Married To A Partner With Gender Dysphasia

Gender Dysphasia is a condition that their true gender is at odds with their body.  We have served couples with this particular situation. Not all couples choose to divorce making this their primary issue but some have. There are many elements that get played out with such a situation in a couple’s marriage. 

For one, the unchanging spouse can feel betrayed. At the beginning of the relationship she may have come to accept that her husband likes to wear women’s clothing. Although was not exactly something she wanted to get use to but in time came to understand it. The explanation given to her and may be plausible was that he felt that once he put on his feminine dress or underwear it received some of his stress. Could it be that being the sole provider of the family caused enormous stress that at the end of the day to transfer to a woman helped him relieve himself self of the masculine role he had to carry off during the workday?

As the marriage goes on, some of these couples came to learn that cross dressing was not enough but what would be more satisfying was to undergo transgender treatments in order to fully transfer from a man to a woman and live in the body they so felt they belonged to. 

Can the wife accept this radical and permanent change in the marriage, in the family, in their community? It would challenge many facets of the love between them. Which spouse supports their husband and why and which spouse ends the marriage and why?  According to the article in October’s Psychology Today, the acceptance can come from “when a couple has had to deal with the challenges of being outside the societal norm, they can be better equipped to handle the pressures of a partner’s transition”, says Coolhart.

What about communities and those who have lived in the mainstream of the generalized cultures. Small towns,  suburbs? It becomes a very different experience. The children may be ostracized; the church exiles the family, the teachers, the neighbors etc. It ends up that the stress and pressure become too difficult for the couple to survive and so they divorce.

The wife cannot sustain the transformation. She feels betrayed this is not the man she married. She feels a loss to the heterosexual relationship she thought she was in.

Her husband wants to transfer into the woman he feels he is but she is not a lesbian so how is she going to make love to her once a husband who is now a woman. And the question for her to him is, “ are you gay, does this mean you are now a woman who wants to be with a man, or are you a woman who wants to be with a woman as you have always been with me?

Again, this is a psychological condition which really deserves counseling. Not to change the situation but to fully understand and accept it. If there are children, then family counseling would benefit them in order for them to make the transition and adjustment with a qualified professional, in most situations the transition occurs over time, and as there has been love amongst all, the love doesn’t change, as long as the acceptance and compassion remains in the forefront. It rarely happens that the spouse of the transgender accuses the spouse despite the possibility of disappointment and abandonment. The most caring of spouses come from a place in their heart that she understands the torment that their spouse has been living.


Please Contact us for a FREE consultation to discuss how your marriage can survive Gender Dysphasia.

Dana and Don, are co-founders of The Mediation and Family Counseling Group.   We can be reached at, or 1-888-281-2725.


  Read about what Dana and Don say about relationships in their book, Conscious Coupling.


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