When you fall in love with someone, you fall in love with them for the person that they are. It doesn’t matter if they’re nonbinary, a woman, or a man, and it also doesn’t matter if they’re transgender. You love and cherish this individual for the person that they are. Perhaps you didn’t know that your partner was transgender and they’ve recently come out to you. It might be a surprise, but it happens all the time. If your partner decides to transition, you can help them through it. You don’t have to face the struggles of transition, but you can support them emotionally and be there for them.
Transitioning and identity
One of the major things to remember about transitioning genders is that it involves identity. You are moving from one form of yourself to another. Yes, transitioning often involves the physical process, but there’s so much more to it than that. For example, when someone that’s born female begins to bind their chest as part of the transitioning process, it’s because they identify with a more masculine or androgynous identity. There might be financial concerns affiliated with the ability to transition physically, and there might be a discomfort when coming out to friends and family.
Gender identity is personal, and opening up about it can be a process. Understand that what your loved one is going through has to do with their sense of identity, and be there to listen when they tell you about their experiences in the world. They may run into hardships that you can’t fix, but you can help your partner face them. As with anything else, it’s vital to support your partner during this time.
You don’t have to solve this problem, and it isn’t a problem.
Transitioning is an excellent thing for your partner, and it’s not a problem to be solved. They’re becoming who they were supposed to be from the beginning – not becoming someone else. It’s a unique life experience that they’re going through. While you may not understand what it’s like to be in their shoes, you can ask how to support them during this time. If they’re currently in the process of physical transition, ask if they’d like to be accompanied when attending individual medical appointments. Don’t assume or share information that you weren’t permitted to share. If their family isn’t supportive, which is, unfortunately, a situation that many are in, be there for them through that, too. Remind them that people who don’t embrace who they are, are the problem, and know that while you can’t fix the world, you can be there to hear them out. Especially if you’re cisgender, you may not quite know how to support them, so be sure to listen.
Your relationship will thrive
Your relationship will be in a clean state after your partner transitions because your partner will be happier and likely more comfortable with how they present themselves to the world. You’ll find that as you’re communicating throughout this process, there may be moments of sadness, happiness, and relief. Maybe, transitioning isn’t easy for your relationship, and that’s why it’s essential to consider going to couples counseling. Seeing a therapist together can help you understand what each partner is going through, and you’ll be able to support each other. As someone who is not transitioning, you might not know how to help your partner, but you can learn, and couples therapy can be a great place to do that. Whether you’re working with someone online, like the mental health professionals at Regain, or in your local area, therapy can only serve to help you in your relationship.
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