Wednesday, April 15, 2015

R.I.P. Husband

"Your husband is gone and he's never coming back. There is a loss that needs to be grieved."

That's what my therapist told me in our last session.

About a month ago, hanging out with my wife on the couch, my eyes drifted to our wedding photo, and suddenly welled up with tears. I was hit with the realization that I no longer recognize the man in the photo. I still remember that man, but only vaguely, and he is not the same person who comforts me as I cry on the couch. Well, the same person, but not the man I married.

It's strange to feel a sense of loss when I can't articulate anything that is actually lost. I don't miss the man I married. I don't wish he was here instead of my wife. I don't miss my life before she came out as transgender and we opened up our marriage. I can't pinpoint one tangible thing that is gone. And yet there is a profound grief. Our relationship has changed forever; one chapter of my life is over. I like this new chapter far better, but that doesn't ease the pain.

I only grieved for a few weeks (read that blog post here) when Jay first came out as trans and started transitioning. My focus quickly shifted to the excitement of our polyamorous adventures, and I didn't feel any loss as our relationship evolved. Only now, experiencing the finality of her transition two years later, am I swept back into unexpected grief. I look at our wedding photo often and I sob almost every time.

Our 10 year wedding anniversary is coming up next year, and I want to schedule a shoot with the same photographer. If I get my way, I will wear the dress I wore when I said my vows a decade ago, and my wife will wear a wedding dress too. Then we can have a photo in the living room that represents our new life together, our transitioned marriage. Then when I look at our wedding photo I can see my wife, instead of some guy I used to know.


  1. I was very touched with your blog

    1. Thank you so much, Diane! That means a lot.

  2. I had a similar feeling taking down our wedding photo. I didn't do it for her, I did it for me. I couldn't keep reminding myself of something or someone that doesn't exist anymore. I also didn't want to keep reminding her of someone who was so unhappy. We want to do another ceremony to renew our vows at some point and be able to show everyone that we love each other no matter how our lives have changed. It isn't easy though and we shouldn't feel badly for needing a little time to grieve something that has been lost, even if the something gained is more meaningful.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective. It's nice to hear from someone who has gone through a similar transition.