Spouse Comes out as Transgender
My husband came out as transgender several months ago. He has every intention of going forward to transition into a woman, and has not remorse about doing so. We are separated and no longer living as husband and wife. Would these circumstances, in your opinion, be grounds for divorce?
I grieve with you in your heartbreaking situation. May God help you.
I am not one to say you can do this or that. But, I thank you for asking help from sisters and brothers in the Lord.
I do have a question that might help you:
What were the vows you made at your wedding? That is, did you vow to take him as your lawfully wedded husband? Now, if he ceases to be your husband, perhaps you aren’t married to him anymore…..
I am sorry that you have to go through this turmoil. I am praying for strength for you.
If you were to stay married, you would legally be married to a woman. And all the Biblical verses about husbands and wives would seem to me to no longer apply. It puts you in a very awkward situation. It renders you incapable of fulfilling your vows, through no fault of your own. So yes, divorce becomes acceptable.
There is even legal debate as to whether divorce isn’t enough, but that such a marriage could be annulled or reversed. Given that, remarriage would seem to be acceptable as well.
Also consider that one does not just decide one day to be transgender. It’s typically something that a person has felt for a long time, often since childhood. The likelihood that he felt this way even during your wedding is quite high. A vow taken before God under such pretense cannot be honored as real. I would say that frees you from the marriage, and from moving on to a valid marriage.
Again, I will pray for you. I have supported people as they deal with these situations. It’s so tough. But God will see you through it.
Praying for you to be lifted out of this terrible situation Pat.
I find the teaching on divorce in the bible to be complicated, but one clear exception that Jesus teaches is valid for divorce is sexual immorality:
Matt 19:9 – I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.
Your husband is deeply taken in sexual immorality, though it has a fancy name now (transgender), this sin has been going on for thousands of years.
There is another verse that I think also speaks to this:
1 Cor 7:15 – But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.
Matthew 18:17 says to treat an unrepentant sinner as a pagan/gentile/tax collector/unbeliever and this course of action by your husband removes him from the marriage (he leaves).
The bible forbids remarriage in situations of wrongful divorce (he put her away wrongfully, she divorced him wrongfully for another) – this would not be a case of wrongful divorce and like 1 Cor 7:15 says, I believe you are not bound in such circumstances.
Marriage is a covenant entered into by one man and one woman, so if the man decides to become a woman then the relationship is no longer one of man and woman but of two women. That’s not a marriage, so yes, I think that’s grounds for divorce.
I think that you should be free to remarry under those circumstances.