DEAR ABBY: I am a straight man who met and fell in love with a transgender girl I'll call Eve. We dated for almost three years, and they were the happiest of my life. In all that time, we never once had an argument. She said I had given her the strength to come out to her family and begin her transition. I was planning to ask her to marry me.
Without any indication that anything was wrong, she dumped me one day and weeks later began dating her friend, another trans girl. I wanted to walk away and take time to heal, but Eve maintained that I was important to her and we could remain friends.
For the next few months we tried, but her new girlfriend treated me like I was a threat. While I was emotionally hurting, she seemed to take intense pleasure in showing me how happy they were together. It eventually led to friction, and now my ex thinks I caused it because I was jealous, so she cut off all contact with me.
I stood by her when she absolutely needed my support, but when the time came to give a little back, I was abandoned. I'm worried I will never trust anyone again, and I don't know how to get "myself" back. Can you help? -- ABANDONED IN WEST VIRGINIA
DEAR ABANDONED: It might help if you consider that there are more than physical changes when making the kind of transition Eve was undergoing, and she may have felt that her trans friend was better able to relate to what she was experiencing than you were. It was cowardly of her to just dump you rather than tell you she had doubts about your relationship, and it was selfish of her to pressure you to hang around as "just a friend" afterward. It also wasn't realistic.
What you are feeling is normal. However, it might help you to move forward if you keep in mind that all women are not the same, that building trust takes time, and give yourself time to heal before trying to replace Eve.