What happens when your spouse finally announces that he or she was born into the wrong body? Whether you’re in a same-sex marriage or a heterosexual marriage, navigating the emotional and relationship fallout when a spouse reveals his or her truth can be complicated for both parties. For the spouse that isn’t trans, here are a few things to consider when you think about your future:
1. You may have been in love with a fiction
It’s hard to wrap your head around the idea that your wife may actually be a man or your husband may actually be a woman — but it’s even harder to wrap your idea around a much bigger concept. The truth is, you may not really know the person you’re married to at all.
Your spouse may have been wearing a carefully constructed persona that fit his or her outward-seeming gender that is nothing like his or her true inner self. As your spouse grows more comfortable with transitioning, you may find that the personality you associated with your spouse isn’t remotely the same as the personality of the person you’re now married to instead.
2. You may not be comfortable with your spouse’s new body
As your spouse transitions from one gender to the other, you may find that your sense of physical attraction to your spouse starts to wane. The reality is that your own sexual orientation plays an important part in whether or not you can remain happily married to your trans spouse. You may not fully know the answer to that question until your spouse is well into his or her transition.
If your spouse’s late-in-life gender reveal turns out to be the end of your marriage, it could be the start of a good friendship. Ultimately, you may have important reasons to establish a working relationship, especially if you have children together. For more information on how to proceed with a divorce with as little conflict as possible, talk to an attorney about your options.