The “Other Woman” in Your Marriage

the-other-womanI have spent many years after my divorce from my cross-dressing husband trying to understand why his cross-dressing was so devastating to our relationship. Arguably, as I have said many times before, our marriage had many more issues then him being a cross-dresser, yet it was the final blow to our marriage as we never were able to sort it out. Years of soul-searching on this topic finally gave me an answer to why I had such a difficult time accepting his femme side. It was because I had to share my life with the “other woman!”

What cross-dressers often fail to recognize is how powerful their femme side is. Often held back for decades, once the woman is out, there’s no turning back for her; her “voice” needs to be heard. For an unsuspecting wife, the acceptance of this other woman living in her husband’s body creates anger, fear and mostly confusion on a deeply emotional level that feels like a divorce.

where did the other woman come fromWhen a wife is finally introduced to her cross-dressing husband’s femme side, the husband she once knew will never be the same for her, for now her marriage is about three people with the introduction of a very powerful and demanding woman entering the scene—who thinks mostly of herself—her needs and her call for attention. This woman really does take over once unleashed and a wife is just expected to accept her. A wife wonders, where my husband in all of this? And who is this woman, where did she come from?

Of course, the woman in her husband has always been there, as she is part of him. And, after all, her cross-dressing husband is finally being honest with his wife, of which she should embrace him, right? Well, not so much. Rather than celebrating her husbands “coming out”, she is grieving, wishing on some level that she never caught or saw her husband dressed as woman, wishing she had her husband back, not the woman standing before her. She will have to adapt to being in a three-some, something she never expected.

aacf75736e1703b2a6feae31ebcdb4e9_optThree-some’s rarely work as someone is always left out. Being married to a cross-dresser means a wife is sharing her time with another woman. And, there is always one party left out. When a wife is with her husband in his male role, the woman in him is left out. When her husband is as his femme self, his wife is left out because she doesn’t want to be married to a woman—her husband is gone.

The fact is cross-dressers, for the most part, are a selfish group as they become so obsessively immersed with their femme self and how they present, they forget about the needs of those around them. It is somewhat understandable that they behave this way because of being suppressed for decades. They are bursting with the need to be their authentic self. Yet, unfortunately the person closest to him, his wife, takes the brunt of his newfound freedom and is expected to adapt to him, immediately. One harsh word about her husband’s cross-dressing and he becomes hurt and angry and says, “So I won’t do it anymore” and then pouts.

Is cross-dressing a total game-changer in marriage? It absolutely is and to deny it is a self-fulfilling fantasy for cross-dressers. The femme side always wins and unless a wife is bi-sexual or favors women, she is going to be unhappy in her marriage, unless there is open communication and an agreement can be worked out between them that allows for them to both grow together.

Many wives due to financial constraints and age factor don’t get divorced rather they choose to stay in the marriage, hoping some day they will be able to accept their cross-dressing husband’s femme side. They feel there is no alternative. They live with anger that often leads to depression as they miss the life they had before their husband “came out.” This is why so many cross-dressers don’t share their secret with their wives, knowing they may not be accepted. Instead they continue to live dual lives being out as a woman outside of their marriage, until they are discovered or the need to tell their wife is overwhelming.

So what is the solution? There is hope for these marriages. One couple I know has come to an agreement where her cross-dressing husband has his own “doll house” away from the main house where he has his female items. They have agreed he can go out with his cross-dressing friends one day a week. His wife is fine with this as long as she doesn’t see him dressed as a woman. They have been married for 35-years and neither of them wants a divorce, so this works for both of them.

Is having a separate life for a husband’s femme side the answer to a healthy marriage? It may be a good choice for those long-term marriages where cross-dressing was introduced later in their relationship. The reality is some wives will never fully accept their husband’s femme side, yet she still loves her husband. She just doesn’t want to be married to the “other woman.”

Due to the often obsessive nature of cross-dressing, for a marriage to be balanced both parties need to feel good about themselves. There needs to be respect, honesty and boundaries drawn that works for both the husband and the wife to support a healthy and fulfilling marriage. A cross-dressing husband must be faithful to his wife, consider her feelings and not force her to accept his femme self. Perhaps, one day she will want to know more about this part of her husband, but on her terms when she has the capacity to deal with it.

There are success stories of cross-dressers who go out shopping for woman’s clothing with their husband while he is in his femme mode, yet this is not the norm now. As more cross-dressers let their future wife in on their secret before their marriage, I believe this will be much more commonplace and cross-dressing will finally have a greater acceptance both on a personal level and in our society. For the wives who find out much later in their relationship, there needs to be compassion and understanding on both sides. A wife needs to know she counts and is more important than the other woman in their lives. An agreement between her husband and his wife needs to be made and to be upheld.


You might also want to read How Your Crossdressing Changes your Wife’s Opinion of You.

11 thoughts on “The “Other Woman” in Your Marriage

  1. LostMe: I just read your comment regarding how after 33 years of marriage with your CD husband that you feel you have lost yourself. It sounds like you are just tired of pleasing and need to take some time for yourself. This happens in most marriages as there is rarely an equally satisfying realtionship, someone loves a little more. Yet, I would suggest you find something that you can be passionate about besides your husband. He is already happy to be accepted as a CD and you have and continue to support this. Yet, it is not your passion, its his, so you need to find something that inspires YOU. Good luck and let us know how you are doing.

  2. Will, thanks for your comment. It was refreshing to hear that you and your wife have embraced your cross-dressing. Your point of “knowing who you are” first is excellent and something that a CD/TG should consider before coming out to their wives. It is so important to be able to articulate what your cross-dressing means to “you” It will help your wife be able to make her own decision if it works for “her.”

  3. i can not say that you are all right or wrong. because none of us are the same or married to the same people. ny fully dressing started with may wife telling me to be my self and she gave me my first dress and still shops for me an d sometimes with me. As for another woman in the room and that woman being me, she is not there, it is just me and my wife, I am not a woman just a CD. She knows that and so do I!
    Being a CD is one thing but I am not TG /TS / Gay, you have to understand who and what you are! If I was anything other than a Cross-dresser then I would let my wife be free. I love her for to much to make her stay or ask her to remain in a relationship like that.

  4. For every action there is an equal and opposite re-action. Newton’s 3rd law.

    Wouldn’t be surprised that a society where women pursue fashion and glamour gave birth to all crossdresser’s. Ironic isn’t it.

    King James Bible
    In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array;

  5. I found out after we were married because I thought he was cheating. Well he was and the other woman was him. I was so releaved and ready to help in any way.
    I shopped for her, went on drives and blew her mind in every way(her words). We’ve been together 33 yrs and married for 25. We’ve played lots over the years, but as you stated cds are selfish. I have given and done so much to help that I’ve lost myself.
    The hard part is feeling so alone. No one to talk to. If I get down and want to talk about it the usual outcome ends with me feeling invalidated.
    I talked with my councler years back and he said I should leave. I love him and know how hard this all is for him. But what about the fact that I’m just so lost and lonely. I’ve thought of cheating even though I’m an honest person.

  6. Tasi, your comment gave me the chills when you said that CD’s need to “let their wives know that their lives center around them.” It is such an honest and important piece to this puzzle of integrating cross-dressing in a marriage. And, in fact a cross-dressing husband loves and needs his wife to love and support him more than anyone. Because they are so in love with their wives they are compelled to share who they are, crossdressing and all, with the person they love the most, their wife. We need to give the cross-dressing husbands some slack as the act of cross-dressing asit was considered such a deviate act in past decades and totally not understood (still isn’t really) that it made no sense to tell a wife as many hoped the need to dress would just go away. Of course, it doesn’t but I really beleive that it was just unrealistic to think that in years past the issue of cross-dressing could have been brought up in an open manner. My ex when we were married in the 1980’s never said he was a cross-dresser as I think he wasn’t sure what he was except he loved to present as a woman. He and our society were at a different stage than we are now. The transgender community is helping to raise awareness on cross-dressing even if TS are not the same as a CD perhaps some wives will be happy that their husband just wants to present rather than become a TG woman!

  7. Terry. Your comments brought another thought to mind. Recently we had a CD question whether he should tell or not because he was thinner and more likely prettier than his wife when dressed and as you have pointed out, this will not likely sit well with his wife. And yes, we do need to act like men and let our wives know how attractive to us they are and treat them like the princess they should be to us. Pay attention to them and be sure they always know that our life centers around them. Seems to me that this could be a winning strategy in many cases. So is it workable? What say you?

  8. Pretty Kathi and Jamie thanks for your honest and well thought out comments. Marriage is a partnership and a safe place for a couple. When cross-dressing is introduced so late on a relationship it is just devastating for a wife. I really think couples therapy with trained relationship expert hopefully one who has had experience with cross-dressers would be very helpful to establish the tools for communication. Coming out to your wife that you are a cross-dresser is serious business and you need to get all the help you can to introduce this side of you into your lives and do it authentically. My ex husband really just wanted me to say I was a lesbian as to validate his cross-dressing. It was absurd and frightening for me. It happens way too often. Cross-dressing husbands need to behave like men not 13 year old girls.

  9. Jamie, there are many more resources today to find other crossdressers, particularly with social media. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, and meetup groups. All abound with crossdressers. If you need some help, drop me a line.

  10. Wow, this is some of the most helpful information I have read. I have wondered how my wife would react if I told her about my crossdressing, and this confirms my fears that she would likely react negatively, and also explains why she would do so.

    Part of my concerns about telling my wife is that I didn’t really know how I wanted the conversation to end. That is, what did I want to happen after I hopefully got her permission to continue dressing> Dress with her? I don’t think so. Dress once a week when she’s not home? Gets boring. Dress with others? I don’t know others and that might be a tough sell for her.

    One final factor, I am much thinner than my wife, so her feelings might be hurt if she thinks I am sexier in a dress than her. And I can wear heels and she can’t (knee problems), and she may resent that as well.

    I have dressed alone for years and years, and am to the point that that is boring. And I just don’t know a good resource to find others closeted crossdressers like me to dress with, so I find myself dressing less and less. I still think about it a lot, but am motivated less and less, right now at least, to pursue it.

    Terri Lee, again, thanks for the insights, and appreciate any additional thoughts you may have.



  11. Dear Terri,

    Thank you for another enlightening (yet sobering) view from a wife’s perspective. While the desire to “crazy” is really there for those of us recently “out”, we MUST remember that our marriage is a partnership.

    WE have to talk honestly with our wives…no matter what. Given the amount of deceit that seems to be the norm for most of us CD/TG women (until all becomes known…and it will eventually) unvarnished honesty is the best hope for any marriage with the “other woman” in it. Even if a wife decides she cannot live with “her”, at least things will likely end more amicably.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.