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Partnering through transition: Your Marriage May Improve Significantly

The passage below is excerpted from The Bottom Line section of Reaching for Hope: Strategies and support for the partners of transgender people.

A spiritual director once told me divorce rates for second and third marriages are higher than for first, because people don’t unpack the baggage they’ve accumulated before entering a new relationship. If you and your partner carried a bunch of emotional suitcases into your coupledom, there’s a good chance you’ll struggle as transition unfolds.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing. The struggle can motivate you to do the work together so you can be free from lingering dysfunction.

People in online groups for partners and family members of transgender people regularly report that as they’ve progressed down the path of the transition journey, they’ve never felt closer. Being your beloved’s support in becoming themselves can unite you more than you ever imagined, revealing things about yourself and them that permit new freedom and openness, increased trust and intimacy, and deeper, more interconnected love.

If you’re both willing and able to do the hard work, your relationship can be transformed forever. If not, there’s a good chance your union won’t survive.

Transition is never easy. But it doesn’t have to be devastating. It can offer deep, deep blessings.

You don’t got to transition. You get to. And God goes with you.

Rev. Dawn Bennett


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