that.

    I know that this is the "nuclear" option, and right now we are peacefully existing in "mutually assured destruction". Sorry that I can't give you better advice.
    Hi, I'm Steffi and I'm a crossdresser... And I accept and celebrate both sides of me. Or, maybe I'm gender fluid.

    Gender fluid (adj.) - Describes a person whose gender identity is not fixed. A person who is gender fluid may always feel like a mix of the two traditional genders, but may feel [more] like one gender some days, and [more like] another gender other days.


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