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Spouse of coming-out trans mtf

Community Member


firstly im sorry if I get all the terminology and acronyms wrong, my experience in all of this is zero.

I’m 31, About eighteen months ago my partner of 13 years came out to me as being transgender when I came home unexpectedly and disturbed him dressing. He was very emotional, however I wasn’t really phased by it and reassured him that I didn’t want him to be upset and that it was ok.

Ive noticed lately he has been having lows and very depressive spouts. I know it’s because of his inability to act or do anything about transitioning and the guilt he feels about it.

We have two children (10 and 9) who don’t know, and I don’t know how to approach this.

His next issue is we live in a tiny community of 800 people and he worries about the backlash on him and us if he acts on his wishes. He wont be able to earn an income here. I know this is where a lot of his guilt comes from. You can imagine the backward thinking we’re dealing with out here in the middle of nowhere! We’re not in a position to leave, I wish we bloody could.

I may be getting ahead of myself, but now after all this time eighteen months later, I can’t sleep with worry. I don’t know if he does proceed with this what it will mean for our relationship? I love him and have no intention of leaving him, I just don’t know where I fit here and what to do.

Also, does this now make me a lesbian? What does it mean for my sexuality, and his? I support him fully but I am terrified of losing him aswell.

any advice will be grately appreciated.



8 Replies 8

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi V,

Welcome to the community here on the forum. I'd like to suggest you have a read of some of the material available on the Beyondblue website regarding sexuality and also depression. It may be helpful to either telephone the support line at Beyondblue on 1300 22 4636 or use the Chat online service and enquire what help may be available to you in regards to better understanding what is happening.

Living in a small community may be either supportive or abusive! Guess it can go either way. There are a couple of gay couples in the small town of less than 400 people that I live in. As far as I know they are treated just like everyone else.

Working and wanting to be Trans may be a different thing in a small town.

It must be really hard for your partner if he wants to be trans and can only do so in the house when the children are not around.

It sounds like you are accepting of his desires and feelings. I'm not sure what happens to a relationship when one person decides they want to change their sexual identity.

It may be best if the children hear from you two what is going on rather than from children at school or other parents!

Sometimes it would be lovely to pack up and start again somewhere else. The only problem with that, is that hassles have a way of following us unless we have learnt to deal with them.

Wishing your whole family all the best! Hope you find some answers.

Cheers from Dools

Spl spl
Community Member

Hi V,

This must be a greatly challenging time for the both of you. I'm sure you're not the only one with these worries- after all your spouse has most likely gone through similar worries themselves.

I noticed at the start you were apologising for using terminology or acronyms wrong -which you didn't by the way- but that may be a good place to start. The internet is at your fingertips, I would advise educating yourself about what transgender is, trans' peoples experiences, what to call a trans person, etc. I don't mean this in some mean way, actually I think doing this would help you a long way in your worries! By understanding trans issues better, you may gain a better understanding of what is troubling your spouse, what to do in this small community, and how to educate your kids.

Are you a lesbian? I feel like that's a more personal question. I would think that lesbian means that you are only attracted to women, so have you been attracted to women before your spouse? Or only to men? You may still be very much attracted to your spouse regardless of their gender. That is still perfectly fine. This is why I really recommend just education on LGBT including transgender... a lot of the worries you have can be answered through that. Just know there is really no 'right' or 'wrong' answer when it comes to what gender you like... I hope both of you can work through this.

I wish you both all the best 🙂

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

HI TigerLily and welcome to the forums.

I also want to disclaim that I always do my best to ensure I say the correct pronouns, however I am not the most experienced. With people face to face I can ask but over the internet I am not sure. So apologies for anyone reading this if I get it incorrect. I mean nothing but respect.

Your partner has some gender dysforia. What I interpret this as is they believe the are 'born in the wrong body'. For some they wish to get to transition so they can be on the outside how they feel on the inside. Some may not wish to transition. It is up to the individual. Some transition is the only way to be truley happy. One thing is for sure is that they need to discuss this is a professional. There are some therapists, gp, psychologist, that specialise in gender and identity. I suggest that your partner considers making an appointment and talk openly to a professional so they can decide how to move forward into happiness.

One thing I want to make clear. Gender and sexuality are different. Yes the label one may use if they choose to transition may change (if they are a male liking males, they may be choose to identify as 'gay', but after transition as a woman they still like men and choose to identify as 'straight'. I say choose to identify because although you done choose who you fall in love live you can choose a label e.g. gay, queer, lesbian can mean the same thing) Now if your partner chooses to transition your label sexually may change, but you may choose not to use labels altogether. You can label as falling in love with a man who chose to transition and your love never changed although their identity did. If you want to change your label that is completely up to you, just like having a label is also up to you.

I hope has been helpful. It is good you are faithful and understanding towards your partner. I know you want them to be happy. This is something everyone deserves.

Hi guys, sorry its been so long in between reply's. I honestly can't thank you enough for your words of support. When i posted these concerns i was not expecting the amazing responses you gave me. Sine my last post,we have moved forward to become a lot more open. My partner is now dressing and sharing her thoughts much more opening. I told her i posted here looking for advice, she feels so much more open and inhibited talking to me know because she know's im seeking support for us both. I am completely blown away by your kindness and genuine feedback. It's hard to believe but, without your word i don't thing we would be where we are now. I can not thank you enough. My partner now will dress in front of me, we have hours of conversation and no longer feel like we are the only ones going through this.

You are all worth you weight in gold, i am so glad i reached out ad can't thank you enough for your words or advise and support.

There is a long road ahead and i'm sure its not the last post you have heard from me, but i feel so much better knowing i have beautiful amazing people like you to help us through this.

Thank you, thank you, thank you. You all have really helped me in so many ways with you insight, referrals and the like. I honestly don't know where id be without you.

I'll keep you posted guys.


V ❤️

Hi V,

I hope things have continued well for you and your partner. It’s been good to hear about the communication opening up for you.

I have found myself in a similar situation recently with my husband, and I’m supportive of him making the changes he needs to be his authentic self as a woman.

(He has not transitioned fully yet, and asks to be referred to as ‘he’ until he’s ready)

In a way it was a relief to find out there was an underlying reason for his more recent angry episodes and distress. At the time, I knew nothing about gender dysphoria and had to learn. Was extremely worried about his well being and could see he needs ongoing support.

I’ll always love my husband. But it’s as if suddenly I don’t know what form that will take. It’s been difficult to acknowledge that our relationship won’t be the same as it was before. This I really struggle with.

If he had been born as he should have been, he’d be a lesbian woman.

At first I felt a certain pressure, like if I could just be lesbian, then the relationship could just stay (sort of) the same.

But I am a straight woman. It’s no one’s fault. It’s just the reality of things. We have two kids under the age of 5.

Normally I can share my feelings with my husband but we aren’t sharing this experience in the same way like we would with other challenges. It’s been hard enough on him and it’s probably not pleasant for him to think of the effects on me. “What was I supposed to do?” he says. And I guess there is no real answer to that.

Just needed to reach out. With thanks.

Hi Lillylane,

Thanks for sharing your story with us. As you may have noticed, this is an old thread, so I am not sure how much response you will receive here. You may like to create a thread of your own if you are comfortable to do so . Hopefully people will notice what you have written and join in the conversation.

Is it possible for you to see a counsellor in your region to discuss how you are feeling? Would it be beneficial to have your husband attend a session as well if possible?

Hopefully you can find ways to open up communication and discuss how you are both feeling. Your relationship has taken a turn that maybe neither of you had planned.

Do you have family or friends whom you can talk with? Even if it is not about your husband, just to have company and support and to be able to continue on with life in a way that makes you feel like it has meaning and purpose.

Years ago my husband decided we were just friends. Our married life ended. We have separate rooms, we don't have any physical touch, we do see friends together and go out sometimes, he goes on overseas holidays by himself and takes off for weekends with his mates.

For what ever reason I have stayed. Some days I have no idea why other than the fact I don't know where else I would go. I try to make my life the best it can be with what I have.

I tell myself it is too late to leave. It is difficult to know what to do.

Hope you find some answers. Hope others join in and offer yu some helpful suggestions and ideas.

Wishing you all the best, from Dools

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Dools,

Thank you so much for your reply.
Yes I might try a thread of my own. I’m new here and getting used to how it works. The kindness people show each other on these forums is truly amazing. And even that has lifted my spirits.

I don’t have family of my own I can talk to. I have a good friend that I can vent feelings to sometimes. Very nervous about being judged though (we’re in a conservative town) and I think that also worries my husband.

Have booked to see a psychologist in a couple of weeks. And we may need to see someone as a couple too.

Thank you also for sharing your story. I find myself too with confronting questions about our relationship. Do I stay? Do I go? How would this all work? I would never have thought this could happen.

I’m glad to have been able to share and thank you again.

Best wishes,

Hi Lillylane,

I've not spent a lot of time on the forum recently. Thanks for responding to my message to you. I hope you have been able to think more about "Where to from here" for you both.

While you are waiting for the psychologist appointment, maybe you could write down questions you would like to ask him or her.

here may be some support services as well for partners of people who are transitioning. I am not sure of any such places off hand, but I am sure these days you may be able to find something on Google.

You could also telephone the Beyond Blue support service on 1300 22 4636 to discuss how you are feeling or check out the Beyond Blue web site for information you may find helpful.

There are many sections to this forum, you might like a little light relief now and then, if so, you could check out the social zone and see if there are threads there you might be interested in.

We too live in a small town. We don't have a lot to do with people here, it is a strange little town with not much of a community spirit. Even the neighbours don't talk to us or to each other. You could do what ever you want here and I don't think anyone would raise an eyebrow as no one seems to be aware of anyone else.

Take your time with the forum and only start your own thread if you are comfortable to do so.

In all that is happening, I hope you are able to find ways to keep your own identity. I realise that can be difficult to do when your relationship with your partner changes.

Deep inside, you are still you. Maybe you can consider who you want to be, how you can make your life work for yourself. Not in a selfish way, but in a self caring and self loving way.

I would also like to suggest that if you start to become depressed by what is happening that you really consider ways to help yourself through that. Depression can be debilitating. It can also help us focus on what we can change in our lives and how we can do that.

With kind regards to you and your husband. It must be a difficult journey for him to be travelling as well. Let your children know you love them. They may be aware something is going on and may need reassurance they are safe.

Cheers from Dools