A Belgian man is trying to get his 19-year marriage annulled after discovering that his Indonesian wife was not born a woman.
The man, identified only as Jan by The Telegraph, married Monica, his family’s former au pair, in 1993 despite the difficulties faced with Belgian immigration authorities.
It’s a sweet story, and one that is likely fit into the Nicholas Sparks Hollywood romantic drama model: Two people fall in love despite cultural and societal differences and fight “the man” to maintain their romance. But sometime after “happily ever after,” Jan’s love story turned into The Crying Game when he found out in recent weeks that Monica was originally a man, and had undergone a sex change.
“I feel I’ve been assaulted,” he said. “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.”
Jan also said that the two had decided against having children, as he already had two from his previous marriage. He also said that Monica faked menstruation “to conceal the truth.”
“Even during sex, I never noticed anything,” he said.
Their marriage began to break down as Jan accepted a stressful and demanding job, with his oldest son reporting that he had seen Monica at nightclubs wearing revealing attire. After finding romantic correspondences with other men, Jan confronted Monica in a violent fight that resulted in the police being called. Jan confronted Monica after hearing rum0rs from a friend that his wife was actually a sex-changed former man.
“I pushed her against the wall and said: Now I know the truth. Are you a man? 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 currently undergoing psychiatric treatment following the discovery, and is seeking to have his marriage annulled. “That person has deliberately deceived him for years, even scammed. Presumably she has also forged documents used here to get a residence permit. The children, who for years have lived with her, are devastated,” said his Liliane Verjauw, his lawyer.