So much in your post that resonated with me. I ALMOST told my best friend since high school once but pulled back. I’m so happy that you received selfless brotherly love from your friend. And that, dear recipients of news that your loved one likes to cross dress, is how ya do it! 😊
Your wife already knows.
So maybe the thing holding back the intimacy is the fact that you have not been vulnerable to her on this issue and she knows you are “withholding” a piece of yourself, so maybe she is “withholding” too? Maybe not, I don’t know what else is going on, so it’s just a theory!