Since coming to the realization that I am transgender, I also realize I have never been completely intimate with anyone. One of the things missing in my life is true intimacy, sexually with my wife and relationally with both her and others. When you are hiding something the true you never fully comes out and therefore it is impossible to be truly intimate.
This lack of intimacy is a void that seeks to be filled and if not, one can end up acting out. Destructive behaviors like seeking or having an affair. Drinking too much or taking drugs. Angry temper tantrums boil over at what seems like the slightest thing. Pushing people away because we are afraid they will see the real us, or that we will only hurt them in the long run. This lack of intimacy can, and often does, destroy relationships and keeps others from blossoming.
Certainly, intimacy has many levels depending on the type of relationship, but if we cannot be who we truly are we can never attain that deeper level of intimacy that we seek. The great risk for those of us, who have been living our lives in the closet of secrecy, is losing what intimacy we do have, in fact possibly losing the relationship(s) completely. On the other hand there is also the possibility of having an even deeper relationship.
For us to tell those closest to us about our secret is to know that in some ways the relationship will either die or have to be re-invented. While we are mostly the same person, we are also different as we begin to live authentically, and that in many ways necessitates new relational trusts and boundaries etc.
I read the other day about a husband and wife story where the husband lost his memory because of something that happened during brain surgery. He had no memory of his former life. His wife and children were strangers to him. In fact everyone was a stranger. His wife still loved him dearly but realized he was not the same person. She had to mourn the loss of her husband and then the two of them began to form a new relationship based on his new personality. Over time it worked and they fell in love all over again but it was not the same relationship it was completely new.
If you are married or in a love relationship this is, in a way, how your wife or lover will feel about you. They will have to morn the loss of their spouse, as they knew them, and learn to love the real you. Not everyone is capable of this. If your marriage does fall apart you will need to be truthful with whomever you start a new romantic relationship so that the relationship will be built on trust. Maybe not immediately but certainly before even kissing, as not doing so can have disastrous results. This is hard because one will be afraid they will never find anyone who will understand. But, true intimacy must be built on trust and it will be destroyed if that trust is violated.
I am coming to the realization that I have to take that risk. I have to have true intimacy. Hopefully my marriage will stay intact but I will never truly have the intimacy I seek without coming out and living an authentic life. If that means having to find and make new relationships then that is how it will have to be. To me living a lie is the greater pain. Living without true intimacy is the worst pain. I have weighed the pluses and minuses and know that the pain of not living authentically is becoming greater each day. Will it be painful on the other side? Probably, but I will be my authentic self and the pain caused by living a lie will subside as I forge a new life as my true self.