People always ask “Didn’t you know?”, or “You must have seen the signs?” I always thought the answer to both questions was “NO!”.
In hindsight, I think there were signs I just didn’t see. You be the judge and determine if I should have realised the man I loved, would later declare he was really a woman.
The first sign came on our wedding night when he said “I know you will leave me”, which cut like a knife. I loved this guy with every fibre of my being, so why did he think I would leave him? Little did I know!
He took me to a flash hotel for the first two nights of our honeymoon and we relished each other’s company. Honeymoon over - it was off in the “truck” to some God forsaken place in the middle of nowhere for ten days of camping. No running water, no toilets, lots of dirt and dust and millions of flies. I had endured camping with him before and although I disliked it immensely, I acquiesced in an attempt to have the perfect relationship. [Australian] Friends who described me as a “Five Star Chick” realised I was definitely in love with him, as why else would I go camping with him? Was the fact, he adored his truck and loved camping yet another sign?
After the honeymoon and back at home, his ego was fragile as he was out of work. During this time he spent endless hours, day and night, playing violent computer games. In between games, he would avidly read from his enormous collection of war and science fiction books. When he wasn’t reading these, his head was buried in a super hero comic, of which he had thousands. Was this just blokey, or another sign?
Not much changed when he was employed, except we would regularly meet after work for drinks before going home. To the outside world, we had the ideal marriage and although I would have preferred he spent more time with me than his computer, I thought we were happy and that our marriage was strong.
When I had peritonitis and had to spend six days in hospital to have antibiotic infusions after my surgery, it all became about him and how he couldn’t cope if I died. He broke out in a rash all over his body and blamed me. He was convinced I had changed the brand of washing powder. His doctor later told me he believed, this rash was psychosomatic. Surely this was a sign?
The most obvious sign must have been his regular sojourns to the big hardware store on the weekends. Most times he would disappear for a few hours and return with a new boy toy. He had a bespoke wooden tool shed made to house all his treasured tools. Ironically, his shed was the only place where he kept any form of order. Funnily enough he was the most un-handyman I have ever met.
Six years into our marriage, I was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm, which turned out to be the beginning of the end of our relationship. Once again, it was all about him and how he had to handle the stress of it.
The first surgery was not a complete success and I needed to wait six months for the healing to complete before they could finish what they had started. It was imperative my blood pressure was not raised and therefore, sex was forbidden for a whole year, which nearly drove me crazy. Oddly enough, he seemed to cope okay with that. Definitely a sign!
He was present with me eighteen months after my second op, when I was told a third operation was necessary, and that I needed to avoid stress. Two weeks after this, he told me about his real persona who was called Harriet.
I really thought he was joking. As it turned out, the joke was on me. I was totally devastated to learn the man I loved, warts and all, was telling me that he liked to dress up as a woman. Apparently Harriet had an entire wardrobe of clothes in the storage unit he rented. The penny finally dropped! I am positive he would go to his storage unit to become Harriet and then race over to the hardware store and buy the first thing he saw to bring home. So ladies, please beware of the husband who goes to the hardware store too often, as you never know where he has really been or what he has really been doing. Or am I wrong, is this just another manly thing to do?
Once the shock wore off a little, and with the advice of a mutual friend I decided to let him bring Harriet’s belongings home. As the dutiful wife, I was trying to be supportive, whilst at the same time wanting to be sick. I washed every article of clothing and lingerie before hanging the dresses and storing the lingerie and hideous oversized stilettos into boxes in my wardrobe. Mistake!!! I had opened Pandora’s box and life was never the same again.
Instead of Harriet coming out in small doses, (as he claimed to be just a bloke who liked to dress up occasionally) she suddenly ruled the roost. Harriet told me the man I married was dead and he had never existed, effectively making me a Trans Widow. Our entire marriage was a sham and Harriet is now a fully blown and fully transitioned, Trans Rights Activist.
Knowing he would transition, I had no choice but to leave. He later wrote to me saying, at the time we married, I could never have known he would transition as he had not been diagnosed then. The proof of his deceit which crippled me, was his Facebook post where he revealed he had thought about transitioning a few months before we married.
If you have also been affected by any of the issues in this story, please view our Resources page.