January 14, 2008


Posted in family at 10:31 pm by Michael

Anh and I get lots of questions about how we made it through this as a couple.

Here’s a few of our “Rules” that have helped.

A couple caveats: We make mistakes, just like everyone else (see rule #2) – so these aren’t always followed. Second, this is likely not a complete list.

In any case, here’s our list.

1    Honest. Brutally Honest.
2.   We all make mistakes. Admit them, and fix it.
3.   No Wallowing
4.   Solutions not Problems
5.   If you aren’t ashamed, don’t act like you are ashamed
6.   The middle sucks. Don’t be in the middle any longer than you need to.
7.   Be yourself. Yourself isn’t the TG part, it’s the “self part”.
8.   Find time to be a couple. Date night is great. We run 4+ days a week and talk. This is huge.
9.   Admit what’s hard.
10. Say when you are in love and happy. You are together for a reason, right?
11. Know each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Delegate the right problem to the right partner.
12. Be happy with yourself first, everything else will follow.
13. Treat and evaluate everyone (family included) as they are, not as you want them to be. I.E. Don’t take any shit that you don’t deserve.
14. Strategize, talk and scheme. Be willing to talk through how to solve problems.
15. Explicitly talk about who is responsible for what (e.g., how to deal with an awake baby at 2am)
16. As Feynman said “Why do you care what other people think?” (it wasn’t actually Feynman, it was said to him by someone serving him tea when he asked for milk AND lemon – but, you get the point.)
17. While you may disagree on stuff – thats for private. In public, let there be no daylight between and betwixt you.
18. Honest. Brutally honest.



  1. Dawn said,

    Hi Megan,

    I’ve been following the public aspect of your transition for a little while now, being trans myself it obviously interests me :). First off, a huge congratz to you and yours for getting through such a trying period of your lives with (what seems to be) ease and grace, and a long distance virtual hug for all of you.

    I hope this isn’t too personal, but after reading through your entire blog I didn’t see much mention of your past in trans land aside from the description of the conversation that you had as a kid with your mom. How did you deal with you feelings of trans-ness up until now?, did you have any outlet at all to talk to, be it in real life or online?, did you ever crossdress or go out en femme?.

    oh, and for what its worth, I still use IE :D, only browser that works on all pages I throw at it….. now if you can tell me how to stop Media Center from eating my entire damn CPU and chopping up my video’s…..

    take care,

  2. Stephanie said,

    Hi Megan,

    You know, most of these are good rules for any relationship/marriage. As you know, I am in the same boat as you. Our situation makes these rules even more necessary. Only a VERY strong relationship, one that is based on love, trust, understanding, and compromise can even begin to withstand the stress of a transitioning partner. My spouse has said time and time again that she married me because of what is on the inside, which even pre-transition, was Stephanie (although she did not know that then).


  3. Kelly said,

    I’m always interested to read about couples who stay together despite transition. I was single when I began transition and still am today. I said from day one that there would be no dating till I was completely finished and seeing as how I’m not totally finished that rule is still in place. But, getting back to your post, I do find these stories interesting if not somewhat troubling. I am certainly not judging anyone and it’s not my place to do just that, but I just don’t know if I could have done this were I married. In fact I know I couldn’t, but again, that’s just me.

    There was a time in my life where I thought that if I could just meet the right girl and get married, than all of these gender issues would go away. They never did of course and as a result, I never would let myself get too involved because I knew that no matter what happened or who I met, I would still one day have to act on these feelings and I couldn’t do that to someone, it just isn’t part of the deal and in my case, it just wouldn’t have been fair. Again, I don’t want you to think I am judging or think less of anyone, I just wanted to add my two cents worth and share another perspective. I salute both of you for sticking this out and making it work. I wish you both happiness and a lifetime of love.

    Now I do have to say that you sound like a wonderful person, but I’m a MAC girl and well, you know. (Just kidding)


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