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    • #725581

      I have only been actively cross-dressing for the last couple of years after I finally decided to give in to my hidden desires. I figured I wasn’t getting any younger and why not become a bit adventurous. All of my experiences have been confined to the privacy of my home except for a few times when I was out of town and could go out without the fear of encountering anyone that could recognize me. I found that anywhere on Halloween and in Las Vegas were safe places to go out en femme because no one would question.

      My wife has no idea that I have been engaging in this activity and after being married for 45 years I could not imagine how I would even broach the subject. I can’t imagine the pain or disappointment it might inflict on her and our relationship.

      While I look forward to the opportunities to show off my feminine side those occassions are few and far between.

      I am afraid that if I continue to experiment with putting on make-up and dressing up I will become more enthralled with doing so and may be digging a hole that I cannot escape.

      Do I put my secret life back in the closet and accept myself for who I am or do I just take comfort in being able to express my other side on those rare occasions that offer themselves.

      I have no one that I can confide in and appreciate that there may be other members out there who find themselves in a similar situation.

    • #725606
      Angela Booth
      Hostess

      You are among many who are in the same situation as yourself Jessica and there are many experiences shared here. There are so many factors that impact what happens if you tell someone and it is a vast spectrum of outcomes as there are some commonalities but results can vary immensely. There are simple factors to consider.

      Clearly you have decided that this will not go away it is you have to decide where you want to go with it. Some factors in coming out are how good is the relationship, what are attitudes towards LGBT+ issues, have they an open mind to discuss things openly and do they have an idea that you dress, I say this as you may have a stash of clothes hidden or something that you have done in the past such as dressing for Halloween that may have dropped a clue. If you decide to tell then be prepared for the reaction which again, do vary but be prepared for that along with a long list of answers to possible questions.

      It is such a daunting thing but you have to consider the effect on yourself and wellbeing holding this secret. It could be that you stay as you are and take the opportunities to fulfill your dressing which is better than nothing but by wanting to tell means that you want to progress your dressing, feel guilt about doing things behind her back or maybe both.

      Is there an alternative such as telling a good female friend or co worker about this or seek out a group near you.

      I am sure that others will share their experiences which will help you and I hope you find a happy solution.

       

    • #725627

      Jessica, I suggest testing the water with your wife to see how she feels about men who dress up as women.   Not exactly sure about the best way of doing that, but perhaps there is a way.

      • #725732
        Nika
        Lady

        I wonder if recommending going to a drag show and gauge her reaction would work?

        • #726296

          My girlfriend suggested that we go to a drag show after I told her I like to wear dresses and heels.

      • #744067

        I was going to suggest exactly this. We are fortunate these days that there is much more discussion of trans issues and a lot more visibility of MtF people in the media, even if some of it is negative but that allows these things to be discussed without it seeming like a strange topic of conversation. Next time trans issues come on the news for example you could start a conversation with your wife about it.

        Be a little aware though because  some women seem happy to support trans issues in general but are not okay with it when it applies to their partner. I assume that some women derive some of their identity and status from their “man”  and also they fell in love with what they thought you were and if you change image significantly then there is potential for a sense of betrayal.

    • #725630
      Anonymous

      A wise man suggest the following steps towards attaining what you want in life: 1) decide what you want (as clearly/specifically as possible); 2) assess reality (opportunities and obstacles), and 3) implement a plan to achieve 1) by using the opportunities and overcoming obstacles identified in 2).

      So it seems you see your wife’s possible objections as a potential obstacle. That is reasonable. But is it real? The only way to find out is to talk with her, perhaps starting in generalities and eventually narrowing down to specifics. Perhaps you will find that her objections are few or non-existent. Maybe she will be one of the rare women who enjoy having a cross dressing partner. Its up to you to find out.

    • #725632

      Hi Jessica I’m in the same sort of dilemma as you, I’ve been married for 50 years and I’m still in the closet to my wife and family, I don’t think i will come out to her because she says she doesn’t understand why some men want to dress up like women, over the last 2 years because of lockdown I’ve not been able to dress as much as i would have liked to, I’m hoping that sometime this year i might be able to come out of the closet once in awhile, only you can decide which way your life will go in the future, I hope everything goes well for you and you get to dress as much as you like X

      Hugs Rozalyn X 🎀

    • #725635
      Gwyneth
      Lady

      Jessica, I have much the same story. Maybe!

      I’m not out to anyone besides this forum, perhaps a couple CDs from another forum I used to be on. Sometimes, especially of late, I want to come out to my wife even if it will make her leave. If it only concerned her, I would chance it even if it did “throw her under the bus”. But there’s kids and now grandkids I would rather not put through it. So for the most part, I’m totally in the closet. And since Covid brought her home to work, she’s usually not more than 30′ from me!

      Gwyn

    • #725637
      Leah
      Baroness

      Jessica,

       

      Once you open Pandora’s box, it is hard to close.  As far as your dressing, you will want to explore more and more.  There are risks as well as rewards on sharing your desire to dress.  Since you just started, and have not had this secret for many years, I think your wife may be more open than had you been dressing for the past 20+ years.

      Try to get a feeling how she may react to cross dressing. Maybe suggest “trying some new things” ie dressing to gauge her reaction.  Better to get her on board and let her know sooner rather than later  But, also be prepared for a negative reaction and be able to openly and honestly answer her questions .

      Good luck

    • #725648
      Anonymous
      Lady

      Hi Jessica.

      You say you “may” be digging a hole you can’t get out of? Well it looks like you are already down the rabbit hole into the CD world and we know there is no escaping only more shopping and edging toward our fem selves and we love it.

      Its only natural as we get older we tend to want to express our fem side as our desires grow stronger and stronger. I was in that position until I decided to come out to my wife regardless of what the outcome could have been. Luckily after six years, my wife is ok with my lifestyle within limits which I follow and am happier now then anytime in my life. The burden of hiding is a weight off my shoulders and soul. My wardrobe is now larger than I ever thought and growing. I was one of the lucky ones but first I just had to take that big gamble… whew!

      If you do decide to have that conversation with the wife you have to go very slow and not rush anything. Answer all her questions but I wouldn’t start with, “Honey, I’ve been going out dressed as a female when I was away.” Just give her the minimum and follow her reaction. Maybe start by saying, “I’ve been having these feelings lately and want to ask your advice about it”, then ease into it very slowly. If she is super negative then you can stop and go no further without a lot of harm or disclosure. If she is supportive then you have won the lottery and things will only get better for you. I hope so.

      Or if you decide to remain in the closet you can express yourself here with support from all of us, so please share and let us read about your experiences. We love reading positive experiences. BTW, your pics look great!

      • #725736
        Nika
        Lady

        Just to add, if you do talk to you wife, my experience was that, her initial reaois not her final reaction, she needs time to process 💖

    • #725663

      I keep my secret from my wife for over 23 years before I took a chance and came out to her. I was lucky that she accepted it with its limitations at first but had grown with me in my journey. The hole you talk about is a slippery slope to wanting more I found. If you stop completely you may become stressed, depressed and grumpy that you can’t do what is already deeply seeded inside you hun. I hope the best for you in that whatever you decide works for you. Speaking from my experience once I started getting older I found that I would embrace my feminine side rather than fight it. So I’ve read and from a few counselling sessions they say that crossdressing picks you and not you picking it. The seed is planted at a young age and takes some longer than others to realize this. All the best to you.

    • #725713

      Lots of good advice here. I think Jerri’s suggestion has merit. Gender related stories are in the news, have you ever discussed them? How has she reacted to, say, Drag Queen Story Hour in the news? Is she reactionary? Progressive? Mixed feelings? Of course, that’s different than the very close to home matter of her husband Crossdressing but it could be an indicator.

    • #725722
      AnnaBeth Black
      Duchess - Annual

      Hi Jessica

      It seems you have already gotten some good advice and I’m not sure I can add much to it. I can only say that after growing up thinking I was practically the only person who does this, I am amazed at how many similar stories I hear since coming to CDH. I was in much the same situation as you. Married 35 years, cross dressed all my life and my wife had no idea. I was becoming very down and depressed and decided to to take a chance and come out to my wife . I knew that I would be unhappy if she left me but I was already unhappy. So about a month ago I told her and she took it pretty well. I can’t begin to express how terrified I was at the thought of telling her.

      In my case it has worked out well, we joke about it from time to time which I think is a good sign that she doesn’t keep her thoughts bottled up inside. I don’t dress in front of her very much, I’m trying to take it slow. I started wearing black leggings around the house and then painted my toenails with a mauve color that didn’t stand out much. I recently told her I was going to paint them a much brighter color and she just said you better make sure you don’t have any holes in your socks.

      I can’t steer you in any one direction as every woman is different as to what they might tolerate. I just wanted you to know that you are not alone and putting Jessica back in the closet might be more difficult than you think. I wish you the best of luck in what ever you decide to do.

      hugs

      AnnaBeth

    • #725752
      J J
      Lady

      The number of women who leave their husband dressing appear to be quite small, and they few that do usually leave because there are a lot of other issues in the marriage. Sure, many are not happy and do not take it well, and of those most appear to end in a DADT situation, which my not be ideal, but is better then your current situation.  I am actually not too surprised that most wives take it well enough, and while maybe not supportive, are at least tolerant. I am not the best person to advise since my wife is fine with my dressing and has evolved with it just as I have, one of the advantages of tell a spouse early.

      The other point I wan to mention is you say you have nobody you can confide in, which I highly doubt. Most of us are surround with a circle of family and friends who truly care about us, and I bet you have more then a few you could talk to. They are likely to be surprised, but with a bit of discussion will soon totally be on your side and a good sounding board for you. I came out to my cousin recently, and she could not have been better and sweeter about it. she knew nothing about crossdressing and was truly curious and very interested. We had long discussions and she had  a lot of questions which i did my best to answer. It was great, and felt so good to have a neutral party to talk to about things. I know many of my friends would just laugh a bit, but then say what ever dude and then be totally supportive.

      Of course, with the advent of online therapy, someone to talk to is just a few mouse clicks away as well.

      • #748276
        Harriette
        Lady

        “you say you have nobody you can confide in, which I highly doubt” JJ

        I don’t. It is so easy nowadays to have a very small circle of friends in our society, especially in a big city. So easy. If you live in an apartment building, it isn’t like a TV sitcom in which everyone knows everyone and they can just open your door and walk in carrying on a conversation from yesterday.

        It’s pretty cold out there, unfortunately.

        • #748366
          J J
          Lady

          The circle may be small, but a true friend is still a true friend. I honestly can not imagine not telling my wife as she is my closest friend in the world, but that is just me. I only have a couple of truly close friends, but a lot of acquaintances and casual friends. While I have never told my true friends  that I like to dress en femme, I have not needed to, I have no doubt they would care in the least. Sure, they would laugh and tease me, as I would them, but in a light hearted supportive manner because they are true friends. They don’t need to be close either. My dear cousin lives a few states away, but despite the distance we have always had a close relationship and I knew she has always cared for me, as I for her, and just wants me to be happy and contented. Again, a true friend.

        • #752201

          Harriette,

          I agree with you. Some of us don’t have a huge group of ‘Trusted’ friends to confide in. I had a friend, who I worked with for 15 years. We were buds and did lots together. We talked about everything. He had a gay brother and discussed the troubles he had. One day it slipped out about my being a CD. Within a week, several people knew at work, then it wasn’t long before everyone knew.
          Trust is an issues as well. Doesn’t matter how strong a marriage is, a wife could tell one member of her family, then it spreads like wide fire. Both side of our family have members that aren’t LGBQ+ friendly to say it nicely, just ask my gay daughter.
          So yes I do have trust issues. I don’t mind telling her, it’s where it goes next that counts.

          • #752500
            Harriette
            Lady

            Trust is a big issue with me, too. When I decided to be open about my dressing with my wife*, I had to demand that she not tell our daughter because I was certain that she would not take it well. Although my daughter once said to a friend of hers that she thought that I was a “cool” dad, I don’t think that she would think that I was that cool.

            My wife still threatens to tell her, so when we went to our Pride Parade, I made sure that she didn’t take pictures of me with her own phone.

            * My wife knows to keep confidences regarding other lifestyles and her job, too, so I had to trust her to a certain degree. So far, she hasn’t broken that trust (yet).

            Being open is one thing. Being carefree is irresponsible.

            Take care, Lisa.

    • #725758

      Jessica,

      When my wife and I decided to move in together, I knew it was the end of dressing for me. There was no way she was going to accept it. And I was fine with  that. After all, I needed to stop being so weird, right? And I could control and totally ignore these silly feelings, right? Wrong, I’m happy to say on all counts.

      For the first seven years that we lived together (we’ve been living together for 8 1/2 years now and married for almost 6 years) I denied this side of my personality and it was fine at first. But then I started having dreams, very intense dreams, of dressing up. And these dreams wouldn’t stop. It made my daily life more stressful because I realized that I couldn’t control my feelings at all.

      So, one night (June 2021) we were talking about our love life and I blurted out that I wanted to wear panties. Brakes on, conversation full stop. I wasn’t very tactful to say the least and I don’t recommend that approach. I think I just panicked like a person who is guilty of something, and just threw out my confession and hoped for leniency.

      My wife was understandably confused but surprisingly calm. She asked me lots of questions which was her right to. She asked if I was gay, did I want to go out fully dressed, why didn’t I tell her sooner, and more. I answered her truthfully . No, I’m not gay, and no, I don’t want to go out dressed as a woman, though that has changed, and I didn’t tell you sooner because I thought you’d be mad and hurt.

      It was a long heart to heart conversation, but afterwards , my wife went to her dresser and pulled out two of her nighties and passed them to me and told me to try them on. What?!? This isn’t where I imagined this would go! But I tried them on and the feelings, so many good feelings, love, joy, and relief, were amazing. She didn’t freak out, and she didn’t threaten, and she didn’t divorce me. In fact, she went out a few nights later when I was at work, and bought me my first and very own nightie and four pairs of panties!

      She did however say that she could not buy me a bra as that crossed a line for her that she couldn’t accept. I told her that was fine by me and thanked her for what she had done for me. But a few weeks later, she tossed me one of her bras and told me to put it on. It’s now my bra. She has gone with me to purchase more nighties, panties,  a couple of dresses and skirts, and she bought all my makeup, and we look at things for me even if we don’t buy them.

      I’m not suggesting that you’ll meet the same reaction, but I hope you will. It sounds like not telling your wife is causing you a lot of stress, perhaps an unbearable amount, and I believe you need to find a way to talk to her about your feelings. Of course , I can’t say how she’ll react, but you might feel better for getting this off your chest and it might (hopefully) go very well and even strengthen your relationship.

      And you have all of us to talk to if you need to. You’re not alone anymore.

      Best of luck, hugs, and support,

      Jill

    • #725762

      Everyone with a SO will tell their story.  Some will offer advice.  I a will offer this one piece.  YOU know this lady better than any of us so ultimately it will be your call.  Women will react many different ways.  Remember, once said it cannot be taken back.  As for me , I loved my wife so much I felt I could not have secrets.  I trusted that I knew her well enough, 55 years, and just told her straight out.  See accepted what I said, is tolerant but certainly not a cheerleader.  She set some boundaries which I honor.  Not sorry I came out,  and wished I had sooner.  Best of luck whatever your decision.  Your sister in the feminine bond,  Lorraine.  P.S. chat anytime

    • #725842

      Welcome to CDH Jessica. I am still struggling with the issue of telling my wife.

      Hugs, Liara

      • #726024

        Me too Liara I’m struggling with the same issue.

    • #726038

      Jessica, I would bet if you tried to put it away, like most of us, you won’t be able to. How or if you tell your wife, is a gamble. Most wives, like mine, won’t be able to accept this new person we’ve become. The potential for devastating her feelings is great. As hard as it may be, if you haven’t been discovered yet or you haven’t done the great reveal, you can keep doing what you are doing, or try to stop altogether. The latter I think will be near impossible now that Jessica is out of the bag. From my own experience and reading the responses of others on this site I think we are all or have been in your heels. When my wife found out and revealed my secret to the world, most of my friends and family cut ties with me. I have made new friends since then who only know me as Dani but they are few. Only my sister, who discovered my secret early in life helped develop Dani, a few long time female friends and a few cousins are still in contact and accept me for who I have become. Our thing is still not acceptable to most people and can be a lonely journey.

    • #738195
      Becka
      Lady

      This is so difficult. As others have noted, there is no putting the cat back in the bag. We are who we are.

      I had the conversation with my wife several years ago and I finally realized I could not “hide” and began dressing outwardly (in a manner of speaking), groomed and removed all body hair, etc. I don’t wear wigs or make up, but the end result was the end of any intimacy. It’s been more than 3 years now. We are still together and will be married for 30 years soon. I don’t know honestly if we are still in “love” or what. I’d rather just be alone when I can, but that comes at a price. Everything does.

      Do what feels right for you, it maybe a bit selfish and above all, be ready to accept the consequences of your decision.

      Love and Luck!
      Becka!

    • #743991
      MelanieElizabeth
      Ambassador

      Hello Jessica. I think only you can answer this question but I can offer my opinion. I have only been fully dressing for the last few years and I have personally found it exhilarating. My wife knows but doesn’t participate or encourage me but her knowledge and an open discussion or two has led to green lighting some things that were previously out of reach.
      First off I can have things delivered to my home, it may seem small but it is helpful. Second she knows about my stash and I don’t have to worry sick about her finding it any longer.
      I have been lucky enough to meet quite a few other cds over the last couple of years, which has lead to a few real friendships an impossiblity without a little acceptance from my wife. Jessica this side of me has been denied for so many years, I owe it to myself to let Melanie shine a little, and honestly without my wife’s limited acceptance I’d still be completely closeted. Maybe I’m trapped down that rabbit hole you mentioned Jessica but it’s a decent place to be honest. At least my wife knows where to find me.

    • #744008
      Lea
      Lady

      Sorry if this comes off too direct…just trying to share what’s taken me years so that you don’t too watch the years go by….

      There is no escape. Dress or don’t, that deep down feeling won’t go away. The hole will dig deeper on its own. Crossdressing is in a deep part of our psyche, a part that tends to be permanently wired in us. Ignoring or oppressing makes it stronger. Try to accept who you are…at least then you have one less person to battle.

      Aim for small pleasures….like getting away being underdressed when running errands, then try small subtle feminine things like shoes, lip gloss, girly watch, jewelry, when you’re out. They may not be the full girl, but they help.

      The wife is the tricky one to deal with. There is no way to guess her reaction. Tread carefully, slowly, it’s difficulty and confusing for them.

    • #747653
      Anonymous
      Lady

      I feel for you, I do. Making the assumption you and your wife are solid, you need to tell her somehow.

      There’s a whole myriad of reasons behind that. Every single one of them, will impact on your mutual trust and mental health one way or another,very little middle ground.

      From your perspectice you are harbouring a massive secret and that has an effect everyday. It’s only when It’s no longer a secret that people will tell you you’re a different, less stressed or less grumpy person.

      It’s almost certainly a case of when not if your wife finds out or becomes suspicious of your behaviour. It could be via something you’ve just never thought of or a slip up by you.There’s no going back from where you are. You may purge, suspend activities but they will return. When your wife does find out, if it’s acciddntal she will have 2 things to work through instead of 1. The 1st of course, who is this extra woman in the house, but the second and very important point is trust both regarding the past and in the future.

      How to tell her? That’s the hard decision. My wife found out by accident and for ever more I wish it hadnt been that way but when I voluntarily came out to others, it was a case of “do you know what a cross dresser is? Because I am”. I was lucky. The answers ranged from “so what” through to “we will have some fun shopping”, all followed by lots of questions.

      Whatever the reasons though, it’s something you will live in fear of facing so long as you hold off with the added probability it will all rush at you one day, and you’ll have no control over the direction.

      Sorry for the long post but it’s actually a precis lol. Ultimately you’re still the same human being that she married and that counts for a lot.

      Whatever you decide, good luck and if you want to chat feel free to pm me

    • #747692
      Chrissie Smith
      Baroness

      Hi Girls. I feel so much for all of you trying to address this dilemma. There are no easy answers. As you probably know, Chrissie had been dormant for 35 years until my recent week en femme, including a fabulous professional makeover. Now she’s back in the closet, all clothes and accessories purged. I wouldn’t dream of dressing again unless my SO goes away for a week or more. This may never happen again, and I can handle that. I certainly know that I would never tell her.

      I may be deluding myself that I’m ok with this, and there may be mental scars that I refuse to acknowledge but this is how it has to be.

      I so hope you can work through your feelings and come up with the best solution or compromise.

      Hugs, Chrissie xx.

    • #752194

      Hi Jessica
      Not an easy task to tell a wife about crossdressing.

      Tell her that you have something you want her to help you deal with and ask her not to tell about what you are about to talk about because its the secret of your life.

      You could tell her that You have had the urge to dress all your life but suppressed it because you didn’t want to do it, but now you feel that you can’t suppress it any longer and then ask for her help. You do not have to tell her what you already did, what she doesn’t know doesn’t hurt. Let her know that you already bought some stuff and also tell her that you love her and that you are not gay, because that gay question is a question that she will give you.
      If she want s a divorce then you should know that the pain of divorcing will fade over time but the urge for crosdressing will never pass.

    • #752218
      Trish White
      Baroness

      Hi Jessica,

      I told my wife I was a crossdresser and enjoyed wearing women’s clothes before we were married. It was just too big a secret to bring into a marriage and I wanted to give her the chance to cut and run if that’s what she wanted.

      We made love that night and I thought, wow, this is better than I expected. But once we were married I found she was dead against it. I travelled out of town on business at least twice a month. So up until recently, when she retired it wasn’t an issue. But then 2 years ago it was a huge issue and every time we tried to talk it became a fight,

      Now the good news. A girl friend of mine put me on to a world wide CD blogger. Her site is “Kandi’s Land”. I went on the site and the first thing I found was “a crossdresser’s letter to our wives”.  After reading the letter I was in tears and Emailed Kandy and asked her if she could email me a copy of the letter which she did that night. Well to avoid this running on and on, that letter saved our marriage and my wife is now accepting my crossdressing but is not supportive and has no desire to meet Trish. I became a contributor to Kandi’s Land and found several posts from other contributors that are very very good and deal with exactly what you’re going through right now. I think it would be well worth your time to visit that site. Good luck girl. If you need to talk further please message me.

      Trish ❤️

       

    • #725681
      Gwyneth
      Lady

      I’m sure I won’t be either. But you make wonderful points!

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