A Surrey couple have been forced into a divorce after wife Catherine Everett claimed that her husband's behaviour resulted in the break down of their marriage. Ms Everett admitted feeling "used" when she discovered her husband had been a transsvestite prior to their relationship which began back in the 1990's and had not given upon his secret desire to be a woman.
Stephanie, then Stephen, had begun gender reassignment while the couple were awaiting the arrival of their new child, and hadn't informed his wife of the procedure. Mother of two, Ms Everett told the Sunday Mirror that she wasn't aware of the decision that her then husband had made as the couple had not had sex since she discovered that she was pregnant.
In that time Stephanie had begun wearing pyjamas to bed. It was not until one evening when she walked in on her husband in the bathroom to give him a good night kiss that she noticed anything different. "I couldn't believe what I was seeing," Ms Everett, 26, told the Sunday Mirror. "He was standing there examining his breasts - they were small, but there was no mistaking them."
It was only then that she was made aware that Stephanie had started a course of female hormones. Ms Everett also found out for the first time that her husband had lived dressed as a woman previous to meeting 11 years ago. She said: "I felt utterly betrayed. We had a son and a new baby on the way."
The couple tried to adapt their relationship to the changes that Stephanie wanted, but in the end the marriage could not take the strain. After marrying in 1999 they enjoyed the birth of their son, now seven. She only discovered Stephanie's secret when she was expecting her daughter, now five.
The couple agreed to divorce because Stephanie's change resulted in abuse of himself while taking care of the children. "Stephen tried wearing men's clothes but he'd always go back to his dresses, high heels and handbags," according to Ms Everett. Stephanie denied purposely starting the gender reassignment therapy during the marriage, and is due to have an operation next year.
"It was never intended it to happen until after our divorce. My upmost priority is and always will be the care and well-being of our children. "That is all I am prepared to say," Stephanie added.
The divorce was finalised in January, following a custody battle.