Christine Benvenuto’s Husband Became A Woman After 20 Years Of Marriage (EXCERPT)

The following is an excerpt from the new book “Sex Changes: A Memoir of Marriage, Gender, and Moving On” by Christine Benvenuto. Benvenuto’s husband decided to live as a woman after 20 years of marriage.Many people suffer midlife crises. Men in particular seem to be known for them, known for having them out loud and in color, for making decisions that entail the ending of marriages, career metamorphoses, large expenditures of cash, the acquisition of new toys. Women, according to my entirely informal survey, seem to expect themselves to grapple with midlife turmoil by planting a garden, taking up a textile art, or otherwise finding a corner in which to quietly implode. By any measure, Tracey’s crisis was impressive. (I am going to refer to my former husband as Tracey, not because it is his name — it isn’t –but because it is a gender-neutral name that works before and after and either way.) Tracey never called his midlife crisis a midlife crisis. He represented it as a kind of gender sneeze, an involuntary explosion in reaction to the mounting irritation of inhabiting an identity that didn’t feel like his. In other words, a midlife crisis. It erupted in the middle of our lives. It was a crisis. And like some midlife crises and unlike others, Tracey’s changed everything. On one level, there really isn’t anything quite like having your husband of twenty-odd years decide to live as a woman, and relatively few people find themselves in that precise situation. But many of us have our lives upended. Illness, death, divorce, other family upheavals. Job loss, geographic dislocation. Life happens. Sooner or later, most of us experience change that is not of our choosing. We fear that we will never regain our equilibrium. We soldier on, racked inside by doubts about whether we are up to the challenges thrown our way. Often, we have no idea how strong we really are. We can’t begin to imagine how happy we may become. Read More…
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Christine Benvenuto’s Husband Became A Woman After 20 Years Of Marriage (EXCERPT)

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