Sex change effect on marriage?

A fellow I know has announced that as of February, he’ll be presenting himself as a woman. Good for him, takes courage to make a decision like that, more power to him, etc. :slight_smile:

He’s married. Mrs. R had some questions which I’m darned if I can answer.

What is the legal status of his marriage

  1. When he/she still has Mr. Happy but is dressing and acting as a woman?
  2. After sex-reassignment surgery?

Depends on the state. In Texas, for example, he can’t be recognized as a woman, period, and will be considered a man legally married to a woman, as before. In California, both 1 and 2, if carried out in deliberate legal fashion (and assuming the “presenting” is more than clothes and a name change), will result in your acquaintance being recognized as a woman, but I think the marriage would be annulled under current law.

I have a hard time imagining that the marriage will survive, though I wish them all the best. There are plenty of happily married cross-dressers out there, but the actual sex change might be just too much to ask of a spouse. But it is also possible that your friend might have been in an essentially sexless relationship and they’ll go on like before.

Or it’s possible that her wife is bisexual, and they will work out fine. It does happen, although it’s generally a hard row to hoe.

Now if both marriage partners switch…

I’m assuming that the wife is fully on board with it. They may hit a rough patch or two, but I’d bet that they’ll be fine.

I’ll try to find the citations when I get home (and there are almost none, really) but IIRC a very large number of marriages fail as a result of one partner coming out as transgendered or transsexual, and even in the cases where the other partner stays through the transition, the 5-year survival rate for the marriage is bleak. I’m recalling a 90-95% failure rate within 5 years, but don’t quote me on that as I do not have a citation to give you. Now as for the case where the marriage happens after the transition or the coming out, those success rates are much more positive, because after all the other partner has entered the relationship knowing what they’re getting into.

IIRC as well, it was the other partner’s family and friends which were most influential on the success or failure of the marriage. And I reckon that has a significant impact on any marriage, really.