Hi Sara. What a GREAT post. Thanks.
I’ve done A LOT of thinking about this.
It helps me to distinguish between a “feeling” of guilt and actual guilt. This is an essential distinction throughout like, but it is especially important here.
For many, I suspect many here, there is not much objective morality out there.
For many people the thing that comes closest to objective morality is the “harm principle.” That says that everything is fine unless you are hurting someone, and even then it might still be OK.
So you have to decide if you believe there is any objective moral standard which might be used to clearly define whether or not your crossdressing makes you actually REALLY guilty of some wrongdoing.
You are clearly objectively REALLY guilty OF crossdressing. That just means you REALLY do it. That doesn’t answer the question of whether or not crossdressing is morally wrong.
For some people (myself included), the Bible is the primary source of moral law and the “harm principle” is applied through it. The Bible says essentially that crossdressing is “an abomination,” and this is primarily because it is a rejection of what God made you. Moreover, scripturally speaking, it doesn’t seem to be the clothes themselves as much as it is your purpose in wearing them. A lot of things in the Bible are like that; it is often more about our heart than the external things.
In a recent counseling session, my counselor asked me if I have a pair of panties and a nearly identical pair of men’s underwear (which I do), why do I choose the panties? The answer, I think, is because I essentially WANT to be a woman. I choose the panties because I am rejecting my God-given male identity.
In that sense I am actually REALLY guilty of violating something outside of me, and it is appropriate that I have a guilty feeling. It makes perfect sense for a guilty person to have a guilty feeling.
But if you don’t have this objective moral standard, then you are left perhaps only with the “harm principle.” The question then becomes, “Are you REALLY objectively hurting someone? (either yourself or your wife).”
If you know that your crossdressing harms her, you have to admit that your REALLY are guilty of hurting her. THEN you have to decide if the hurt you cause her is in any way “acceptable” harm, that is, if your need for what you get out of crossdressing in any way justifies hurting her.
I’m in a very similar situation as you are. My wife knows but does not approve. We both share the objective standard of scripture, so I freely confess my guilt. Guilty feelings are, for me, entirely appropriate because I know I AM guilty of breaking God’s law and undermining his will for my gender.
I’m still struggling through what kinds of things I can legitimately do as a man IN PRIVATE and what I can do with my wife.
Part of me thinks that I have greater freedom with my feminine side when it doesn’t involve rejecting my masculine responsibilities or an explicit and public rejection of my male identity. I’m probably just rationalizing.
ANYWAY… I guess I just suggest that you distinguish between a “feeling of guilt” and ACTUAL guilt. If such a thing as actual moral guilt is a possibility for you, then decide if you are REALLY morally guilty. If so, try to make it right. If it is just the hurt it causes your wife, try to work something out with her that makes room for both of you. If there is something more there (an objective moral standard about crossdressing), then work it out.
That’s where I’m at.
I am trying to work out how to deal with what I believe to be my real moral guilt. I’m trying to find the line where I cross into a real moral failure. Tough stuff. This is what it means to be human.
Thanks again for the great topic, and for letting me get all that off my chest (even if it isn’t the 38C chest I wish I had). 🙂