Published Wednesday, 26 February 2014
Kate and Helen Nutall will legally remarry in the coming months. (© Ken McKay)
But events took a further surprising twist when, after Andrew became Kate following a gender reassignment surgery, Helen fell back in love with her ex.
The pair reunited in a civil ceremony in December and have told This Morning their life may appear unusual to many, but for them they are just normal.
The couple first married in the 1980s, but Kate explained that while she was in love with Helen, marriage was something she thought she had to do.
She told Phillip and Holly: "My head was basically all over the place and by this time I'd realised that I should have been Kate, but I thought, to be normal, you get married and have a family and show the outside world I look like a bloke so I should be a man.
"I thought I could hide the way I felt by being with somebody that I loved, that it would help me keep it under control...but it is just something that you can't."
In private Helen began dressing in women's clothes, but admitted that it was not enough and she knew that she was in the wrong body.
"In around 1998 I first approached the doctors ...just to find out really what was up with me." she explained.
"I got referred to a clinic but for some reason they got there wires crossed and nothing ever happened.
"So I tried to keep a lid on it even more."
Eventually Kate was referred to undergo the gender reassignment surgery and wife Helen was left in shock, because, to her, the marriage was over.
"It was confusing really because you don't know where you stand, as in what status has the relationship got. We were separated but we still had feelings," Helen said.
"It's somebody saying they want to be different, they want a different name, and they want a different appearance. You sort of forget they are trying to be somebody else but you're still trying to keep them as the same person."
But an even bigger surprise was in store for Helen when she realised she still had feelings for her ex-husband, who was now a woman.
"You have got to adapt and realise that it is the same person inside," she said.
"I have got my head around it, but it has taken a while."
The couple said they have been overwhelmed by the support and acceptance they have received from their children, family and friends and insist that while their situation may be odd to outsiders, they are living a normal, happy life.
Reunited by a civil ceremony last year, Kate and Helen will now legally re-marry when a new law comes into effect in England next month.
© UTV News