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My husband now thinks he wants to be a female.

Miilo
Community Member

Hi everyone.

I found this forum yesterday and I would like to get some advice for my situation.

I've been married for 10 years and two young children, living happily before my husband started taking counselling due to his growing up background. I haven't expected anything with his counselling but one day he came to me he found out he has some gender identity issue. He then referred to hormone specialist and having a couple of appointments so far.

One day, he came home with some tablets the doctor gave him which contain female hormone in them. The one is acne remedies and the other one is estrogen. When I talked to him what he would like to be in the future, but he keeps saying he is not sure, but as soon as I saw the tablet, I thought he want to be a female. I was shocked.

He also found that he has Asperger syndrome around same time he found issue with gender identity, so after I was told I started depression and sleepless night from then. I had some phone counselling for myself because this is going to be a big challenge for both of us, and I need to make sure about my children too.

My counselor told me I can't make any decision for him, so all I can do is relax and live a daily life for now which was make sense. I want to respect his decision but at the same time, I sometimes think if I should leave him. The reason I think that way is this situation is definitely not I was expected and it's kind of sad I can't have romantic relationship with loving husband anymore. It seems like it's all ended. (I'm mid thirty anyway.)

I find sometimes difficult to communicate with him but he is gentle and nice person. It looks like my daily life filled with happiness is collapsed and now I'm in the darkness ALONE with a big secret I have to keep inside of me.

These days, I noticed he started shaving his body and I found an epilator in his room. Yes, he is moving forward without letting me know. I have no courage to talk about this topic right now because I am afraid to find out more things which will make me a shock again. I don't want to tell this to my parents, friends or children just yet because I am not ready to talk.

Because of this COVID situation, my children are staying home everyday even when I feel like to be alone thinking about these things but they never allow me to do so. I want to be a good mother smiling in the house but these days, it's just hard and feeling down.

Anyways, I would like someone to connect in the same boat if it's possible.

Thanks.

26 Replies 26

smallwolf
Community Champion
Community Champion

hi Miilo and welcome to beyond blue.

I am sorry but that I not in the same boat. I also do not want your story to disappear and I am hopeful that someone will reply who is "in the same boat".

That said...

I only know of one couple where the husband did as your appears to be doing and that is becoming a female. This couple are still together but went through some tough times.

It is also a bit upsetting that your husband feels that he cannot speak to you about this. There are many reasons why so I cannot guess. Part of me thinks that you are also on this journey? Your feeling on the issues are also natural in this situation. Though I don't know the impact this would have romantically for you.

And in this time you might also be looking for some support? If you do google search for,,,

support for partners of transgender

you should be able to find some sites or groups that give you some support. Please try to be kind to yourself also. When you are ready to talk ... In the meantime if you want to chat, I will listen and respond as I can. I hope you come back and tell little more about yourself.

Tim

brian23
Community Member

Nobody decides to be transgender, or chooses this life. It is difficult for everybody involved, but chiefly, it is difficult for the person that you have known as your husband. Most individuals who are transgender have known this from a young age, and without education to help them understand their impulses, live in painful denial. We do not choose to suffer, or to make others suffer. If a person is motivated to transition, they are doing so because they are in an extreme amount of pain otherwise, and there is no other choice. My heart breaks for you, that society has prevented your partner from transitioning earlier, and so you both face this challenge partway through your marriage. It is a devastating consequence of a deeply transphobic society, which did not allow your partner the knowledge which could have allowed "him" to transition to "her" earlier.

It's important to note that not all couples break up because one partner transitions. It depends greatly from circumstance to circumstance. Couples therapy and open communication is essential, if you are to get through this. Your mental health matters, and so does theirs. Your partner should be talking with you, and you should be working together to make a decision regarding your children's future.

Here are some resources/stories that might help you:

Here is an allies/family support network:

https://transcendaus.org/

Here is a support network for families of transgender people:

https://transfamilysite.wordpress.com/

Here is a Facebook page for partners of transgender people:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/380318889000771/about/

Here is the story of Janet Rice and Penny Whetton. They married before Penny transitioned to female, but stayed together. This was before marriage equality in Australia.

https://youtu.be/SVSiEAszFk4

Here is a page about transgender people, with information to learn more.

https://www.transresearch.org.au/allies

I would also suggest watching the movie A Danish Girl, which is dramatised, but nonetheless you may relate to it.

You might stay with your partner, you might not. I wish I could give you a hug. This is a difficult time. I would seriously suggest attending therapy, both alone and with your partner. You fell in love with a man, so there is mourning which will occur. Your partner should be opening up to you. A marriage is a partnership.

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Miilo, and a warm welcome to the forums.

Whether or not your husband wants to change sex and become a female is not so much the issue here, although it is very important, however, it's how you and the children are going to accept it or not.

Any doubt he has maybe is how you, the children, your family and friends are going to react and in turn behave.

It's a major decision because it will change everything and if you are diametrically opposed to this situation.

This is something you need to talk with a counsellor because basically there wiill be 2 females running the family.

All the best and please get back to us.

Geoff.

Lillylane
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Miilo

You’re not alone and I’m glad you’ve posted here. Your situation is so similar to mine.

It can feel very lonely to struggle with something you can’t tell others about (yet), so it’s a good thing you’ve reached out here in a caring non-judgemental environment.

About 18 months ago my husband (with the help of a psychologist) realised he has been experiencing gender dysphoria for a long time. Shortly after this realisation, he told me he wanted to start transitioning.

I had very little idea what it all meant and I read up as much as I could about gender identity, gender dysphoria, and personal journeys of people who have transitioned.

He still goes by ‘he’ for now until he feels ready to tell his wider family, workplace and friends.

Perhaps I had been naïve in not really anticipating any change our relationship. This is what shook me up the most and it’s been very painful for both of us. We’ve both had counselling.

You mentioned your husband starting hair removal etc without telling you. It’s likely he fears what your reaction will be if he shares these things with you. Let him know you are there to listen - though I totally understand it’s not easy when you’ve only recently found out.

As he opens up to you, I hope he will recognise that you need support too.

Is there a trusted close friend you could talk to in confidence? I was extremely nervous about telling my friend, but it really helped me to get my feelings out.

I found the Gender Centre very helpful. They have this factsheet specifically for partners - it goes into detail. I would recommend taking a look.

Look under Resources > Factsheets > Family and Friends Information Kit > Support for partners

https://gendercentre.org.au/resources/kits-fact-sheets/family-friends?download=97:support-for-partners

Thank you again for sharing. It’s helped me to know I’m not the only one out there. Hope to hear from you again.

L.

Fede
Community Member

Hi Miilo and hi Lillylane. I am sorry that I can't relate first hand to your experience but you have my support. I am gay and perhaps this small input might add to your understanding.

I was always confused about my sexual orientation until I decided to date someone of my own gender to see if that would help me understand myself better. This was when I was 24 years old. I was never homophobic and I was not raised in a particularly homophobic environment, but it took me more than 10 years to realize I was gay. Not because I kept on denying it, but because implicitly there was no room for gay people in society. I was not afraid of coming out, but the only thing that kept me from doing it so was to realize that being gay is ok. I had to come out to myself! I have been gay since I can remember without even knowing it, and if someone would have said: "hey, you know that to be gay is as ok as being hetero, right?", then I would have come out much earlier. When the whole world tells us (by default) that what we are is wrong, we will naturally second-guess ourself and suppress it. It might have taken most of their life to your husbands to come out to themselves, before coming out to others. I can confidently say, it's not your fault, not their fault, and the best thing you can do is to accept the overwhelming truth and to communicate it to your husbands: "hey, you know that to not feel identified with your gender is as ok as to be gay or to be hetero or cisgender, right?". Please keep an open mind, the way to move forward in this situation is to accept the fact that a person that does not feel identified with their gender is normal, and most likely (knowing or not fully knowing) they have not felt identified with their birth gender since they became aware what genders are (in childhood). I'm Argentinian, but I'm living in Australia. Back in Argentina, the government passed a law more than 5 years ago stating that people should be able to express what gender they identify with in legal documents, and since people have the right to transition, this Law also makes sure that the transitioning medication and procedures (if the person needs them) are covered by every health insurance provider as well as by the Argentinian version of medicare. I hope that this is a useful example on how important it is to acknowledge to the other person that their struggle with gender identity is not only their right but also a hurdle that they have had to put up with all their life.

Lillylane
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Hi Fede,

Thank you so much for replying. And a warm welcome to the forum.

I very much appreciate what you have written here, as there are many similarities with my partner’s experience. And I think your post will help many people.

Yes it’s so true that my partner had to come out to herself before telling others. And that in itself was so difficult and very scary for her.

What you’ve written here sums it up it up perfectly:

When the whole world tells us (by default) that what we are is wrong, we will naturally second-guess ourself and suppress it.

Such an important point!

I really hope we see Australia catch up with other countries such as Argentina in regards to medicare covering transition medications and procedures.

My partner is a few months into her transition and has come out to close family. She feels she’ll soon be ready to come out to others. She will continue to need support and has up and down days, but she’s so relieved to be where she is now.
Our relationship has changed (she identifies as gay and I as straight). But we still care for each other and remain under one roof as a family.

How are you doing at the moment? I hope you have a good support network around you. I’ve found this forum so supportive and helpful.

Thanks again and hope we get to chat again.

Lillylane

Lonelylittleloser
Community Member
Hi Miilo,
I hope you are doing okay, finding out a life partner wants to transitioning or is transitioning to another gender must be difficult. I am a transgender female, I've lived this way for a decade and known I felt more comfortable since I were 16.

I don't want to seem horrible, but it's important that you put your feelings and mental health first. Having a partner change gender must be confusing for your own sexuality. I hope you don't feel pressured to hide any feelings you have towards these changes. As a transgender person, I would never expect a partner to understand or feel totally comfortable if I transitioned after we fell in love and began a life together. I would never put a partner or children through that. My mum is also transgender, so I understand the effects of transition on families from multiple perspectives. Please look after yourself and best wishes.

Lonelylittleloser
Community Member
I'd love a perfect world where everybody feels comfortable all the time. Unfortunately that's not reality. Gender transition comes with consequences. Unfortunately, we also live in a fairly conservative society. As a transgender person, I feel comfortable to say that none of my peers should expect partners or their children to understand or fully accept their gender transition. It completely changes the family dynamic. Gender dysphoria is definitely real. I know that. I also know that it just doesn't come out of nowhere. Trust is important in any intimate relationship, I hope you can find that with your husband/wife.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart. Everything you’ve said, I’ve really needed to hear.

I realise your reply was to Miilo, and I too hope Miilo you are doing ok. I often look back to this thread and wonder how things are going for you.

Best wishes,

Lillylane.