Dear Lynn and Meg,
My wife has known about my dressing for years, and her acceptance and support have waxed and waned over the years. There have been times that she was willing to buy me feminine clothing for gift giving occasions, but for the last few years she seems to want me to present as nothing but a rough and rugged man. I try to be understanding of her feelings around my gender expression but sometimes it is rough, and while I am not interested in transitioning I would like to be able to be more free in my gender expression. What can I try to do to get my wife back to the place of being more accepting of the softer side of my personality?
Tired of being rugged
Dear Tired of being rugged,
This is a tough one.
Sometimes we may cross a line without knowing it. Also because of her support and acceptance we crossdressers may also do it to much without realizing it. Your wife seeing this maybe fearful she is losing her husband to the other woman. A struggle of balance that we all deal with and I'm sure the women we love feel the same.
I would discuss with your wife about how you need to do this I would give her example of how often you need to Express your feminine side. Hopefully this will open up discussion of how often is acceptable to both.
Hopefully this helps and Lynn may have a better insight.
Dear Tired of being rugged,
As Meg states, communication is so important. Are you dressing more and she is becoming less tolerant as she sees that happening? You need to find out exactly what she is experiencing by asking her. You may also consider having a few date nights in the month where you dress as a man and go out to dinner and a movie for example. This lets your wife know that you are sensitive to her needs and willing to compromise. From a wife's point of view, it is sometimes difficult to imagine a future where we are 'growing old' next to another woman (in appearance) instead of the man we married. That's an adjustment some of us need to make as we see our spouse wanting to express their feminine side more and more. But that doesn't happen with every cross-dresser. Analyze your needs and be honest with her. Is this a desire you feel is increasing? Also, your wife may feel alone in her fears with no one to talk to from her point of view. The Atlanta chapter of Tri-Ess (our Sigma Epsilon group) serves the SE area and we have a ladies-only group that meets periodically. Our outreach director can give you more information or help you find a local chapter of Tri-Ess in your area.
Dear Lynn and Meg,
My husband and I have been married for going on 15 years, and have known each other for over 20. A few days ago he sat me down and told me that he enjoys wearing female clothing, and that he has all kinds of stuff to help make him look like a woman. After we talked for a bit I asked him to show me his things and he took me down to the basement and unlocked and opened his old army foot locker. It was full of all of his feminine things. He offered to show me what he looks like when dressed as a female, but I am not ready to see that yet. The entire time I have known him he has been a kind and sensitive man, I just do not understand why he has a desire to look like a woman. Is my husband gay, or is he going to want to transition or what is going to happen?
I am pretty sure he is not gay or wants to transition. But these are questions only he can answer. But for majority of us crossdressers crossdressing is an act of expressing our femininity.
My best advice is to continue with an open dialogue. By all means you need to let him know your feelings and if it makes you feel uncomfortable seeing him dress he should honor that request.
There is no correlation between sexual orientation and gender identity. The number of crossdressers who are gay is minimal and corresponds with the amount of gays in the general population (two percent, plus or minus), so that is a very low possibility. You would have had red flags by now after 20 years. It does become more complicated with transexuals - those who have taken or are taking active steps to more fully transition. Transitioning is also minimal among cross-dressers but should be part of your ongoing communication. These two concerns (gay and/or transitioning) are the first anxieties felt by wives, but also the least likely to actually happen. As far as not being able to understand his need to dress in women's clothing, some of us, perhaps most of us, cannot fully understand these desires and that includes wives and husbands. Your husband has just recently shared this with you which is a huge step for him. He has been keeping this to himself for a long time but feels the need to be authentic with you. You are seeing a part of the whole person and it's a journey. He's the same person, but there is a layer here that, (if not fully explainable), at least deserves exploring and can bring you closer in ways that you may come to appreciate. Take it slow, be willing to hear him and definitely let your needs known to him. Continual communication is the key and perhaps exposure to a group such as Sigma Epsilon where you can discuss your thoughts with other wives. Keep in touch - you are not alone.
My husband is a crossdresser, I have known about it since early in our relationship, but he never leaves the house dressed mainly because he does not want to shave off his massive beard. My only issue is he has horrid fashion sense, he can not match colors, wears conflicting patterns, has a few pieces of LARGE gaudy costume jewelry, and will wear inappropriate shoes for whatever his outfit of the day is. How can I offer fashion advice to him in a way that will not come across as me making fun of him?
Dear Clueless spouse,
I am laughing only cause my first time out in public my wife was apprehensive although she wanted me to represent her. It was funny. So maybe you need to give him some girly advice,honestly we are clueless. We will see a 20 year old rocking something and think a 40 year old crossdresser can pull it off which we cannot.
The beard in my opinion he wants to remain connected to his masculinity which is understandable. When I'm not dressed enflame I dont shave and try to cling to my masculine side.
My husband and I have been married for a little over 10 years and I am pretty sure he is a cross dresser. He has done a couple of fem Halloween costumes and looks very good in them, and he has a few very nice wigs. While I do his makeup for the Halloween costumes I am sure he has his own somewhere based on comments he made about my application of makeup. I would love him to open up to me about this because we could have so much fun with this. How can I get him to share this secret with me or how can I let him know that I am ok with this without scaring him?
I wish I "knew"
Dear I wish I "knew",
Sorry it has taken me so long to respond.
There are a few things you can do:
1. Just come out and ask, and tell him you are 100% fine either way.
2. Engage in watching a movie or TV show with tones of Crossdressing, and you can comment it looks like fun. This will allow you to gauge his reaction and maybe it will lead you to suggestion # 1
3. Attend a live drag show. Same as suggestion # 2 but more entertaining.
4. Contact our outreach director and she can send you a sample newsletter. You can print it out and leave on the coffee table. It has pictures and articles of our monthly events. Print it out and leave on the coffee table. tell him looks like these girls have all the fun.
Best of luck and please update us on the results.