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My Husband has Gender Dysphoria

Community Member

A year ago my husband told me he likes to wear woman’s cloths. He kept this secret from me for 9 years and I know it was hard for him to tell me and he felt ashamed but I felt and still feel so betrayed that he kept this from me.

At the time I asked all the questions; are you gay? Do you want to me female? Etc he answered no to both.

A month ago he tells me he is now confused about his gender and as of last week has gender dysphoria. He’s going to counseling to try to figure everything out. I do want him to be happy but I don’t know how to deal with this.

We hardly talk, no intimacy for over a year and can barely look at each other. I can’t carry on like this. He says he still loves me but I think that’s more of a familiar love than as someone should love a wife. And I don’t love him like a husband now, I can’t love a man who doesn’t know if he wants to be a man now. He’s changed so much and is not the person I married.

Im at a total loss of what to do, if we split up there’s finances and pets. If we stay I am in a loveless marriage to a man who can’t touch me and I need to feel wanted as selfish as that may sound. I’ve considered breaching open marriage with him but I don’t know how to say this.

Everything is so messed up, I feel alone with no one to talk to. It can’t carry on like this. If anyone has been through this or has any advice I would appreciate it more than you realise.

7 Replies 7

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear RedGracie~

Welcome here to the Forum, and I'm sorry you find yourself in this position. It would be an enormous shock, not only the problem of your husband's gender, but the deceit involved for so long.

It is true, this is not the person you married and by the sound of it the marriage has been strained for the last year or so.

When you first married you expected, as everyone does, a partner who would not only be pleasant to live with but trustworthy and importantly showed affection, and an integral part of that is intimacy. Now a lot of that has vanished.

You are right about choices, you can separate, with all the complications over finances, pets, accommodation and all, plus possibly loneliness more than you have now.

I do not know if you have any children to be considered.

You could stay in what is currently a relationship without intimacy and trust. This may be practical from the financial point of view but will leave you with a constant reminder of how things are now, as against how they have been in the past.

I'm not sure exactly waht you are considering with an open marriage, stay together but one or both of you seek affection and intimacy elsewhere? I'd imagine if you can discuss your husband's activities with him you should be able to talk abut this, even if difficult.

It may sound like I don't appreciate the heart-ache you have now however a suggestion might be to do nothing for a while on the matter of separation, and to seek counseling yourself from one who may have experience in this area - it is not unknown after all. Your GP my be able to advise such a person or organization, Relationships Australia might be able to advise too.

The reason I make this suggestion is that things have changed, before your husband's activities were in secret, now they are in the open, and that could make a big difference. He is undergoing counseling. I've no idea of the outcome any more than you.

Trying to cope by yourself is a huge task, it is foreign territory. Although you may consider the matter embarrassing I wonder if you have anyone, freind or family, who cares about you and would be someone to support you and talk things over with ?

We are here anytime you wish to talk. Sometimes we can be slow to respond, however that's the system's shortcoming, not you or the subject of your post.


Community Member
Gracie it sounds like your marriage is ending but that doesn't mean you cant still love him and be his friend. Why don't you have a confidential chat with a family law solicitor. It'll cost about $350 and you'll know where you stand. You don't have to do anything right now but it will be helpful and take some of the uncertainty about your future away.

Community Member

Hi RedGracie,

It sounds like such a complicated situation and I can hear how confused you are. It’s a lot to take in, I’m sure there’s lots of complex emotions being felt by both of you.

I think Croix is right, it would be good if you can get some counselling before you make any big decisions. You mentioned that your husband is doing this, which is great, but you really both need the support and guidance through such an unfamiliar situation. The Gender Centre (gendercentre.org.au) runs a Partners Support Group online which may be a great resource for you to discuss your concerns with people in the same position as you. I think if you were to contact them they would also possibly be able to give you the name of similar, in-person, services in your area.

There are people out there who have been through this and would want to help guide others on their journey. I hope you can find the strength to reach out for help because you shouldn’t go through this alone.

Take care,


Community Member

Hi RedGracie

I am in a similar situation. 6 years ago my husband came out and told me he is transgender and was struggling mental. He had sort counciling and was told the only way to help was to transition into a women. Well after that conversation I moved in to another room but we stayed together as we thought our children were to young to go through a separation. I told him I wanted to be with a man not a women. We slowly drifted apart, no intimacy or affection ...that was mainly me ....I just couldnt any more.

5 mths ago he came to me asking about our marriage, to me it was over. So we agreed to separate. We still lived in the same house until 2 mtjs ago when he moved out ( without really telling the kids)

We have 3 children twins boys 20 yrs old a daughter 15. He hasn't told them yet.

I have struggled big time with my emotions and as I could not tell any of our friends ( that's up to him as well as telling our kids ) I went to a new GP ( as we shared a dr I want one of my own ) and told them what was going on I was put on a mental health plan and refered to a psychologist...best thing ever ...I can talk freely about how I feel in a safe and supported environment.

We have finally agreed on our financial agreement and are trying to sell our house.

I do feel that I have been distroyed emotionally, financially and that our kids are not going to cope

He has agreed to tell the kids with his psychologist and me there

I know my reaction and my support for my children will influence how they process this.

He has stepped right back as a parent and doesn't see the kids or even text or ring them

I know he's happy now as he has been given the all clear to transition and I am happy for him with this but he has not once asked how I was going with it all.

Please think of the life you want for your self .... I couldn't stay with him I just couldn't .

Community Member



just wondering how your story ended as I’m now in a similar situation.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Stories like this bring tears to my eyes.  I am a trans-woman but wasn't aware of the fact when I got married.  My marriage is still in tact, something which I largely attribute to our maintaining difficult conversations.  I told my wife, and soul mate, that I was born with a female mind within a few hours of a psychologist telling me the same thing and we had frequent conversations as time went by.  This didn't really surprise her because she had been referring to me as her wife for a few years.  Despite our regular conversations, my wife wasn't comfortable with my talk of transitioning and she wasn't happy when I told her how great my first day working as a woman went.  I provided her with a genuine offer to go back to existing as a man again.  She knew exactly what my words meant, because she had noticed the massive improvements in me, and so we compromised on a mutually agreed rate of transition.  Our shared journey hasn't been easy but our relationship is more solid than ever now - she has told many people how much better life is now that she has a wife.  Had we not been soul mates the outcome might have been very different.
So my advice is directed to all people in a situation like this, keep the lines of conversation open from the outset.  For the person coming out, be honest but also be considerate of the fact that this is going to be a very difficult time for your partner/family - slowing down will be hard but relationship breakdown will probably be harder.  For the partner/family involved, try to remember that being transgender is not a choice and that there are probably many transgender people, like myself, who don't see any acceptable alternative to living authentically.  If you work together, you have a chance (no guarantee though).
I will add a final note on my own situation.  I was never able to hide my female mind from others, almost everyone I've come out to has indicated that I'm the same person I always was - probably why there has been almost universal acceptance of my transition.  My changes relate to increased self-confidence, being calmer, and wearing a smile more often than not.

Community Member

Hi Aura46784, 

I am in a similar situation to yours and the original contributor. 

I am wondering how your story ended and if you found any partner support groups that were helpful? 

Thanks in advance