This isn’t so much a question as a comment. I truly enjoy your daily blog. It’s is so simple yet so close to home for so many of us. But I especially enjoyed your 10th anniversary blog. It truly brought to light the trials our spouses endure being married to a crossdresser or trans.
I wish my home life was as open and supportive as yours. I began dressing as a young teen but moved away from it when I graduated high school and went off to college. For over 10 years I honestly didn’t even think about dressing or gender issues. I believed it was something I did as an immature kid but that I had outgrown. In that time, I started a career, met and married my wife. It wasn’t until a couple years after we were married that those old urges returned.
At first it was just an occasional slipping into a pair of panties for a few minutes. Nothing to get anyone excited over. But over time it became more and more. The more I dressed the deeper I went into the closet. I was always sure that I could just quit whenever; that it was just a passing personal quirk. No need to involve or bother anyone else; especially my wife. What would people, especially her, think of me if they knew. Plus, I was going to quit and never do it again each time I purged so why create an issue right??
Finally, after 31 years of marriage, I sat down with my wife and told her about “my other side”. We have been struggling with this gorilla ever since. She is not totally accepting and definitely not supportive, but we struggle along, playing catch up for the many years of secrecy. I realized that she went through all the trials and fears as your wife, but in a very short time. I let her absorb all this at her own pace and do not try to force the issue. But the future is definitely not a clear path.
I know my story is not unique. Growing up in the 60s and 70s, society wasn’t as accepting of what we do, nor was information and help so readily available as it is today. I just want others to know that it won’t “go away” and urge them to come out and be honest with themselves and their spouses sooner than later.
Thanks again for your blog. It helps many of us more than you might guess. And by the way, you ALWAYS look amazing.
Hi Claire, thanks for the comment. I wanted to post this because I’d like to point out a couple things that most of us have thought about and have gone through. The first thing is that many of us thought that this would pass, that this was a phase and that we would grow out of it. Crossdressing never goes away. We will always be crossdressers even if we haven’t worn a pair of panties in five years. We will always want to. Purging doesn’t help, we just end up throwing out our beautiful clothes and then spend money on a new wardrobe. I hope that anyone struggling with this side of them will accept it. It will make your life so much better. You are who you are and there’s nothing wrong with this.
The second thing is when we come out to our wives, we are not only dropping a major bombshell on them, but in addition to coming out, we are also going back over all the years when we were keeping this secret, or as Claire put it, catching up on years of secrecy. Sometimes it’s not the crossdressing itself that is the issue, but keeping something from your spouse is.
I know it’s not easy to come out, and I am not saying you should. You know your life and partner better than I do, but I think we all need to be aware of what our partners will likely go through when we do. For those of you not married, I cannot stress how important it is to be upfront and honest with your partner before you do marry. I believe in marriage, I believe in the sanctity of it, I believe in putting everything out in the open before you do marry. It is simply not fair to hold anything back. They deserve to know everything about you. They deserve to know what they are getting into because, as I said earlier, crossdressing doesn’t go away.
Clair, I hope you find peace in your home, and I hope your wife does too.
Thanks for posting on your blog. I enjoy reading it every day. You are so lovely. How willingly does you wife accept your feminine side? How did you get around to telling her the first time? I would really like to tell my wife about my feminine side but I am afraid she’ll react badly and reject me. Did you worry that your wife would reject you?
You know, every once in a while I think that I’ve said all I have to say about crossdressing and marriage. And then I think a little and realize I have a little more to say.
I’ve written a lot about this, and you might find these previous Ask Hannah questions helpful:
Anyway, my wife is wonderful and accepting of my femme side, but a large contributor to her acceptance is that I don’t overwhelm her with it and I’ve found a good balance with my femme side and male side so my wife doesn’t feel that Hannah overstays her welcome. I wrote about finding the balance previously so check out the links above. As for how I told her the first time, I also covered that, so check out the links above for that, too.
Telling your wife is one of the riskiest things you will ever do. It’s also one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. This is not a conversation to be taken lightly as this revelation has lead to divorce in other marriages. So if you’re going to tell her, be as gentle, as kind, as unselfish as possible. Consider how she will feel. You know your wife better than I do, so how do you think she’ll react? Consider that this will be one of the hardest things you can ever tell her. It will forever change her perception of you, it will forever change your relationship, regardless of her reaction. She will probably react badly. She will probably be very hurt and very confused. She will probably be angry. The media isn’t doing a lot to help the perception of transgender people right now, so take that into consideration. Be prepared for the worst reaction, and I know this is harsh but be prepared to break her heart. This is not something many wives want to hear.
Don’t go into the conversation with the goal of her accepting you or her allowing you to dress. Tell her how you feel. Ask her how she feels. Make this about her. What I have with my wife took about three years from our first conversation to building a wardrobe and every conversation between those two points was difficult and required a lot of listening and time. I worried about her reaction, her rejections and her feelings every day but she had to know this about me. I cannot tell you how important it is to tell your wife about this side of you before you get married.
I wish I had more encouraging, more positive things to say, but the reality is that this will be very, very difficult for her. Good luck.
I see a lot of time you’re out either on your own or with the Mn T-girls. Does your wife ever go out with you?
Hi! I actually answered this question a few months back, and nothing has changed. It might someday!
But as long as we’re on the subject, I’d love to ask about the other wives out there who have gone out with their spouses. What is that like for you?