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Wife is transitioning into man. Would I be horrible to get divorced?

Tagged as: Marriage problems<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (28 May 2022) 9 Answers - (Newest, 2 June 2022)
A male Canada age 41-50, anonymous writes:

First, I want to make it clear I have nothing against trans people. I believe they deserve the same rights and courtesies as all cis-trans people. If I use incorrect terminology I sincerely apologize as I have zero intention to offend trans people.

That being said, I've been with my wife Claire for a total of 4 years. Dated for 18 months, was engaged for 6, and married 2 years.

3 months ago Claire sat me down and said she had something to tell me. That she is really a man trapped in a woman's body, that she has known this her whole life and she can't "lie to herself" anymore. That she has to make a transition or she will be "emotionally crippled."

I didn't know what to say. I was just numb and quiet. Claire never once mentioned this while we were dating or engaged or during our marriage and I never once suspected. I managed to ask how far she wanted to take this and she said "all the way."

She begged me to at least stay with her through the transition process and to give the marriage time to adjust to the change and I agreed to try.

So, Claire is now Caleb. She got rid of all her clothes. She started hormone therapy immediately. She bought an entire new wardrobe including underwear all from the mens department.

She has stopped shaving everywhere and is letting her facial hair grow out. She got a very masculine haircut. She sold all of her jewelry and the only thing she has kept is the engagement ring I gave her. She no longer wears it, just the wedding band because the engagement ring is too "girly."

Reddit...I'm miserable. The more Claire transitions into a man, the less attracted I am to her and the less love I feel for her. I'm trying so hard to be strong for my wife but I feel completely lost and blindsided.

My wife has always been a bit of a tomboy but I know plenty of straight female tomboys. My wife also liked to wear jewelry, paint her nails and wear a dress or a pretty skirt and blouse once in awhile. Maybe it sounds selfish, but much of my love for my wife was rooted in her femininity. I am a straight male. I do not find men attractive whatsoever.

I know it might sound dramatic but I almost feel like my wife has died. I feel like there is a stranger living in my home now. Claire, or Caleb rather, still totally adores me but I no longer return that feeling. I realized last night I am starting to feel resentment towards Caleb. I feel like he stole my wife from me, took her away. And I'm very upset that Claire/Caleb never told me this before we got married. If she has known this her whole life, why didn't she tell me? I almost feel like she wanted to trap me first.

I am Caleb's everything. His rock, his sole source of emotional support. He has lost a lot of friends due to this transition and he says I'm all he has, which feels like a tremendous amount of pressure and guilt tripping. People commend me for not leaving him and supporting him and I feel like a complete fraud.

Caleb is saving up and has surgery planned for total breast tissue removal. After that she/he plans to get a hysterectomy and finally to get a penis (not sure what the terminology is for that). Of course this is going to cost us thousands upon thousands of dollars. Money that could go to a down payment on a house, into a retirement fund, into savings. If we had kids that's money that could be spent on college educations.

I didn't sign up for this. If Claire had told me about her being trans, as much as I love her, I would not have married her.

I want out. I want to leave and never come back. I feel so horrible saying this but I can't do it anymore. There's too much pressure from Caleb, too much change too fast and I feel lied too. My wife is gone. I have zero desire for Caleb. We've tried being intimate once or twice and each time I've had to stop. I can't do it.

I guess my dilemma is, would I be a horrible person to divorce Caleb now? I promised Claire I'd give it a shot and at least stay through the transition process but that could take years. I now know I'm starting to resent Caleb and I'm afraid I will eventually come to hate him. I feel cruel leaving Caleb but every day I wake up and I'm miserable. I can't even sleep in the same bed with him anymore. But I feel like a fraud.

Do I owe it to Caleb to stay until he's done transitioning or can I leave now without being too horrible of a person? I don't know how to support him in a marriage. I don't even know how to support him outside a marriage. I feel broken and drained. And yes, I am in therapy.

TL;DR Wife told me 3 months ago she's trans and wants me to stay through the transition process. I'm trying so hard but I can't do it anymore. She never told me this while dating and I feel blind sided and heartbroken. Would I be a horrible person if I left my wife?

View related questions: divorce, engaged, heartbroken, money, trapped, underwear, wedding

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (2 June 2022):

No, you wouldn’t be a horrible person. You can’t help what you are and aren’t attracted to, and if you find there is no hope in your ever being attracted to your wife as he is now, it would be best for both of you to end the marriage. Let Caleb find happiness with someone who falls in love with him as he is now. You made an honest effort to be that person, but now you must accept that you can’t be. Best of luck to both of you, and I hope you can be friends.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (1 June 2022):

If you like women, it is unlikely you want to remain married to a person who identifies as a man. The former "she" will no longer be your wife. In his way of thinking, and according to his transition to be a man; you will be married to a man.

Not sure why you're here asking, knowing you have no intention of remaining married to someone who wants to be a man, and not your wife?

His desire to be a man is stronger than that to be a woman; so his role as your wife no longer exists. Your vows were made to a woman, and a woman made her vows to you to be your wife. That is no longer the case.

I don't think any concerns for "appearances" qualify as motive to keep someone in marriage who isn't the person you married. Caleb followed his heart. Hence, he willingly forfeited all privileges and benefits given to a woman, in order to be accepted as a man. In a divorce, what happens is dependent on the decision of a judge; and how the law applies under such circumstances. Caleb no longer wishes to be treated like a woman.

He is now another person, and there should be no guilt for doing what your heart tells you to do.

Caleb did not choose to remain a woman to fulfill your needs for a wife and a woman; therefore, you should feel free and guiltless to go and find yourself a woman, who is happy to be who she was born to be, and to be your wife. That is, if she loves you, and that is what she wants to do.

Caleb made his choices absent of guilt; and I'm sure he will fully understand you making yours. You can be friends for life, nothing can stop that, if that's what you both want.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 May 2022):

Why would you ask if you are a bad person for wanting to end the relationship?

Whatever happened to your self-determination!

There is no clause in the marriage vows that states that you must stay married to a person who is changing their sex.

That entirely changes the parameters of marriage.

Never mind the maths...

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (29 May 2022):

Youcannotbeserious agony auntA female reader, anonymous, writes (28 May 2022):

Sloppy arithmetic, dear novelist. You have been with your wife Claire for a total of 4 years.But 18 months +6 years + 2 years obviously does not make 4 years...it is not very believable that you do not know how long have you been with your own wife.

The op obviously means 18 mnonths + 6 MONTHS + 2 years which makes up 4 years.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 May 2022):

To the female reader, not sloppy arithmetic, actually sloppy reading from yourself.

18 months + 6 months + 2 years = 4 years.

To answer your question OP, you are not gay so it would not be fair to stay in this marriage. Frankly i'm surprised Caleb has allowed you to stay and find that in itself to be a very selfish act.

Yes Claire was entitled to be their true self but she should have let you go when making that decision. Right now Caleb holds all the aces and has it all and you're left to clear up the emotional aftermath.

Get a good support network around you and wish Caleb farewell. This is no longer for you.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (28 May 2022):

I think it's a fair reaction and would do the same.

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A female reader, mystiquek United States + , writes (28 May 2022):

mystiquek agony auntNo because the person you married is now a different person. I could not stay in a marriage like yours. It is very sad and I can only imagine how confused you must feel. Wish them the best, and end things as peacefully as possible.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (28 May 2022):

Sloppy arithmetic, dear novelist. You have been with your wife Claire for a total of 4 years.But 18 months +6 years + 2 years obviously does not make 4 years...it is not very believable that you do not know how long have you been with your own wife.

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A male reader, CMMP United States +, writes (28 May 2022):

Claire is gone, Caleb is here. You're not gay so how could you be considered a bad person by leaving? I wouldn't stay either, not in a million years. The only way you would be a bad person is if you didn't want to be his friend anymore. But obviously if you're straight you can't be expected to be Ina gay relationship.

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