A cross-dresser’s wife tells all. What is it that is so terrible about a cross-dressing husband that sends wives into rage and depression? Is it the secrecy of his other self which he neglected to tell you after all these years of marriage? Is it the act of seeing their masculine husband wearing a dress, stiletto’s and a blond wig? Is it the fear that your husband may want to transition into a woman or a concern of what others may think if he gets recognized out in public?
Actually, for many wives it is all of the above that causes initial anger and despair once they find out. As a heterosexual female, the wives were attracted to their man who wore a suit or jeans and a tee shirt when they first met. Their relationship was based on a man and woman in stereotypical role. Many married couples after a romantic wedding and honeymoon went on to have children. It was a middle-class “Griswald” experience, where the kids were raised with parents who waited for them to finish college, so they could save for retirement. Their entire life was based on this journey to retirement, where they would have more time with one another and watch sunsets together.
Then one day, a wife is faced with finding out her husband has a secret that he has been hiding his entire life, one which would change how she views him and the dynamic of their relationship. She discovers or he tells her, it doesn’t really matter how, that he is a cross-dresser; always has been since he was a young child. The news is shocking as it is something she never expected. Cross-dressers are
masters at hiding it as they have become a pro after doing it in secrecy their entire lives.
Cross-dressers often will not label themselves as such, not tell their story as to just how long they have struggled with this act. Many are “out” for the first time in public and are expecting a supportive wife who will embrace their activities and allow them to fully express themselves for the first time in their lives. They honestly don’t know where their open cross-dressing will lead and if they will want to do it full time or even transition. The data supports that most cross-dressers don’t want to be a transgender female rather they want to present as a woman, not become one. And they are still very male in their sexual needs which makes sense why there is so many provocative cross-dressing pictures in cyberspace.
What I really disliked about my cross-dressing husband was the fact he never called himself a cross-dresser and made it more of a sexual game. Yet, the first time I saw him dressed up, I knew he loved it more than the sex. From my standpoint, it was as if he was making love with himself, not me. This fem side of him was like another person as he was in love with and had more history with him than I did. Sure, it was only his fem side, and arguably he was one person, but was he really? The female voice in him was very different than the husband I married.
Women are known to be highly intuitive as we can spot a cheater whether we prove it or not. We see how much our cross-dressing husband loves his fem self and it makes us feel as if we have lost him to this “other woman.” I really think this is why so many wives don’t want to get to know their husband in his fem form. We feel as if we can’t compete with her and that we have lost our mate. It is very difficult
for us to embrace her as she stands between us.
When a cross-dresser takes on a female name, it only makes it seem like there is truly another person in our marriage. I know many cross-dressers do it to protect their male identity from the public, yet this just compounds the problem, making it even more difficult for a wife to accept her cross-dressing husband. She doesn’t know how to integrate her husbands’ female and male side into one person and her husband doesn’t do much to help her with this issue because he is excited to be able to dress in front of the person he loves most, his wife.
Yet, wives feel anything but loved. They are frightened, angry and confused. They just want things to be the way they were before he came out as his fem self. He just desires to be accepted and loved for who he is finally being able to be out in the open about his cross-dressing needs. He depends on his wife to support him as this is the one person he feels he can trust. He really needs her by his side, yet, she is struggling as she wonders why he never told her his secret.
The fact is times have changed greatly since most of these couples were married. It wasn’t really until the last few years that anyone spoke about a transgender woman or a cross-dresser. Now there is many TV shows on being a trans woman, yet they focus on those with gender identity issues who, for the most part, feel as if they are in the wrong body as their sex doesn’t line up with their gender. Cross-dressers are still largely misunderstood as most do not want to be a woman, only present as one. It is a very different mind-set that is not clearly presented because so few cross-dressers are out in public telling their story.
I have hope for marriages for cross-dressers and their wives, if both of them communicate, respect and try to understand one another better. It takes time, understanding and counseling. A wife needs to know behind that dress and make-up is the man she fell in love with and that he hasn’t changed. Actually, he hasn’t only he has been keeping his cross-dressing a secret as not to lose her. He just wants to be able to integrate his cross-dressing into their lives, on some aspect, There will be a new level of understanding of one another that can solidify a marriage, rather than destroy it.
There are so many support groups for cross-dressers and their wives. By being able to come out cross-dressers will be mentally healthier and more in touch with who they are; no more hiding in the shadows. This can only help the CD community and their wives for better understanding. There will be some wives who just don’t want to deal with her husband’s cross-dressing, yet they may still work it out that he has his night out with his CD friends and attends support group meetings, without her involvement.
Not all wives will want to shop for their husbands’ dresses or go out to lunch with him in his femme role. But, many will stay in their marriage, if boundaries are established. It could lead to a much healthier marriage than before he came out to his wife.