I have heard about this and the one rule of thumb I always stick by is give them a few weeks. Expecting anybody to immediately be happy with a change is asking too much. There does need to be some understanding that this is a change and that they might be taken aback by it and they might not understand.
But I think the reason why we feel betrayed when somebody acts out and drops us because of it is because…we didn’t change. We didn’t change anymore than we did during our second date. Can you imagine dumping a girl cause she wore pants on one date and then a skirt on the second? No, it is ludicrous! So why aren’t the same liberties given to us? Sure, you wore a nice suit and tie when you were married and now you wanting to trade it in for a dress, but that doesn’t change who you are, just what you wear.
Now, now, now I understand that for some people it is more than that. It is not just the clothing, but your image, your persona, your gender. Maybe then I could see it being a bigger deal than just clothes.
There are also other cases where the partner doesn’t understand and thinks that is what is going on, but that just means there needs to be conversation and trust and if that doesn’t happen that is its own kettle of fish.
Ultimately, it sucks. I really wish we could be more open about who we are from the get go, but society isn’t in that space yet. I live in a fairly liberal town and I still saw the words “Fuck *insert derogative here*” painted on a person’s car the other day with the tires slashed. It is a shame we can’t be open about who we are, but when we do open up with someone who loves us “For better or for worse, for sickness and in health” and they…they just don’t understand. It stings, especially when they refuse to even try.
Luckily there are those that do understand, those that do try, and those that meet somewhere in the middle. It is a tough world out there.
I have written way more than I intended, oh well.