10 Reasons Cross-Dressers’ Wives Divorce Them

woman in shockThe initial shock of finding out that your husband is a cross-dresser is a life-changing event for their marriage that could lead to divorce. Whether a wife is introduced to it when she finds very large shoes in the bedroom closet or a photo on his I-pad of him dressed in woman’s clothing, carefully left out on the kitchen table ( a popular way cross-dressers have let their mates find out), it is something that rocks a marriage to its core.

Many cross-dressers have not come out to their wives opting to either purge, just to have their desire to dress return. The need becomes an obsession which eventually starts eroding their ability to function as they have in the past, forcing them to finally come clean with their mate. This fem side of them doesn’t go away with marriage, it just remains dormant. The need to dress is ever-apparent and a cross-dressing husband takes the chance by telling his wife about his cross-dressing.

Many times his secret doesn’t come out until many years of dating and marriage. This is a side of him his mate has never seen or even suspected from him. It is not something that she most likely knows much about or understands. So when he does tell or show his wife his cross-dressing, she really doesn’t know just how to respond! Many women are just in shock to see their husband dressed as a woman. And most cross-dressers I have known are in male dominated industries as in construction, real estate, law, and corporate managers. There would be no reason to suspect that their husband is a cross-dresser.

Because of this, women genuinely do not take the news well. They are confused, feel betrayed, angry and frightened by the man standing in front of them who they thought they knew all these years and now appears to be someone they never met. This is understandable, yet many cross-dressers who are also dealing with their own fear of being rejected by their wife, neglect to support her when they come out. Immersed in their own emotion and guilt, the cross-dressing husband is looking for his own support that often their mate can not give.

Yet, through counseling, willingness by a wife to come to terms with her husbands’ cross-dressing and a commitment to learn about his fem side, many couples stay together and attempt to work it out. They often establish ground rules for cross-dressing, of when and where, it is acceptable for both of them. They work through the process for a period of time, hoping they can deal with the change in their marriage. Sadly, many marriages ultimately don’t survive.

Here are the reasons why:

angry woman may lead to divorce1.) Unexpressed anger – After a period of time goes by when a cross-dressing husband feels as if he is being accepted by his wife and relieved that he can keep his marriage and family intact, his wife increasingly become less tolerant of his dressing. The reality is though she tried to accept both his male and fem side, she can’t. Her anger is deeply-held that her once husband is no longer the man she thought she married.

2.) Sexuality – We as human being we are visual people. We are sexuality attracted on an instinctive level to our mates. A heterosexual woman is attracted to a man, not a woman and when she sees her husband dressed as a woman, she is turned off because of this. She can’t see her husband through the dress. Also, often a cross-dresser in his fem role acts like a woman. Most straight women do not want to make love with a woman. The sex life of cross-dressers and their wife suffers.

crossdresser and wife

Husband and wife

3.) Lack of Identity in the Marriage – When a cross-dresser reveals his fem side, he is now competing with his wife for attention. It takes an exceptionally confident woman with a strong identity as a woman to not look at her husband as competition. She starts to wonder what her role is in all of this.

4.) Not Getting Attention as a Woman – This is a notable issue with cross-dressers who become so obsessed with their fem role that they forget about giving their wife the attention they deserve and need. Often, they are so wrapped up in their new freedom of dressing, they ignore their wife. She needs to feel like a woman and to be treated as such.

5.) Morality Issue – Most of us were raised in religious households. Even though, we may not be actively practicing our religion, the messages we learned early on run deep. This built-in prejudice is difficult to ignore, even with the best intentions. Many wives can not get past the fact that a man dressing as a woman is wrong, even if it is not.

6.) Lack of Trust – This is a big issue for most wives. A secret as big as their husband being a cross-dresser being kept for so long makes them feel duped. It causes them to them wonder what else their husband has kept from them all these years. Once trust is violated in any marriage, it is almost impossible to get it back. This is why I am such an advocate of telling a potential spouse before marriage.

7.) Peer Pressure – Cross-dressers after hiding their true selves for years want to be able to go out and experiment with their cross-dressing. They want mostly to be accepted for who they are. This often involves family and friends that are part of their wives life. This is threatening to many women as they are impressionable and concerned that their husband’s cross-dressing will reflect on them in a negative way.

8.) Not Wanting Another Woman in Their Marriage – Having a cross-dresser in a marriage is inviting “another woman.” The fem side to cross-dressers is very strong and takes on its own identity. A wife now finds that there is another woman in their marriage that she has to compete with. This is a threat to her.

unhappy wife may lead to divorce9.) Fear That Their Husband Is a Transsexual – Once a woman sees how much her cross-dressing husband enjoys dressing and living out his fem side, she becomes concerned that he may want to dress full time or to transition. For most cross-dressers, this is not the case. But, try to convince your wife that.

10.) It’s Just Too Complicated – Marriages are challenge to begin with. Especially long-term ones, where both parties have changed over the years, raised a family and have grown apart. Introducing cross-dressing into a marriage that is already tenuous is just too much for a wife to want to deal with. It takes much more effort than she is prepared to do at this stage in her life.

This list is meant to help cross-dressers better understand what a wife or significant other is going through. From my personal experience, I have witnessed all of the above. My marriage wasn’t on solid ground. The cross-dressing component was one of the many reasons we didn’t work out as a couple. Many times the cross-dressing is used as the reason for a divorce when in fact there may be many more issues that are apparent in the marriage that cause a divorce. Sometimes, two people are just not meant to be together and it’s better to move on and find someone who is a better fit.

You’ll want to also read Terri’s most recent article on How To Save Your Marriage When You Dress In Public.

Tasi’s note: Be sure to also read Pandora’s articles on How Your Crossdressing Changes Your Wife’s Opinion Of You. and Further Thougths on Male Image.  Terri also plans additional articles to flesh out each of these ten reasons, so please leave your comments below.


Terri Lee Ryan is an author, blogger and a TV producer. Her documentary, “I Married a Cross-dresser” was aired on Sky TV in the UK as part of the Forbidden Love series. Terri writes the blog, Shades of Gender, for the Chicago Tribune ChicagoNow site where she focuses on the ever-changing cross-dressing and transgender community. Her ex-husband and business partner was a cross-dresser.

83 thoughts on “10 Reasons Cross-Dressers’ Wives Divorce Them

  1. My first marriage ended in divorce because I just couldn’t get enough of being a woman. It seems the more I dressed the more I wanted to go further with my wanting to be a woman. By the time of our divorce, I had let my hair grow to my shoulders, grew my fingernails out & kept them shaped, I had my ears pierced, had my eyebrows plucked super thin with a high feminine arch in them & I only wore panties, bras & pantyhose every day. I slept in nightgowns every night & I had really strong urges to be with men. I am now on my second marriage which is also heading towards divorce. I spend more time dressed as Joanne then as my male self.

  2. 8/30/18: Looking for answers and support, I ran across this article- i found it to be impelling but wanting to find out more. My husband and i have been married since 1985. Three years prior we dated, total of 36 years we’ve known each other. It was not until this year, 2018, my husband confessed he loves to dress in women’s; clothes and its comforting and erotic all the same, but when I asked him if he was gay-he became angry and denied it. Still to this day he denies it. I’m not sure if he is and won’t admit it, or if it’s truly a fetish and I need to “get over it and move on”. Deep inside I love this man still. I say to myself I do support gay lifestyle, but enlighten of this new information, I’m angry and feel the “gay lifestyle” has taken my love of my life away from me. I’m angry. Broken, and lonely. Sex is non-existent, and when we tried-he never got into it. I could go into much detail but won’t as this has been very difficult to write as it is. I suffer from depression and low self esteem, mainly from issues in my childhood-but this issue only makes things worse and not is my main causing factor that makes my symptoms irreversible-I need help with this.

  3. When men are more infatuated and care more about the woman they dress as in the mirror, when they will ALWAYS choose to lose their wives rather than give up their addiction (and it is an addiction) then crossdressing can never be harmless fun.

  4. very good and true summary, it is good, that it is published here, I can tell 8 of the ten was also for me very critical, but at the end we won, we are still together in love
    All the very best Wilhelmina

  5. My ex wife tried to shame me into stopping, when she told me she would take me to get my eyebrows waxed, ears pierced & hair & nails done if she came home again & caught me dressed as Joanne, I waited a week then let her catch me again. She was true to her word & I went with her willingly. The next day she threw out all of my male clothes. 2 nights latter, she came home from work with 3 of her girl friends so they could see me, in front of her friends, I asked her if she would help me get female hormones, the next day she moved out.

  6. Just checking in as I haven’t responded for a few months. The comments on my article have been tremendous and I want to thank you all for your feedback. The challenge for a better understanding of the what cross-dressing means to each of you and the wives who are attempting to understand it and how it impacts their relationship is ongoing. What I do want to clarify is that I agree with Tasi the SH administrator, in the fact that the mainstay of the cross-dressing community are not doing it for a fetish, but more from their desire to allow their femme side to be freed. And, I do believe they do LOVE women, but they need to make sure their mate is first. Looking forward to hearing more comments. Thanks!

  7. Dear Vaughan
    Certainly there is a sexual component to crossdressing, but if it’s all about sex for you, then you are a fetish dresser. Granted there are many fetish dressers out there and fine, if that is your thing. My wife could be a sex bombshell, but it would have no impact on my need to dress and that’s what drives the larger percentage of us.

    I don’t think its it’s about the sexuality of women but more a drive to the feminine and that’s different. You can’t be a crossdresser and not love women. It’s a given. However I don’t want our female readers to believe that dressing as a slut and masturbating is what crossdressing is all about. It’s not and it’s too bad that you perpetuate the trans girl image of a crossdresser in your beliefs. I dress because I love the feminine and want to be part of it. I strive to be like her in dress, manner and all actions, not some caricature of a woman. I’m blessed that my female friends accept that and treat me as a woman, at least while with me….Tasi

  8. It is a very interesting idea, that if your wife would have more sexy cloths at home, you would not crossdress. I have a lot of cd friends who are married, me too, but I dont think so it works. WE NEED to be dressed, WE NEED the nice women clothes, tigths lingeries. We need the make up and wig, we need to be complete women,and most of us need also to go out enfemme. so good luch, if it works for you, but for me would not work. (My wife is in sexy clothes also athome, mainly in tights, and I love it, but it is not enough. All the best Wilhelmina

  9. I’m a man, married for 17 years. I told my wife I had tried cross dressing 1 year into our marriage. She was shocked like most women here, and understandably. To this day I still don’t really understand it myself, and feel ashamed and confused by it. I’m heterosexual and certainly wouldn’t like my wife to dress as a man, so I can completely sympathize with all the women here. Its like.. yuk. I love my wife. I think she is an amazing person. Beautiful. The lot. We disagree on thing’s, fight, make up and apologize to each other, just like I imagine a normal long lasting couple probably do, and that’s why we are still married.
    Some of you have asked why you do it (men you mean). The long and the short of it is, for me at least – and I think a large proportion of guys will agree. Its just about the sexuality of women and mens attraction to it. I think if my wife dressed up in lots of makeup and lingerie, I would have extremely satisfying sex with her. From what I understand, women want there men to love them for what they are, and I think that most men do. But they also want there women to be their fantasy and spark their desire. I love my wifes personality already, shes great. but those cotton tee shirts and slacks etc, are, well. not attractive. Men want sex. Pardon me for saying but we want sluts. But only for us. . Outside to the public we want you, our loving, thoughtful, understanding and forgiving wife’s. But at night we want the full on, hard out sexual fantasy. Give us that and then (I am only speculating for a group of crossdressers) we will forget the cross dressing. I’m 45 years old now and have thought long and hard about why I want to cross dress. and the long and the short of it, for me at least is because I love women. To fantasize about a slutty woman as I dress, move and then finally masturbate is great. After its over, I feel extremely guilty and embarrassed as I’m sure lots of cds do. This is a very short explanation for a very long and in depth complicated answer, for the women that have asked why do we do it. I love my wife and kids to death and don’t want to loose them. So I keep my cd’ing to myself, although my wife knows, I’ve never shown her, although the thought of doing it with her is a turn on, but Im getting sick of typing. Thanks for reading to the end.

  10. Bella, I am so sorry the way you found out about your husband’s crossdressing. Have you had a talk with him about it? It is a very scary experience for a wife to find the fem clothing when they never knew about their husbands desires. It truly is a double life for many CD’s. The problem is that they never told their wife about their obsession before they were married and as the years rolled by it became impossible to tell her, but eventually we all find out. My advice is to go to talk with your husband and find out more about what motivated him to dress as there are a number of reasons cross dressers dress. I would suggest you talk to a psychologist to deal with your fear and anger so you can take this new challenge in your marriage on with the tools you need to communicate. It’s a first step. Let us know how you are doing.

  11. My husband & I have been married for twenty years. Our sex life is blah as long as he enjoys it he’s good. So we move into a house I’m over joyed to be in this house, Until I go to look threw some storage containers. I was sick the last few days of packing so he packed things. I find a huge container full of dirty (crothless) leather lingerie. All in his size with wigs & dresses all of it. More lingerie then I own! IMy husband was always the macho tough guy.i don’t know how to feel! I don’t know what else he could be hiding. I know now that I can’t trust him! If I knew he was like this I would of never wasted my time with him. I’m betrayed & my heart is broken. It’s such a Shock! As soon as I realized it . I happened to use google to find you. I don’t know what to do!

  12. Dear Guinivere, I’ve read your posts on this forum and you seem to be a very caring, reliable, selfless person, who has admirable self awareness. Coping with CD as a wife is already very difficult, especially if it affects sex life, but adding other significant problems such as the selfishness of your husband can easily destroy a marriage. You’ve satisfied your husband’s needs the best you can while denying your own ones and that is a huge price to pay. I think it’s time for you to develop a healthy level of selfishness and fight for yourself, fight for your own happiness. You need to accept the possibility that your husband may never change his ways, and decide whether you want to spend the rest of your life the way you spent so far or not. If you need to let your marriage go, let it go. If you need to redefine your marriage, redefine it. Lots of women cope with unhappy marriages by living like roommates, living a parallel life independent of their husband, going on vacations on their own or with girlfriends, having lovers, etc, finding happiness outside and in spite of their marriage. If this is something you and your husband want to pursue, then go this way. Your choice. Love, peace and joy, SM

  13. I’ve posted here a few times and read other’s stories.I’ve been married to a CD for 31 years.Has our marriage been good? At times. Have I become the world’s greatest actress? Yes. While I did my best to be supportive of him and his needs,mine were neglected.Something many people don’t realize is that a cross dresser,some of them,are only interested in one women,the one they see in the mirror.In the bedroom while the two of you make love,he’s not there.He’s in his fantasy world.In my case,my husband is selfish.No matter how much I let him indulge in what he needed to do,he keeps pushing the envelope without one thought given to my feelings.He does this with many areas of our life.I had to become my own best friend,my own rock.I had to be realistic.He took from me my self esteem,trust,etc.And I gave him everything I had.We haven’t had sex in almost two years now because I’m a heterosexual woman and he always wants to be feminine in the bedroom.Every now and then I would let him but then he wanted that all of the time.I’m invisible to him and have become almost invisible in our life.I let him go to Burning man this year,, where he could be “Himself”and bond with his brother,who is also a CD my husband told me.So,he got a nice vacation,got to do what he wanted,and got to talk and be with people like himself so he felt accepted and not so alone.He promised to take me somewhere but he has only 2 vacation days left and his dance card is full with his garage band that he plays with and a play that he’s doing.I’m not going anywhere and I knew that when he made another empty promise to me before he left for Burning man.We haven’t been on a real vacation since 2009.He has though.A class reunion,he took an old friend.A couple of gigs that his band has played out of town.When his theatre group did a play out of town which was nothing more than a drunken weekend..What I’m trying to say is this……..Some CD’s are very selfish people because their minds are usually on themselves and what they feel they need and want.If you expect equal consideration,forget it.Do you think my husband cares that I watch a movie or read a book alone in our room every night? No.Do you think he cares that I have needs also and not just in the bedroom? No.The only woman he cares about is himself,the one he feels inside.

  14. Dear Terri,

    Thank you for the very insightful article! I’m struggling with this or something similar in my own marriage. A few months after the wedding I noticed that my husband put on one of my panties under his sleepwear, I was in total shock! He borrowed one or two earlier claiming that he uses them for masturbation, but never mentioned that he would put them on during the act. I tried to be understanding and told him that I don’t mind if once in a while he sleeps in women panties, but he has to buy his own. He went and bought a lot of panties, different materials, different colors including girly ones like hot pink. He said that he likes them because they are very comfortable and soft to touch and thinks that this is a sexual fetish for him. It is so disturbing for me because within a few months he went from wearing them “once in a while” to wearing them almost every night and sometimes at work, and bought many many more panties for himself. I also noticed that if he feels stressed he buys some more panties. He likes if I wear very sexy panties as well, but I think he likes it more when he wears them. Our sex life greatly suffered from this, it’s just such a huge turn off for me. Maybe I only imagine it but I started to notice that he acts kind of girly during sex…Do you ladies with similar experience think that this behavior is a sexual fetish? He doesn’t understand why he likes the panties and seems very confused. My fear is that this is more than a fetish (the “fetish” is already difficult to put up with), and eventually he wants to experiment with more items of women clothing, he already started that sort of. He bought for me nice and silky tights to put on for foreplay, he said that they turn him on, but later I caught him putting them on and masturbating in the panties and tights. He said that the tights are also a fetish for him, but I really don’t know what to think. He loves if I put on high heel shoes for foreplay as well, he said that it is a fetish for him, too!! Can a man have so many different sexual fetishes or he is trying to cover up his desire to cross-dress? Unfortunately there are more problems in the marriage with him being emotionally abusive and having violent outbursts, that bothers me more than the fetish/cross-dressing issue. I really want to help him and save the marriage but he refuses to go to therapy, and I feel that the marriage is all about him and his needs. I am so lost…any insight is greatly appreciated.

  15. Tired Out: Your story both saddens and scares me for you. There are some very similar abusive acts my ex CD husband did, too. I understand how low your self-esteem is after living with this man for so many years. Don’t blame yourself. Your husband needs help. You deserve love and kindness not what you are getting. I would suspect your husband has more going on than his cross-dressing. Two words for you my friend, Get Out! Get out of your marriage so you can rebuild your life. I hope you have the strength to do so. Good luck.

  16. en married to the man of my dreams at 17 years old.Two weeks after our first child was born I found out He wanted to wear my panties.Then We moved in to our own place and wanted to wear my nightie.I got the first letter explaining in detail that He wanted to go down on a guy in Basic training ,Of course stocking panties and bra.I was devistated. Many of times I would try to join in to the fantasy life to be apart of His world.Always never enough. He fantasize about me with two guys.I felt like a what I wanted did not matter.I wanted to be held and made love to with out a dido between my legs . I had an affair after He threw me out so He could be alone. This was in the very first years of our marriage .He purged.And told me he was not going to do it again.And then it happened again .I lost who I was .I tried to commit suicide .Didn’t work was baker acted .I was drinking a lot. I felt lost and used and not a women anymore.After all He would have all my clothes.It wasn’t about love .He would get mean when he wasn’t dressing .One night our old blind deaf dog that was sick pooped all over the back room ,and He let the dog out with out the leash ,because He was dressed. and we never saw our dog again.Then it stopped. He purged again .For 10 years Wonderful but no sex because He was not capable of having sex anymore .I came home this Thursday after work,His beard was gone dressed in my clothes again .I am 54 and worn out
    I am so tired .I can’t do this any more.

  17. Derek, sorry, but you just sound angry and lost. You’re making excuses for the behavior. I don’t believe the ‘we were all female’ babble. There’s little proof behind these theories (except possibly small birth size and even then it’s iffy) and none of it explains why many crossdressers are not feminine men. They’re entirely masculine but with a drive to present on occasion as female. I also question why you think these theories would help wives? We’re usually looking for a genetically healthy partner who completes us on an emotional, physical and spiritual level. Knowing we’re dating a man with a deformity such as a female brain would not make you more desirable. Luckily for you, I’m pretty sure this is nonsense.

    What you need to accept is heterosexual women and men desire an opposite. It’s quite simple and nothing to do with Disney cliches. You clearly love femininity. Your wife loves masculinity. The only wires that have been crossed are the ones where instead of desiring femininity on your wife, you desire it on YOU. That’s the screw up and currently there is no proven reason why this happens. Though, I’ll suggest when they do find one that it won’t be because you are more female than the average man. Crossdressing, despite how it looks, is really the antithesis of femininity. Anyway, science will answer this one day, I’m sure. Your theories are just that – yours. I wouldn’t go sharing them with your wife.

    Meanwhile, it’s not healthy to take your low self esteem and anger out on women. We are not your enemy and we hold no envy towards you. None. Envy is what you carry and it is a very unhealthy place to be. If you truly want to live at peace with this behavior, you first need to acknowledge that you will never be that which you covet. You will never be female. Then, you need to thank your wife for putting up with you all these years and see her for the classy, supportive, selfless woman she is. Qualities you can also have as a man and maybe if you acknowledged and accepted this, that wearing a frock doesn’t make you a nicer person, you might just spend the next part of your life less bitter.

    Good luck.

  18. Dear TB,

    Not knowing about your husband’s cross-dressing and fem side before marriage is an issue for many couples. It is natural for a wife to feel
    upset and confused as the person they thought they married is different than they signed on for. The fem side of a cross-dresser is quite strong and it does change the dynamics of a marriage. Yet, for many cross-dressers they feel that this issue will go away once they get married and years into a marriage find that hiding their fem side is affecting their psyche and finally share it with their wives hoping for support. It is a complicated situation as you are aware of. I hope you can find some common ground in your marriage.

  19. wow this article has been quite enlightening and a lot of good points . To me it seems like Jealousy plays a big role here in most of these points . the wife cannot accept in the long term the female side of her husband . its quite Ironic , As women always want men to be more Feminine and compassionate twards them . Then when they do get it they divorce his ass . what gives ?? . as a society we are sick , it seems to be more so in north America , middle east , and India where gender inequality and middle age religious ideas are rampant . In north America where then men are supposed to be big brawny and cowboys . Most women have the Walt Disney Idea of what a man is supposed to be . but an the flip side complain when they get the Dream man , because he is . Controlling , Unemotional , and a slob and would rather be out in the field than with her watching girlie movies but when they find a guy who has a fem side that listens , and empathizes with her and can talk clothes and all girl stuff thats no good either . so what is it , what do you really want ? . In my opinion if you can’t accept the other PERSON for them and want to divorce him , I think he should hold the door open for your sorry ass . your not worth it to begin with . when you took the marriage oath it was for better of for worse , its not about sexuality its about loving the core of the other person . so what if the other person falls into a deep coma , I guess just divorce them and move on . so shallow and self centered . it doesn’t matter the clothes they like to wear , clothes can be changed easily . It’s the person you married not the body or the looks but the person you love and whether He told you up front or not , That other woman has been there all along .

    Besides a little biology lesson . We ALL start as female in the womb . the first genitals to form are female , then the genetics kicks in and the ovaries descend into a sac created by the vagina , the scrotum and testicles the clitoris becomes the head of the penis and so on .

    In the Brain there are structural differences between Male and Female . this structural difference dictates sex drive and preference . with cross dress men and trans gender and gay and bisexual these structures are closer to the other sex configuration but still in the current sex configuration . in extreme straight people the configurations are extremely different from male and female . so you see its not a chosen behaviour but a need wired into the persons brain , we are all different

    As far as religion goes , I am a Christian , I believe God sees us all as people not man , woman , black , gold , bald ,fat , but rather just as a human being . Anyone who sees otherwise is sexist and racist we are all people and thats it

    In history men used to dress in dresses and skirts and did makeup and had fancy hair and jewelry . it was a status thing , the more flashy you were the more powerful you were . eventually woman got into it and here we are , men are slobs and the women are pretty .

    I am married and have been for 30 years . we have had problems yes but we worked stuff out and i mean worked . I cross dress and have since i was a child .I told her about it 10 years ago , it was a shock but she always suspected anyway . I have never been the most maculine guy , I used to body build and everything but always enjoyed hanging out with the girls more than the guys . I liked the conversations better. When I told her she was shocked and it took a bit but she always supported me in everything i needed to do . She looked past all the silly stuff and loves me for me , the real me inside , unlike a lot of these cowardly women that leave at the drop of a dime . the guys that have these women should be thankful that they leave , now you know if its real or not . they will the mid age women on pof looking for something serious from a free dating site lol

  20. Thank you for an insightful and sympathetic article.
    It confirms what I have always suspected but could never articulate.

    My wife and I have in the past “played” with me being either partially or fully crossdressed (or otherwise expressing my “female” persona). However, I am sure that this “other woman” who resides within me had best be kept deeply locked away if my marriage is to (continue to) prosper.

  21. Dooney & Genivieve, my heart goes out to you both. I recommend couples counseling for a marriage with a CD to have a neutral party help lend some “normalcy” in the marriage and allow both the husband and wife to express their feelings. It’s a great start for couples who want to make their marriage work and who want to support one another , but don’t have the communication “tools” to do so. If you have a narcissistic husband his behavior in his fem mode will continue.

  22. Dooney,I had no idea that your relationship ended.I would really be interested in your story and how you’re doing now and how you’ve coped.

  23. I do understand what you are saying. I can’t imagine being with someone for as long as you have and have your world literally change. In my last relationship, I embraced and supported my partners desire to be a woman. Yet like you, what came between us was the narcissism. I’d never been so alone while in a “relationship”. My heart goes out to you. Bottom line… you need to be happy. And though I am quite alone now, my trust totally broken, I am so much happier then I was when living with someone who was totally self involved.

  24. Sorry Dooney,I’m not “Feeling” your response.After 31 years of marriage to this man and we’ve been through hell and back…..I don’t think I have to give in completely or let him go.To keep a marriage alive this long,it takes a lot of give and take,compromising,etc.And believe me when I say I’ve given much more than I’ve taken!I’ve decided to let him go to this event,with my blessing but not without concerns.I told him what they were.CD’s can be selfish and put their needs above others.I’ve learned that the hard way!For him to announce that he wanted to attend this event,instead of him trying to plan a vacation for both of us this year,well,it screams selfish!So,please don’t tell me that I need to go and be accepting of “Her”, or let him go.I’ve accepted this situation a long time ago.No,I don’t like it and the selfishness is one of the reasons why.I’ve also learned the hard way that when you give an inch,they want a mile then.You give a mile and then it turns into 10.There has to be boundaries,that we both can live and be comfortable with.

  25. I think you should ask your partner where the two of you will be staying while attending burning man. If this is a turning point in your marriage, and you want to save it, then pack your bags and get ready to experience who your husband has been hiding all those years. Keep an open mind, and an open heart. Keeping your marriage strong would mandate a loving and respectful relationship with “her”. Burning Man just might be the event for the two of you to determine if the two of you still belong together. Be ready to accept and fight for her, or let her go.

  26. Hi Guinivere,

    Nice to hear from you. I am so sorry that you are in this situation with your husband. It appears that he places his needs over yours often and has done so for many years. It also seems that your marriage may be at a breaking point if he doesn’t consider your feelings toward how his behavior affects your marriage. I believe this conflict is more than his cross-dressing and more about him wanting to do whatever he wants in the marriage. I would suggest you speak up and let him know how you feel about this upcoming trip. You need to gain your own self respect back and this is a good first step. Good luck and keep us posted.

  27. I haven’t commented for a while but I have been checking the site now and then.
    Thought I’ld share what is happening in my life now.
    I’ve tried my very best to talk to him about all of this and he has opened up a bit,but not enough as far as I’m concerned.He has informed me that he is planning on attending Burning man in August.I’m sure all of you here have heard about this event that takes place once a year.He’s planning on going with his brother,which he only met 5 years ago,long story!His brother is nice enough but he also lives a different life style.He’s married but they have other lovers.I think it’s called polyamorous? What kind of genes run in this family! Ha Ha.Anyway,this is not good.I know he wants to go and express himself for the week.I also know what goes on during this festival.He didn’t ask for my permission or blessing to attend.He didn’t ask me to come .And between my husband,his brother,his legal wife and a few others,I see disaster ahead.If I tell him I’m not comfortable with him going,he’ll resent me.If I say nothing,I’ll resent myself and him.I’m thinking of telling him that I’ld like to attend the event also just to see what reaction I’m going to get from him.This man NEVER takes me on adventures and vacations are very few and far between,usually because of finances.I think we should plan something together.That’s the fair thing to do.But he just wants what he wants and that’s to go and be “Her” for 5 days.Maybe he’ll find a woman that’s really into it and there goes my 30 years of marriage! What do all of you think?

  28. Dear Lost, what you are feeling is fairly common with wives of cross-dressers. The man you married is not who you thought he was which makes it so difficult to associate with him. He is now someone who you feel as if you don’t know and not even sure you like. It is a scary experience for wives who find out about their husbands femme side. We wonder how does this woman in her man fit in to our marriage. First of all, you husband hasn’t changed, he is just wanting to be true to who he is, yet this does change the dynamics of your marriage. CD husbands need to reassure their wives that they haven’t lost their husband and that they are still wanting the intimacy and love of their wife. Integrating the feel side for a CD into marriage is tricky and some couples do better than others, of course in setting boundaries that works in their marriage. Many times separation of the femme and male and male identities is beneficial for both of them and contributes to a marriage that works for both parties. A wife rarely wants to go out shopping with her husband to buy him female clothing. I highly recommend that the femme side of a CD husband stay out of their bedroom. It is also rare that a wife can indulge in this sexual relationship making love with her husband in his femme mode. The bottom line is it is difficult to introduce cross dressing into a marriage after the fact, yet if boundaries are set and communication is strong a relationship can thrive. Good luck and keep commenting. There are so many couples on this site who are in the same situation as you and we are all here to help one another in a compassionate and realistic manner.

  29. After 15 years of marriage, my husband told me he likes to cross dress. My initial feelings were shock and confusion. I am pissed off to be honest and tired of dealing with the mixed emotions. Half of me wants to be the supporting, understanding wife as I know it is not really a choice he made and the other half just does not want to deal with this as I feel betrayed and married someone who is not the person I thought I married. I am tired of trying to understand it, tired of worrying if this is the extend of truths I will have to deal with. I know 95% of cross dressers are heterosexual men but what if my husband is the remaining 5% and feels to self concious (scared) to tell me. I love my husband with every fibre in my body, he is a wonderful father and husband, thus the reason I want to do everything in my power to work through this and get some common ground and understanding. I do not want to force someone to not be the person they want to be. But how do I make peace with it? He is very supportive and considers my feelings, but the sexual side of our marriage has taken its toll, and to be honest the problem is on my side. I dont see my husband as the masculine man any more? I am lost to be honest and after keeping this inside for months, I decided to get some perspective from people who is or has gone through it. Please note that I do not intend to offend anyone and no judgement from me. I feel like I have lost the love of my life and hope someone can offer some ideas to work through all these feelings.

  30. I am Outreach Director for a chapter of Tri-Ess. I regularly interview prospective members for our group, which is designed to support the needs of non-transitioning crossdressers and their spouses/SOs, with a focus on sustaining marriages and broadening understanding of both members and the public where possible. Here are a few statistics concerning over 100 applicants who have shared information with me since February, 2014:
    Age Distribution:
    Under 30 8%
    30s: 9%
    40s: 27%
    50s: 19%
    60s: 27%
    70s: 9%
    (One member joined in their mid-80s).

    Marital status:
    Engaged: 4%
    Married: 52%
    Divorcing: 2%
    Divorced: 10%
    Single (never married): 23%
    Widowed: 9%

    Wife level of approval:
    17% supportive
    50% accept (does not mean they like or don’t struggle with it)
    25% don’t accept
    6% don’t know

    Do children know?:
    Yes: 22%
    No: 53%
    No children: 25%

    Out of closet?
    Yes: 59%
    No: 41%

    From my observations, most loving marriages can survive crossdressing. Boundaries must be agreed upon and both partners must be sensitive to the others’ needs and willing to compromise. Few marriages survive situations where the partner feels a need to transition.

    I agree with those who advise telling the spouse or prospective spouse early in the relationship. However, it should not be presumed that this is always possible. While I had attraction to certain fem articles of clothing prior to marriage, I thought that was past me when I married. I had only very limited and occasional experiences for 40 years of marriage, able to suppress the urges, and always believing they would not return and that any discussion would do more damage than good. My wife left me for unrelated reasons, at which point I explored my fem side, discovering a side of me I never knew existed. She returned a year later, at which point I revealed my discoveries and belief it would not go away. She accepted this and seemed supportive, even though non-participative and with boundaries I honored. 18 months later she decided she could no longer accept. We divorced after 43 years of marriage. She believes I deceived her our whole marriage, that I had always known the extent of my desire when, in fact, I never knew about crossdressing or met one until 40 years into marriage or ever saw it as something that could not be suppressed or overcome. One can argue that I was deceptive, but to my mind, when we got married and for many years afterwards I never realized this was something I needed to do or which would eventually become necessary. I believe a lot has to do with biological causes which are now only becoming evident. As men lose testosterone with age they often go through “andropause.” Rare variants of testosterone DNA are now believed to impact this tendency and, while pre-natal, don’t fully manifest until late in life. There are correlations between CDs and osteoporosis, often considered a “women’s disease.” Again, testosterone can be a key factor.

    As we learn more, we may be better able to understand. This won’t solve a lot of the problems of keeping marriages together, but hopefully it will help. Most CDs I know are older than most would imagine, not motivated by sexual arousal, and have long, very loving marriages. The profile is not at all what most would think.

  31. From the book, Men Can Wear Dresses Too, by Catie Maye.
    Wife and Family Acceptance of Crossdressing

    When, however, the respondents were asked about their wives’ reactions to them cross-dressing we see some further attitude shift: In Prince and Bentler (1972), the responses were as follows:
    • Wives completely accepting: 23 per cent (116)
    • Wives with mixed view: 57 per cent (287)
    • Wives with antagonistic view: 20 per cent (101)

    By 1992 and the Docter and Prince survey, the responses had changed with slightly more wives becoming accepting of their partner’s cross-dressing. There was a significant decrease in those who previously had had a mixed view. Interestingly enough, the percentage of those wives with an antagonistic view stayed the same.
    • Wives completely accepting: 28 per cent (289)
    • Wives with mixed view: 47 per cent (485)
    • Wives with antagonistic view: 19 per cent (197)
    * Percentages only total 94% only. This could be explained by the responses to a further question relating to disclosure before marriage.

    In the Prince and Bentler (1972) study, 27 per cent of respondents had disclosed their cross-dressing prior to marriage. In the 1992 Docter and Prince study, this figure had risen to 32 per cent. The increase in disclosure may suggest that attitudes were changing and that cross-dressers’ wives were becoming more accepting.

    The survey further asked about the acceptance level of wives or significant others (SOs) (cd.com; 293).
    • Non-accepting: 15 per cent (45)
    • Accepting without involvement: 22 per cent (63)
    • Accepting and limited involvement: 31 per cent (90)
    • Total acceptance and involvement: 30 per cent (87)
    Note from Tasi: I personally find this doubtful
    • Other (not specified): 3 per cent (8)

    Again, the responses here would suggest that 83 per cent of partners accept, if they do not personally participate in, cross-dressing once it has been disclosed.

    Respondents were asked about the first reaction of their wife or significant other (cd.com; 275).
    • Shock/ Disgust: 32 per cent (87)
    • Interest: 34 per cent (94)
    • Greatly interested: 15 per cent (40)
    • Happiness: 5 per cent (15)
    • Other (not listed): 14 per cent (39)

    The responses in summary seem to suggest that 54 per cent of partners initially were inquisitive or openly interested in the cross-dressing. Finally, respondents were asked if the view of their wife or significant other had changed (cd.com; 286).
    No (same as first reaction): 39 per cent (112)
    Yes, for better: 53 per cent (152)
    Yes, for worse: 8 per cent (22)

    Finally, the figures obtained from this question suggest that the majority of partners become less objecting to cross-dressing over time with only 8 per cent feeling more negative. Those participating in the survey were asked which family members knew about the respondent’s cross-dressing (cd.com; 503).
    At least one family member: 34 per cent (170)
    Parents know: 19 per cent (97)
    Siblings: 24 per cent (122)
    Children: 11 per cent (55)
    Extended family: 12 per cent (59)

    Survey respondents were asked to state the reaction of their family to their cross-dressing (cd.com; 266).
    • Non-acceptance: 16 per cent (43)
    • Tolerance: 18 per cent (48)
    • Supportive: 11 per cent (28)
    • Mixed: 15 per cent (40)
    • Not applicable: 40 per cent (107)

    They were further asked if their family had changed since they had found out (cd.com; 266).
    • Yes, for better: 11 per cent (43)
    • Yes, for worse: 0 per cent (1)
    • No: 30 per cent (81)
    • It varies: 14 per cent (36)
    • Not applicable: 45 per cent (119)

    Again to summarise, about one-third of all cross-dressers have family members who are aware of their dressing, with only about 16 per cent not accepting it. Once family members are aware of the cross-dressing their reactions tend to stay constant or become more positive.

    Respondents were asked if they had ever been divorced and if their transgender behaviour was seen to be a cause in the divorce from their own or their ex-spouse’s perspective. Only 13 per cent confirmed that cross-dressing was a cause in any separation or divorce (sg.com; 2,390).
    A total of 46 per cent confirmed that partners learnt of the cross-dressing during the relationship (sg.com; 2,431). Respondents were asked if present/ past (most recent) spouse/ partner knows/ knew, how did your spouse/ partner find out? 54 per cent had disclosed their cross-dressing to their partners (sg.com; 2,428).

    Respondents were asked that if their present/ past (most recent) spouse/ partner knows/ knew of the cross-dressing to rate his/ her level of acceptance of the behaviour. They were to mark all items that were applicable. The responses were as follows (sg.com; 2,296).
    • Hates it and will not talk about it: 14 per cent (313)
    • Ignores it: 5 per cent (120)
    • Does not like it, but will talk about it: 14 per cent (321)
    • Accepts and has some understanding: 19 per cent (435)
    • Understands it and interacts with opposite gender role self-: 10 per cent (228)
    Participates in my cross-gender activities outside of the home: 11 per cent (244)
    • Sexually aroused/ Interested in opposite gender self-: 5 per cent (122)
    • Not sure of acceptance level: 22 per cent (510)

    In the Prince and Bentler (1972) study, 85 per cent of respondents stated that they prefer to cross-dress completely. By 1992 (published in 1997), Docter and Prince had found this figure to have risen very slightly to 93 per cent. In addition, a further question was asked relating to this issue. When asked how the cross-dresser sees himself when dressed, the responses from both surveys were as follows. Prince and Bentler (1972) results:
    • Express a different part of myself: 78 per cent (393)
    • Just myself with different clothes: 22 per cent (111) Docter and Prince (1992) results:
    • Express a different part of myself: 80 per cent (826)
    • Just myself with different clothes: 20 per cent (206)

    Cross-dressers surveyed were asked to state the reasons that they continue to cross-dress. A figure of 51 per cent stated that they felt compelled to cross-dress for non-sexual reasons as opposed to 34 per cent who stated that they cross-dressed for sexual excitement (cd.com; 513).
    When asked, 49 per cent of those surveyed stated that they believed that their transgender behaviour was motivated by reasons other than sexual with a further 17 per cent remaining ambivalent in this regard (sg.com; 5,916).

    Respondents were asked to give the motivation behind their transgender behaviour (BHW; 65).
    • Woman trapped in male body: 11 per cent (7)
    • Man trapped in female body: 2 per cent (1)
    • Man with feminine side: 46 per cent (30)
    • Woman with masculine side: 3 per cent (2)
    • Person who enjoys opposite clothing: 37 per cent (24)

    The only way a transvestite can develop and come to terms with the duplicity of gender is by thinking of his cross-dressing self as a separate persona. This female individual requires an identity, a name that distinguishes ‘her’ behaviour from the normal male self. It is also true that greater awareness of the emotional, psychological, and behavioural requirements of cross- dressing also lead to greater acceptance by the transvestite and with greater acceptance comes openness to others.

  32. DD. Your husband is still in the “Pink Cloud” as we say and has not progressed beyond the teenager/sexual fetish stage. A significant number of men remain at and never go beyond this stage. When the crossdressing at this level becomes boring and we want the challenge of a public view, our desire to fit in also changes and our fashion choices too. I’ll have an upcoming article on this meanwhile a good understanding can be had by reading Men Can Wear Dresses Too by Catie Maye on Amazon. Lots of statistical data written in the context of the stages we go through as a crossdresser. I’ll have a book review on it next week.

  33. Guinivere – Dear Guinivere

    On my own part and to be direct, “the feminine side” and “the woman we want to be” are likely two parallel tracks that vary in closeness. Sometimes they are far apart and other times they are intersecting. Sometimes I indulge myself with wishful thinking wanting to be a sexy bombshell, but then reality returns as my body shape determines what I can realistically wear. When I actually go in public, it’s to be seen as a woman; and not necessarily to blend in, but to be admired

    As for my wife, she doesn’t want me to look like a buffoon, but the more womanlike I become in appearance, the more harmful it is to our long term relationship. So I make every effort to minimize my exposure to her. You’ve seen my pics so you can judge for yourself if I appear womanly. Sometimes it’s better to have a more mature look then some gorgeous young thing. Certainly the girls in the Vanity Club represent the best of our CD community in appearance only as many of them are far more womanlike than the average woman herself. That’s because we take pride in our appearance and they and I have largely mastered the techniques of feminine appearance and makeup. American women as a group are not known to be the most stylish women in the world

    As for your other issues, we will continue to destroy our marriages if we take the crossdressing into the bedroom. I seriously recommend couples counseling with a qualified transgender counselor if you are to see any improvement in your relationship. Since you are the strong one, perhaps this is an issue that you can successfully pursue.

    For many years my wife just though I was ogling other women until she learned about the CDing and then realized I was admiring their dress and wish I had it for myself. We all do this. However it’s not too bright not to compliment your wife in a positive way and since you are likely an attractive woman, your husband should compliment you on the way you look in your clothes. If it had been me, I would have said that you looked damned sexy and it would be more fun to help you take the dress off when we came home.

  34. DD, I forgot to address the lesbian aspect of your last comment. I went through the same thing. My ex husband was intent on me admitting I was a lesbian which seemed to make it okay for him to act out in his femme mode. If I was lesbian it was okay for him to be a woman. After too many martinis I said I was a lesbian. He kept pointing out women for me for possible sex. After a week of this, I told him I was not a lesbian and then he said I lied to him. Really? I never gave him the indication I was a lesbian before we were married, He married a straight woman but now that he came out as a cross-dresser I was to transform into a lesbian? It was insane. I drank to hide the pain and depression as our marriage fell apart. It was over. If he only had taken responsibility for his own actions and admitted he was a cross-dresser we may have been able to make out marriage work. You know he never even labeled himself as a CD but couldn’t wait to get dressed in woman’s clothing after a long day at work. Oh, and I am not a lesbian. :)))

  35. Hi DD, I am delighted you have joined in the conversation here. As the ex-wife of a cross-dresser, I totally relate to what you are experiencing. As much as the act of cross-dressing can appear to be harmless, the reality is that the behavior does have a fetish component that is quite disturbing to a wife who is faced with watching her straight husband become a risque woman in stiletto’s and a double D bra. I do think there is an obsession with this type of woman who he is attracted to and often much different than the woman he married.My ex loved purchasing his clothes at Fredricks of Hollywood where crotch-less panties were a norm. It certainly wasn’t my style. I was a Brooks Brothers girl who loved cotton pajama’s. So there is a sexual component to cross-dressing that is difficult to explain. I would love to hear from the cross-dressers who fit this profile and get their thoughts. I know it would help all of us better understand what drives them.

  36. Oh, and forgot to add, I think he hopes I’ll see a hot woman and be wildly turned on by her. I mean, huh?!! He married me knowing I’m heterosexual yet hopes I’ll find another woman attractive? I told him once how selfish these expectation were, and he seriously told me that he thought all women were more flexible in the sexuality department and didn’t mind the idea of lesbian sex. Wtf?!! Seriously delusional there.

    But then, how many men in general have these thoughts, even those who don’t cross dress? I had an ex who always went on about the girl pillow fights so many young boys fantasise about. He too thought all girls liked each other sexually. Someone needs to do a bit more intensive sex ed at school and make sure men understand that straight means straight. The end!

  37. Guinivere, that’s a really interesting question and I’d love to hear the answer from crossdressers here, too. I don’t know what my husband would say but I know how it looks from my perspective. He dresses as the woman he’s attracted to. This seems obvious to me as he doesn’t present as a woman so he can go out and get on with mundane things like the usual work and life stuff. He dresses in private so he can stare at his image in a mirror or camera for literally hours upon hours. He can change outfits at least 3000 times in those hours and still enjoy staring at himself, and touching himself like he’s touching a girlfriend. Ordinary women don’t stroke their own leg and boobs, do we?! lol. And it always ends ‘happily’ if you get my drift. Honestly, there’s very little femininity involved and it’s far more ‘fetish’ in this house. Not sure how common his behaviour is here, as I sense here people are more transgender, but that’s what I’m living with.

    Humans can be so weird, can’t they? lol

  38. Reading everyone’s thoughts and experiences have helped a bit.I don’t feel so alone anymore.I told my husband 6 nights ago,that we need to talk about this and find a happy medium.So far,he has avoided this.I’ll give him a little time and space to roll this around in his head,but not much longer.For 30 years,I’ve been the one that solves all of the problems for my family and puts their world on my shoulders.I’ve always had to be the strong one,and on the other end of the spectrum,the one that keeps,or tries to,the marriage together.I’m tired.I’m 51 and thankfully I look like I’m in my late thirties but I feel 100 years old.I’m beginning to realize this may never change!I am 100% straight.I’m sick of feeling like I’m not”cool”or hip enough just because I want a100% man in my bedroom!But he has to have this”white elephant”in the bedroom or he’s just not turned on enough.Like I said,our sex life is pretty much non-existent,and it’s because of this.There,I said it and it feels great!I’ve tried to give on many,many occasions but when I give him an inch,he takes a mile.Sometimes I blame myself because I’ve given in and turned a blind eye so much.Last night I stopped him in his tracks.We had to go to our grandson’s Christmas play and I was wearing a sweater dress.He looked at me and said”I ‘ve always liked that sweater dress”,and before he could say another word I said”You mean that you like the way it looks on me”?He sputtered out a non convincing yes.You see,he didn’t see ME in the dress.He was thinking about what he would look like in the damn dress! I’m invisible.I seriously want to ask the CD’s on this forum….When you dress up,who are you trying to be?The feminine side you can’t ignore or the woman you really want?And what do you want your partners to see?I really want to know.

  39. DD. Thank you for that understanding. I can argue both sides of the fence. As a heterosexual male, why should I be denied the love of a good woman because of my desires, but our women do deserve to know up front. I am one of that group of CDs where understanding came late in life. My life would have been very different otherwise had I really understood earlier. I am fortunate to have a wife who still thinks she is better off with me than without me. I know the heartbreak of too many men who loved their women only to be rejected, so the pain is there on both sides.

  40. Thank you all for your comments here. We are really getting some excellent dialog from the wives and the cross-dressers who are dealing with trying to be who they are and stay married. I will say as a woman in her 50’s that the roles of gender were quite defined as we didn’t have role models on the cross-dressing community as most were hiding in silence. Yes, finding out your husband likes stilettos more than you do can be devastating and wives need to be able to talk about their anger and fear. The dialog we are having now will help all of us better understand one another and lead to more tolerance or divorce but less victims. No one needs to remain a victim in marriage and if cross-dressing truly can’t be integrated into your marriage, it may be time to move on so both parties can find a more suitable mate. I really believe the younger generation of cross dressers will be more open with their potential mates and they will have a higher level of success in their marriages. We can all be proud that we are leading the way.

  41. Tasi, I do appreciate the rock and hard place most of you are in. Being staunchly heterosexual whilst also presenting like the partner you desire, thus turning most prospects off, must be a nightmare to navigate. I understand why many keep it a secret as they likely have little luck with women if they reveal themselves – but unfortunately this is where being single might just be a crossdressers lot in life as women deserve to know.

    I guess the ideal solution would have straight women desiring crossdressers. But again, unfortunately, I can’t see this happening on a broad scale as the very nature of heterosexual means desiring the opposite sex. Yes, you retain your ‘maleness’ beneath the femininity, but it’s the femininity, though superficial, that few heterosexual women are attracted to. Sure, there will always be those who don’t fit the standard mold and that’s what I love about the human race, but for the current majority, it’s just expected a man will always look like a man that I doubt it even enters a woman’s mind to consider an alternative. You’re fighting against some pretty determined biology! I do know if my husband had told me on our first date that I wouldn’t have seen him again – even with my limited knowledge I would have baulked at the ‘lesbian’ element. Remember, our heterosexuality is as set in stone as your crossdressing, and even if you don’t bring it into the bedroom, crossdressing can still do permanent damage to your sex life.

    So it’s an uphill battle for the men here and I get that. I get why some might be tempted to hide this side of themselves until a woman knows him better. But that’s unfair, and something as big as crossdressing should be presented as part of the initial package. We deserve a choice as to whether we have crossdressing in our lives, be it for one date or for a lifetime, and that’s where forums like this one are hopefully helping end the path of deception.

  42. DD. I largely agree with you although you have likely overstated the extent to which crossdresser fantasy plays in our lives. And like our heterosexual wives, 95% of crossdressers are also heterosexual. Yes I like to wear a frock but not in the bedroom. Frankly we’re caught between a rock and a hard place. If you never knew, all might be rosy. But if we don’t tell and you find out, then we’re damned for lying in addition to all those other feelings. That’s a big hole to dig out of. There’s no easy answers to this dichominy.

  43. Hi Guinivere. I’m so glad that you feel comfortable expressing yourself . I asked Teri and Pandora to talk to these feelings that wives have because I understood the pain you experience and knew it wasn’t being dealt with honestly, particularly by crossdressers. I wish I could say that we were all sensitive to our wives feelings, but that of course is not true.Some of us try and in part are successful but I doubt that any of us can really understand the depth of despair that it can cause. A truly loving husband will try to achieve some balance in the marriage between his/her needs and those of his partner. But once the genie is out of the bottle, it doesn’t quite ever go back in. That’s why some of us choose never to tell.

    Some of us are satisfied to dress in private and so the crossdressing can be managed. Even when others learn, the damage is less now than in past years thanks to a greater understanding by the public of transgenderism. Still, the wives say, why me, and I don’t have an answer for them. Communication is critical but it’s equally difficult for us to discuss openly when we feel damned by every word she says and if she is not open-minded, why then, what do we do?

    I think most of us do understand what a treasure you are when we can deal with it openly together and at least come to some kind of balance or uinderstanding that allows us to crossdress without creating those feelings of the “other woman” in you. It’s probably the most difficult challenge in our lives. Running a business is simple compared to the marathon game we play with our crossdressing. I just feel good when I can at least shed some light of understanding on the many complex issues we face becaus eof who we are.

  44. Guinevere, your story is heartbreaking and yet all too familiar. You’re doing your best with all this, I can tell. Your husband, from what you’ve written, not so much. Sure, he didn’t choose to be a crossdresser (though, I’m incredibly wary of any genetic answers to the big ‘why’ as I doubt there’s a gene that drives men to weave frocks. Just sayin’), but he can choose to be a considerate, communicative marital partner. No where is there written gospel professing that ‘thou must follow urges at the expense of all else’. People everywhere are ignoring strong urges everyday in order to function in society. It sounds as though your husband is the classic crossdresser who saves his control for society and then returns home to inflict his urges on you. The person he’s meant to treasure most in the world. The person he’s meant to consider first. And you’re just meant to live with it.

    I understand you feel unable to change anything after a lifetime together and so much history, and perhaps leaving is just too hard. But honestly, forget the nonsense written here about having a shopping partner and husband who understands women. Crossdressing isn’t about women. It’s about men, and the answer to why they do this rests firmly somewhere in the male psych. We’re just the silhouettes they covet. Nothing more. Have you ever wondered why the majority topic with crossdressers is skirts and heels and panties and where to wear these and showing them in public and oh, hopefully shopping for these items with an excited female partner?! While wives are always pleading why. Why didn’t he tell her? Why does he do it? How can she keep her attraction? How can she understand? Communicate? Compromise? The men want to indulge, the women want him to divulge. Other than female clothing, crossdressers and women have very little in common.

    So the point is? Forget the shopping. Forget the joyful bonding over make up and hair design and perusing fashion brochures together. That’s crossdresser fantasy land. You’re a grown woman and don’t have to indulge other people’s proclivities if you don’t want to. You don’t even have to approve or accept them. Not even your husbands. You have every right to tell your husband that you don’t appreciate crossdressing comments, especially involving items that are yours. You can insist on not having it around you, on not seeing it and on not having it in the house. Yes, you have the right to say these things! You do NOT have to like crossdressing.

    He, of course, has the right to crossdress. He has the right to tell who he wants and dress where he wants and go where he wants. But he does NOT have the right to involve those who don’t want involvement. So where that leaves you in your house together? That’s up to you. A lifetime together can silence the tongue, but I would suggest telling him you won’t live with this behaviour anymore. And you mean it. You’re worth more than this, after a lifetime together. You really are.

    I wish you luck, Guinivere. The sad irony of crossdressing is it manages to entangle itself with the lives of people who never asked for an alternative lifestyle. Heterosexual women are not a fetish group. We are not usually capable of muting our own sexuality to accommodate the needs of others. Yet, crossdressers expect this of us. It doesn’t matter whether they dress for gender or sex or for plain old fun – we want men. We want men who always look like men and dress like men and act like men. If we wanted anything else, we wouldn’t be heterosexual. So don’t blame yourself for your feelings. They’re perfectly natural. What I’m staring to question is whether its natural that crossdressers seek women like us, when no good ever seems to come of it.

  45. This forum is helping me a bit.It feels like a huge relief to finally be able to talk about it.He gets so defensive when I try to bring it up and that’s not fair.It’my life and marriage too!I feel so displaced.Where do I fit in?I’m clearly not the woman he thinks about.He thinks about “Her”. As I said before,I feel CD’s are somewhat selfish and maybe some of them don’t realize it.It makes me so sad and angry that he has never once tried to realize what this has done to me.Do any of you men realize that we thought we were the apple in your eyes,not the woman you dress up as.And yes,my husband has given her a name.It really screws with my head!He will never realize what this has done to my mental health.Our kids are older and on their own,with their own families.I can’t work because I’m expected to take care of my grandson every morning,I have them when they’re sick or on vacation from school,etc.For 7 years ,I had one or all three on a daily basis except for the weekends.I don’t know who I am anymore.I give to my kids,grandkids,my husband,and there’s nothing left for me.Like I said,I’ve developed a gambling habit,and I’m on Xanax and Halcion for sleep because I feel so dead and worthless inside.I wanted my husband to be my best friend.The one person I could count on no matter what and talk to about anything.It’s not that way.He’s a stranger to me,almost an enemy.And I need him! But he isn’t really ” Him” is he?CD’s….Please,talk with your wives or partners.Realize this can affect them in ways you can’t possibly understand.And if you have someone willing to stick around ,you have a treasure!Don’t take that lightly!Sure,I’m positive you could find a few women that claim to be turned on by this but it’s purely sexual,nothing more,nothing less.If you want to be truly loved,you have to give of yourself in return.Yes,your cross dressing will affect just about every aspect of the relationship.You need to own up to this!We know you can’t help it,it’s an urge you can’t explain or control.But you do have the power to build a bridge of communication with your partner!Don’t leave them out in the cold trying to figure this out.It’s cruel.

  46. Your comment actually brought tears to my eyes. It’s been a year since I left my partner and though I’m doing well, the pain remains. There is a deep sense of distrust I didn’t have before. Thank you for acknowledging that we are not just objects to be used and deceived.

  47. Larry, thanks for sharing. As the wife of a cross dresser who’s marriage hasn’t always been easy, I’m interested in the couples who’ve made this work and your story is a prime example of why you MUST tell future partners before entering into a relationship. You also seem clear headed about it all so perhaps that’s another reason. So many crossdressers are an emotional mess and enter a relationship dragging a truckload of baggage and then blame the wife for not understanding. Sorry, but you drowned the both of you with your issues!

    If I were to suggest anything to men who cross dress, it would be to figure yourselves out BEFORE you involve others. Long before. Go get therapy if you need, figure out what it means to you and why and not just parrot the party line. Also, figure out your end point and then commit to it, for it’s unreasonable and even unacceptable to expect a partner to live with constant upheaval. Few marriages will survive under such stress, yet so many who read here will marry a woman and then drag her along on some awful escalating crossdressing ride that she never agreed to and will very likely erode her mental health. I don’t like to throw heavy words around, but the usual excuses aside, this is emotional abuse and it’s not said enough. We’re all so worried about offending the sensitivities of crossdressers that we’re willing to silence the pain of others. That’s not okay. So figure yourselves out BEFORE you involve anyone else. And if you can’t figure yourselves out, then stay single please, and no one need get hurt.

    Okay? Good. 🙂

  48. I too am a cross dresser. I began secretly wearing female under garments at an early age. I get a thrill from it because it feels so sensual and that it’s so taboo. I met and fell in love with my wife because she is open minded about all of this. Even though she doesn’t approve of it, she and I love each other so much that we never let it get in the way of our relationship. It doesn’t bother her as long as I do it at home when she isn’t around. Our sex life is better than ever. I would never do this in public and I would never want to cheat on her. It is also very important to discuss this matter before anyone gets married. I dated other women and found out that some of them are okay with it, some are not. It’s very important for people in relationships to be honest and communicate with one another. I was really shy and embarrassed to discuss this matter to anyone, but I felt that I had to be honest about it. I found out that the best way was to casually bring up the topic about people who crossdressed just so I could see what their response and reaction to it was, and to get some clues from different women. It wasn’t easy by no means, I even found a couple of women who actually enjoyed dressing me up, but I ended my relationships with them when I found out that they were cheating on me. The worst thing to do by far is by keeping everything a secret until after marriage. It’s not fair to either one of you. It’s being lowdown and sneaky doing anything behind someone’s back. To some people it’s as bad as doing drugs or being an alcoholic, or even as bad as cheating on someone. If someone plays their cards right, they can find the right person to spend the rest of their lives with without being uncomfortable or with hurt feelings. The last thing that anyone wants is a messy and expensive divorce. If you have kids, please put them first and not yourself You have to ask yourself about wanting to have a family and setting a good example for them. Is it worth the risk to crossdress and being discret about it without being caught? I know that a couple of families found out that their fathers crossdressed and not only did they get divorced, but their own kids wanted nothing to do with their fathers anymore. I also want to mention that there is confusion and misunderstanding that people who enjoy crossdressing are either gay or bisexual. Some are and some are not. I am totally hetersexual. I had some women assume that I was gay because I enjoy crossdressing. When I tried to explain to them that I wasn’t gay they still I was because of my desire to crossdress. Some people also jump to conclusions that because someone isn’t dating anyone or not in a relationship with someone must also be gay. These people are really retarded and inconsiderate and have no clue what so ever of who that person is and what he or she is dealing with. I found out that my feelings about crossdressing won’t just go away. I have felt guilty about it many times before. I really needed to find someone that I could trust that would be understanding on how I could cope with my desires. I feel fortunate and lucky that I found someone that could. I just wish to say that I wish the best of luck to everyone. I sincerely hope that everyone makes the right choices in life. I’m just glad that I did with finding my soulmate for my lifestyle.

  49. Everybody,I am overwhelmed by your responses!Thank you.It’s so difficult trying to figure all of this out and make sense of it.I’ve been trying for years to try and understand but I sure as hell don’t get that in return.I think that’s where most of my resent towards him comes from.I feel like I have to deal with this with no help from him.I understand that CD’s can’t help their urges and the way they are but they can try to understand that their partners have issues and feelings concerning this matter.In my case,he doesn’t have to be so selfish and should learn to communicate with me about this without the attitude! It’s like there’s 3 people in this marriage.There’s me,him,and the woman he truly loves…himself.I can’t even talk to anyone about this because I don’t want to expose him but he belongs to a few chat groups and talks to other CD’s.It’s not like I demand a “Normal” marriage because what is normal anyway?Everybody has their own definition of what normal means to them .I just can’t stomach what this has done to our marriage.I feel so worthless as a woman because the only woman he really cares about is the one that’s inside of him.As an example,one day I was wearing a new dress and his remark was,”Wow!What a beautiful dress.That would look great on me”!He didn’t “see” me,only himself.It’s self love.I’m nothing more than a ghost.It’s this way in almost every part of our relationship.It hurts.

  50. after 16 yrs of marriage husband came out as CD but not to myself, going thro my daughter and best friend, they did not know how to tell me, which was a bit of a cowards way out for me to find out. Struggling to come to terms with this and feel betrayed and disgusted, don’t know if councilling will help and if our physical relationship will ever be the same. Right now feel rejected and physically sick to the core, admitted it was there b4 we got married. Tho states will stop it to save our marrriage don’t think he will be able to and don’t know if can let him carry on even behind closed doors for our relationship to continue.

  51. Dear Guinivere

    Please dont forget CD-ing is not something anybody can choose, if it is there, you (both) have to live with it. The only help, what you can get is to make a lot of compromises and do the best from it. A CD will always better understand a lot of women special issue, you can go together shop, talk a lot about the real women feeling. And I dont know, if you have also a family, if you are tired on CD-ing you can go to other family member, your husband will be happy to be alone with his cding. Live him to go out more with other cd-s, it is very good for both of you.
    Yes this are also my experiences with my wife, she knows it since 8 years and we could organise ourself well.
    All the best Wilhelmina

  52. I felt so sad reading the postings. So many women who rightly feel they have been robbed of a simple, happy and fulfilling life. I am aware that not all have gone through such stress there are those who have good relationships but surely they must be in the minority. I don’t claim to be a font of knowledge or statistics but the vast majority of wives I know about are unhappy with their husbands cross dressing. And really, can you blame them? They want what is considered a normal* marriage with a good relationship, a loving partner and probably raise a family. This can be stressful enough but we add this into the mix and wonder why they aren’t over the moon with joy?
    *Normal. Yes. Before you all start pounding the keys, I was fully aware of the pitfall when I used that word. But I am still leaving it in.
    We almost expect them, women, to jump for joy over the benefits. “Oh Goody. I have a husband who knows what it’s like to be a woman”, or “……..who wants to know what it’s like to be a woman”. “………….knows about make-up, clothing, loves to wear lingerie! Now life will be such bliss, so perfect”
    Ummm…No, it probably won’t be. It would be a very strong and confident woman, or a completely ignorant one, who believes all we tell her about it, who happily marries a male with gender issues.
    We will be of great benefit and knowledge? That’s ‘our’ need kicking in. Women already have girlfriends, mothers, sisters for that. Their network of support and friendship is established. We are just rationalising our desires.
    Consider this, the possibility exists that any male cross dresser would consider, at the very least, going full time! No matter how unlikely we think this will happen, social or financial reasons might block this at one stage. Never the less, every cross dresser will at some time have had this thought. If they say. ‘It is just a fantasy and they wouldn’t consider it’, they are kidding themselves and social and financial settings can change.
    Cross dressing does not fade with time. In fact there has been strong, albeit anecdotal, evidence to suggest it actually gets stronger. A friend of mine who works as a counsellor in a large support organisation for LGBTI informs me they are finding more and more move to living full time, requesting HRT and discussing surgical intervention.
    As we get older, we can have more time on our hands, children grow up and move out, well, if you’re lucky. Some chose to stay and leech for longer these days according to recent studies. (Sorry for the tangent).
    I believe any partner, or potential partner, should be made aware of our needs and please don’t call it a ‘Hobby’ or “I only do it once a month. (Or whatever)” “It could be worse”, and suggest some options like stalker, mass murderer, rapist. Just what we want, creating this sort of mental association.
    Bluntly, It is not fair to keep it a secret. . Maybe more education should be given to the young, among their social studies and sex education. They should be told about all LGBTI issues. As if they haven’t enough to cope with. Maybe every school should have an avenue of information, not the internet, a counselling team where they can go and ask, in compete confidence and confidentiality, about anything they are concerned about.
    At the very least any potential partner should be told.

  53. Guinivere ,

    Terri is right. None of us want the wives to add to our already horrendous suicide rates. Get help through a “qualified” gender counselor. Contact me through this website if you need help finding one for the both of you. Your husband needs counseling too….Tasi

  54. The older I get the less I know, but I am still opinionated. I am becoming more and more convinced that it is possibly a huge mistake for a cross dresser to get married in the first place! With the best intentions we probably want to believe these things can come true, “It is only a hobby”, or “l only do it once a month” etc. Brings to mind answering a doctor or insurance company when we get asked., “How much do you drink”? Or. “How many cigarettes do you have a day”? We lie!
    We are selfish, we do want so much, we expect our wives to go along with it and we feel they should see the benefits! Generally this is wrong and at the very least the person should be informed long before any wedding date. .

  55. Guinivere, I understand everything you are going through. You are spot on as to the behavior that often accompanies cross-dressing. My ex-husband did all of what you indicated. And there was no talking about it without him pouting. Communication just shut down. Yet, cross-dressing is just part of it. My ex husband was also an abusive person, both on an emotional level and once he physically hit me. I knew then I needed to get out at all costs. My advice is to get counseling for yourself to get better clarity as to what is going on in your relationship beyond the cross-dressing because it is often more than this. You need help and its there. Work on getting yourself better and know there is always a way out besides suicide. Why give up your life for someone else? Leave if you can and visit a friend and get some distance so you can clearly look at your situation. Good luck and get help.

  56. We’ve been married for 30 years.I found about his CD shortly after we married.I tried to accept it but it too over our marriage and sex life.I’m a very straight woman.We’ve raised 2 kids together,have 3 grand kids now.I can honestly say our loud ,through words,for the first time…..I resent him! I hate his cross dressing.I am not attracted to women and he needs to put this in our sex life.So,we’ve pretty much stopped having one.I’ve tried to be supportive in all ways but it’s never enough.He has NEVER once thought of my feelings with this.He is selfish and the only woman he loves ,is himself.Some CD’s say sex has little to do with this.That’s a lie!He has so much porn on this! I don’t exist as the woman in this marriage.I live on anti-depressents and have developed a gambling addiction.I’m so un-happy and he could care less.Whenever I try to talk to him,he gets really defensive,which isn’t fair because it’s almost a bully tactic.If I had the means,I would leave.And yes,I’ve thought of suicide.If he would just talk about it nicely,maybe we could work something out.But whenever I try he just gets mad and says,”I just won’t do it anymore!!!!” Then he mopes for days and I feel bad.God,I need help!

  57. My first wife divorced me because of my crossdressing, my dressing kept getting worse & worse, I started asking my wife to help me get hormones, then I would let my wifes friends catch me crossdressed, then I started having sex with men. It was like I had no control, I had to be a woman & I didn’t care who knew. I even went as far as having my hair cut, styled & colored in a feminine style.

  58. Thanks for the replies. And I agree, counselling is important to ease any of the confusion that can come from all this.

    And truly, I love my husband but I’ll be honest also and say his cross dressing is not a trait I would call a positive in our marriage. There’s quite a bit of spin out there that crossdressers understand women and make better husbands etc. I’d say that’s nonsense. Crossdressing, in my experience, has very little to do with women and everything to do with the male psyche. I’d go so far as to say I don’t think crossdressers are the happiest people I’ve met. And I’m not saying ALL crossdressers are unhappy, but by its very nature, with two often competing identities residing inside them, how could a person ever feel whole? And for many, like my husband, combining these identities is not an option even if it were socially accepted. He doesn’t want to be a full time crossdresser. He’s hardly even a part time one! Yet, this occasional compulsion in his life has made such a BIG impact on who he has become and how he views himself that I wonder if he’ll ever be truly happy. It’s exhausting just watching from the sidelines.

    And in my husband’s case, there’s a whole lot of self soothing involved with his dressing. I think he used it as a childhood coping strategy where he could pretend to be someone else, someone he thought was more likeable and definitely different as this someone is a HER, and over time and perhaps over use, this ‘her’ has become an identity in its own right. This doesn’t make the need any less significant, but it does make it difficult to live with as cross dressing is his ‘go to’ activity when he’s stressed or upset and that connects it to some fairly negative moments in our life. This again, is not uncommon, and another reason wives grow to resent the whole thing. If your husband only ever seems content in a wig and dress, it’s difficult not to start seeing him as emotionally messed up and often the relationship will break down and he will assume it was the dressing, when really it’s what the dressing represented. From my experience, it’s usually about what it represents.

    I guess crossdressing can be like anything in marriage – heavy baggage that dooms it to drowning, or an intimate issue that strengthens the bond as the couple work together to understand each other. I’m still working out which way mine will go.

  59. Tasi, this site is an amazing resource for cross-dressers and their wives. There are no easy answers or one formula of why some marriages survive after a wife is told by her husband that he is a cross-dresser. I do think the better the relationship is in the marriage, the better chance that a couple will work it out and set parameters that works for them both. What wive’s are troubled by is that they were told years into the marriage about their husband being a cross-dresser and feel deceived by the one person they trusted in their lives. And, that the femme side in their husband is very strong. It is confusing for a wife, who quite frankly doesn’t know how to deal with the “her” in her husband. I really am an advocate of couples therapy to gain better insight into cross-dressing and to give the couple tools for better communication to ease the fear and frustration for both parties. Keep up the wonderful work on Sister House.

  60. DD, I understand our frustration with your husband is his cross-dressing. I agree that there needs to be more understanding of what cross-dressing means to both you and our husband. It is a powerful act that tends to take over a marriage. Part of the problem is that for most cross-dressers it is something they have done since childhood. Many hope that this need to dress and express their femme side will go away. It doesn’t and and the need to dress becomes even more all-consuming. It is hard for a cross-dresser to express why he does it even after getting therapy to better understand it. Psychologists don’t have a definitive reason for doing so and why the CD is wired this way. Some say its a stress-reliever, others say its a fetish, yet the fact remains is it has a major on their relationship with their wives. Yes, it helps considerably to know upfront that your husband is a cross-dresser. Yes, going to a counselor together to further explore how this will impact your marriage is a good idea. And, yet I agree that it is a difficult journey for many couples. And, it is true that many cross-dressers become self-absorbed with their need to express their femme self at the expense of their wives. I suspect this is because of having to hide their cross-dressing and femme side their entire life, they finally are able to come out and explore this side. For a wife, she now has another woman in her marriage who she doesn’t know nor understand. Having been through this with my ex-husband, I can tell you it is difficult to integrate this woman in your marriage. The attention you received as a female is diverted to your husband’s femme ego. I often felt I wasn’t sexy enough for my ex as he was more interested in his femme side than me. This behavior, I believe is not intentional, yet the reality is it is a tough road for most wives to follow and many just move on. For those who stay with their husbands, many never really accept it and feel angry at themselves for not being able to either embrace their husband for who he is and love him or make a decision to leave the marriage. My hope is that with more dialog, there will be better understanding, tolerance and acceptance for cross-dressers and their wives. No one should ever be a victim in life and sometimes it is healthier for both parties to start new chapters in their lives rather than live in resentment. My ex and I divorced not due to his cross-dressing but because we just weren’t meant to be together. It takes courage to leave a broken marriage. There is the right person for all of us in life.

  61. Dear DD,

    Unfortunately you are all too right. I’ve spent years trying to understand why and now that there is solid evidence of biological causes, my wife still supports the view that crossdressers don’t do enough to mitigate their narcissistic behavior. That is true for many, but not all of us. I hope you read Terri Lee Ryan’s column too both here and on Chicago Now.
    Actually I have made a strong effort to represent the wife’s view and if you read Pandora’s articles (more than 50,000 views so far), you’ll see that the responses reflect a new and better understanding by crossdressers of their behavior.
    When you talk about ruining lives, you need to make a distinction between crossdressers and transsexuals for whom going full time seems to be the only option. I genuinely feel for those wives whose marriages are destroyed even abet the necessity for it by TS women.
    I hardly think we have been given a free pass because there are many unfavorable consequences to our actions even given a greater and more understanding visibility in society.

    I wish there was a good answer to this perplexing situation but on my part, I will continue to try and promote a reasonable compromise between CDs and their wives so it becomes less painful for both husband and wife

  62. I just wish the realities of this behaviour were more common knowledge so even when a woman is told early in a relationship she understands what it actually means. I’ve spoken to enough other wives over the years, and from living it myself, to know that information doesn’t equal understanding. Not when the men so often downplay how much it means to them, how often they dress, how important it is to their sexuality and mental health etc. And these are not uncommon issues! Visit enough support groups and you fast realise that even the seemingly accepting wives are fed up with the compulsive, selfish mindset that so often accompanies cross dressing.

    And while I agree that everyone deserves compassion and tolerance and the freedom to be who they are, after many years of living this, I can’t help thinking that heterosexual women and crossdressers are just a very bad mix. I know cross dressers don’t actively choose to be this way and many are otherwise upstanding men; it’s just not a very marriage friendly activity and it makes family and life far more difficult than it need be. Personally, I’d warn off any young woman dating a crossdresser and I’d tell said crossdresser to look hard at his behavior and why he thinks he is the way he is. Acceptance is so often pushed, yet I don’t read enough here or anywhere as to encouraging men with this habit to delve a little deeper into its roots. Many unhealthy behaviours feel good or even necessary but that doesn’t mean we do them without question. Why don’t more crossdressers work on breaking the hold this compulsion has on them? Why do so many let it run their lives, ruin their marriage and never once think to exact control? I’m trying to think of any other behaviour where so little is done to stop it and honestly, I can’t. Cross dressing has been inexplicably given a free pass and we women are just meant to sit back and watch. Yet, knowing how my own head works, I can’t help feeling there would be far more successful relationships with crossdressers if wives at least saw their husbands trying to understand themselves and exerting self control and not just taking everyone on some crazy ride.

    Anyway, just another wife here, scratching her head over her husband’s behaviour. Nothing new.

  63. Darla, this is a major issue when a wife finds out about her husband being a cross-dresser after many years of marriage. It is not what you expected nor signed on for in your marriage. Many couples work out an agreement for when cross-dressing is acceptable for both partners, even though for some wives it is still not totally accepted. If your husband wants to get breasts, I would say he is doing more than cross-dressing (presenting as a woman) rather he wants to live as a woman. This is a total-game-changer and most marriages don’t survive. Hopefully, out younger generation of cross-dressers will learn to tell their mates before they get married to avoid this.

  64. I married a man, not a cross dresser! He had no right to wait 27 years to tell me about his gender scale. We are married friends, not lovers. I told him he should get the breasts he always wanted. To me, he is not male or female just transgendered.

  65. FW, I am so sorry that you are going through major health issues and the coming out of your husband as a cross-dessser at the same time. You need to focus on you and your health first. I know you are devastated by the challenges you have in your life now but you will get better. And only then can you clearly look at how your husbands cross-dressing will affect your marriage on a long term basis. He needs to put his panties aside and hold your hand and let you know he’s there for you right now. Forget about him being a cross-dresser as your life should take center stage now. Good luck and let us know how you are doing.

  66. My partner of 12 years came out yesterday.I am undergoing chemotherapy for secondary breast cancer at the moment. I feel so angry, that he has decided to “offload” this onto me whilst Im desperately trying to stay positive and look to the future if i am blessed with having one that is. I feel like a big door has been slammed in my face x

  67. Thanks for your comment. My heart goes out to you as you are in so much pain.As our society is introduced to the cross-dressing community and more cross-dressers are out, I am hopeful that they will share their femme self at the onset of a relationship. It is so important for a wife to know before she is married and will save everyone much pain.

  68. the fact that it was not disclosed before marriage is the part that was hardest for me as a wife who was totally caught off guard. I have put up with it for years but I am not happy about it in any way. I don’t have a choice right now to get out but would if I could. I like him as a friend but don’t care for him as a husband anymore. It’s a very lonely life but I have found strength in Christ.

  69. Evelyn, thanks for your uplifting comment! I am so happy that you have accepted your husband for his mind, heart and soul. Sounds as if you are in the long haul. I am curious if you and your husband have shared her cross-dressing with others in the family and/or friends. Also, do you go out together with your husband dressed, or remain at home as a private experience? Thanks! Terri

  70. Great article. I adore my husband and want to be supportive. Thank you for validating a lot of my feelings. Some days are easier than others, but when its all said and done, I’m in love with my partner for his mind heart, soul.. Whoever he/she is…I’m proud to be his wife!

  71. Pingback: Normal : Transgender Forum

  72. Pat Scales thank you for your comment. You gave me a good laugh when you said you are turning into a very good cook! Practice makes perfect and cooking is no exception. You seem to have found a balance in your relationship with your wife at least in the privacy of your own home. If you are comfortable with her not wanting others to know about your cross-dressing then you have succeeded in integrating your cross-dressing in your marriage. In the end, really all that counts is that you and your wife are content with your relationship and are mutually supportive.

  73. Terri,

    This was one of the best articles about crossdressers and the women in their lives that has ever been written. Thank you.

    I met my wonderful wife back in college when Nixon was in the White House and we have been married over 4 decades. When I met her I sort of had a sense of my interest in dressing, having dressed in my mother’s clothes a few times but at that age all I knew about it were a few letters to the editor from transvestites in Penthouse.

    I would say that over the years all 10 of the items you mention have had something to do with our relaltionship. As of now I think they have all somewhat resolved and faded into the backgroundone degree or another, to with the exception of #7. She is fearful of anyone finding out that I am a CD. When I dress around the house the blinds are all drawn shut and she feels a duty to be on duty in case someone comes to the door.

    At times I have become what we refer to as the ‘spare wife’. When dressed I am happy to do the cooking, etc. It now seems rather normal for there to be a large person dressed in heels, hose, skirt or dress in the kitchen preparing dinner. On the extra positive side I am turning into a rather good cook.


  74. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective. As a married cross dresser I sincerely try to work with and communicate with my wife and make this as easy for her as possible. I respect her concerns and can only imagine the level of confusion and stress this creates for her. I’m sure I could communicate more. I very much appreciate her level of acceptance, which took a huge burden off me as I can share things I’ve kept hidden all my life.

  75. Samantha, so sorry to hear your wife left after 20 years of marriage. It is very difficult to know what a wive’s reaction will be to her cross-dressing mate. I am not sure when you told her, but it appears it was after many years of marriage. As I stated in the article, for many women, it is just something no matter how much they love you, can not live with. It is often based on their inability to change and grow with you in your journey and make it work. My advice is let a potential mate know early on when you are serious with her. There is someone out there for everyone and as we see more cross-dressers out and feeling good about themselves, the stigma of cross-dressing will be more mainstream and accepted.

  76. Wow
    What an amazing blog,
    I myself am a crossdressing husband that came out to my wife after 7 years of Marriage.
    At first it was shock but she loved me and stood by me even attending a function.
    Little did I know at the time that it would lead to the end of my marriage after almost 20 years

  77. Thank you Claire, Wilhelmina and Dooney for your comments. Dooney, I so feel for what you went through. I often felt like a pawn in a bigger game, I did not understand. Claire, you know I am an advocate of telling a potential mate early in the relationship about your cross-dressing. It can save a lot of pain later. Wilhelmina, I am so happy you and your wife have a great relationship. We all need to hear more success stories in regard to marriage.

  78. I think so every reason is true, and the most divorces are coming from a combinatiion of it. BUT if the love and trust is enough, the marriage can work. I am lucky, with me it is running since more than 10 years. Afer 2 years out as TG I told my wife, and it was a good decesion.

  79. Hi Dooney, sadly as you discovered, this is so common. We can too easily become overly obsessed, even consumed with the practice and especially in company with a woman who wishes to be understanding or supportive. Although I never ‘flirted’ or considered having or even wanted a husband back then, but I did like a compliment. But I can imagine how desolate or even deserted you must have felt.
    I hope you are enjoying your life now.

  80. Thank you for this article. I was engaged to a crossdresser/transgender for a few years. Once we began living together, everything changed. It was the first time she was in a relationship where she could fully explore her desires and be herself, yet I soon became ignored. And as you stated in your article, she paid more attention to herself, and none to me. I felt like I was living alone. Soon, her only interest in me was to accompany her when she went out dressed. And even then, only as an escort of sorts as she flirted and made friends with other “girls”. The more femme she became, her desire for a husband also increased. I’ve been harboring feelings of guilt since our breakup. As though I had done something wrong to cause her to ignore me as she did. Your article has shown me that I am not alone. And that it isn’t my fault or hers. Thank you for that.

  81. Great article Terri, I can relate to almost every word. Almost in as much I decided at an early stage to never keep it from any person, female that is, I came close to and was likely to have a long term relationship. I somehow recognised eventually, no matter how many times I tried I could never purge on a permanent basis. A bit like smoking, to paraphrase Mark Twain, “Giving up is easy, I’ve done it hundreds of times”.
    Purging don’t work, getting married doesn’t drive it away, in fact it makes it worse, for possible the first time you are in close proximity to a wealth of feminine items and the temptation will be great and manifold.

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