A Belgian man wants his 19-year marriage anulled after he discovered his Indonesian wife is transgender.
The 64-year-old, known only as Jan, met his partner during a previous marriage when she was working as his children’s au-pair.
He says his world ‘collapsed’ when his 48-year-old spouse Monica admitted her gender identity.
‘I feel I’ve been assaulted,’ he told the Het Nieuwsblad newspaper.
‘I brought her to Belgium. That was not easy. The Belgian courts had serious doubts about the authenticity of her birth and her identity papers, but eventually they accepted it anyway. I thought she was an attractive woman, all woman. She had no male traits.’
He added that he never suspected a thing until his friends and family told him they had heard rumors that Monica was transgender.
Furious, he confronted her about the allegations after discovering flirtatious messages from other men on her computer. And he admits reacting violently to the news.
‘I pushed her against the wall and said: Now I know the truth. Are you a man?’ he said.
‘She then announced that she was born as a boy and that she had been operated on. She was now a woman, and so she did not need to tell me about her past as a man. My world collapsed. That evening came to blows. The police came.’
Jan is now undergoing psychiatric treatment and has now started legal proceedings in Belgium to have the marriage annulled on the grounds that Monica ‘deliberately deceived’ him.