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    • #740278

      One common experience that many of us share as cross dresser is the mixed feelings from our Significant Others. My wife has has a wide variety of feelings and emotions with this, ranging from hostile and condemning, to shared enjoyment, to toleration. On average, I would call her support luke-warm. Kind of a “you do what you want, but I’m not really very enthusiastic about this.”

      As we have some time to spend together today, I asked what she wanted to do. As we talked about different ideas, she said something that is important for us. She remarked that, “Whenever you suggest doing something, like lunch, or a movie, or the beach, I’m always wondering if you’re really just looking for an excuse to dress up.”

      She had said something like this before, but I had forgotten. Part of the struggle my wife experiences with this is the thought that I may not really be interested in her, but just looking for an excuse to change my clothes. Whenever I suggest dressing up for something, I always try to tell her that I don’t have to and that I really want to be with her, but as opportunities to dress up are not always frequent, I know I can get excited as I plan and look forward to a lunch or other outing.

      I think we have to be careful to ensure that our SO’s never feel like our clothing (or any other thing we like to do) is more important to us than they are. I know there are a broad range of experiences, feelings, and relationships about how and why each of us dress up. But if you’re going to be successful in a marriage, you DO have to make your spouse your priority. My wife struggles the most any time she starts to feel that I might want to be in an outfit more than I want to be with her. If I’m more enthusiastic and thoughtful about the outfit than I am about spending time with her, it can hurt her.

      Anyway, I hope this helps some of you work through the difficulty of cross dressing in a relationship.

    • #740342

      Good advice.

    • #740345
      Peta Mari

      Cding can become very nasscistic, where everything becomes about us.

      Marriage is always equally about the other person, as much as it is about us.

      We need to learn to speak and create life for each other, in the ways our love language makes us tick. (I suggest a book, 5 love languages of a married couple, is a must read.)

      If you can you can your spouse in the way they need it, life become much better.

      Eg, the language’s are touch, gifts, acts of service, quality time, and words of encouragement.

      All of us have a liking to various degrees of most of these…but one or two become extremely predominant. And say our own languge is words of afirmation. And our partners is acts of service, (vice versa) we can start getting frustrated by loving our other, in the way we need to be treated.

      So you say, You look great this morning. Partner thinks, oh hum, you didnt take the rubbish out.

      Partner critiques you. You get hurt by the words, and you retreat.

      Or. You know each others language. You make sure you put the rubbish out, and wash your glass at the end of night. Partner notices and says thanks. I do so appreciate you. (Both love tanks are filled up.)

      • #740436

        “the language’s are touch…” Peta

        Whenever I hug my wife, the first thing that she is likely to ask is why? 😥

        • #740574
          Peta Mari

          Its awkward when one likes touch and the other doesnt.

          • #740587

            It’s the suspicion that bugs me. Maybe because she is transactional? Don’t know.

        • #768164

          Unfortunately I can very much relate to this.

      • #777139

        I think I retreat when she does confront me about my crossdressing. I am just so afraid of losing her. I don’t want to say anything I would regret. It is a don’t ask don’t tell situation I find myself in Peta.

    • #740369
      Connie Wittnee
      Baroness - Annual

      Sarah, would you continue your helpful, personal and open to us (that is, transparent…I dislike that overused  word) story? I’m curious to read what you said and did in the occasion or incident you described and quoted your wife’s comment.

      Wondering what you said to assure her and how well do you believe she accepted what you next said and did? Did you too enjoy time together that day?

      I very much agree with your points made, advice offered. Thank you!

      • #740503

        Hey Connie, there’s not much more to say about the beginning of the story. We had some free time yesterday and were figuring out what to do. It’s nearing the end of the school year so it’s kind of the last chance for me to dress up for awhile. I suggested going to lunch, or a movie, or maybe going to the local lake to play in the water. She knows I wanted to dress up for the occasion, and she just wanted to express her concern that dressing up seems more important to me than spending time with her. The point being that if it wasn’t for the chance to dress up, I wouldn’t have suggested doing something together.

        I think with this situation there are only two things I can really do to help.

        1. I always give her the option of doing whatever it is without dressing up and just do my best to let her know it’s her I want and not an outfit.
        2. I need to regularly taken her to lunch, or the movies, or whatever it is without dressing so that spending time together is normal, and not just some excuse to dress up. I mean, if the only time you take your wife anywhere is when you dress up, then she’s quickly going to figure out where your priorities are.

        As a follow up: we ended up going stand up paddle boarding at a local pond, and I got to do it en femme. It’s still early so it was a bit cold, but I have this cute female surfing wetsuit and my hair is long enough now I could get by without a wig. Playing in the water en femme is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time and it was everything I hoped for.

    • #740653
      J J

      While my wife is fine with me dressing, and we are often intimate when fully en fm e, or just lingerie, I also make it a point to be intimate in drab as well. Basically, I make sure not to over do my dressing. Plus, I always give her veto power and tell her she can always tell me if I have gone too far. She never has, at least not yet.

      • #768661
        Cece X

        My girlfriend has enjoyed my underdressing but, like you, JJ, I make sure I do not overdo it. She needs to feel like I am attracted to her, not my bra and panties.

    • #768132
      Staci Gal

      Sarah….  Love your post.  My wife of 42 years reacts almost exactly to my dressing as does your spouse (are they related?).  She is luke warm about my dressing but does not say no.  She also has the emotional mood swings you described related to my dressing.  I will take what I can get, and I do try to be sensitive to her feelings, I understand it can be difficult being married to a guy who wears gals clothing.

      I too enjoy spending time with my wife and generally do not “dress” around her per se, but I do dress in an androgynous style at times when we go out.  But if it bothers her, sometimes it does, sometimes no, I defer to her wishes.  Just easier that way.

      We have set limitations and boundaries and try to adhere to those as much as possible.  Part of being married…

      Take care, have fun….   Staci…


    • #768675

      My wife told me she loves her femininity and can see me love mine.

    • #768676
      Roberta Broussard
      Duchess - Annual

      Reading this again this morning. I couldn’t help but think that this is how we all feel, at times. Sometimes I want to be with my wife, sometimes children and GK, sometimes just alone and sometimes being with the guys.   I think you made a profound statement about giving enough quality time to your SO. It will definitely help keep her from becoming jealous of your girl time.

    • #772842

      Great post and thread Sarah! In my case I have a boyfriend and anything goes when it comes to my dressing although I’ve chosen to be closeted. We have a great relationship and I wear plenty of feminine things in the bedroom (and he loves it 🙂 ). Communication is extremely important and I feel very lucky to have an accepting, supportive and encouraging SO but I feel for those who don’t.

    • #777098

      Having just come out of the closet to my wife, this is very useful advice. I feel I have to tread very carefully and not push things too much. Thank you.

      Katie x

    • #777120

      I have found it to be helpful to include my wife in my dressing. Helping me pick out what to wear, going thru catalogs together, looking at different items. Not always clothes but accessories or different make-up tutorials together on make-up. One of the first things I asked for was help with my make-up and she was thrilled to help me and we even sat down together to do a lesson on smoky eyes! For me by including her in this journey has helped us both.
      I guess it’s a bit easier than most since we are both retired, we are not off to work everyday but instead together. I don’t fully dress up everyday, maybe 5x a week, I still need to be her husband to make this work. I will say I do like to bring out Lisa daily after dinner.

      I believe that making my wife a part of my journey has helped her accept and understand me better than I ever hoped for.

      • #777135

        I just don’t know how to make my wife a part of my feminine side Lisa. She is so opposed to it.

        • #777410

          Many men have a strong feminine side to ourselves, and it’s not going anywhere. I had to tell my wife, I couldn’t hold back. I so glad I did. She noticed that my depression had been bad lately but didn’t know why. Once I revealed Lisa to her she noticed my depression gone and I was much happier. She just didn’t gain her husband back but a girl friend as well.
          Wives are all different. I was afraid for years she would reject me, she didn’t. My wife embraced me and helped me come out of my hiding place. Some wives just don’t want to deal with it, as it’s not what they signed up for. So there is no magic formula to make her acceptable, made over time she will be more so. But communication and understanding is the key as far as I can tell.

        • #778218

          Yeah my wife is very unsupportive as well and I am trying to figure out how to express what I need in the relationship…I just don’t want to hide this part of me anymore.  Don’t Ask Don’t Tell is more like Don’t Do.

          It’s time for us to have the talk again.

      • #778956

        Sounds like you have a wife many dream about!

        • #778959

          Yes I do, I am very lucky to be blessed with her in my journeys.

    • #777133

      Sarah, I just don’t know what to do about how wife views my feminine side. She said she will never accept this side of me. I do love her and want her to be happy. I understand how she feels, but expressing my feminine side is important to me and to who I am. I do not get many chances to dress and most  of my time is spent in male mode. I wish  I could make her understand this is not some mental problem on my part. This is just a natural part of how some people see them self. Gender is not something that is black and white but many shades in between.

      I love the support from all my friends her at CDH. I would love to here how some of you girls manage to deal with your SO and how you are able to express your feminine side with your loved one.

      Hugs Julie

      • #777171

        Hey Julie,
        I’m afraid I don’t have any answers for you. My wife is tolerant, and accepts more things with time, but I don’t think she’ll ever be into it. Some of the ladies here have a girlfriend-like relationship with their wives when they dress. I envy that, but don’t expect it to ever happen in my case.
        I have some ideas, but they feel kind of hollow. I’ll share them anyway.

        1. As I said before, making sure relationship and spouse are the priority is important. Making sure they know they’re the priority is important too.
        2. You mention in a post below that “she is so opposed to it.” My first thought is just to ask “why?” She may have concrete reasons, or she may not. the nature of culture is that it tends to be invisible and not thought about, until someone breaks the rules, then we feel uncomfortable (or excited or whatever) but we don’t always know why. Having a discussion with your wife where you honestly explore what it is that makes this a problem could be helpful. Is it the money spent on clothes? Is it fear you’re secretly gay or want to transition?
        3. Sacrifice is important. Sometimes we have to give up things for our relationships. This might be a complete giving up of something, or just a matter of how much time is spent. You have to decide.
        4. Sacrifice goes both ways. Sometimes in a relationship, you also just need to say (gently and kindly), “I do have the right to make some decisions on my own, even if you’re not thrilled with them. I’m going to do this.” This is important, but take care. I don’t know how to balance 3 and 4 very well, but they’re essential and always present in the healthiest relationships.
        5. Establishing boundaries or rules might be helpful. Making an agreement to dress up or not at certain times or in certain situations might help. Sometimes what we’re most afraid of is things getting out of control, so boundaries can strangely be liberating.

        • #777179

          Thank you Sarah, number 1 is how I feel about my relationship with my wife. She is the most important part of my life. As for number 2, I think she thinks it is some kind of mental problem. She may also think I will want to transition, and me being gay is also a concern. It may also be embarrassment about someone finding out. I do understand those concerns. Money is not the problem.

          As for 3 she hopes this goes away, although I have told her I feel the same way about my feminine side. I would be very unhappy if I had to give up expressing my feminine side and I did so for two years, the feeling never went away and I had an even stronger desire to express my feminine side. I feel I could do this but the cost would be my happiness.

          I feel number 3 is how I feel about my situation. This is something I would do on a trip, and that is what I have been doing. I know there is risk involved with this approach.

          I have given myself boundaries, with going on camping trips but spending some of that time in girl mode. This limits the time I can spend being my feminine self, but it is working for me.  I have made the most of my time as Julie.

          Thank you so much for sharing your advice and insight into my situation. This means so much to me. I love the things you said and that is why this site is so important to me. Sarah you are a sweet and beautiful person.

          Hugs Julie


    • #777177

      Very Well put. My wife feels the same way

    • #777180

      Good post and it looks like this is spot on for a lot of us. I am still very new to all of this and don’t really have much of a wardrobe, so it’s not the same issue many face…yet.
      This morning I just purchased a couple pairs of women’s jeans and have been thinking about how to discuss this with my wife.

      I don’t have plans to completely go out dressed as a woman for a while, if ever, but I do find some women’s clothing much more comfy and sexy.

      I will always put her first but sometimes I feel her views are kind of a double standard. She wears my tshirts, shorts sweats and sweatshirts, but I feel like it’s gonna be a long discussion on why I feel it should be ok for me to wear women’s jeans.

      For me, I think I need to work with my wife and break through labeling clothing as men’s and women’s. But if I can do that, I think both of us will be in a much better place.

    • #777207

      I feel that my wife would never want me to dress up or especially put on makeup. She has shown me where her makeup is & has gone shopping for clothes together occasionally but then she makes fun of me for doing it. It’s all very confusing probably for both of us. I always wear colourful panties every day and pretty cotton nighties for sleeping without any reaction from her but if I go past that I think it bothers her. She bought me some very muted lipstick then wonders why I sometimes wear it! I wake up and start thinking about how I would dress today but rarely do it. Frustrated and confused!

    • #777225

      I am in a dress or skirts most days at home.  When she gets home I give her some alone time so she can unwind, then we sit and talk, usually for an hour or more. She often will tell me (while I am dressed) how much she appreciates me and thinks I am the best husband in the world. I take care of all the chores at home and that makes her feel pampered and loved. I pay attention to how she looks and compliment her. When we go out I dress in male mode. She is accepting of my dressing and I think she understands that she is more important to me than my dressing in feminine clothing. I think paying attention to her needs and wants have mad her accepting of my dressing.



    • #778761

      Hi Sarah,

      This is one of the most important aspects of once we reveal CD-ing to our SO’s, that sometimes the work has just begun. It’s a blessing when they accept or even tolerate it. However, as time moves along and other areas of the relationship change, progress, life changes, and more, this part can still have a lot of challenges. Since I have had the CD “blessing” most of my life I still go and do a lot of research for CD tips, how to dress better, make up, clothes, all of those things we really like a lot. However, as important is reading about experiences of others. Of particular interest are situations where SO accepts and what happens as time moves along.

      I found this article in Woman’s Day about a lady who accepted her CD husband initially, but as time went along things fell apart. Part is how the husband acted out his CD-ing, part of it was that it seemed there was not much communication about boundaries. Anyway, check this out and I’m sorry if this may be too close to home for some, but it’s important to have the SO point of view.

      My reveal was an example of what not to do, but it was over 20 years ago and was a different maturity level. Actually, I got caught as my reveal… We were dating for about a year at the time and living in separate houses at the time. She asked me to house sit for an extended weekend while she traveled with her sisters to mom’s birthday in another state. She gave me the keys to watch the house, feed the cats, bring in the mail, etc… Of course, first thing after she left I invaded her closet to try things on. Oh that was a fun weekend! I left some things out of place… Believe it was a dress of hers I wore while smoking a cigar… and I hung it outside to “air out”.

      She gets back…
      -wait did you wear my clothes???
      -Yes, I did, I like to cross dress at times.
      -Really??? (followed by super awkward silence)
      -Would you like to see? I still have heels and wig around…
      -Oh ho ho ho, this I HAVE TO SEE!

      Fortunately, this conversation took place after I picked her up at the airport, stopped a neighborhood bar for a couple of drinks, then got to her house… and well I’m Colorado so a 420 consumption took place for both of us before she noticed the dress hanging outside…

      That was the worst of it, if you can call it that. Once this happened, I never dressed up all the time. Similar to now, once or twice a week. The difference is before kids we would both get dolled up and go out to alternative clubs, out at dinner every now and again. Since the kids, this maybe has happened 2 or 3 times and kids are teenagers, so maybe once in 3 or 4 years, compared to once a month before.

      Going back to the article, we agreed early on that my dressing stays out of the bedroom. That is I can start dressed up but all comes off. Unlike the lady in article, we never had any sub-par intimacy. Key to that was establishing boundaries. Over time those have fluctuated and we sometimes have the more difficult moment but always work it out.

      These days I can dress up once or twice a week, mostly when the wife is gone and kids at school. I work from home most of the time and when not needed on zoom calls I can be dressed. That only if I don’t need to do more important things with spare time during a work day. My real dress up times are when she and the kids are out of town at times when I don’t join or it’s something I’m not into, while I’m at home. This happens maybe twice a year when she gets together with her girlfriends or sisters, while kids included, but not the guys. She knows exactly what I’m doing in my spare time. Otherwise, we are all together on vacations and NONE of Karensa’s stuff gets packed. The two of us together for a date night, coming back the next day, depends on both moods or plans of where we are going whether dress up on my part happens. All right, long winded, but wanted to share how I deal with my “blessing”.


    • #778926
      Nancy Beane
      Significant Other

      Hi Sarah,
      Not sure if I can help, but maybe a little insight from my perspective as a supportive SO. I totally get where your wife is coming from as far as her opinion that sometimes you value the dressing over her. I have actually teased my hubby when we have gone away (with him en femme) that I am here too, and perhaps he would like to take a few picture of me as well, and not just all selfies of himself dressed. As with all teasing, there is some underlying truth, and things like that are a bit hurtful to us.

      Sometimes I do laundry and there are no male clothes in the batch at all – and I find myself thinking, “WTF, this is my life now?”. So, as accepting as I am, there are still some moments where I can’t quite believe this is how we live. He is definitely dressing more now and is more comfortable doing so, but does try to reign it in once in a while so I can still see him in man mode. I do have to say, since he dresses so much, when I see him in full man mode drab now it is quite a nice sight. Maybe that makes me shallow, but I get so used to the en femme, it is refreshing to see him in man mode. Point is, I get the mixed feeling from your wife, even though I am accepting, its not always easy on the SO and we also have insecurities.

      I think Katrina and I do a pretty good job of our outings. We try to take weekends away occasionally where he can be en femme the entire weekend, including driving to and from. This has been tons of fun for both of us. The challenge is finding a place within driving distance where I feel comfortable, both safety-wise and not chancing seeing anyone we know. I like to stick to known gay-friendly towns. Since it seems we have done a lot of en femme immersions lately, I suggested next time can we please go total guy mode. I think he realized that it has been all about Katrina lately and did say he was going to suggest a “guy” weekend. So there has to be compromises on both sides. I do find that the en femme weekends make him so deliriously happy, so I am usually the one to suggest it.

      Perhaps you can broach a weekend away (or outing, if weekend not feasible) en femme, and then promise her your next outing will be completely in drab. Or tell her you would love to just have once a month of an outing dressed, but all other times will be in guy mode (or whatever compromise u can work out, don’t know how often u go out together). You can also preface the suggestion of going out with stating right off that you will not be in women’s clothing for this event.

      If you are doing an en femme outing, make sure to tell her how much you appreciate that she is out with you. I have asked my husband if he is glad we are out doing such and such, or is he just glad to be out dressed. He has expressed that the fact that I am with him makes it so much better than being out alone. So, maybe just let your wife now how much you appreciate that she is with you on this journey. Maybe then she will be less likely to second guess your motive for suggesting going out.

      Just my very wordy 2 cents, hope it helps 🙂

      • #778950
        Ellie Davis

        Hi Nancy

        I just wanted to say … what a wonderful, thoughtful reply that was. I hope that your husband realises just how very lucky he is!


        Ellie x

      • #779034

        Thanks, these are great thoughts. I only dress up about once a week and try to do so when she won’t see. Her latest thing when I ask if she would be bothered if I dress up is to say that it’s all the same because she knows I do it when she’s not around. Long story short, my situation is a bit different. But the principle of thinking about your spouse is key.

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