How Your Crossdressing Changes Your Wife’s Opinion of You

From time to time I’ve heard crossdressers express confusion and frustration over their wives or SOs using the term “male image” when explaining their feelings about crossdressing.   “What does that mean?” they ask.  “What exactly is ‘male image’?”

Not too long ago I bumped into a passage in a book that reminded me of this question hanging  over so many anguished discussions.   What is this thing that women all seem to understand as “male image” that leaves genetic males looking puzzled?

Shaving crossdressing“He was slim and appeared to be in good shape, as if he bicycled to keep that way.   Without being able to help it, she imagined him shaving his legs.   Once she had gone out with a cyclist who did that because he said it cut down the wind friction . . . .    The date had been a very short one.  Chessie couldn’t get the image out of her mind of him in the bathtub running a razor over his legs.”   (translated from p. 57, Los planes de la novia, by Kasey Michaels)

Chessie’s current date wasn’t even the one who had told her he shaved his legs, but the image she had of someone similar to him having done it was enough to ruin him in her eyes.

Women internalize things in a way that most men don’t, and all those internalized experiences and impressions have a strong impact on how women feel about any given situation.    Something that may seem insignificant or like past history to men is very real to women.    Their impressions are more cumulative than men’s.    Think about a couple who’s been arguing for much of the day.    If bedtime comes and the husband sees his wife in a sexy negligee, the afternoon’s argument is the farthest thing from his mind.   Any advance on his part, though, is likely to be met by a look that clearly asks, “What planet are you from?”   The woman still acutely feels the distance that was there during the day and so doesn’t feel intimate.   Women don’t compartmentalize things as well as men do, so the whole day’s story comes along for the ride.

Knight-2 crossdrerssingNow think about what this “whole picture” way of dealing with life can mean for a crossdresser and his wife.     Even if the husband is willing to keep his crossdressing out of sight, little awarenesses are going to creep into the wife’s internal image of him.   Women can swear that they’re modern and aren’t attracted to “macho”, but there’s a reason why 55% of paperback books sold are romance novels.   Our brains tell us to move on and embrace a changing world, but our hard-wiring makes us weak-kneed in the face of the “all-male” image, the white-knight and fair-maiden tale, if you will.    Publicly we eschew it, but privately we still swoon.

Nor is it just romanticism.   Both men and women react physically and emotionally to the stimuli of the opposite gender, but there’s a difference in what it is that impacts us.   For a man it’s heavily visual.   Hot babe at 3 o’clock and the chances are he’s “feeling”.     While women can also enjoy looking at a sexy guy, a pug-ugly one can also make us feel very feminine if he’s strongly masculine in his behavior.   For us it’s about how we feel inside.    For those old enough to remember Henry Kissinger, did you ever wonder how he managed to surround himself with tall beautiful women?     He was short and homely, but he gave off an aura of masculine strength through control and power.  His “male image” was fully intact.

Divided Couple crossdressingSo what happens when we know that our husband’s assortment of cosmetics is bigger than our own or that he has more dresses than we do?     Crossdressers contend that they’re still the same person and they don’t understand why their wives can’t see that.    Well, in a way they can see it.   Of course it’s still the same face, same body with the same joint recollections and the same love of family, and the important-person-in-my-life love is probably still there.   The problem is that the cosmetic bag and dress collection information is firmly entrenched in the “whole image” she has of you, and it may well keep her from experiencing fully the “you man, me woman” feeling that she needs.

Notice I said “may.”    Women are adept at accepting all kinds of things or even “settling”, and there are even women for whom, because of their own backgrounds,  a man with an openly female side feels safer or more reassuring for her.   Every couple is different, but for those whose wife or SO says that her male image of him has changed, she’s absolutely right.   The massive collection of tiny impressions and experiences that she carries around inside her and that represents how she sees you now includes information that radically changes the sum.    It’s a concept that’s very difficult for men to understand, but it’s the reality for the women in their lives.    We’re whole-package people.

Optometrist2 crossdressingIt’s like being at the optometrist’s office when the doctor flips through different lenses and asks which is better.   For women, new information changes the lens.   When the woman in your life talks about a changed male image, even if she can’t define it, the change is very real and she can feel it.   New information has changed the “whole image” she has of you, and that changed image has changed the lens through which she looks at you and the feelings that she brings to the relationship.

Internal images are not something that can be intentionally controlled.   Once they’re changed, there’s no going back.    If you’re to survive as a couple with a crossdressing husband, a new relationship will have to be forged that incorporates this changed image she has of you.    As many of you know, that’s a very difficult task and not even always possible, but that’s a whole different subject for another time.

 For now, just know that your wife or SO isn’t “talking crazy” when she refers to your “male image.”   She really does have such a thing, and it’s hugely important in how she sees you.    If she tells you it’s changed, take her seriously.    Your future together may depend on it.

Other reading suggestions:

The Other Woman in Your Marriage

10 Reasons Crossdressers’ Wives Divorce Them.

 Private Anguish of Wives with a Spouse in Transition in our section on the Wives Speak Out.

81 thoughts on “How Your Crossdressing Changes Your Wife’s Opinion of You

  1. As a young boy early on in my childhood I’ve always secretly felt more feminine like an always embraced it with my love for women’s clothing. It’s probably the biggest reason why I enjoyed cross dressing up as a girl so much as a young boy that it became so easy for me to accept my feminine sexuality enough to where I didn’t mind showing it off with some of my female friends up until it got me raped by a couple of guy’s one night whenever I was about nineteen years old. After that I realized how easy it was for people to be misunderstood about my sexuality and subsided from cross dressing publicly for many years afterward, but knew that one day I’d probably want to experience being seen out in public completely dressed up into a sexy female once again. It wasn’t long until I finally met the love of my life an as our relationship soon turned into a marriage I finally had to tell her all about my secert feminine side that I had for cross dressing from male to female, an it wasn’t easy but she was very understanding an even open to the idea of helping me out by shopping for some very cute outfits an everything else I needed to become completely satisfied about openly accepting myself as the transgender girl I’ve always wanted to be so I’d probably learn how to really enjoy the cross dressing lifestyle enough to fully enjoy my female side while she learned about my sexuality as we soon decovered that I was a bi-sexual transgender girl who didn’t mind anal sex weather or not it was with her or by a guy while she watched. After twenty-four years of marriage, it seems like we have a pretty good relationship even though we split up for a few years once she seen me really enjoy myself after she finally talked me into having sex with these four guy’s she knew that wanted to experience giving her sissy hubby total feminization just to see if I maybe enjoyed it more then sex with her. At the time our sexual relationship hadn’t been that great, so she started kind of thinking I was maybe gay, an as she watched me totally give into my feminine mood with them guy’s wasn’t something she could get over for a few years, but after talking and learning more about this we got back together. Now she takes care of them needs an open to me being with a guy every once in awhile as long as she don’t know anything about it as long as I’m safe any time I feel the need to fulfill that side sexually. It’s wonderful how often I have the freedom to cross dress weather it’s with her or by myself, she doesn’t mind an even still shop’s for some cute outfits and stuff that she knows I’d probably like.

  2. My lovely wife knew of my crossdressing before we were married. She does not participate or encourage me in any manner. I keep my body and legs smooth shaven, and would love for my wife to encourage me; even better; order me to wear sheer nylons on a regular basis for her inspection, seeing as I enjoy keeping my legs so feminine. Thus; I would enjoy a dominant side to her nature. In return; I’d be open to her seeing other men of her choice, whenever she chose, and even having an intimate sexual relationship with them if she desired. A fair exchange I suppose. I’ve had these thoughts and fantasies since before we were married, but could never figure out a way to tell her. Maybe too little; too late.

  3. Great Article, coming from a man who fantasizes about dressing when he sees a sexy woman in a cute dress and stilettos ☺. Since first wanting to wear Girls clothes in Kindergarten as well as raiding my mother’s drawers growing up to now having my own things, I can tell you this will never go away; at least for me. Now whether or not you decide to act on those desires is solely up to the CD and it’s possible to suppress it. My intentions are to not disdain the hopeful of those who are looking to do it less or are trying to stop all together; but let it be known that if you open that box once it may forever be unclosable. I think there might be something hardwired for us to be this way as I was born just before dawn; as we know the night is darkest before the dawn. Could this be why?!?

    I have always been gender aware and for some odd reason felt like I was both, but never wanting to commit to being 100% female (As this is impossible). I embraced my Male side at young age and really do enjoy being strong, muscular fit and toned but at the same time I have a desire to grow breasts and have smooth silky hairless skin. This is very odd as I have tried to grow boobs with NBE, but then my soul or Spirit Chimes in after a week of hormone replacement and end up stopping when my male inner voice tells me to.

    I’m now absolutely sure I am a man with feminine undertones. I keep this hidden from everyone for this is what our society has implemented for people like me, as I am an Oddity and refuse to accept a stigma from the western world of emptiness. Even dating seems out of the question as I don’t want to be dominated by or as a woman or looked at as one, but telling girls I like to dress similar to one almost always gives that impression. It’s odd and unnatural but then again so are a lot of things Man and Humans do.

    I guess I’m self Loathing

    This then lead me to study the ancients for they must have been afflicted by these things and surely enough it was the truth. Below are things I read that helped me to come to terms.
    Crossdressing in Context, Vol. 3 Gregory G. Bolich

    It’s true about what was written

    ◄ Ecclesiastes 1:9 ►
    What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is
    nothing new under the sun.

    Makes me wonder how many issues like this are not brought to the light for fear of public exposure or because of preconceived religious dogma of which i try to understand and build around. I respect The Dogma and its utility but these things must be surveyed. Many Catholic/Christian preconceived notions comes from biblical translations of a language not many speak fluently who judge and rebuke us with phrases Like Deut 22:5 or 1 Corin 6:9. If woman want to argue that male crossdressers are disgusting then they need to stop wearing jeans and work-boots respectfully. I see woman at restaurants with Ties now! That’s like a man wearing a skirt methinks! “EWW A CROSSDRESSER, EWWWWWW” (Leg Wear and Heels were originally for men by the way; hows that for Historical Awareness?)

    I will let you people know I believe in an infallible God and Christ

    So what are my feelings? Are they demons? A past life regression? Perhaps a neuron or dendrite gone astray during the Gender Programing in the womb? This I have no answer other than the fact that men come out of woman and our gender is determined there and then. We are imperfect people living in an imperfect world and that we should not revere the flesh above all things. As Carnal Desires can keep you bound to the physical and keep you animalistic and usually that is what crossdressing is all about, VANITY and PHYSICALITY. This is why I have ceased from dressing as I cannot serve two masters. That’s my opinion and I don’t expect others to agree with my point of view. This is all of what’s keeping me from fulfilling my free will desires of wanting to being feminine as I don’t underdress but feel the need at times and i could for I have the Garments but don’t.

    If a woman wants to judge a man because of a certain thorn in his side IE Crossdressing; then that lady can go screw off. As for the men who don’t tell straight away after a few dates, well they are also to blame too. I get it at one point if you struggled and suppressed your desires and thought they were under control only to have them fully expose themselves later on and then wanting to come clean. Yea, I get that but all the cards should be on the table if you plan on getting Married to that person or engage in a possible Long term relationship. The world is massive and their are plenty of females to choose from as men are outnumbered globally to woman.

    I was lucky enough not to have unbearable dysphoria like I read about others. I am content with being male and believe this is the right gender(not like I had a choice). I just cannot figure out why my heart yearns for female breasts on my Body or why I want to personify a female from time to time, even my dreams turn me female! I have no desire to date or even have a relationship. Perhaps I was born to never have one as I seem to have a wonderful balance of female energy already inside me, why should I date when I have my own female to explore? I read in scripture that marriage and relationships are also for weak people as is fornication. Maybe God is blessing Crossdressers with the ability to not need the females who in this Generation seem to want to be more Independent and Manly nowadays.

    Glory to Christ
    Glory to Abba Phos
    Blessings to All and don’t Judge one another and Grow in the Light

  4. I would say it would have to depend on the level of crossdressing. For example, I love wearing women’s clothes from the waist down but not from the waist up. I like to make outfits that have feminine and masculine elements clashing (i.e. skinny jeans with a nice dress shirt that accentuates the shoulders. I also wear panties 24/7, knee high boots and lowish heels.

    However, I won’t do more than that. I do not take the role of a stereotypical woman (which seldom exists anymore anyway) and do not have the desire to build a feminine persona. I believe my behavior is actually pretty masculine as what sparked my interest in women’s attire was my attraction to women. Even though it doesn’t feel sexual anymore, my behaviour is definitely rooted in transvestic fetishism. Nowadays, as many people report, it makes me feel happy and content more than sexually aroused (perhaps it is still arousal but without the erection to boot).

    I would have to however state that adopting a feminine persona (i.e. autogynephilia) would have to be considered a step too far for most women. Some clothes are one thing, the whole shebang with makeup and wig is another, then with the persona on top is yet another level.

    My GF is open minded but even what I do would be too much for most women.

    I have fo admit to throughly enjoy showing myself as a traditionally “masculine” man but in the clothing of my choice. It is up to us to show them that clothes are just clothes.

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  7. My wife divorced me because of my crossdressing, she was always threatening me with, I’ll tell all of my friends about you dressing up if you don’t stop dressing up as a girl, she never did tell anyone. I told my wife I wanted to go out for Halloween dressed as Joanne, Halloween was still 3 months away, she didn’t say anything, she acted as if she didn’t hear me. Then, around the middle of august, my said, your going to get your wish, we have a Halloween party to go to in October. My wife asked me if I was ready to be made into a girl, it was only October 2, she said their party was on the 10th. She took me to her beauty salon & got me the works, I now had blond hair, cut in a fem style, long nails, pierced ears & plucked eyebrows, when I saw myself I didn’t believe it was me, I was really good looking. I had a whole day to kill, my wife went to work & I was getting bored so I decided to get dressed up & go for a walk. I couldn’t believe all the cars that honked at me, I really felt like the girl I wanted to be. The next night I got dressed again for the party, I wore a tight, black, dress with a skirt that stopped mid thigh, suntan pantyhose, black, 4″ open toed heels that made my feet look great with my red toes peeking out, large black hoop earrings, perfume, heavy makeup that really looked good with my pencil thin, highly arched eyebrows & to finish the look, a black clutch bag. My wife drove us to the party, we arrived at around 9:00pm, before getting out of the car, I told my wife, I really loved being able to dress as a woman & go out to a bar. We walked in the bar & all of the guys turned their heads to check me out, I felt great. My wife told me to get us a drink, our party was down stairs, we got our drinks & went down stairs, it was really dark, then, as we hit the last step, the lights came on, I saw a bunch of people standing around but not a one was in costume. My wife came over to me then turned to face the crowd, then said really loud, this is my sissy husband, he wants to be a girl, she then turned to me & said, I told you what would happen if you didn’t stop dressing like a girl.

  8. Depends who you listen to, Lori. The Christian media is doing all that it can to scare you, but there are also positive signs on the pro side too. My experience is that those who don’t know a transgender person often change their mind when they do meet a live TG person. The best thing you can do is be proud of who you are and not mind telling people…..Tasi

  9. Anne, further to my comments above, I am not disregarding your shock and dismay at finding out so late in life about your husband’s crossdressing. Telling our wives is the scariest thing we ever do and we do so knowing that we may be rejected and knowing that we may never be viewed the same again, but if you love each other, you need to find a way to accommodate his transgender nature. He was born that way. So are you better off with or without him in your life. Only you can decide. If you have a ying-yang marriage, then perhaps the image is too great for you to understand and accept, but if your marriage is also based on friendship, then you really need to try and work with hi. Please let us know as you go forward

  10. Hello Everyone,
    My name is Lori and I am a M-F transsexual (Non-op). I am beginning to be scared since Trump became President. Do I have a valid reason to be scared? I don’t know and I am asking for some insight. I am scared that now Trump is President that people with think it’s ok to harass us or discriminate against, treat us indifferently. I heard on the new about Trump talking about religious freedom. I am afraid of that because I have read on other lgbt sites that religious freedom could be used to discriminate against us legally based on someone’s religion. If this is true, that presents a potentially scary problem for the lgbt community. I am scared. I have been out to the public since the early 1990’s and I am more scared now than I was when I first presented to the public as the real person I am. I am glad I have legally changed my name and gender on all my documents and ID’s (except my birth certificate that I will be amending in the near future) before Trump became president as I am thinking it might have been harder afterwards. Am I imagining this fear I have or is it real? I would appreciate some feedback. Thank-you.

  11. Anne,

    Your husband has likely been a crossdresser for much longer than 5 years as we are born that way. It just comes out at different times in our lives. I’m sure you are in shock at the moment but it need not be that way. First, read my sections in the Library under Transgender Resources on All About Crossdressing, All About Transgenderism, and The Wives SpeaK Out. Then consider why you need to do anything except love him and support him, particularly if he has been a good husband for all these years. There are 1.4 million crossdressers in the U.S alone and there are many stories of successful marriages when one spouse is a crossdresser. There is nothing inherently wrong in being transgender so why does it bother you? Not all women can accept a CD husband but as they say, let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water. Let us help both of you achieve balance in your marriage.

    You might want to join my Yahoo group, the TG Women, click on the Y at the bottom of any page of Sister House. Several wives have joined and we were able to help them work through their issues


  12. OMG I have just been told by my husband that he is a CD. I am devastated but I am torn half and half whether to stay together or split up. I am an elderly lady and don’t know what to do. I have no problem living alone, but I do love my hubby. I did not know he did this and seemingly he has been doing it for 5 years can anyone help me?

  13. My wife was aware of my crossdressing before we were married; however; she does not encourage me, or participate in any way. How I wish she would encourage, even order me to wear sheer nylons on a regular, even daily basis. I would enjoy her taking a dominant nature, maybe teasing me about my crossdressing, even calling me her feminine “husband bitch”. I’ve never been able to express to her my true feelings and fantasies, as I’m not sure she could be open minded enough to include them in our marriage. I can’t imagine her reaction if she knew my feelings about her being with other men.

  14. Lori,

    Referring went back to an earlier post wherein a cross-dresser claiming he would stop, in fact, would not and he would revert back to his earlier behavior to cross-dress

  15. SH Admin,

    I didn’t quite understand what you meant about “revert”ing. If someone is a mtf transsexual than she is a she not a he. You said gender identity is something you are born with then if her identity is female how could she revert? I don’t understand.

  16. FrankTheFrank,

    I disagree with you when you say, “You will always be male.” I disagree because sex and gender are two different things. Gender is between your ears and sex is between your legs. Now, what would happen if you had some sort of accident and had to have your penis amputated. You don’t have a penis anymore. Does that make you a female or are you still a male? Your sex organ has nothing to do with with your gender. I mean if a woman was born with the inability to give birth is she not a woman? If someone was born blind. would you say that person isn’t a human being because human beings can see? You know there are all kinds of people in this world and all they want to do is to be happy. Why do so many people care about how others live their lives? How does that affect other people if someone is a transsexual? Or a crossdresser? Life is too short to be worrying about your own life plus worrying about someone elses life. No one cares if you think they are wrong by thinking they are women or not. It doesn’t really matter.

  17. I wish it wasn’t so, but I feel strongly that Pandora is 100% on target when she says that the image most women have of their husbands changes dramatically and usually negatively once they learn he cross dresses.
    And although most women might be sympathetic to the plight of cross dressers in general, they are much less understanding and accepting if that cross dresser turns out to be their husband or significant other.
    Even if a woman never sees her man in female clothes, the thought and image it conjures up in her mind is usually enough to sour even the most loving and committed relationship, and any man who thinks otherwise is fooling himself.
    True, he might be the same loving person he has always been, but the image of masculinity that women are attracted to is gone forever and can rarely, if ever, be reclaimed.
    There are exceptions, of course. Some bisexual women might well be accepting and even attracted to the heretofore hidden female side of their partner, but for any man to hope that such is the case in his instance might well be wishful thinking.
    Pandora is also completely on target when she says that despite our unwillingness to admit to it, we females still hold true to that image we had as little girls when a knIght in shining armor would rescue us and whisk us of to his castle where he would love and protect us forever.
    Sadly, a knight, handsome and brave as he might be, who wears dresses, can never be that knight much as we might try or attempt to let him be.

  18. You are so cool! I don’t suppose I have read anything like that
    before. So good to find another person with a few unique thoughts on this topic.
    Seriously.. thanks for starting this up. This web site is something that’s needed on the web, someone
    with some originality!

  19. Get her to read Katies Playground by Marilyn Marshmellows. It shows the fun side of cross dressing. Most women take it to seriously because the husband make it a serious topic. Make it a fun game and it will go over much easier.

  20. Dear Confused,
    Gender identity is something you are born with and sooner or later he will revert or the disphoria could become stronger with time with harmful consequences.. You are who you are too and if you can’t accept the feminine side of your boyfriend, then love will not be enough to hold you together. It will be a rocky road if you stay together.

  21. Thank you for this article. It really helped me understand why I couldn’t see my boyfriend the same way after he told me he liked CDing.

    I don’t mean to be ignorant and/or hurt others feelings. But I would like an opinion on what happened between my boyfriend and I. I told him that I couldn’t see him the same way after he told me he CDed. That everytime I looked at him I saw his female version. He showed me a picture and I honestly thought he looked pretty. But the thing is I didn’t feel any attraction whatsoever and was put off by it. I couldn’t imagine that he would be doing that. He gave me sometime to think about our relationship and I came to the conclusion that I just couldn’t accept that part of him. When I told him he was devastated. We both were. I still loved him and he still loved me. But I just couldn’t. He told me that he would stop doing it and to give him a chance. He said the happiest moments of his live were with me and he didn’t want to lose that. I said I didn’t want to change him but he insisted he wanted to. He told me it started about 2 years ago and that he only did it twice in those 2 years and that it lasted a few weeks to a month. He’s not interested in males or has sexual fantasies (at least that’s what he told me). We are still together but I’m am not sure if I made the right choice. I don’t want him to change for me but I can’t accept that part of him. Will he really change? Is that possible?

  22. This is Nancy again….matters have gotten worse. I discovered today that my cross dressing boyfriend has been putting up personals on POF as himself, not as a man dressed in woman’s clothing and seeking men not women. He has now started meeting these men dressed as a woman but he has not told me that he has been meeting these men as himself. He has been texting them with very explicit sexual descriptions of what they would like to do to each other and calling them affectionate names and they have been sharing male porn sites. I’m not sure how long he has been doing this but he has been a member of POF for several months. Today, he went out as a woman and reluctantly I said “go ahead” and get it out of your system. I asked him what he was doing, he said that he was going to the nearest town where someone would not know him have lunch and go shopping that he was not going to meet someone or some people. I felt uneasy and I checked his email then found several from men wanting to meet him. I went to POF and found his profile where he wanted to meet men. I called him several times and told him that he had to get back home and talk. He kept lying to me about not meeting someone and the man text him back on the phone and I saw it. He lied that he was only going to those sites to see “what kind of guy would want to meet me” but he was not going to go through with it. He has asked for forgiveness and begged me that he doesn’t want to lose me that he loves me and that he doesn’t want to be with a man but with me. He has deleted the POF personal site, got rid of texts to several men and started cleaning out his woman closet. I am sorry, if it was just the cross dressing we could work together to make a compromise but the cross dressing has now turned into meeting men and possible exploration in homosexuality. We had a wonderful loving relationship. We may have had disagreements but never fought. We had a wonderful sex life but I’m now feeling that that was all a charade. 4 wonderful years with the perfect person and that is gone. He has promised that this will be all behind us because he does not want to lose me but he has lied so much and the personal ad is the final straw….Even you would agree that you can’t come back from this.

  23. Hi Nancy. First the truth and any competent gender therapist will tell you this, transgenderism is part of who we are. It has biological origins meaning it will never go away. 95% of crossdressers are heterosexual and we actually make very good husbands as we are generally sensitive, caring husbands, and good fathers. You could do far worst. The secret to a successful marriage is balance…balancing your needs and his needs. Support groups are very important to crossdressers as it helps to validate who we are, and as one friend says, we are perfectly normal but just wrapped in a prettier package. There are millions of us out there.

    I strongly suggest you learn more and you can begin by reading about crossdressers and transgenderism in the Library under transgender resources. Also read the section on what wives say. I want Sister House to support both us and our wives. And read all the articles by Terri Lee Ryan and Pandora. 25% of wives can never deal with the issue, but the rest can to varying degrees and have successful marriages.

    You said it yourself, you have a perfect relationship except …..Crossdressing is not a deal breaker unless you let it be. I believe your boyfriend is being honest with you. If after the reading you still need more answers, I suggest you join my Yahoo group, TG Woman (click Y button at bottom of any page on Sister House). We have several wives there with absolutely honest and helpful dialogue between them and our TG members

  24. My boyfriend and I have been dating for over 4 years. I found out several weeks after we started dating while cleaning his house…I found size 11 women shoes and very large dresses. It did not take a rocket scientist to figure out that he was a cross dresser. When we first started dating he said that that closet was his step daughter’s old clothes but when I figured it out he finally came forward with the truth. I was hurt and felt betrayed. This man who proudly claims his a “manly man” and respected member of society is a cross dresser.
    We even tried one time going out together him dressed up but I just couldn’t handle it seeing someone that I love and have an intimate relationship with in full make up, woman’s body suite, and better dresses then I myself own….it was very painful. Realizing that it hurt me so much we never did that again. I have tried to accept it or even just pushed it out of my life and mind but every so often he has this “need” to escape and dress up. He has always known people on line that are trans-gender, bisexual, and cross dressers but now he has joined a group and every few weeks he now wants to attend the meetings and hang out with others like him.
    I have to leave the house for several hours for him to get ready and I have to sleep in the other room when he comes back. He pretends that it is perfectly fine but it is not. He swears that he is not gay that he loves me dearly and that he would never cheat on me but to be honest I feel that him dressing as a woman his cheating. I’m hurt, I’m angry, I feel betrayed….but honestly, I don’t think he is going to stop this behavior even if we got married or if I leave him he will still do it. I have begged him for us to go talk with someone professional but he explains that we don’t need to see someone that we can work it out together. How do I accept this because I do love him very dearly and we do have a almost perfect relationship outside of the cross dressing. Any advice??

  25. It makes me sad to see all these posts about women not being ok with a partner who is a CD. I live my bf who confided to me that he enjoys cross dressing. I’m a very open person and identify as pan so when I began to date him I enjoyed his personality and soul over the physical aspects (which have been great and I find him extremely attractive, but I also pair this to the personality which matters so much to me). He slowly began discussing to me that he’s been a dress to or two with other women and asked what I thought of it. At first I thought he meant that he enjoyed being forced into a dress which I felt strange about but once we realized both of us misheard the other, it became clear he enjoyed wearing it was new territory for me. I embraced it fully and I feel that because of this I get an even deeper aspect of himself and he gets a deeper aspect of me. I call him by the name we chose often when we are home, we go thrift shopping together for dresses, I help him with eye make up and paint his nails. We have deep conversations and I love it. I wish more women understand that a man is telling you something important and deep about himself. He’s most likely had to suppress CD for years and that fact that he wants to share that part of himself with you is special. I feel like I have been given a wonderful gift because I have access to a male and a female whom I love unconditionally.

  26. you are right i wish i could found out a way to make us both happy we stay together but she is unhappy with that side of me which i am not upset mostly i do crave that she would have approves but we met at a church so she has male as leader but that’s not me anymore I am not going to fully change over I do not want to ruin her life or my kids even though i have i am trying to be a counselor but am i really ready to help others who try to force it on others change i guess the real story is whether you as a couple can work out a happy medium we live in different rooms and hates seeing me anytime in fem i really just want to be helpful to others and would like to learn from both sides on this my guess is that maybe 30% of women can be happy with our female side and 50% stay with him even though they don’t like it I wish i could live without it but its like a sex drug you want off its my bad addict not hers if anyone should have to change it should be me but i cant i thought a few years back it would be better after kids moved out but it looks like that’s not even true in our case

  27. i told my wife long before we were married. so there was no “betrayal” of trust at play. In fact it was still a nascent relationship… and when I told her she expressed that she “knew something was different” about me. But in our case it was a good thing. I will not get into the specifics of why my wife is incredibly supporting and encouraging because we all have a different journey in life. her reasons will never be YOUR wife’s reasons… but here is the thing: After a few years… as naturally dominant as she is… as naturally submissive as I am… the whole “male image” thing, (though not stated by that name), definitely became a HUGE issue… we worked hard to get past it and we did… it was mostly me getting past feeling like her opinion / acceptance had changed… Don’t forget all the self-doubt you yourself have – even though you’ve always known you are a crossdresser… even if you accepted it, you have had these feelings. now even though she accepted it, it was her turn to have those feelings. We got past it. We almost didn’t. It was THAT scary. I am probably more feminine now and my femme side has, with her nudging, has become more integrated into our lives and my appearance… but there was a time where she doubted it all and definitely needed reassurance, love and support of her own. I still wrestle w/ “what about the neighbors” aspect, but my best friends know and so do my parents. My siblings do not and likely won’t. Or maybe they suspect. Who knows? Just don’t forget that your wife is a woman… she needs her man, even if she loves and encourages you as “her”… its a delicate balance that only the two people involved will know how to achieve. Best of Luck!

  28. great points altogether, you just received a new reader. What might you recommend in regards to your put up that you just made some days ago? Any certain?

  29. I am late to the chat- and just came across these posts by a fluke. I am not sure if anyone is still going to see this, or even, care to reply but I need to talk to someone so even if I am just posting to get it off my chest, I will at least feel better not acrrying this all alone. I just celebrated my 5th wedding anniversary to my best friend and within days had my world crashing in on me. I came home early from a trip to the cottage and found a dress in my baby’s room that wasn’t mine just sitting on her dresser. I had left with our 3 and 1 year olds a few days before my husband came to the cottage but we had all come home together. We were all just back and were changing the baby and unpacking etc. and then all of a sudden I saw it. I freaked out, thinking someone had been in our house or that he had another woman over while I was away. I never ever even suspected anything, of infidelity or any betrayal so I was just floored. I tried not to freak out outr 3 year old but while putting the baby down I was crying and making critical plans about what I was going to do in my head. I was now with my husband and totally and blindly was “all in” not ever thinking I needed to protect myself or fear he was cheating on me. After the children went down to sleep, he came and told me he used to cross dress and just found the dress while he was looking for something in our crawlspace. He kept saying he just happened upon it and didnt even know it was there…He says this happened a long time ago, while he was single, and was going through some upsetting things in his life, smoking a lot of pot, lonely and looking for an outlet. He says it excited him but he only thought of women, denies being gay or even bi. He says he hasnt done it in a long time and doesnt know why he even has the dress anymore. I am so upset and dont know how I feel. I am now (which I never before) feel like I dont know if he is being honest with me. I dont know how to accept this or what it means to our relationship. He says the dress was there because he was going to throw it out but then got sidetracked and forgot…Says he doesnt CD anymore because he doesnt need to but everything I read says this is not ususally the case. I have told him I need to know the honest truth and am feeling so hurt he never told me. I love him but dont know how to feel right now, and we have 2 very young children together. I dont want them to grow up without both parents but I am just in shock and dont know how to feel intimate again, or how I feel about him now-or myself for that matter. I have been cheated on in past relationships, which I have told him about, and feel so stupid that maybe once again I have just missed the signs and for about 8 years now that we have been together. I am not trying to make anyone feel bad, or try to be judgemental about anyone’s own personal journey. I am just so devasted right now I dont know what the furture will hold for me and those that I love. I cant talk to anyone about this so am just trying to hold it together for the sake of my kids, for him and for us but I\m so full of insecurity and doubt. Thanks for listening if anyone is out there!

  30. Heya i’m for the first time here. I ound this
    board and Ifind It really useful & it helped me out
    much. I hhope to give something back and
    help others like you helped me.

  31. I read your article and it really helped me understand WHAT she is thinking…my crossdressing aside, my wife and I have other issues that needed addressing…communication being one of them.

    I have struggled with this my entire life…trying to suppress it and “be a man” I did not tell my (probably soon-to-be ex) until we had been married for 18 months and I thought I was “OK”…she FLIPPED out! I really thought I had it under control, but I was wrong. First run at therapy wasn’t helpful at all…continued to dress and hid it. She found out again about 15 months ago and I have been in therapy for the whole time…it’s helping me, but not in the direction my wife would like.

    She’s tired of the “rollercoaster” and told me she is leaving me last night. I have resolved not to lie to those that matter and “come out”…I am sure it won’t be easy.

    This is tough

  32. And that shock will likely put you in divorce court and/or destroy any intimate relationship you have with her. Don’t believe me, talk to a therapist.

  33. The traditional wisdom is to tell but I caution any cross-dresser in a relationship to be wary on how much is told. Start small and in small bites. She really doesn’t want to know and the few that have no problem with our dressing will tell you. She needs to know that you cross-dress because it is within you and can’t be changed or stopped. Beyond that, leave it to her to ask, and DO NOT force your feelings about cross-dressing onto her

  34. I really wish my wife would be more encouraging about my crossdressing, and I could share my many fantasies and fetishes with her. She would probably totally surprised and maybe shocked to know one of my biggest turn-ons is the thought of her flirting and being intimate with other men. Even her telling me about it would be enjoyable. I guess I can keep on dreaming.

  35. Darla; thanks ever so much for your comment, and you’re probably right. The biggest problem I’ll have after I tell her, is the many questions she’ll probably have about my CD past. I’ve done many things that truly will shock and upset her. Should I be totally up front about all that also?

  36. The cross dresser must tell his SO or wife up front. Let her decide if she wants to continue or stay in the relationship. That’s the honest thing to do. It is selfish to keep the secret for fear of losing her. For me, the lie is a bigger issue. Be a “man” (no pun intended) and let your SO or wife decide if she wants to be with you.

  37. I’ve been crossdressing since I was a child. My wife knew about my crossdressing before we were married, but I really can’t discretely get her to express her honest opinion of me and my fetish. I really wish she would encourage me and participate in some manner, but she seems not interested. I’ve often wondered if she’s ever discussed my/our secret with any of her friends, or anyone for that matter. I know some women would consider a husband who enjoys dressing and being feminine, not a real man. I can understand that point of view pretty much. However; if my wife would be more supportive and encouraging in my crossdressing, I’d certainly be willing to accept any freedoms she might desire to pursue. I’d be open to her seeing other men and possibly having an intimate relationship if she had the desire and urge to be with a ” real man “. That would be fair enough I suppose. In any case, I really wish this would come out in the open, and she’d really get into the issue one way or another. I’m certain there’s probably other crossdressers in a similar situation. I wish someone could send me a comment or suggestion.

  38. I was married 25 years before my husband told me about his cross dressing. He was the alpha male to me so this revelation was shocking. To say I look at him differently is an understatement. He has stopped dressing though it doesn’t matter. He is not the “man” I thought he was. I offered to live with him as sisters if he wanted to continue dressing. To live a lie all those years makes me wonder what else he lies about. We have lost our intimacy. I will never let him know how I really feel about anything again. Not the way I wanted to live my life. I wonder how other wives feel.

  39. This woman who replied earlier blaming cross dressers for not informing their wives before marriage of their secret has made me very angry and I think it proves that men are doing something wrong by the way we treat our women and think about ourselves. You know women lie every bit as much as men and they cheat every bit as much and they will take an act such as wearing her panties and blow it all up, threaten to tell the world, actually tell real people! But if she were caught doing something like texting an old bf, well that’s supposed to be ok, and we fucking buy into it! I fucking hate women. They wear our clothes all the time.

    I have worn women’s things since 1987, I am bisexual but prefer to think about men than women most times I jack off. My wife knows this, she hates me for it. But I don’t care anymore, she has been so mean to me, as have all women I’ve ever dated long-term, that if cannot bring myself to sacrifice getting all the cock I can safely suck.

  40. Vara La Fey,

    Your unyieldingly sharp understanding of the inconvenient truths surrounding the life of closeted (and more specifically, married) crossdressers makes it hard for me to believe that you are not one. I know a lot about holding braver and happier trans and cd men’s feet to the fire and hyper scrutinizing their every justification for behavior that feels good and seems natural because I too am a self-hating CD. I have deconstructed every argument imaginable for engaging in cross-gender behavior, and I would sound just as refreshingly controversial and as convincingly enlightened as you do, if I were to take the time to attack active cross dressers’ earnest posts on a CD blog. However, I do not care what other men do about their cd/trans feelings because I am too busy figuring out what I should do with my own since I have been burdened with this life-long struggle.

    If indeed you are the early stage 24/7 M2F that you claim to be (and you may in fact be, but I don’t care enough to check your pics or your posting history to find out because my ultimate point is salient enough to apply either way), then you have no reason to troll websites like this unless your purpose is to create the impression that apparently masculine, cross dressing men are somehow below currently transitioning or transitioned (i.e. passable) trans women on the LGBT hierarchy. Or, you just like to shit on people going through hard times.

    Why are you being so hard on these men? Have you forgotten that you are one? Is your own feeling of femaleness so tentative and fleeting that you need to lash out at a group of gender non-conformists you believe to be below yourself? If so I would admonish you in a similarly contrary tone as the one you’ve taken in your comments on this blog post. Here goes:

    You are not a woman. You are a man taking female hormones. Someday you will be a man with his penis inverted while taking female hormones. If you can afford it, you will be a man with a litany of other expensive modifications to your body in order to appear to be a woman. You will never be a woman. You will always be male… Be humble.

    That necessary ego-check aside, I should say that I strongly believe in every trans person’s right to transition and respect the right of trans people to act how they wish, and call themselves what they want. The strength of a transitioned person and the adversity that they have overcome cannot be underestimated.

    Even though I respect all gender non-conformsists, I also believe that every person with cross-gender tendencies of any kind could do with a healthy dose of self-awareness. Personally, I have only met one person with non-traditional gender expression who wasn’t also at least a little bit psychologically stunted (myself included) and strongly lacking in understanding or awareness of other people’s perspectives. However, your description of the CD hiding his behavior as “deliberately deceiving” his spouse is a massive oversimplification of a complex process by which a cross dresser or potentially trans person’s mind compartmentalizes the part of themselves which society openly rejects (especially in the case of a man who would not make a pretty woman), their parents have likely actively and knowingly rejected, is often lampooned in the media, etc. A person with cross-gender feeling who, as a child, chose a life of hiding their true selves is either engaged in a constant process of hiding, or an active process of revealing. It’s ridiculous to expect such a person to be honest with another if they have never been honest with themselves.

    That being said, I feel bad for female spouses of male CDs and trans women and I identify strongly with them. While many CDs dive into the literature of how to come out, I dove into the hard to swallow blogs, books, and comments of alienated spouses and confused wives, and, as such, I am currently trying hard to negotiate the space between the masculine man my wife needs me to be in order to be happy and the gender ambiguous man that my dilettante and abusive parents allowed me to develop into. This is my choice, of course. A choice that I can make because I have not been afraid to read articles such as this one.

  41. It sounds like you were for the most part honest. Your marriage had other problems. You shouldn’t blame them on your honesty or on your xdressing.

    Those of you who think you can hide your xdressing are going to get caught (or you already have been and your wife is hiding her knowledge). There’s always something you forgot, and something else you don’t foresee. Marriages are two lives lived as one, and its female half can be very observant.

  42. I think letting a SO know early on is best policy, but as Tasi commented, many don’t know early on, and as others note, desires intensify with age.

    I thought my early crossdressing desires a passing thing, associated with puberty. I had no desire to dress during courtship and saw no reason to say anything about something I presumed to be in my past. Only years later did the bug bite again and only in modest ways, easy to hide, and easy to believe it too would pass. But crises, coupled with aging and, I suspect, changing hormones, ultimately weakened my resolves. My wife shocked me by suddenly walking out on the marriage (for other reasons), which threw me over the edge. I decided to explore my fem side, so went to a dressing service (since I at that time had no clothes and had never even experimented with makeup, shoes, jewelry, or most other things fem). I was shocked to discover thrills I never thought possible. I knew I could not go back.

    Months later my wife decided to return. I told her that if she did she’d have to accept my dressing, which I believed would only intensify. She agreed and seemed to become accepting (although never wanting to see it), but ultimately could not handle it. Increased honesty and open-ness, in my case, at least, led to our divorce, after 43 years of marriage. I felt free-er in not having to hide anything, but in fact only transferred my burden to her. In spite of much discussion on the matter and my willingness to live within her boundaries, it was too great for her to bear. She could settle for nothing less than a complete “cure”, something she thought my choice, but something I could not promise.

    So I now tend to side with those who feel it may be best to keep the secret, at least if that secret is only learned long after marriage. I don’t think I was deceptive, at least when getting married, but any attempt late in marriage to persuade otherwise is, I think, risky, as past behavior may be viewed deceptive, irregardless of the circumstances, and hope for acceptance via intellectual education is speculative at best. Add broken trust to the need for a “male image”, and some marriages won’t survive.

    Is “honesty”, to the extent of revealing that which, if kept secret might preserve happiness for both, best policy? Or is ignorance sometimes bliss? I think it arguable and depends on the situation. In my case, I had the ability to keep my dressing out of sight; earning the ability to be more open and less repressed exacted a heavy toll… a lost marriage.

    If a couple is truly in love I think it sometimes best not to reveal or know what may lead to hurt. True love does not equate to ability to weather all storms. There are many times in life where I think it more loving to protect by remaining silent about what we know or have experienced than to reveal what would only cause pain.

    I think similar reasoning can extend to what we reveal to others. Do our children need to know? Our friends and neighbors? Is it “honest” and loving to tell all to everyone, even if we know the result could be misunderstanding and broken relationships? Or is it simply self-serving, by helping us lighten a burden and feel good about ourselves, only to create burdens for others that might be avoided?

    I submit that there is no universal answer and we shouldn’t beat ourselves up by doing what we feel is the best thing in our individual situations, after weighing carefully the pros and cons, knowing answers and potential consequences, often severe, are unclear and differ. Words, once uttered, and some actions, once taken, cannot be retracted. What sacrifices are we prepared to make? What matters most to us? We should think carefully before burning bridges.


  43. Hi Pandora,
    You are so right that crossdressing/ Transgender did change my wife’s view of me. We have been married for 12 years and she said that she knew this was coming since our second year of marriage. I had been fighting this since I was a teenager and now at 45 I have accepted it. At times I did forget I was this way but others had seen it.
    My wife said she is sad because she is losing her husband but she is understanding and helps me towards accepting who I am because I’m struggling with it. She accepts it and still wants to be my wife.
    Thank you, Pandora.

  44. Very interesting reading! I told my wife about my dressing a couple of months into our relationship – she told me that it wasn’t a problem and it didn’t make me a bad person. Over our courtship and subsequent marriage I did everything I could to stop dressing as I felt it was wrong. I purged so many times…… My dressing wasn’t mentioned by either my wife or I for about 20 years until one day she saw a text on my phone and she thought I was having an affair – I wasn’t, I was just arranging to meet another girl to buy some shoes! – and ever since then she knows I dress occasionally and keep my stuff in the attic but she doesn’t want it to be any part of our life. I’m back in the closet again but I think that as my CD persona is only about 5% of what makes me who I am, that’s fair enough. I can’t stop dressing or thinking about being Jane, but I don’t have to force it on anyone either, especially not the woman I love. If I had a choice I wouldn’t choose to be this way! It makes life harder!

  45. The problem with telling the truth up front, Dawn, is that we often don’t know the truth until many years later

  46. Or…He can tell the truth upfront, find the one that loves them complete and stay married. Because if she does not accept it or never wants to see it, she is not the “lid” that fits your “jar”.

    I wasn’t trying to be mean with the question on who you fantasize about, just wanting to hear real-ness. In reality, I believe that when dressed MTF, you must think of being with or having a man look at you. It validates you. So, truthfully.

    The dressing is an integral part of the crossdressers person. It doesn’t go away. It’s not an illness that can be cured. It is them. We are all human and God didn’t make no mistakes. We all belong here and we all deserve love. And I am here to tell you, it is possible.

  47. Preach it, sister!! Finally, I’m not the only one here telling them that stuff.

    He says “most women don’t want to know”, but that’s a linguistic trick he’s using to cover up the fact that most women won’t APPROVE once they DO know.

    Yeah, it’s the “don’t want it to be true” kind of “don’t want to know”. But since he phrases it as her not wanting to be AWARE, he thinks he can justify lying and sneaking.

    But he ultimately knows better. That’s why he lies and sneaks in the first place.

    THIS IS *MARRIAGE*, PEOPLE!! Put all your damned cards on the table or stay the hell single!!

  48. I have no idea why you would say “most women don’t want to know”. Did you conduct a poll of some kind? I vehemently beg to differ with you on that. I can only speak for myself. I must have honesty or my marriage never would have lasted. She feel betrayed and lied to because SHE WAS BETRAYED AND LIED TO!!!! Of course an initial reaction would be to think you are gay and have cheated. So tell me, when you dress, do you fantasize about being with a man or a woman?

  49. Thank you for the well wishes. I can see the power struggle to win openness. That power struggle is with himself. He is looking to me on a regular basis for approval and acceptance. Which, I give him/her to a certain extent. She wants to dress (and sometimes act) like a 16 year old girl in heat. I won’t give my approval to something that’s inappropriate to be wearing at the time. It was always a bedroom thing to start because it was very sensual and sexual and involved a lot of satin and lace if you know what I mean. As we grew older, we would go out together from time to time. It was because of his career that he didn’t want to go out in public near where we lived. Now that he’s retired, he really doesn’t care. I have no fear of being seen with her. I am proud to stand by her side.

  50. For all of the CDs whose live-in SOs don’t know you crossdress, here are my thoughts on how to avoid or undo the sneaking, the deceit, and the outright lies necessitated by leading a double life. It will be very damaging when she finds out that you do those things at the same time she also finds out that you crossdress. And given enough time in the same bedroom of the same household, she’s gonna find out. Please be honest with yourselves about all that.

    And please be honest with yourselves that you will probably never stop crossdressing, no matter what promises you make when she catches you in her chemise, her panties, and your own slingback heels. You shouldn’t try to stop anyway. Crossdressing isn’t wrong if it’s a part of who you really are. It’s more important to you than your last marriage which ended because of it, and your current marriage which might. You love your crossdressing more than you love your wives or girlfriends. Oh yes you do: you lose wives and girlfriends, but you always keep the crossdressing. Don’t deny it; your actions will speak louder than your words. Just be honest with yourself, and thereafter with others.

    With that in mind, if you’re honest about your crossdressing and it still costs you a marriage, then that is a GOOD thing, because that particular marriage was an impediment to you being yourself and doing what you want to do, and to her having the kind of man she wants. (The kids are another story – and they’re also additional people you have to deceive.) A marriage like that is itself a lie. How many lies do you think you can get away with? How many do you think you can live with?

    So come clean on your own. Man up about your feminine side. At least then she can still trust you.


    Crossdressing is an extremely personal and sensitive subject that’s also landmined with stigma and ignorance. I think that if your lady isn’t already receptive to it (and most aren’t), I’d say that your best chance of getting her there is to carefully prep her first.

    I think the best way to do that is to carefully note her reaction the last time the two of you encountered the concept together. And you did, because it’s everywhere. You saw a crossdresser in person or on tv; you read about one being attacked in your town, you suspect a neighbor is a crossdresser, you channel surfed all the way to Ru Paul’s Drag Race – there’s always something. And you can easily arrange to encounter it again if you need to.


    If she’s made it explicitly clear that, “I’d never put up with a so-called man who’s a faggot crossdresser”, then she’s an ignorant bitch, she’s going to stay that way, she’s probably insufferable on other issues as well, and you need to just file the papers and leave.

    If her attitude is “That’s pretty weird and maybe even sick; I don’t know if a woman should put up with that”, then she may just need some education. I’d say to make sure the remote does indeed land you on Ru Paul some night. Or some such. Find a good ice breaker that starts a dialogue. Educate her a bit. Monitor her progress. Start prepping her, but don’t come clean yet unless she asks directly and in earnest.

    If it’s “If a man of mine had ever done that, I’m glad I never knew about it”, ask her why she said that. “Oh, what would you have done? Shot him?”. If she says “yes” or “divorce” (and you’re sure she means either one), then file the papers and go.


    If she says something like “I wouldn’t want a man to lie to me, but I also wouldn’t want to see any trace of it”, then detante is possible. Start prepping her. And definitely consult the several commenters on here who are in relationships like that.

    If it’s “That’d be ok on Halloween or at a costume party”, then she’s probably not hostile to the idea in general. Maybe start prepping her by saying, “Well, costumes kind of let people live out fantasies. It sure looked like you had fun being a witch last year.” See what she comes back with.

    I think anything even less hostile than that last one means a fairly easy road for you if you’re careful. Femming yourself for Halloween and costume parties seems pretty obvious.

    Or…. if she pulls something out of the closet that you’d like to wear, say so. Kiss the back of her neck and say, “Ya know, babe, *I* want to wear that tonight. Let’s find you something else.” Just make sure you already have in mind something even more feminine that she enjoys wearing now and then.

    Or…. next time Ru Paul is on, don’t play it off as a mistake, but rather as something you want to watch for whatever reason – and does she want to watch it with you? “I could wear that dress better than he does.” Or whatever.

    Obviously if you have reason to think she’s bisexual, you should have already worked that angle long ago – and why the hell are you on here reading this crap anyway?? Don’t you have better things to do??

    Now. If you GET CAUGHT before you can finish prepping most of these cases, be sure to remind her that you’ve BEEN prepping so that you wouldn’t have to deceive anymore.

    If you get caught by the really hard case – the ignorant judgmental bitch – tell her that SHE is sleeping on the couch tonight, and YOU will file the papers in the morning if her attitude hasn’t changed. Seriously. MAN UP about your feminine side.

    It might even help you preserve the Male Image. But in her case, who the f*ck even cares??

    Best of luck. Cause you’re really gonna need it if you don’t come clean.

  51. That’s the best counseling and understanding I’ve heard of in a while. In contrast, read these comments to see the absolute crap that a lot of counselors string their patients along with.

    Yeah, it’s a safe bet that you both deserve happiness. And by your own admission you both can’t be happy while married. That’s because you’re incompatible. So just what basis is there for staying married??

    I’m sorry that it didn’t work out for you two, but did you NOT deceive her?? Did you NOT lie to her?? So of course you can’t rest her fears that you’re [bisexual] or that you’re cheating, because you have already deceived her about a part of your sexuality and psychology, and you’ve already proven to be sneaky. So just what basis is there for her to believe anything more you say??

    I’m sure you don’t want to be deceitful, or you wouldn’t be here talking openly about this stuff. But as you are learning now – if you will let the lessons sink in – is that the deceit cannot protect you forever, and the moment it no longer protects you is the moment it begins making things a whole lot worse.

    There’s GOTTA be a more positive way to deal with this issue than post-disaster finger-pointing. I’ll post what little I have in a bit.

  52. If you’re such a “guys’ guy”, I wonder why you dress femme at all. It doesn’t sound like it’s the real you. So in your case it might be easier (and wiser) to just stop rather than continue the deception. Because deception only works until you get caught, and that day is coming. Then what?? Plan for it now.

  53. i have been married 38 years crossdressing throughout the marriage. i agree you are not a “coward” most women do not want to know. For some reason i slipped up about 8 years ago. we may be going through a divorce as she doesn’t want anything to do with me. she feels betrayed lied to and thinks i ma cheating not to mention gay. i have given her much information . She has even gone to counseling. Who told her that we both have a right to be happy and we should divorce. how’s that for good counseling and understanding

  54. I am sorry, but having been a crossdresser since I was a teenager I have to disagree with your dishonesty. I have tried everything I could to tell women I dated about my crossdressing from being flat out honest on a first date, to telling them a few dates in, waiting longer, joking about it casually, hinting… and in every case where I have told an SO..they could not deal with the change of their “male image” of me. This is despite the fact that I’m a confident, regular, sports watching guys guy 98 percent of the time. I finally met a girl I didn’t tell at all. We got married, we have kids, she still doesn’t know after many years. I’ve been careful about where and when I do dress. I wish that I could tell her, but I know better. We are both happy because I haven’t told her. There are only a select few women in the world that even want to try to understand crossdressing. Most of the world treats it as a disease. So, to call me a coward when not telling her was the best thing for both of us.. because neither of us wanted to be alone anymore? Both of us enjoy each others company and love being with each other..with crossdressing not being a part of our relationship. It is just wrong to say I am a coward. I am protecting her from a truth she doesn’t want to hear. It is the skeleton in my closet. I’m sure that she has skeletons of her own. Every one of us has some little bit of info about us that we don’t want our SO to know. I know that we love each other. I know it would cause her pain to know that about me. It would alter her male image of me, but she wouldn’t leave. She is better than that and it wouldn’t change her love for me. But it would change the dynamic of the relationship we have now. It is the way we both like it and would like to keep it that way. I think, if she did know.. she wouldn’t tell me.. to keep us sane. So, coward? No, I’m not a coward. I’m a loving and devoted husband.

  55. It’s EXACTLY that she wants a manly man. She can no longer be with you romantically or sexually.

    She can be Just Friends with you, platonically, because to her, you are now one of the girls.

    Thus you can be roommates, you can shop together, and you can love each other. Just not husband/wife kind of love. If you doubt it, go ahead and ASK her if that’s her distinction.

    Stop blaming her stereotypes, stop blaming society, and stop trying to deconstruct manly men.

    Nobody is to blame. You are simply not compatible. I hope each of you finds compatible partners and happiness. I also hole you will stop running away from yourself via those issue-obscuring hormones until you’ve figured out whether you want male hormones or female hormones.

    But no such good wishes for your politically correct quack of a therapist. She’s stringing you along with crap so you’ll keep giving her money. If you doubt it, compare the money you’ve given her to the amount of your problems she’s helped you solve.

  56. Hooray for him for being honest with you at the start, and hooray for you for letting yourself enjoy it.

    On those “special trips away from home”, were you and her out together in public? – and yet it’s not ok for you and her to be out together in public at home? The obvious question would be whether you most fear her being recognized, or you being recognized in her company.

    But if it’s always been a bedroom-only thing no matter where you were, then all I can say is:

    1. a CD/TG’s desire to be en femme usually intensifies over time, and almost always includes an overwhelmingly burning desire to be en femme in the world at large (so he’s likely not using openness to win a power struggle, he’s using a power struggle to win openness); and

    2. I wish you both well.

  57. Excellent article, Pandora!! Hooray for your take-no-prisoners politically-incorrect thinking.

    I’m an early-stage M2F trans who lives en femme 24/7, so obviously cross-dressing per se doesn’t bother me (though I like my men to be fully man).

    What bothers me is dishonesty, which is rampant in the CD/TV world.

    ALL men know very well that their lady isn’t “talking crazy” for bringing up the Male Image. Yes: ALL. And cross-dressers should be thankful for having a lady who is honest and candid enough to bring it up at all. Too bad that so many of them don’t deserve her.

    ALL men have been bombarded with and surrounded by the Male Image all their lives, and they know what it contains – and if any of them try to deny this, all you have to do is notice that they not only take conscious steps to maintain it among their family, friends, neighbors and coworkers, but also that they are nearly always successful. They know exactly what they’re doing.

    They know that the Male Image is not “cultural prejudice” because they know that all cultures have the same basic image, differing only in small details. They know that the small details of their lady’s particular version of that image are similarly irrelevant to its essence.

    And they know that their cross-dressing has largely removed them from that image, which is why they did not announce that they are cross-dressers on the first few dates when they were laying so many of their other cards on the table.

    When they try to deconstruct the Male Image, they are just feigning ignorance to try to confuse their lady and/or themselves. It’s a Clintonesque “define ‘sex'” moment. There is nothing honest about it.

    Even worse are the ones who go on to worry that their lady won’t accept them for who they really are, conveniently forgetting that they entered the relationship while deliberately deceiving her about who they really are.

    Obviously who they really are is dishonest cowards. Whether their ladies accept THAT is up to the ladies. But I advise against it.

    Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.

  58. My wife is completely understanding and helpful to me when I am “Caren”. I have a separate “girl” room where I have my dolls, stuffed animals, movie star (guys, of course) pictures, etc. My wife treats me as her little girl and we love to play “dolls, dress up, house”. We’ve been doing it for years. I love it when she suggests that I wear one of my favorite fluffy pink dresses, with matching ruffled panties. I’ve been on hormones for years now, so I’m always wearing a bra. I wear a 36C, and she wears a 34B. I usually do the laundry and house cleaning. I work out of my house and try to dress everyday. My wife has told a few of her co-workers about her “little housemaid and little girlfriend”. One of her friends came over and we all played “dolls”. It was so much fun. Will write more next time. Thanks.

  59. After I posted on your article I talked about it with my therapist. Her take (and she sees lots of couples) is that having a transgendered spouse forces the wife to confront a lot of her own assumptions and stereotypes about gender and her role in a relationship as a woman. It isn’t so much that she wants a “manly man”. Many men don’t even come close to meeting societal stereotypical norms (or if they do they are not nice people to be around). Men come in lots of shapes an sizes and few look or act like the cover of a romance novel. And in our changing society, women are more often than not the primary “breadwinner”. So that undercuts the economic argument of the role of the man.

    Having a transgendered spouse tosses the gender binary out the window. And my earlier comment about the role of marriage in the gender binary is still true. Wives care (a lot more than they will openly admit) about how others (especially family) perceive them and how they are playing out their role as a woman and wife.

    Which circles back to what my therapist said about the conflict being internal to the wife. Forcing a look inside at what it means to be a woman and a spouse to a transgendered husband (and I’m not even getting to the issue of full transition here). For many the gender binary is too ingrained and the external conditioning too intense to get beyond them and deal with the person they profess to love. But I don’t think its about the bedroom or having a “manly man”. Its much more complex. And perhaps Gen Y who have grown up with a much more diverse culture and exposure to other lifestyles (at least in urban cultures) will come to a different set of conclusions and make this whole discussion more or less moot in 20 years.


  60. You say that it feels more like your wife is tolerating than accepting, and that’s probably exactly what it is. Women have a long history of “tolerating” things they find unpleasant. The fact that your wife has a greater than average background in psychology only highlights that difference between accepting things intellectually and genuinely accepting them at an emotional level. There are many things that we know we should accept but that don’t fit well with our own emotional or even subconscious needs. A heterosexual woman who has a strong need for a male-female relationship (not all do) finds it very difficult to live with a man who doesn’t present as male all the time. Her “whole picture” view of him is affected by her awareness of the non-male times, even if they’re out of sight. Both partners end up hurting.

    I do hope that you can come to the point of fully accepting yourself. Accepting ourselves for who we are can sometimes even help others to then accept us for who we are. If they sense that we’re apologetic about ourselves, why should they accept that which we ourselves don’t?

    Good luck!

  61. Your article was very insightful. My story is similar to many of the comments already received. However, I have a slighly different situation. My wife and I have been married for 44 years and have two grown children. One of whom still lives at home. I did not tell my wife about my CD’ing for about 2 years into our marrage. She has accepted it but it feels more like tolerating it to me. She does not want to see me CD’ed or have anything to do with it. This is a woman who has a masters degree in psychology and is an ordinated minister. I understand to a degree as I guess I cannot fully accept myself. We have both gone to counselling and I have gone by myself. A big part of that counselling for myself was accepting me and my CD’ing. I still struggle to accept myself. Maybe that’s because I can’t accept the “male-image” or perhaps the “woman-image”.


  62. Hard-wiring is that which we still carry from our ancestors of millions of years ago. If you find yourself attracted to your husband’s body in both his male and female modes, you yourself are probably more towards the center on the male-female sliding spectrum. Women who are more towards the center find it easier to be comfortable (in an intimate way) with a man who also has a strongly feminine side.

    It’s good that he told you about himself before you were married, but it sounds like there are still going to be some bumps in the road ahead as he takes public that which you previously shared only in private. Good luck!

  63. My husband told me from the very beginning, before we wed that he crossdressed. I was intrigued and embrassed his feminine side. We have been married over 26 years and things are changing. It was always special trips away from home so he could dress without fear of being discovered. Or planned trists in the boudeau. We would both glam up and dress. Now, he wants to be more open with it and I am at a loss here. It was always our bedroom escapades, our most intimate, personal, connected life together. I wasn’t hard-wired for the male or female anatomy, I was wired for ANATOMY, more specifically hard-wired for HIM. I truly believe he is my soul mate no matter what he is wearing. It is love. Since his being more en femme, there is a power struggle in the household. She wants to wear the same type clothing that should be reserved for my eyes only.

  64. If she found the panties when you were dating and not yet married, she obviously accepted at some level the knowledge as long as the reality is out of sight.

    Since she knows about your dressing, maybe you could arrange for her to be out of the house occasionally for a certain period of time so at least you wouldn’t have to worry about getting caught.

  65. You’re right that it’s not only the clothing. An obviously masculine man in women’s clothing can be amusing, like that old Joe Namath photo. “Her” man behaving in a womanly way is much more the kiss of death as she’s wired to be attracted to maleness.

    It’s an interesting distinction your wife is making about being married or not, but as you know, it’s easier to accept things we don’t like in people who are a bit removed from our intimate daily life.

    As was mentioned in another comment and answer below, there are women for whom cross dressing isn’t a big problem. Not all women are wired for a strong male-female dynamic. Just be open about who you are up front and you’ll find someone who is comfortable with the whole you.

    Good luck!

  66. Women can be very adept at ignoring, at least openly, inconvenient information. Of course that information is still inside, and sometimes it’s eating away at her.

    If I read your numbers right, you’ve stayed married for 32 years after telling her, so I’d say she’s learned to live with it as long as it’s out of sight.

  67. It’s that whole picture that keeps so many women from being interested in intimacy. You may be dressed like Rambo, but her mind is still playing all the other variations too. You may as well be standing there in a pink negligee.

    Bisexual women are good partners, but there are others too. Women who have had negative experiences with the strong side of “male”, for example through abuse, can find softness in a man reassuring. It’s very individual. Not all women require a strong male-female dynamic.

  68. Saying you’re sick is much more than simply seeing you through a new lens. That reaction is more typical of a very traditional (and somewhat insecure) woman. It’s also probably her lashing out in distress as her world turns upside down. Many women in their hearts would like to be able to accept the new situation, but the view and hence their feelings have changed too much.

    I’m glad you have supportive therapists.

  69. Well Grace, I guess you prove that there is an exception to every situation. I’m not really familiar with the sissy community but it seems the roles are reversed, not something that most of us encounter…..Tasi

  70. Sadly you are right. I am 66, married for 38 years and getting a divorce because my wife simply could not accept that I am dual gendered. It wasn’t the dressing part so much as knowing that I had a strong female identity, so strong that it drove me to take hormones for 2 years to get my sanity back (psychiatrist’s idea, not mine).

    We tried for 11 years to work it out and now our lives are irrevocably changing. She says she will be able to accept things about me if we are divorced that she could not accept when we are married. For instance she thinks going out for dinner with Molly or shopping together might be OK. It was being married to me as opposed to loving me that was the key. I am a little baffled by that distinction. Why its OK to be roommates but not be married. At this point I am moving on and have gone back on hormones. Not sure if they will make a difference in my life but I have to try.

    Your article makes me wonder if I will find another woman who will love me for who I am, not what I wear. But I am going to try. I’m hardly full-time and in fact rarely dress nowadays since I am still living at home and the whole thing is too surreal. Wish me luck as I hit the reset button.

  71. My wife knew I was a sissy cross dressdresser. That’s why she TOLD
    me we were going to be married. We were. She even made me a
    wedding dress to match hers. She has not let me wear ANY male
    clothes since that day in 2004.She’s the boss in our happy marriage.
    We both like it that way. She buys my nylons, I wear her panties. I
    love being her sissy.

  72. My wonderful wife found panties in my laundry when we first started to date. She was relieved when I, after seriously considering telling her I was cheating her, that the panties were mine. She accepts my panty drawer next to hers, and is usually struck by how it seems to always seems to be getting fuller. She has not though blessed my dressing completely and seems disgusted by it, so that I must do only in private and in fear of getting caught.

  73. I think you hit the nail in the head. I am married 42 years. I told my wife after 10 yrs of marriage that I was a crossdresser. She has never seen me dressed and has no interest in doing so. She once found a picture of me dressed and her only comment after I asked what she thought of it was that she didn’t like it.

  74. You are a wonderful writer. You made something I just did not “get” crystal clear. Most women wives, So’s just are NOT interested in bedroom activities with a man who was, is, or is even considering Cross dressing seriously. It flips a switch in a woman’s mind and you are toast. I have found that openly admitted bisexual women make the best pairing for cross dressers. Their “male and female image” are much more fluid and open.

  75. so many true things. since my wife has found out, She does not even touch me.
    i purged and said i wouldn’t dress again. She said She didn’t care and that i was sick. We went to counseling and i stopped and She still goes. Therapists thinks i should continue dressing so i do.
    nice post and insightful

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