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Ex Husband Suddenly "Transgender Woman"

(28 Posts)
themidwife Wed 15-Feb-17 22:55:00

My ex husband has a history of cyclothymia, psychotic episodes, substance abuse & alcohol abuse. He had 3 affairs during our marriage and was emotionally abusive. I eventually broke free and divorced him. He moved away to a large city.
We have a 7 yo DD and last weekend she visited him and he was dressed as a woman and took her out for the day with other new transgender friends. While she was there he sent me an email telling me he has changed his name to Jennifer, was having gender reassignment treatment and our DD was "fine with it". He also said he "asserts his right not to hide away to protect his children from discrimination".
DD came home very distressed and crying about "Daddy dressing like a girl" and doesn't want to see him like that.
I texted him and asked him to dress neutrally as many women including me would at the weekend (jeans and t shirt) while she's with him to allow time for me to arrange support for her to come to terms with this and he just replied "stop sending abusive messages".
DD doesn't want to see him unless he dresses like a boy. He won't compromise.
Any advice?

quicklydecides Wed 15-Feb-17 22:57:44

I would just explain to her that her father is mentally ill and that this phase might or might not last so try to ignore it as much as possible!

Wishforsnow Wed 15-Feb-17 23:02:11

Get a stop contact order via court. It is one thing breaking to a child being trans but another on a contact weekend to show up as a woman to a 7 year old. Adding to that hanging out with his new trans friends. Regardless how nice they are that would make any 7, 17, 57 year old be freaked out. Glad you are getting your child support. He is being selfish and abusive

Sweets101 Wed 15-Feb-17 23:05:30

He should have spoken to you about it before hand so you could both be on the same page to support DD.
I guess that isn’t a priority for him.
There's not much you can do about him, he will act as he chooses, bar cutting contact.
You need to focus on supporting DD and letting her talk freely about her feelings

GTS Wed 15-Feb-17 23:06:43

No experience with this, so can't give specific advice, but for what it's worth I think you were right in what you said to your exh. My concern would also be for his mental health generally if he can't surely see that a 7 year old might need some time to get used to the idea that her daddy now dresses like a lady. Must be very confusing for a little girl with no prior warning, bless her. Hopefully someone with some transgender/mental health experience will be along soon to offer you some support.

Sweets101 Wed 15-Feb-17 23:09:21

You will need to explain to DD that neither of you can tell her father what to wear but that as her parent it is your (and his) job to ensure she is happy and comfortable. You can't expect a 7 yr old to tackle it by herself so you might have to take him on as it were. I would treat is as a need to be sensitive to the situations DD is placed in, how she is expected to deal with those, how you both support her etc as opposed to how he dresses.

themidwife Wed 15-Feb-17 23:12:08

He just bangs on about his rights and how happy he is and that's all that matters. There's also an underlying theme that if we don't accept it then we are not "inclusive" and are "bigoted" angry
He told her it was "only for 3 months" so didn't even tell her the truth (he's going for permanent gender reassignment). Quite how the Gender Identity Clinic have not picked up on his instability I'll never know!

Sweets101 Wed 15-Feb-17 23:17:02

If he isn't prepared to act as a parent and consider DD during this time then you need to take the responsibility on for him

Wishforsnow Wed 15-Feb-17 23:18:30

Maybe stop discussions with him. Do you have someone else that can mediate for any contact?

MrsDustyBusty Wed 15-Feb-17 23:21:25

He has no kind of plan at all to help your daughter come to terms with this and doesn't see it as an issue? I'd be listening to her wishes entirely, in that case, and finding her an independent counsellor. The way he has approached this leaves her with quite a bit of adjustment.

themidwife Wed 15-Feb-17 23:22:41

Yes I've asked Children's Services & Family Support to appoint an advocate for her to mediate as well as provide support for her. I will protect her. School day she's been out of sorts the last few days but she's being especially affectionate towards me and constantly telling me she loves me. I guess she's just reassuring herself that I'm her Mum and not changing.

DumbledoresArmy Thu 16-Feb-17 09:44:32

He is having gender reassignment treatment.
This is who he is, not a phase.
To say he is mentally ill is offensive.

Your daughter will ultimately have to accept that Dad is going to be a woman.

MollyRedskirts Thu 16-Feb-17 09:50:13

DumbledoresArmy, did you even read the OP? He suffers from mental illnesses, ergo, he is mentally ill. It is not at all offensive to say that. Being transgender is neither here nor there in that regard - do you not think it's possible to be both transgender and mentally ill? Or transgender and disabled? You need to brush up on your intersectionality.

OP, I feel for you. Your ex should have absolutely prepared you. There was nothing wrong with your suggestions.

DumbledoresArmy Thu 16-Feb-17 09:55:58

To say it is a phase is offensive

ageingrunner Thu 16-Feb-17 09:57:02

I'd be rather dubious about his new friends too. Is your exh capable of judging whether these people are trustworthy around children?

abbsisspartacus Thu 16-Feb-17 09:59:54

Dumbledoresarmy he is mentally ill it doesn't go away you know it's not offensive it's true

abbsisspartacus Thu 16-Feb-17 10:03:14

The point is he might be having another break with reality this really might be a phase in his mental stability these are very real concerns his clinic should be addressing this no one should go through gender reassignment until they are mentally and physically safe and able to deal with the emotions and physical aspect of transition

OddBoots Thu 16-Feb-17 10:05:37

"Quite how the Gender Identity Clinic have not picked up on his instability I'll never know!" Because the current narrative seems to be that once you claim to be trans then it becomes offensive to even mention mental illness, even if it is glaringly obvious.

sleighbellend Thu 16-Feb-17 10:07:23

"Your daughter will ultimately have to accept that Dad is going to be a woman."

In the same way that if Dad declared he wanted to be an antelope she'd have to accept it? Because that would require the same suspension of logic and reality.

FreeWeezy Thu 16-Feb-17 10:11:45

I'm shocked at how quickly he's managed to be seen at a clinic? Is he paying privately? My friend was put on the waiting list at 18 and has only this year, at 28, had surgery. It took until he was 26 to even start hormone replacement and counselling. Your daughter may have more time to adjust than you think.
However it is a very difficult situation to put a child in and he is being incredibly insensitive. He seems to be using her to get at you which is very unfair. Perhaps you could ask if you could all go to an appointment at the clinic together to see a therapist? Then he wouldn't be able to be so one sided and aggressive and it would give you and your daughter and chance to fully understand what is going to happen in the coming months and years. Good luck.

mogloveseggs Thu 16-Feb-17 10:13:31

Your poor dd that must have been such a shock! You're definitely doing right by asking for an advocate to help. It might be that he is transgender but his inability to understand how his dd might be feeling about all this and refusal to help her understand by using a gradual approach certainly seems like it isn't a carefully considered decision on his part. I hope your dd is OK flowers

theoracleofdelphi Thu 16-Feb-17 14:01:13

I'm OP but have name changed.

I don't think he's at the point of surgery - he says he's starting hormone therapy. Obviously he has been going to the clinic in London for some time but has not shared that information until now

MrsDustyBusty Thu 16-Feb-17 14:07:54

How does he want your daughter to refer to him?

theoracleofdelphi Thu 16-Feb-17 14:10:19

I don't know. He signs himself as "Jen" but I haven't explored that with her. I don't want to keep questioning her - she's very reluctant to talk about it

Prawnofthepatriarchy Thu 16-Feb-17 17:00:40

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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