Can your marriage survive cross-dressing is the question on most of our minds as more and more of us take that step out of the closet in our new enlightened age.
Couples with a cross-dressing husband are struggling to find a balance in their relationship. For many, it is a fight to maintain a loving relationship after a wife finds out her husband has a femme side that has been hiding in the shadows for many years, only to come out with vengeance. Her first blush with her husband in a tight skirt wearing fishnet hose and stiletto’s is devastating for most as it is not what they ever expected from their masculine husband.
Many wives wish they never found out about their husband’s femme side, yet they want an honest transparent relationship. Wives feel cheated, lied to and shocked by their dual gender husband. Cross-dressers are pro’s at hiding their activities and for most, their wives never had a clue they had this femme side. Then one day, they are confronted with this “woman” standing before them looking for acceptance from the person they trust most, their wife.
I know most of you have experienced this scenario. I have myself when my spouse first presented his femme self wearing a black skirt, push-up bra, lace panties and a white silk blouse, with four-inch heels that made him tower over me like a giraffe. I felt overwhelmed by his presence. What was more distributing was the change in his behavior. His tone of voice was altered, as was his demeanor. All I could think was, “What happened to my husband?” He was a man trying his best to act like a woman. It was surreal.
Yet, I sensed he was really enjoying his femme self and this obviously wasn’t the first time he had dressed, as he appeared extremely comfortable in his woman’s clothing. And, where did the clothing come from? He certainly wasn’t wearing my clothes! My first experience with him was on a Halloween with him wearing his “costume.” Yet I knew from the moment I saw him dressed that this was much more than play-acting.
This happened many years ago before the term “transgender woman” was ever used and transsexual and transvestite were very different terms. I never thought for once that he wanted to be a woman, but presenting as one, was painfully apparent to me. He never called himself a cross-dresser, yet he would ask me often if I wanted him to “dress.” How could I say No when he was so passionate about it? So, for many nights I drank martinis and watched him turn into a woman. I should have had a conversation with him sooner to delve deeper into his obsession with his femme self. I never wanted to hurt his feelings, yet I was dying inside, as was my sex drive. (also read How Your Crossdressing Changes Your Wife’s Opinion of You)
What is troubling is that many years later, the dynamics in a marriage with a cross-dressing husband have not changed much, except for the fact more husbands are coming out after many years of hiding their need to dress. But the bad feelings and lack of communication continue to haunt most marriages, with little resolve. And we all know there are many cross-dressers in this world, millions of them who have a similar story and who are attempting to save their relationship with their wives and still be able to be more open about their femme side.
So can your marriage be saved? Maybe. Every relationship is different as in all marriages. The reason people marry extends beyond love and for some its financial security, the desire to have children or a fear of being alone. Many couples can ill afford to get divorced or are too tired to start all over. They never suspected they would have to start over and don’t even consider it an option. Instead, they stay in their marriage with their cross-dressing husband feeling angry that “he did this to them.” Resentment builds with every passing day, unless there is growth on both their parts to make their marriage work.
Cross-dressing men need to acknowledge and respect their wives boundaries in terms of their cross-dressing and what works for her. For some, she may never want to see it and for others it may be something they can do in the privacy of their own home. Some couples may venture out together as two women. It just depends on how close of a relationship you had in the past and how honest you are with one another about how you feel. I have said this many times but open communication is key.
We have a lot of work to do in the cross-dressing community. It starts with couples understanding and supporting one another. Anger and guilt solve nothing. We need more voices from the cross-dressers and their wives who stand by them. We need society to better understand them because at this point it doesn’t. It all starts with honesty, awareness and maturity. Cross-dressing needs to come out of the shadows and not be grouped into the fetish group or the transsexuals, as it is unique and deserves to be treated with respect and dignity. Only then will it be accepted.
Note from Tasi. Here are other references that may shed some further light on this issue and while they touch on transitioning, the feelings that our wives have are real and understandably need to be addressed if our marriages are to survive our cross-dressing.