Sometimes, we find ourselves in situations we could never have anticipated in a million years. For instance, a case where the man you love, married and vowed to spend the rest of your life with decides he wants to be a woman. Even saying it out loud is incredulous, “my husband wants to be a woman.” That’s surely a hard pill to swallow.
No one prepares us for moments like this; not our parents, friends, or books. Maybe you have had your suspicions; his sudden rave about manscaping and getting rid of all body hair or the times you returned home to lipstick stains on the bathroom sink. Maybe it’s the smell of fresh nail polish in your bedroom that made you wonder if he was cross-dressing or mistakenly spilled it.
Unfortunately, your suspicions do not help cushion the blow that comes from a revelation like this. You most likely felt like your world has turned upside down, and you have no clue how to process such information.
Well, it’s in times like this that we women ought to have each other’s backs. This may not be something you can change, but there is more than one way to handle the situation.
Here’s the thing, we are living in times where self-discovery shouldn’t be shunned, gender identity should rather be embraced. Self-blame only makes matters worse because; in reality, it is not your fault for not knowing.
While it is normal that your thoughts will want to spiral back to when you first met and the subtle hints you had laughed over, leave those thoughts where they belong - in the past. Self-blame leaves you too drained to think straight.
There’s no way questions aren’t running through your mind. “My husband wants to be a woman, how did we get here?” Well, you can pine over the realization, which is counter-productive by the way, or you could direct those questions to your partner.
So, go ahead and ask questions if you have any; I’m sure he will be willing to answer them. It is the least he can do in a situation like this to help you see things from his point of view.
Ask about how he expects you to handle his decision, this will help you figure out his expectations and plans for your relationship and marriage.
It also enables you to review if his expectations align with yours; if he says he wants to remain married, are you comfortable being married to him as a woman? Questions like these will help you get into his head and know what the future holds for your relationship.
Sometimes, we are afraid of what we don’t know, and that is why you must educate yourself. Read up materials online, join forums, and watch movies or documentaries related to people who have been in a similar situation as yours. We have so many transgender men and women, it’s not something new anymore.
It’s important to know the struggle they have faced living as a man when they truly felt like a woman. Hearing this information may have been a tough blow for you, but think about how he feels as well. I’m sure you still care about your husband even though his demands feel like a betrayal.
Educating yourself with the things that concern him will show you still love and wish him well regardless of which gender he assumes.
Being married to a woman is probably something you hadn’t even thought about, now this one man you’re married to wants to transition. It is undoubtedly a complicated scenario, but with an experienced counselor’s help, marriages like this can be enriched and survive such revelations.
If you want to keep your marriage, both of you should consider seeing a counselor. Not just any therapist but one who specializes in transgender marriages. The counselor needs to conduct a thorough assessment of your strengths and intentions. When with a counselor, try not to hold back.
Tell him your fears as a soon-to-be wife of a transgender partner, and how it affects you. Marriage counseling will help both of you cope better with your new relationship’s dynamics and provide available options to your sex life, family, and social life.
It may not be a permanent solution, but it gives you room to process your thoughts selfishly. Your husband’s revelation most likely feels like a low and an act of betrayal. You need time and space to process the information; to reposition yourself for what life holds. Even if your husband wants to remain married, don’t be afraid to be selfish; it is perfectly understandable.
During this period, you can use it to educate yourself, as mentioned earlier, or you can choose to travel and have some alone time. Another option as a parent will be to practice what co-parenting will entail. What ground rules will exist? Is it practical, and can you cope? You also have to consider if your child is okay with it.
In a nutshell, use the separation period as a time to think through all your options before you decide to stay or leave your marriage.
Whosoever said misery loves company was not mistaken. We experience a certain degree of warmth and comfort from just being surrounded by people who share a similar plight. Psychologists agree with this statement, and that is why we have support groups for addicts, people with disabilities, and other societal abnormalities.
Take time out to go online and search for a trans-marriage support group close to you. Being in the midst of people with similar situations, or who have somehow figured out how to navigate a marriage like yours can be comforting. Another benefit of support groups is that they provide you with access to information that you may not have known about.
If you don’t think you are ready to share your issues with strangers, consider talking to your inner circle; friends and family. Hopefully, you have someone with who you can freely express your feelings without feeling judged.
While you and your husband may be seeing a counselor together, it is also essential that you see a therapist. Unlike a marriage counselor interested in what’s best for your marriage, a therapist will focus on what’s best for you. Moreover, there may be some things that you will not be comfortable discussing in your husband’s presence but will be open if left alone with a therapist you trust.
Remember, you are the greatest asset you will ever have, so you must always put yourself first to ensure you do not run dry while keeping things afloat. A therapist will help you see how your decision will affect and serve you. Their focus is solely on your well-being and feelings. They will help you process your thoughts and sift through the mess that comes with such shocking revelations.
Don’t let anyone rush you into making a decision; not society, family, and not even your partner has the right to pressure you into accepting this reality. If you are not sure of what you want, that is understandable. This is why I suggested getting away for a while as it gives you time and space to explore all possible options.
However, if your partner wants out of the marriage, then that’s on him, but if he wants to remain married and you are unsure, gently explain to him that you need time to think. After all, he was not honest about his sexuality from the beginning, and it took him a while to come clean. So you also have the right to take as much time as you need to process things.
In the wake of my friend’s husband’s revelation, her confusion was apparent. She felt like her role in the home was being shared, and at one point, she didn’t know how to act around her partner. What happens now? Do you start sharing makeup tips and skincare regimens?
Understandably, it can be quite challenging to grasp the new dynamics of your family, but do not allow it to affect you too much. In situations like this, many women say they did not see the need to look beautiful, so they let go of themselves.
Some gain weight and start to look like a shadow of their previous selves - that’s what confusion does to a person. Don’t let this be your story; by all means, keep dressing nice, get your manicures, and style your hair even though there are now two moms in the home.
Sometimes, we try to be empathetic, considerate, and supportive, but some things will never sit right within us. If the idea of being married to a trans-woman is not something you see fitting into your life, then, by all means, get a divorce.
Marriage should indeed be a forever affair, but let’s be honest for a moment; a marriage based on deceit never existed, to begin with, so it is okay to step away from it all. Every human has specific core values that ground them; these core values may come from our religion, society, and childhood.
Perhaps, a marriage like what your husband desires does not align with your faith, and divorce seems like the only plausible action. There is absolutely nothing wrong in saying, “I want a husband who is a man,” it does not make you homophobic or transphobic; it merely means you have a preference.
One of the beauties of life goes beyond its unpredictability; it is its ability to give us highs and lows that form us into renewed beings. While this revelation means a significant life change, don’t see it as the road’s end. Instead, be thankful for the experience and see the next phase as the beginning of a more fulfilling one.
Think to yourself, “so what if I married a man that now wants to be a woman? What is the worst that could come out of this situation?” Prepare yourself for the worst and arm yourself with faith, knowing that the best is yet to come, hopefully.
Practice mindfulness and devote yourself to meditations. Mindfulness allows you to acknowledge the present and live in it without fear, but with hope, knowing that just because you feel betrayed now, doesn’t mean you will never experience love again.
In this case, a female husband is a transgender woman who is married to a woman. Meaning, in the course of their marriage, they decided to be a woman. Their role as a husband does not change regardless of gender identity.
A man’s need from marriage is similar to what a woman wants from marriage - both parties yearn for devoted companionship. However, many men will agree that they need to feel respected. A man wants a woman who loves, respects, and actively listens to him. Wives can show respect by avoiding the need to disregard his opinions.
Men want a woman who is trustworthy and reliable, they are attracted to dependability, so it is no surprise that they expect a woman to stick with them through thick and thin with unwavering support. A woman can demonstrate trustworthiness through honesty and how she communicates with her husband.
What a time to be alive; a time where there are little to no restrictions on what marriage should be. To answer your question, yes, a spouse can be male or female; however, this depends more on what part of the world you live in. While many countries have come to acknowledge and accept same-sex marriages, many others do not and still consider it a crime.
A situation like this where a man steps out of his marriage is considered an affair. In recent times, the word mistress is used to address a woman who dates a married man. Other terms used to describe the other woman include partner, girlfriend, and side chic.
You’re obviously going through a tough time and people expect you to be understanding because it is what marriage entails. However, it’s vital that you take steps to focus on yourself and your life first. I hope this list helps you do just that. I will love to hear back from you about your experience in the comment section and if you can, kindly share this as well.