The LGBTI community experiences many similar relationship concerns with straight couples. There are trust, infidelity and communication issues. Just as lesbian, gay and bisexual couples have their own unique problems that affect only their relationships so it is with transgender relationships. Transgender couples have their own unique problems that are specific to their relationships.

There are a range of problems that may affect couples where one partner is re-thinking their gender identity. This can be a very difficult and turbulent time for couples. There may be considerable uncertainty for both partners as they manoeuvre these uncharted waters.

The first step in the process of coming out to your partner is to explain your gender identity. The person on the inside may not match the person on the outside. There may be fear of how your partner may react to the news. Will your partner be supportive and understanding, or shocked and distressed.

This can be a confronting and confusing time for both of you. This requires coming to terms with and understanding the complex issues surrounding gender identity transition and how it may affect your lives and relationship. Will it be possible to continue your relationship? What will change? What will remain the same? What is important is complete honesty. With complete honesty it can help you through this very difficult and challenging time in your life.

Christopher Swane - Couples Counselling and Psychotherapy -  Wellington New Zealand