Life hands everyone lemons from time to time. You have to choose how you want to deal with each lemon by deciding whether to keep it or turn it into something better. Not all lemons are created equal, nor are they doled out equally to everyone. I’ve had a lot of lemons in my life and made so much lemonade that it now tastes bitter to me. I have suffered the “lemons” of trauma and abuse for much of my life. If you imagine the guy who is hit with tomatoes at the Renaissance festival, that would be me, just with lemons instead of tomatoes. This is a story about making my best lemonade…I promise it has a happy ending!

I started dating Michayla (I’ll stick to using his femme name here) at the end of 2008. That year marked the end of my first marriage, which had welcomed three children. Michayla was the turning point in my life. I endured an extremely abusive childhood, and at the age of twenty I married a man that continued that trend for eight and a half years. I knew Michayla long before my divorce, and grew close to him when his first wife passed away. I felt the need to comfort him when other people scattered. People tend to do that when they don’t know what to say to you. During this time I got to really know Michayla and he became a great friend to me. Later on, when I went through my nasty divorce, Michayla comforted me. During this time we became even closer, and eventually our wonderful friendship blossomed into something more.

Early in our relationship, Michayla introduced me to a side of him that I was unaware existed. He showed me a wig, and a pair of stockings with a garter belt. He also showed me breast forms and a contraption you wear on your lower half to appear female. I was shocked because he is about the last person you would expect to have these sorts of things. He told me it was a “kink” and nothing more, and that he had fantasies about being a woman with a woman. I indulged in this fantasy a few times, but didn’t enjoy it in the same way that he did.

Exceptional Voice

That aside, my relationship with Michayla felt foreign to me in the beginning. He did the most peculiar things: he treated me well, complimented me, didn’t insult me or put me down, did the things he said he was going to do, and most importantly, he was honest. Michayla played with my young children, taught them how to ride bikes, made sure they were signed up for swimming lessons, etc. Their own father didn’t do any of that, so to see Michayla do all of these things was nothing short of a miracle.

After a while, Michayla asked my children and I to move in with him. His house was modest in size, but the kids were little so we made it work. During this time Michayla continued his “peculiar” behavior by having game nights, helping my kids with homework, and taking us on trips. I lived each day in a way I had never lived before. I felt like I was dreaming and expected to wake up and find it all suddenly gone. I still had a lot of stress co-parenting with my ex-husband, who did his best to torment me whenever possible and would lash out and threaten Michayla as well. Michayla is a unicorn in his own way by taking on me and all of my baggage. There are not a lot of men that want to raise three small children that aren’t his while being harassed by a frightening ex-husband. Despite these issues, I was happy for quite possibly the first time in my life.

In 2011, Michayla snuck one past the goalie and we were now expecting a baby of our own. Michayla didn’t have any children with his first wife and having a child of his own was something I knew was important to him – we just didn’t expect it at that exact moment. This news prompted us to look for a home that could easily accommodate our soon to be family of six, and in 2012, we welcomed our son and moved into our new house. Things continued much the same as they had been and life was the best it had ever been. We got married a few years later and have been enjoying our time together. Now we just have my youngest daughter and our son left in the nest. Michayla has continued to take care of my kids and he has been as close to a perfect husband as you can get.

Visit Transgender Heaven

A few years ago, my older children became interested in the Pride movement, and I learned a lot from them. They have transgender friends and gay friends and just seem to like and accept everyone. I started reading books about gender, transgender people, gender dysphoria, and even one book that touched on crossdressing. After I finished the most recent book, Michayla felt confident enough to show me he was wearing ladies panties one Saturday morning. When I didn’t shriek, gasp, or faint, he went ahead and showed me a small collection he had recently bought. I was shocked, honestly, but I told him to do what feels best.

The next day, Michayla felt confident enough to tell me that he had been dressing at times while I was at the office. Again, I was shocked, but didn’t reach for my torch and pitchfork just yet. I asked questions and Michayla answered honestly. He said he does it because it “feels right” and feels good, as well as being relaxing. I assumed this resulted in a “tissue and lotion” session, but he said that was not often the case. An alarm went off in my head – if not for a spank session, then WHY? Michayla confided that crossdressing has always been a desire, but played it off as a kink because he didn’t know how accepting I may or may not be. That is the exact moment when things started to sour. If he had kept this hidden for 14 years, what else could he be hiding? Does he want to transition, does he want to be with a man, am I not enough, does he want a different life that doesn’t include me?

Right around the time that these questions were swirling in my head, I made the mistake of going on Amazon. Amazon can be a blessing or a curse – damn you, Jeffrey Bezos! In this case it was very much the latter. Due to my initial acceptance, Michayla took off like a kid in a candy store. I discovered he was ordering clothes, bras, makeup, thigh-high boots, contraptions to tuck his business away. I told him I was upset about all the purchases and he agreed to hold off on buying anything else. A couple of days later, Amazon (the curse) revealed another bra that had been ordered after he promised to hold off. I erupted like a complete and utter crazy person. I was full-on “nuts-pants-magoo” crazy. It was the first time in all our years together that I raised my voice and called him things I never thought I would call him. Apparently, there are times that even the strongest of men cannot negate the need for an AA cup bra. You know, because you NEED one that fits WITHOUT your $700 breast forms [insert eye-roll here].

After much crying and talking, I put away my torch and pitchfork and dismissed the angry mob, and we started our path towards healing and compromise. An older couple would have seen (while watching through opera glasses and eating popcorn) our mistakes miles away. While my initial acceptance was genuine, I didn’t know that feelings would pop-up that I couldn’t understand. It takes time to digest this sort of change.

I’ve come to understand many things, one of which is that Michayla may seem new to me but she has always been there. Many of my husband’s best qualities come from that part of him. I’m glad that he told me because now I know my husband more completely and that is a beautiful thing. I don’t want to pretend it doesn’t exist and I don’t want him to feel like he has to hide it. Denial or rejection are not sustainable long term. I want my husband to be his best self and to enjoy life as much as possible. For all that he has done for me the least I can do is be open to some small changes that mean the world to him. Together we have enjoyed a spa day, makeup talks, matching pedicures, a day of matching panties, and yes, even a pitcher of my very best lemonade.

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Betty Rockwell

Married mother of 4. I'm trying to understand the need behind my husband's proclivities and fantasies.

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Amy Myers
Noble Member
24 days ago

Thank you for writing this article. I too hide my feminine side for many years till “She” had to have more time in the spotlight.
What I also came to realize is that Amy has been with me pretty much all of my life when I finally came to an acceptance of my femme side and now have a balance between my two sides.
You are a fabulous wife!

Raquel Smith
Active Member
23 days ago


It’s a shame that you had to go through what you did in your first life. Thanks for sharing your story.

On the other hand I couldn’t be happier for the joy and love you have found in your second life.

Michayla may have hit the jackpot with you and your kids (I have a bonus daughter, as well), but all of us here at CDH are indeed lucky to have you, too.

Much love,

Nancy Beane
19 days ago

Great article Betty. I’m glad things are now in the “lemonade realm” for you! Stay strong my CIS friend, our lives continue to be quite the journey.

Trish White
Active Member
19 days ago

What a wonderful article Betty. I am so happy for you and Michayla. I know how much better my and my wife’s lives could be if she was even a little bit accept. She’s known about Trish since before we were married (46 years) and at best has come to tolerate my crossdressing but has no desire to meet Trish. She is and always has been a very black and white person, no gray areas at all. Even my boys accept and support me which is a blessing so I guess I can’t complain that loudly. It could be worse.… Read more »

Katrina Rose
17 days ago

I think you are a wonderful women I wish we all had a great women like you

Julie Soft
15 days ago

A very very respectful congratulations to you Betty for being strong enough in your love to accept this. As a couple we are starting. My beautiful wife buys me panties and pantyhose like she buys her own, but to go further I hesitate. I would love to because these feelings only get stronger. I have so much respect for you both as a couple, love Janie

Natasha Inaskirt
14 days ago

Great article Betty, as I have told you before Michayla is very fortunate. You are far more understanding than many, and a wonderful wife.

Sorry it has been a while, I have been on holiday.

Natasha x

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