There have been two recent break-ups (three, if you count Chrissy’s recent news) on the MHB message boards, which I’m sure have left a lot of people who read/post on them a little less than optimistic. Unfortunately, two other couples we know are probably on the verge of splitting. Unfortunately, breakups are very regular news for us.
It’s one of the downfalls of the trans community, and one of the reasons I find it hard to extend myself to partners, especially. The trans person remains trans – and after a break, often returns to the community. (Lots of trans people only find the community after the breakup of a relationship, as well.) But the partner is free, of course, to go on their way – and leave all this stuff behind, which is what they usually do. I’ve invested in so many partners who became friends, who after a while of trying to keep in touch, faded out of my life after fading out of their tranny’s.
But the good thing is that very often both parties find some kind of happiness with other people, after a time. Some days it can seem that the statistics are very, very bad specifically for us, but it is still true that half of all marriages dissolve, not just trans ones.
A longitudinal study of marriage find that the happiness people experience with marriage dips after the “I do” and for four years after that, then plateaus until years 8-10 (the so-called “seven year itch”). Not good news, but still it’s better knowing than having something like that bite you in the ass, right? And the message couldn’t be better timed, for me, since Betty and I will be celebrating our 8th anniversary this April (and our 5th wedding anniversary this July).
I especially liked this bit:
”Research shows it’s not how much you love each other that predicts the success of a marriage, but how you handle the problems that come along in life,” he said. ”Happily married couples view problems as ‘us against the problem.’ They identify themselves as a team.”
Which for me is very fitting for those of us dealing with transness, and which, to beat a dead horse, is another good reason for the trans person not to refer to it as a “gift” – especially if that’s not the way the partner feels about it. A difference of opinion, in this case, might rob a couple of one type of comraderie that they might really, really need.
But in the meantime, I’d love to have a bunch of you post here with how long you & your partner have been together, to give some of the folks out there a glimmer of much-needed hope.
For us, eight years and counting. You?