I didn’t realize how entirely awful everything about gender ideology was until my boyfriend came out as a TIM, and I had the most traumatic and stressful 9 months of my life as the relationship with the man I thought I’d marry completely and totally disintegrated.
4 years into this relationship and a plan to move cross country post covid set, he had an “epiphany” one day, and came to me sobbing that he thinks he’s a woman. Inside I completely shattered, as despite me desperately denying this fact for the 9 months that would follow, the relationship was doomed. On the outside, I immediately locked all my feelings in the deepest darkest corner of my mind and reassured him that it was ok, that we would figure this out.
The first week he was getting super antsy, as I was taking some space to try to process and cope with the rollercoaster I did not get in line for but suddenly found myself strapped into. He waffled back and forth, saying he probably jumped the gun and that maybe he could settle as a “they”. I went to an extremely liberal college and had a few TIFs as friends but knew no TIMs, so while I wasn’t completely steeped in transgender ideology, I had a mostly benevolent stance towards it. But even then, I knew nonbinaries and “they/them”s were some narcissistic navel gazers. But I was so hopelessly in love and committed to this man that this seemed like an actual gift. I could deal with calling him a they for a year or two, and then hopefully he would grow up and realize how idiotic that shit was and we’d laugh about it.
I was also very sure this was the result of extremely poor mental health from the pandemic, as he has always been a super spontaneous extrovert, and not being able to connect with friends the way he was used to was causing severe and observable mental and emotional distress for him. So I foolishly clung to the hope that once his mental health improved, this would all disappear.
The first few months I kept mostly silent, not wanting to sway or push him. He bought these hideous women’s clothes from thrift stores. Like literally the ugliest mix of old lady and 2011 tween girl style you could imagine. I would repeatedly state that clothes don’t make womanhood, and if he just wanted to wear dresses and skirts that doesn’t make him a woman, but a gender nonconforming man. Which is totally fine. In this early stage he would get extremely angry and aggressive when I pointed out that everything he brought up about why he believed he was a woman was just superficial and meant nothing, so I learned to shut up and just avoid the topic. He began to speak to me less and less, and this increased my distress.
I was so constantly stressed at the idea of my relationship being in limbo, that this insane delusion I was trying so hard to coax him out of was slowly and painfully destroying the person I loved most. I started having severe health issues that I won’t specify, but I now know were all related to the incessant stress I was under. I remember I’d told him about an appointment I had to address what I thought could be a severe and dangerous health issue. When I mentioned that I’d gone he didn’t even ask how I was or what the actual problem turned out to be.
I finally broke and demanded to know what was up, why wasn’t he even giving me the time of day. It seemed like he didn’t even like me anymore, let alone love me. I was bending over backwards while walking on eggshells to try to support him while he figured himself out, and he couldn’t even ask how my doctor’s appointment went. I told him how depressed I was, how it felt like he had ripped the floor out from under me and left me to fall on my own. His response was essentially that he’d sensed how much “negative energy” I’d been having recently so he didn’t like talking to me. Me being depressed because of how terribly he was treating me was bumming him out too much to talk to me apparently. This is where I should’ve ended it, but believe it or not I was so brainwashed at this point that I apologized! In fact, most of this talk ended up with me apologizing to HIM for not being open enough with my thoughts, and that I was sorry, but I just had so many negative thoughts that I knew would hurt him, so I kept them in.
We ended the conversation promising to be more open to discussion on both sides, which obviously did not happen. He had basically conditioned me to know that if I didn’t 100% affirm his thoughts and feelings he’d get angry. How on Earth could I have been more open with him when every single time I tried being honest, he’d shut me down immediately? I know it’s ridiculous of me to have apologized, and so profusely at that, and it is honestly incredibly embarrassing to me now.
Early on I found r/mypartneristrans, which is an absolutely horrible source to have found. It seemed literally everywhere I checked online, people who were in situations like me were called bigots for even wanting to leave. We were called terrible people and were told that we never really loved our partners if we couldn’t get past this insane new development in our relationships. I was seeing all the glaring holes in TRA logic and in trans ideology, yet I was still harboring insane amounts of guilt because of all the liberal college indoctrination I paid too much money for. I found Ovarit by chance from some random reddit comment, and lurking here on Ovarit truly gave me the sanity I needed to carry me through this. It was so freeing to finally see the other perspective, the sane one that I couldn’t believe wasn’t the majority (online at least). I also couldn’t talk to most of my friends about what was happening because of how “woke” they are. On top of all the stress this situation caused me, it was extremely isolating and lonely to have to go through it alone. I literally, no joke, have a bunch of grey hairs from the experience.
Also, once I learned about autogynephilia from Ovarit, there was no going back. One of the reasons he gave me for him being a woman that I won’t specify, mostly for anonymity’s sake, was the most blatantly autogynephilic thing in the world once I had the word for context. To this day he still never said anything more substantial than wanting boobs, to wear makeup, to wear dresses, and to shave his pits. The epitome of womanhood, shaving our fucking pits. He would see me forget to shave for like a week and magically still be a woman, yet he still stupidly thinks that’s an actual logical point to him being the opposite sex. This man, only 4 years ago, was banging on about how dumb makeup was, and now he wants to go around in literal, self-proclaimed, drag face levels of makeup. I see now this is all complete social contagion that vulnerable people cling to.
He kept lying about checkpoints he’d reach on his decision, then he’d ignore the boundaries I set for new “revelations”, like " please don’t drop them on me in the middle of my work day because it causes me emotional distress and makes working unbearable". He would almost always divulge new information in a way I explicitly asked him not to, to the point where I was wondering if it was on purpose or if he was just actually an idiot. He would drop stuff like his ~new name~ so fucking casually on me, as if a partner changing their literal identity and name isn’t a big deal. He hadn’t even confirmed he had decided on transing himself, yet here was a new female name! This is when I realized for sure he was trying to manipulate me into slowly just accepting everything, and he was lying by omission constantly about where he was at in the “process,” for lack of a better word.
Honestly, the reason I stayed so long past the first few months was that I still loved him and was horrified at the idea that he was about to destroy his body for his delusions, as everyone else in his life was just affirming him. I thought he was just mentally unwell and bought into the idea that he’d kill himself if I pushed too hard against it, which is why I was never more direct than “womanhood isn’t clothes”. I now regret not pushing back more. But one day in a beautiful moment of clarity, it hit me that it just is not my responsibility to make sure this asshole doesn’t destroy himself. An obvious statement I know, but love truly is a hell of a drug.
I broke up with him finally, FINALLY, and started therapy. I purposely avoided therapists that advertised LGBTQ+ specialty counseling, as I probably would have imploded if I told a therapist what had happened and they touted some TRA nonsense back at me. Luckily I found a lovely therapist who sympathized with me completely, and if they weren’t a terf before me, they are now.
I've been healing and making progress, but he recently came out on social media. Someone in my family I hadn't told sent it to me asking what happened, and I realized a whole bunch of my friends had liked it and were celebrating him. Not one even reached out to me to ask how I'm doing, or even if the relationship is still intact. They weren't even shared friends, they were my friends and only knew him through me. I wish I could say this wasn't devastating and it didn't completely fuck up a lot of the emotional progress I've made. But it is so painful to see someone who hurt and tried to manipulate me for months be praised for wearing an ugly outfit and having ugly, stringy hair. The bar for these men is truly on the floor. Even though they're clearly shitty friends who I honestly don’t even miss much, it's really painful to know validating his fetish is more important to them than checking in on me. I tried to explain to one of my closer friends, and they ignored me and completely cut contact. So I’m done with all of them.
Thanks very much to the woman who read my shorter post on Saidit and gave me my invite code. Happy to finally be amongst some sane individuals, and happy to say I’ve been peaked 10 times over. I genuinely don’t know if I’ll ever be able to let myself date a man again, but at least from this experience I have finally learned that they are not worth body destroying amounts of stress! Would much rather be a healthy spinster.
If any woman who is going through what I did happens to stumble upon Ovarit and this post, I just want you to know I understand why it’s so hard to abandon a relationship you’ve put a lot of care and time into, despite how obviously it may be hurting you. And that you are not a bad person for waking up and leaving.