"The unexamined life is not worth living" Socrates

- - scatterings of ideas sent to my younger self, a sensitive girl who was fooled into believing she was a boy because of anatomy - -

Tuesday 26 October 2010

Fear or Love

Do we ‘stay a course’ out of love, or out of fear, or is it a bit of both.

In religion it is an old story with some people going to church because they are convinced, that is the only way to avoid some fiery punishment. I can still remember when, as a child, people would talk of ‘God-fearing' individuals. I never really understood why I should be afraid of God. In the church I attended, God was always referred to as ‘God of Love’. How could God be loved and feared at the same time? It is possible someone out here will tell me; that might be something I learn from this post!

On the same topic, love and fear are motivations for people to stay together as they age. In the last few months, it has been a big concern of mine that my sweetie and I might fall into the trap of letting our fears rule our choices of whether to stay together. Fear factors include our financial state, which while comfortable together, would be poor if separated. Another is our age. Neither of us is young (even though I have been known to act like a twelve-year-old). The thought of having to take a job or two to make ends meet is a worry.

Loss of friends if we separate is a big worry. In our social set we are a couple, and singles don’t always fit well with old friends who are a couple. Men and women whose company I now enjoy might not find it possible to hang in as a friend if I presented as a female. We might have to move in order to stay together and find new activities and friendships. We might have to move for the same reason if we separate. Our children might not accept me as a woman, and this might cause a rift, separation or not. The fearful scenarios are daunting for all who consider living 'trans'.

Fear of loss should never be a reason to go through the motions, either with a spouse or a deity. Any deity worth her/his salt can tell the difference between a half-hearted worshipper and one devoted to the cause. It is no less true in a marriage. We deserve honesty and the sort of relationship that only love can bring.

Being trans has put a huge strain on our love, yet somehow, I am convinced we are still a viable couple with wonderful times to share in our future. How many of those shared times will involve my feminine part? Time will tell of course.

To be a partner to my sweetie, and to be someone worth loving, I will need both halves of myself to be fully committed; more than a façade that is cobbled together.

To be a partner for me, she will need to continue to accept who I am, and allow that growth, not out of fear, but out of love.

This is not going to be easy.

A life worth living together is hard work.

A truly wonderful life together requires love.


  1. A life together demands honesty from both partners.

  2. No, not easy at all. The worst part is that we like to think great love is unconditional. But it is based on a certain truth and when that truth is altered, the love is tainted with condition.

    My wife always said the only reason she would ever leave me is if I cheated on her. Apparently not the only reason, but she didn't contemplate this. She's still here because I accept her conditions for now and she has said that she will never stop loving me, so the love is still unconditional, it's just the marriage that cannot stand up to my condition.

    She still has all the fear and cannot see past it right now. But I have time and I have told her that I believe in her ability to grow even if she doesn't. I don't believe in much, but I believe in her and in us.

    But then I worry that what I believe is what many who have gone before me did and I am just putting off the inevitable. There's that doubt and fear. Sad to say, I am not above it. But I am holding on.

    If it's a wonderful thing, if it's a great thing, it's worth holding on to as hard as you can.


  3. Being trans has put a huge strain on our love.....We might have to move in order to stay together.....Our children might not accept me as a woman.
    I'd say your wife must be one great gal so why worry? If everything must go according to your plans, your thinking, your feels and your emotions and she is still there, you don't have a thing to worry about my son.

  4. Wow Halle, I sent you an email before I read this blog. Amazing how they tie together.

    You're absolutely right about God being a God of love. "Fear" is an old word for respect. Many religions teach fear but it's all for naught. We are made in God's image...we are the apple of his eye. What does he want?...Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, and soul...and your neighbor as yourself.

    Only God can perfectly express unconditional love. As humans we often fall short, just like our children often fall short of our wishes and expectations. We do not love them less though...we continue to love them unconditionally. God does the same for us, only with greater love.

    You're right, it's not going to be easy to juggle all those unanswered questions and situations. BUT...like any race, you just have to put one foot in front of the other in order to finish. Even "baby steps" will eventually get you to the finish line. :)Suzi

  5. Susie speaks the truth...take heed, Halle. Take heed.


  6. I have a mate who suffered a severe brain injury about ten years ago. A year in a coma, several years in hospital later, he's just starting to live some semblance of a normal life.

    His marriage didn't survive because he is now a completely different person to that he was before. His wife tried, but just couldn't take it.

    In the case of someone who is transgendered, we don't change. We're still the same person we were before, nothing has changed except that those around us know, and if my experience is anything to go by, we're a lot happier. I know Mrs. J sees it that way.

    Has Mrs. H sought the support of other partners of trans people?

  7. @anon. That was the fears paragraph. If we let fear direct our lives, then it is called coercion and nobody wins.

    Let me repeat for effect: "Fear of loss should never be a reason to go through the motions"

    I have lots to worry about. Top of the list is making sure I am not dragging that great gal I love along on a ride she does not want.

    Love is not like that.

  8. @Jenny: I don't know about being transgender, but I have changed quite a bit from who I was before I transitioned. As it happens, my partner is happy with the changes. I know that doesn't happen often!

  9. Looking at this through a woman and wife's eyes;I guess what I was driving at is this: If your love is genuine for your wife and children than you have no problems. However what I see, and forgive me if I have made a mistake; though you may have all the love in the world for them, you appear to have more love for resolving and satisfying your own wishes and that is the terrible conflict you find yourself in. True love for others sees us forgoing our own wants and needs - though they are important in a relationship - for that of giving of oneself to the other.
    From what I have been reading, she appears to have been doing that in allowing you to discover and be the person that you feel you are, even though, (and I’m guessing here) that the person you feel you are is not the one she thought she married and I would hope that you understand what kind of a dilemma that must present to her.
    There is much give and take in order for a truly loving relationship to work and if you both love each other than I’m sure you will work this out in the end. But the catch is, how much can we ask of our partner when they are faced with something that perhaps they cannot comprehend or they cannot find a way of complying with their lovers wishes? It would be like saying to a loved one, “if you love me, put your hand in that fire.”
    As much as she may want to in order to show her love, she can’t and is faced with an option she never thought or wanted to face. Love is a wonderful and powerful emotion but even it has its limits and when those limits have been met both of you must decide the course of your relationship.
    She appears to have made allowances, but if that is not enough than the rest is up to you Halle don’t you think? If you honestly feel your feminine side is your true self, than the only way you can stop the stress in your heart and be faithful to yourself and honest to her, is to do the right thing and face up to it and do whatever must be done to bring you the peace of mind you require for your happiness. If you can’t find your way to do that Halle, I fear you will be forever in turmoil and at war with yourself.

  10. Dear An,

    I do appreciate the way you have fleshed out your concern here. You have given me and I suspect others much to think about.
    I would like to wonder here about the part "True love for others sees us forgoing our own wants and needs ".
    This sounds a lot like the sort of thing we did for over thirty years and it went a long way to give my sweetie and I the situation we find ourselves in today. I mean that in both our actions... we both gave up our own wants and needs when, if we had been more honest about them, we might have done much better overall. Maybe we would have sorted this and other issues out a lot earlier in our relationship.

    Having said that, it is well known that any good relationship requires lots of give and take, and in the last while, she has been giving way too much. Correcting that is part of the sorting process currently ongoing in our relationship.

    I am sure others can relate to what you said about the comprehension end. Getting good information from an independent source (she should not rely on me) has not been easy. Jenny's suggestion of finding other spouses or an earlier suggestion to find counseling have been met with rejection so far. I truly do not want to be putting her hand into a fire.

    Thank you again,

  11. @Veronica: Perhaps I didn't word my comment very well, it's true.

    I was talking from my own experience as someone in a very similar position to Halle, i.e. not having started to transition. In that context then there is no change in me, the only difference is that now someone knows.

  12. Halle I think that we're going through the same turmoil as you and your wife. So far, my wife has resisted counseling which I think is so important. It's helped me in the last 13 months as I sorted my self out. Now we have to work on the 'we' part of it more. My best to you and yours.

    Hugs, Elly

  13. "Jenny's suggestion of finding other spouses or an earlier suggestion to find counseling have been met with rejection so far. I truly do not want to be putting her hand into a fire."

    I'm sorry to hear that. Interaction with the community and other partners has really been of benefit to Mrs. J, she's made some friends.

  14. I would like to share some insights I have recently received. In the conversations with my spouse I was always on the defensive. Her expression of anger and frustration with the changing situation cause me anguish and pain. The fear of losing her played havoc with my ability to make right decisions. I have learned to, by conscious effort, to understand that her anger and frustration is not a reflection on how she feels about me or our relationship.

    Marriages are lived one day at a time, that is their burden and their magic. It is every day that we must re-commit our love to our partner. That is the one constant. I have earned to embrace my evolving female emotional fluidity, to feel with her the dilemma of love and the frustration of the direction this change has taken us in. She did not sign up for it. She is entitled to her anger, but it is not directed at me, but it is at the loss of control of our destiny. It happens all the time but that does not make it easier.

  15. Two of my ex-husbands are now two of my closest friends one has re-married and the other remains a confirmed nd happy bachelor. I have since re-married. We have all of us, gotten together on more than one occassion to reminince and laugh about "old times".

    The present is FAR better than the past