LETTER OF THE DAY
I'VE been married to my husband for 25 years, 20 of which he's refused to have sex with me.
I didn't know when I married him that he'd always wished to be a woman and dressed in women's clothes.
I didn't mind him dressing up, but not to have sex for 20 years has made me feel so unsure of myself.
Out of the blue he's told me to find myself someone to love the way I want to. He says I'm still attractive and look great for my age. He's going to have a sex change soon and wants to live his own life.
I really want, finally, to be loved as a woman. I've never been out with another man and I'm so dependent on my husband, although he did say he'd support me financially, get me a place and help with bills. We had nothing more than a brother-sister relationship and I do feel he's been unfair in not telling me sooner.
AFTER all the disappointments you've had, this is a bitter blow. But your husband has reached a truly momentous decision.
I suspect his marriage to you may have been a last-ditch attempt to live a normal married life. He's stopped trying to subvert his true personality and now, after 25 years, he's decided to achieve his dream.
As to the lengthy deception, I suspect your husband never had a long-term plan or vision.
Attitudes towards transvestites and transsexuals have changed dramatically over the last 25 - especially over the last five. Perhaps your husband genuinely thought his dream was unattainable until very recently. I suspect the worst aspect of this is the sense of rejection and betrayal you must feel. Despite the outward-seeming flaws in your marriage, you thought it would continue until either you or your husband died. Accepting that will be very difficult.
It's quite possible that life won't be as bleak as you fear. You've always secretly yearned for physical love as well as emotional love - and your husband wants you to have it. He's even prepared to ensure your financial security.
I'd speak to a solicitor who specialises in family law to clarify your legal position. If you don't know one, your nearest CAB (find them in the phone book) can point you in the right direction.
I hope that this change will herald a whole new chapter in your life and that you and your husband will remain good friends.
COPYRIGHT Miriam Stoppard, The Mirror, 20th November 2000