DEAR ABBY: Two years ago, I came out as male-to-female transgender. My wife has come around since then, and our second child will be born before I start my transition.
She has decided to stay with me, but occasionally she tells me she isn't sure if she can be married to a woman. On the other hand, she says she doesn't want to have to share custody of our children.
I have urged her to talk to a therapist, because she gets a few free sessions from her job. Because she doesn't like people knowing about her problems, she steadfastly refuses. I'm not sure what else to do. I won't make her stay if she can't handle it, but I refuse to tell her I'll give her full custody. -- LIVING MY TRUTH IN THE EAST
DEAR LIVING: If your wife prefers, out of concern for her privacy, not to talk to a therapist who's connected with her job, that is her choice. But that does not mean she shouldn't get counseling elsewhere to help her make rational decisions about her future. A support group that could also be helpful to her is the Straight Spouse Network (straightspouse.org), which has been mentioned before in my column.
As for you, my friend, you should consult a lawyer who specializes in family law and gender issues. Lambda Legal (lambdalegal.org) should be able to refer you. With help, you should be able to work out a fair and reasonable custody arrangement, should it become necessary.