Dear "Trans widows",
You have made a lot of noise, yes on Twitter, in the Sunday Telegraph and elsewhere in the media. You even got an invite to give evidence to the Women and Equalities Select Committee about (shock horror) your hubby becoming trans. I noticed none of you trans widows wanted to show your face, though - that it was 'decided' to give evidence in writing.
Um - I wonder why?
Strange that - other campaigners would want exposure for their cause - be wanting to put a case forward in front of the cameras. After all, it was certainly not your fault that hubby started to like wearing dresses - that you became a "trans widow".
But do you not realise that he almost certainly tried to "man up?" That yes, perhaps he has known secretly of his shame and guilt for decades, but in good faith, he honesty, felt this would all pass?
But it didn't, did it? Somethings in life we can't control.
And you were the victim?
Sorry - but get real.
Because you are not true widows, not like Rachel Moss, who quite rightly called you out - your husband did not take his life as Rachel's did; your kid(s) were not left without a father. Rachels were.
Is that your shame? That word; "widow".
Guess what? You are not the first partner in this world to have his or her life thrown upside down by circumstances out of your control. I was married for 27 years to the same wife. Then in four days - yes, four traumatic, mind-blowing days everything changed.
I was pretty sure something was "wrong".
It was Tuesday; she said she was going away to see a girlfriend (what girlfriend?) for the weekend - leaving Thursday back Sunday, I was told. But I was 99% certain that was a lie, and it was. Sure she was back Sunday, late afternoon, but a quick check of her car and the truth was laid bare. That day was 12th July 1998 - that evening the World Cup final Brazil v France.
She thought I was watching the football, but I wasn't - I was watching her! Then her quick slip out of the room, to make "that" phone call and I heard all her words.
The next day, exactly 23 years ago today - our three kids and I were 'toast'.
Gone in an instant together with her clothes and belongings.
I remember taking my wedding ring off and throwing it into a drawer. It is still lying there twenty-three years later - untouched.
I was an involuntary single parent.
Cooking, mending, cleaning. Getting the kids to school and back home again. Making excuses to the school why their work was falling apart. My world fell apart, the successful business that I started with just £7 gone too. People knocking on the door demanding money for debts.
I could not pay them - I could not cope - but I had to - and I did.
Recently I met that seven-year-old kid of 1998 - my daughter for lunch. She revealed that before her mum left, she could not remember a thing. She can't remember her mum living in the family home with her brothers and me. Those days out we all had as a family, all laughs and smiles. That holiday in Spain where I smacked her for being so naughty and have felt guilt ever since.
Seven years of her life gone too.
Gone in an instant through shock?
So, dear trans widows, please don't whine because your life has changed, okay it is not your fault - but that the man in your life can no longer pretend. Unlike me, when my marriage crashed (it happens to millions of folks every year, by the way), you have two choices.
I and others had no choices.
So, was I an adultery widow? Are there gambling widows? Alcoholic widows? Bullied widows? Loveless widows? No, there is not.
Some people are hurt, resentful, wish it could have been different - but they are not widows like Rachel Moss unless, sadly, hubby has passed.
Trans widows - your partner hasn't died; he decided to live!
So yes, your hubby may become 'she'.
You may split up and go your separate ways (yes, to make a new life); or make the best of things. Or perhaps be like my second wife, understanding and share dresses (it's fun and there is support for you, click here).
I dont know.
But one thing is sure - that phrase "trans widow" is offensive to many genuine widows like the wonderful Rachel Moss.
Bless you, Rach. x
Authored by Steph @PlaceSteph