A couple of years ago we posed this question to the wives/girlfriends of the group,
below are their responses
"What Were or Are The Actual Fears, Thoughts, and Concerns" that You the Wife or SO's had when you first learned of your husbands Crossdressing. (This is NOT about how you feel NOW) this is only concerning what your 'first' fears, thoughts and concerns, were when YOU first learned!
Hello. My name is Heather and I have been married to Chris/Tina for more than nine years.
Immediately after becoming engaged to him, he came out to me about his crossdressing. I accepted it as a condition of his love. At the time, I didn't realize what a huge part of his life (and soon mine) this would become.
At first I guess I thought he would occasionally wear my clothes and possibly some make-up, a wig. I thought that once we were married, and he realized that someone (I) could love him, it was pass from him. I was so very wrong.
Now don't think I had a problem with it, I didn't. Before I was with him, and came to Christ, I struggled with lesbian tendencies myself. I guess you could say I was sort of a femme to male CD myself. So when I say that I feared his "problem", it was not for lack of understanding it. It was possibly because I understood it all too well. I guess I was afraid for him and what would become of us and our new relationship. I also felt that being with "her" instead of him, I was being unfaithful. So I was less than enthusiastic about it.
Fast forward several years. We had small bouts here and there with the CD and then sudden halts. Eventually, he came to hide it from me. It was the "elephant in the room" that neither of us spoke of. I would have been a fool to not suspect he would wear my clothes from time to time, but I thought he had "healed" from it. Like an addiction that he could overcome.
Not related, I began to lose my health and eventually my mind. He stayed the strong one and brought me back to health even after my having spent a few weeks in a mental hospital. I guess I thought that as I was getting better, he was feeling less needed, and so began to lose his own sanity. He sank into a deep depression that would manifest itself in raging behavior and severe anxiety attacks. It never once occurred to me this had to do with my denial of his crossdressing. Just a week ago, his depression became so intense that he was unable to get himself out of bed and go to his job he's maintained for over 12 years. He was angry and carried a cold emptiness in his eyes. The man that I married was no where to be seen. Even then, I didn't realize what the true problem was.
While in the city, he stopped into a CD store and bought himself a wig. I thought, well ok--this is something that he needs to get out of his system and I find it highly erotic anyway, so... A few nights ago, he dressed. He is amazingly beautiful as Tina and all of my old feelings came flooding back. He softens and becomes open. We can talk and talk about anything and nothing. I can relate to him/her and he/her to me. It's a beautiful time we have, and simply erotic for me.
The next day, the twinkle in his eyes was back after more than 9 years. The warmth and tenderness mixed with raw masculinity and desire for me and appreciation for our children had returned. He is again whole and now I know why. I will never ever try to take this from him again. I know that Tina is as much a part of my life as is Chris and I love them both. Maybe one day, we will have to answer to someone about this, and we will do it together if that day ever comes. But I married him and her and will love the whole person for the rest of our lives.
I am very much in love with Chris and Tina is my friend. How it came to be this way, I can't sort out. I just know that it is. I need both of them and he/she does as well.
Anyway, that's my story.
My initial reaction was not an actual "reaction"... No fears, thoughts, or concerns entered my mind, other than I'm extremely happy being in his company, and having him in my life as a trustworthy friend and confidant. Perhaps the reason is as simple as this... I fell in love with this "person", which included all of his attributes! I rarely let "society" make the final rules (even though I am bound by their decisions) in the way I think. I knew he wasn’t the "normal male" long before anything was actually said. If he had been, our bond would not have been this strong in the first place! If anything, I was excited and looking forward to a life that HE was comfortable with, (I certainly am) and hoping that I would be able to help him through the difficulties that our "society" subjects to anyone that has a "mind" (and feelings) of their own.
How did I feel when I discovered my BF's CDing?
My initial reaction when I discovered my BF's CDing was "does he want to be a woman?" and "is he gay?" I was afraid of losing him and the idea I had of a life and future with him. Since then, I have found that these are generally the first two questions/concerns wives and GF's have when they find out their SO is a CDer.
After that, my concerns focused around my own insecurity and fears that I was somehow not "woman enough" for him. I suddenly felt as though I needed to be the sexiest woman I could around him. I felt inadequate. I thought I needed to live up to some fantasy he had about women.
I also went through mourning...I felt as though I had lost my "man". I was afraid of needing to become the "man" in the relationship...and in the bedroom. While I don't mind being dominant at times, I also want it to be the other way around. Although he needs to feel pampered, so do I. He gives me a sense of security when I am with him, and I was afraid of losing that. I worked through my fears by reminding myself that he is the same man as he was before I found out. I didn't have those fears before, and I shouldn't now.
One of my biggest problems was and is the deception. When I initially discovered his CDing, I felt hurt that he had this huge part of his life that I knew nothing about. I share most everything with him, and it hurt that he had kept something so personal and important from me. Part of my difficulty is that I was the one who discovered his dressing and approached him...he didn't come to me. I understood that he didn't feel secure enough in the relationship to tell me, and that this was something he had hid from everyone all his life. I also understand that CDing is not third date conversation, but I do feel it is something that should be brought up before marriage. I could not imagine the hurt and betrayal I would feel had I been married to him for years...as some women find out after years of marriage. Even now, I know he hides things from me. I wish he felt comfortable enough to be honest, but I know he is still getting used to the idea of me knowing his "secret" (no one else in his life knows).
Another one of the more difficult aspects of being the GF of a CDer is that I am now in a closet I have never before been in. I am close to my girl friends and generally share most anything with them. I won't share this. My BF was humiliated about me finding out...he said he had to develop an entirely new self image. I don't want him to ever feel uncomfortable around my friends, so I won't tell them. Also, although they are supportive of me, most people do not understand CDing and are not very educated. The last thing I need is them questioning my relationship or my BF. It was hard when I initially discovered to be the happy and upbeat person I have always been. My thoughts were consumed by CDing and I had a difficult time concentrating. I wasn't myself and my friends were concerned....and I couldn't tell them what was really going on. I would make things up, then feel bad for lying. Sometimes I'm just dying to tell SOMEONE...but fear the repercussions. It helps me to understand why my BF hasn't told anyone, and why he didn't tell me.
He has assured me that he doesn't want to be a woman, however, this has been as is still a concern of mine. I belong to a support group of wives and GF's of CDers and many of them have said that after years of CDing, their husbands suddenly are more interested in TS than CD. They want to start taking hormones and are interested in becoming women. This really scares me. We are not married, but I fear getting married and having him decide later in life he wants to pursue TS. I accept his dressing, he is still my man underneath it all...but I could not deal with him becoming a woman.
The change in vocabulary was new for me. I was suddenly using words that had never before been a part of my vocabulary. I immediately searched the internet for anything and everything I could on CDing. I have become educated and while I still have a lot to learn, I have come a long way.
One of the most helpful things for me were the personal emails I received from members here....you know who you are and I cannot thank you enough for your patience and understanding as I dealt with something so new to me.
Sorry this got so long...I hope it's helpful!
Zoe and I have been together for 17 years, so needless to say I've known of h-er CD for some time. But I found out in stages. First after living with Bill for several months while cleaning out the cupboards, (he had lived alone long enough to make a huge mess) I found some nylons etc.. I knew that they weren't mine as they were quite large. Being the jealous type I thought he was seeing some-one else... so when I pounce on him and show him my evidence he had to tell me they were his.. I thought he was nuts, I was upset but I got over it as he told me it was something he did once or twice but not any more. Well we all know that’s not true. giggles. We had 3 small kids between us so when we wanted to be alone we had to go some place special. When we would go to these motels I thought it would be fun to dress him up and make him look like a real girl. Boy did I let the cat out of the bag. As the kids got older and started moving out he started dressing more and more. Finally I blew a fuse and had a fit and we went though some pretty rough times. But it all boiled down to me asking myself did I really want to be without him. Which make me start thinking this was something that was a part of him when I first fell in love with him and with out this side of himself he wouldn't be whom I loved. Bill is Zoe as much as Zoe is Bill, and I love them both. I asked myself if it really made a difference as to how s-he was dress. The answer was no clothes are just like wrapping paper, fun to take off. Since that time I've tried to make sure when Zoe gets dressed s-he looks as good as possible and have alot of fun with it. Now I enjoy it as much as she does and we have a great life together because of it. That where the togetheredance comes in. Sure hope I didn't misspell 1000 words, also that I'm posting this right as I haven't had much luck posting things in the past.
I first found out my husband was into crossdressing in February 2000. This was one month after my beloved grandfather died and half way through my hardest year of graduate school. To say the least, I was completely devastated. Honestly, I am not sure how I recovered emotionally (especially since I have a strong tendency towards serious depression). First, I was completely enraged! At this point in time we had been together for five years and I had no indication that he was into this type of thing. He did not tell me about it. I found a set of fake boobs (homemade) and a man sized bra in his car while getting gas one evening. So, I had a rude discovery on my own. I felt completely betrayed and lied to (a big no-no in my book) because he was hiding it from me. I was totally confused and did not know what to do. He came home and I confronted him. He said he was a "big idiot" and he didn't know why he did it and would never do it again. I believed him. But, that did not happen. He secretly gathered a wardrobe and would dress when I wasn't home. Of course, eventually I caught him again. Same results as before but I was getting more angry and confused. We basically stopped having sex and could hardly speak to one another. Intimacy and partnership was dead in our relationship. Eventually, he got to the point were he could admit that this was something that made him feel good and was important to him. Then I was freaking out because I thought he was some kind of sexual abnormality or pervert. I wasn't sure that I could stay in a relationship with him. I almost left our marriage several times (stubbornness, loyalty and lack of other viable options kept me going). I still felt totally betrayed. I also felt that his CD was just a maladaptive coping strategy to help him deal with the stress in his life. I felt that if we could work out our other problems and have a happy relationship he wouldn't need to dress up anymore. I wanted him to go to therapy to get rid of his problem. I blamed myself for the occurrence of the CD. I felt if I had been a better wife and a better lover he wouldn't have needed to do this. I also felt he was doing it to punish me somehow. I was also very frustrated at his saying one thing (I won't dress up) and doing another. We argued about it constantly, his main argument being that there was nothing wrong with him, it was societies issue. I argued that society has a reason for doing things, it wasn't just completely arbitrary and we lived in this society, so we could not buck its standards. We did go to therapy, which got me past the pure rage point so I could actually speak to him without throwing a fit. The other helpful suggestion was that CD be his private coping mechanism and I could be left out of it for a while. That lightened a lot of the pressure off of me. I felt like he was constantly pushing all this stuff on me and I couldn't be who I was, I had to be who he wanted me to be so that he could be who he wanted to be. We have since learned to be who we want to be without requiring the other person to conform in some way to our expectations. I only decided about 3 weeks ago that it was definitely worth it to stay in the relationship even with the CD and other stuff. Until then I was undecided. I definitely love my husband but I wasn't sure if I could hang on to myself and who I was and stay in the relationship. I am now sure that I can continue my marriage. But this has been almost a 3 year process and we are still not done. I am still not comfortable seeing him dressed up and he is still trying to figure out how this fits in with his sense of self, spirituality and place in the world. We are in the closet with our families, jobs and some friends. He has made a new set of friends that are open to all sexualities and we are open with my psychology friends as they are very willing to learn new stuff. That pretty much describes our process thus far.
PS The book "Passionate Marriage" by David Schnarch is very, very good. It does not address CD at all but it does address many of the issues related to crafting a relationship when there are issues of self involved, which I think comes up with the CD issue. S.
Back in 1995 when he told me he liked wearing female nighties, it never even crossed my mind that this was a fetish or even that my hubby was a cross-dresser, I thought that he liked wearing the silky material the same as I do.....then wham in 2000,we were fighting because of the pc. and what transpired,(I caught him in a cyber-relationship)so we were in a middle of a fight, and I told him absolutely no more secrets, and then he blurted it out....oh the anger and confusion, my first words were, "are you gay?", Now knowing Terry for 17 years, and knowing he wasn't interested in men, I still felt compelled to ask. He never showed any tendencies towards being homosexual or bi-sexual, I would know the signs since my baby brother is openly bi....these were thoughts running thru this mind of mine, including does he want to be a woman all the time? How will this effect our family? What am I gonna do? What would the other family members think, and how would they react? My main fear, was where this was going, why did he think he had to hide this from me? I met him when he was 17 years old, we shared a life for 12 years and it was close to our 12yr. anniversary.. how could he lie to me after all these years, but in reality he hadn't lied to me, he did tell me when we were in Fla. April of 1988,that he was a transvestite, but it never went anywhere from there...We both put it behind us.....I was also angry that he had to think he had to hide this side of himself for so long, he didn't think I could handle it, after the reaction I showed him in 88'. It wasn't a bad reaction, it was more like "so, we can handle anything".....And this is what started us, communicating again, I decided to learn everything I could, I read and read every article we thought was appropriate, and aimed at his feelings, and what he needed to express....And now we are here,2 years later, and I love my hubby more and more everyday, I am used to Cheryl, even though sometimes I just want Terry, but I am willing to compromise, and we do...This is my story and I'm sticking to it.....
It has only been a little over a year when I first learned about Crossdressers. When Margo told me about it, we had not even met in person yet. She said she had something to tell me about herself. She wanted to be open and honest about everything in her life. She told me over the phone! I was really afraid it would be something really bad, like devil worship, or something really strange. So when she told me I thought "that’s not so bad". The key to my understanding is to be open honest and ask questions, lots of questions. I have always tried to be open mined about new people and get to know someone before you judge them. I was a little self-conscious when the GIRLS (Margo and Ks) went shopping for the first time together. We went to a Mall where I lived. What if I would run into someone that I knew?! How would I introduce her to them? Just figured I would wing it if it happened. Did not see anyone, so that was a relief! The first thing that I did was to read about this wonderful group, it did make a big difference in understanding why Margo dresses. I would recommend this website to anyone that is new to this type of life style. It is very straight forward and informative. I had seen movies with boys dressing up as women, but that was the movie. Their is a big difference in seeing it on TV or a picture, than seeing the real girl in person. With all the makeup, wig, hose, and better legs than I have! Her having better legs than me! That can be a bad thing for any girl to deal with even with another GG! But I had never met a man that could be so caring, sensitive, thoughtful, and FUN!!! I have worn some of her wigs out a few times to get the feel of how it must be for her dealing with it. And those can get HOT! But it has always been fun doing it.
Note: KS and Margo were married on October 31st 2004 at the En Femme Getaway
Hi Sis and all, This is Mara... You mean we don't have fifty questions to answer, just one tough one?! Seriously, to answer the question about when Michelle was first introduced to me I have to give you two answers. And if I get too long winded I apologize. The first time the topic of being a cross dresser came we were working out multiple issues about our relationship. Both of us scared to death that the other didn't want anything to do them, various reasons all of them foolish now. Communication is a wonderful thing, if it is something you practice. Talking isn't enough, you have to listen, not just hear but listen. So when cross dressing came up we were already on an emotional roller coaster ride. Frankly, the part of me that desperately wanted my husband to need me, was satisfied because Michelle needed and wanted me for support, understanding, courage. (yes, courage - sounds funny coming from me, I have turned into such a big scaredy cat) Courage to understand that Michelle was always part of my husband, that he wasn't a sicko, to learn some of what he had learned so far. At first, those needs were my focus. (I never even thought of the "Are you gay?" question, knew that wasn't happening!!)
Okay, here comes the second part. Then, as we talked about what being a cross dresser was, reviewed information Michelle had discovered, got past some of the labels (those I still have some problems with) and finding out what Michelle needed and wanted... we faced Michelle actually putting on women's clothes. MY CLOTHES, of all things! I was afraid I would hurt Michelle's feelings by laughing at her. I don't ever want to hurt my husband/Michelle ever, over anything. I had already pictured in my mind what she was going to look like, putting on my clothes. And now thinking back on it, boy was I being silly. I was pleasantly surprised... I didn't laugh. I still have those concerns about her though, but now it stems more from not wanting other insensitive, uninformed people to hurt her. (Still a part of me trying to protect, or "mother" as Michelle calls it. As her good friend, I don't want to see her hurt.) So now that I have rambled on a bit, I hope I answered the question coherently.
Mara, silly tears, have to go now.
My first feeling was "oh my gosh he is gay or wants to be a woman." At first I felt like maybe I was not good enough to keep him satisfied or happy, but he was like this before we even met. I actually found his things and asked him about it, he did not come to me with it first. At first I felt betrayed when I found his things. I am a very open-minded person so that part of me tried to rationalize the whole thing out. I thought "What's the difference in him wearing panties and me wearing his sweat pants?" All the same I was still scared and wondered if I was capable of dealing and living with this aspect of his personality. I love the MAN I fell in love with very much and that is what I held on to. There are still some issues that upset me from time to time but in general it has just become a way of life for us. I think most women have had basically the same thoughts and worries regarding our femme husbands.
An SO of a still closeted crossdresser, but I still went through the whole process and all the same feelings I've seen discussed by other SO's when their husband's or BF's actually came out to them, maybe not as fully, but ....they're still there.
The fears and concerns run the whole gamut from 'is he gay', 'is he bi?', will he still want to have sex with me?, will I still want to have sex with him? concern about how far does his interest go, as in is he TG, not just a crossdresser, how often does he want to dress? can he stop? (yes initially I think we'd all like it to just go away, the denial phase). A big issue is dealing with the whole secrecy issue, coming to terms with the fact that because of society, because of the fear he has of losing your relationship, you have to understand that there are different rules of honesty at play here at first, versus in all other realms of the relationship. That you're going to be lied to, but that it's okay in a way, or at least understandable until you reach a level of comfort and security and understanding. This is very difficult to deal with, because honesty in a relationship is really important to me.
It's hard to describe all the feelings. Let's just say I lost 15 pounds in a month.....In a way it's very much like the grieving process you go through when someone dies....D-denial, A-anger, B-bargaining, D-depresson, A-acceptance.
This has been a long hard road for us. It began (for me)when Greg developed a pornography obsession, it lasted for years and almost ended our marriage. When it reached that point, Greg/Gina finally told me how he was feeling. It was pretty easy to accept at first, because it was just wearing skirts to bed. it grew from there. in little stages, as Gina was just coming to be, and being allowed out (even in her own home it was new) so this has been a growth experience for us both. This has brought out many feelings that Greg didn’t know he had. This is still a process we are going thru.
When I first found out, like I said, I was ok. But then it started getting to be more and more. Finally when Gina brought home a pair of high heels, for some reason, that triggered some insecurities in me. I started wondering if it meant he was gay, or I felt displaced, like if he was the girl who was I supposed to be. This wasn’t as rough for me as it may be for some of you, I too am "gender confused" for lack of a better term, I too score right in the middle of the gender tests.
Anyway, I like many of the SO's have talked to Greg when I have those feelings surface, and we try and do what’s right for us both. I know for US anyway, Gina has much guilt about the effect on the family (kids know aunt Gina and think she is ok, no problems there thank god). anyway, my point, I don‘t think its fair to say its all about how the CDer feels and needs, cuz I am sure that guilt is rampant amongst most of you CDers. Its a matter of meeting in the middle. Gina doesn’t wear the boobs during the day, around the kids, or during our "fun time". It is too much for me, he respects how I feel, and that I needed to set a limit there, and, I also accept I cant set too many limits.
I guess my advice would be, look at your relationship, not at what he is wearing. If you are truly in love (my heart STILL flutters to think of Greg, or Gina now, after 17 yrs together) nothing will change that. If your relationship is lacking, look at where IT’S lacking, not at the crossdressing. Talk about it all you need. Ask him what he gets from it, why he does it. Ask him if it means he likes men, ask him to go shopping with you. That has been the funniest part of this whole thing. we can go shopping and find outfits together, and shoes, etc... there really is a great side to all this.
My husband is much more able to relate to me, cuz he is more female in his brain than most men. Its great, when I’m crampy, it doesn’t sound like horseshit to him. When I find a dress that makes me go WOOOOO, he knows how it is, he understands.
Look for the gold in all this, it really can bring you together. Learn to get to know this new side of him. he isn’t any different than he was before you found out, he is just dressing differently.
When we were friends my dh took me to a hotel room and tried to tell me but couldn't get up the nerve. then after he said that’s what I wanted to tell you that night in the room. I said that is ok with me as long as I don't see if or am not involved with it.( biggest mistake I ever made ) I was ending up using more of his makeup and pantyhose then my own. when we moved out of his parents house I asked him if he wanted to keep any of that stuff and he said no so I thru it all out. Well we got married and 6 months before something had changed...I really wanted to get married but even with the strain I thought it would work itself out. I have asked him several times if he wanted to dress because I was curious about it and he said no ( not realizing that he didn't think I was serious about the matter based on what I said before ) 5 years of misery, the lights are on but no one is home.
In Aug of last year I went away for a week. towards the end of the week I noticed a strange lift to his voice. I came home and woke up the next morning to find fingernails painted. Boy was I mad...not that he did it but that he didn't include me in it. He wasn't sure I was truthful about my feelings towards it until he intercepted a letter by accident, and then it came out I was sworn to secrecy. Went bizurk...so I started to communicate online and found some interesting so groups. most of them ended up scaring me more then anything. Is he gay, does he want to be a women, how far will this go? Thankfully we do have a great friendship in common so we talked about it and set some boundaries. Then I wrote a letter to a special person about what was going on. It turns out that Victoria* was born and we got the chance for her to go out and enjoy herself. I have realized that the so has just as much exploring and fears, and notes to take as well as her cd companion. Although the reasoning’s are different the feelings are the same. In fact it took me until I saw Victoria* going to the bathroom and calling her a girl ( that was funny we laughed for 15 min) before I could even call her Victoria*. Victoria* is a very special lady and I am glad to have her in my life and she has taught me quite a lot about being a lady that I never thought was possible.
I have made one large mistake...I can't keep what feels good to me inside and I have told a selection of people I wish I did not. I was feeling abandoned and locked out of Victoria*s life not to long ago and through a fit. I realize now that I betrayed her first and she had every to throw me into a closet and lock the door. You know what everyone tells me that she is so lucky to have me but I just reply back with I'm the lucky one. So see most of the things you do you don't even realize its you who started it, and the only way to keep it straight is for total communication. Its strange two people that are complete opposites, used to have nothing at all in common, make it because of their communication and friendship.
If you have a story you would like posted here about your first fears, thoughts and concerns, use the email button below and send it to me and I will post it here