How to tell your wife you crossdress

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked on comments at Crossdresser Heaven or through private email is:

How Do I Tell My Wife I Crossdress?

I can feel the fear and uncertainty as I read the words of husbands, some of whom are to the point of despair. How will my wife react when she finds out her husband is a crossdresser? Will she leave me? What’s the best way to tell her I crossdress?

When answering I try and share some advice based on my experience, the experience of others I know and from resources I’ve read. Unfortunately there is no “one size fits all” answer. Each person is unique, the dynamics of each couple are unique. When one wife hears of her husband’s crossdressing she may feel revolted, another may look forward to going out with her new girlfriend – and in case you feel I’m exaggerating on the latter point, I encourage you to read My Husband Betty.

All this is to say, I share this advice from my heart with the best intentions. I encourage you to carefully consider your unique relationship as you decide whether and how you will share your crossdressing with your wife.

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Telling Your Wife You Crossdress – A Case Study

Peggy and Melanie (aka Mel) are probably the most famous crossdressing couple. Peggy’s book My Husband Wears My Clothes is one of the most well-known and widely read books on crossdressing from a wife’s perspective. I thought it might be valuable to start with how Mel first told Peggy that he was a crossdresser. Watch Peggy and Mel’s story in the video below:

Mel did a few things right when he told Peggy:

  • He was sincere and vulnerable. Mel poured his heart out, sharing his life story about how he’d been dealing with crossdressing since a young age. This is not the time to get defensive, to try and justify yourself or force your wife to understand.
  • He emphasized again that he loved her. When hearing their husband is a crossdresser many women wonder if they’re still loved – is he gay? Can he still love me and wear woman’s clothes?
  • He gave her time. Initially it was a few hours as Peggy read and digested his letter, but the journey to shared understanding happened over time without being rushed.
  • He shared what he knew about crossdressing. We’re more fortunate today, there are many resources to draw on, but even then many women – especially the older generation – have no understanding, or only a vague misunderstanding of crossdressing (read the myths of crossdressing).

I think part of the reason Peggy and Mel are still happily married is because he shared his secret in such a loving, vulnerable and caring way.

Peggy has commented that, “Crossdressers make really good husbands once you get past the shock of breaking away from the expected”

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Telling Your Wife You’re a Crossdresser:

Vanessa Tells Her Wife She’s a Crossdresser

Telling my wife-to-be was probably one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. I feared that I would lose her, that the person I love most in the world would leave me and not look back. I had tried many times before then to quit crossdressing, each time without success. I knew that my desire to crossdress wouldn’t go away with the wedding vows, and that living a lie to save my marriage would eventually end up tearing me – tearing us – apart. Knowing didn’t make it any easier.

A few months before we were to get married I wrote my fiance a letter and laid my heart bare. I told her how much I loved her, how much I feared hurting her – losing her. I shared the agony of my decision to tell her, my experience since I was a young child. I shared my attempts to break free from crossdressing, my confusion, heartache and my eventual acceptance of who I was. I let her know that I love her, that we can talk through it at her pace, that this doesn’t change anything about how I feel about her. I told her that I wasn’t gay, that I had no desire for a sex change (completely true at the time). Along with the letter I enclosed a copy of Peggy’s book – My Husband Wears My Clothes.

Talking through it in the early days with my fiance was at many times an emotionally taxing experience. My wife and I still have long, sometimes passionate, sometimes difficult conversations about crossdressing. Yet I still consider that one of the great blessings in my life is the advice I got from friends to tell her before we were married. This gives her a chance to work through it in her own time, without feeling trapped by marriage, without resenting you for tricking her into marriage and then telling her you’re a crossdresser.

I’m almost certain that if I hadn’t told her then that we would no longer be together today. It’s still important for me to remember to go at her pace, not to rush her into it, and to respect her desire for some space and time to think.

Have you shared your crossdressing with those you love?

Please comment and let us know how you did it, what worked and what didn’t. I know that others who read this website will find your comments and thoughts a blessing.

Ladies – has your husband shared his crossdressing with you? What did he do well and where did he totally blow it?

If you’re here to learn more about crossdressing – perhaps your husband or boyfriend is a crossdresser – I wrote an article a few months ago entitled “I married a crossdresser“. Perhaps with time, love and understanding from your husband you may realize as Peggy did, “I realized that, perhaps it was the feminine side I’d fallen in love with anyway”.

EDITOR NOTE: Crossdresser Heaven has a program exclusively for Significant Others. You’ll be able to discuss issues in private with other SOs. Explore our Significant Other Program and contact JaneS if you are interested or would like further information. We would love to welcome you.

Explore the Significant Other Program

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I’m passionate about creating a safe space for everyone in the transgender community to find laughter and friendship on their journey. I completed my physical transition in 2011 and through it I lost everything, and gained everything. I am blessed that I was forced to gaze inward and embark on the journey to discover and live my authentic self. My deepest wish is that all who wander here may find peace, happiness and freedom.

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8 years ago

Ha – My husband won’t tell me.I always thought he was just prudish about sex, because he would never talk about sexual things with me. Then I found his bras accidentally, I found feminine underwear in his trousers, and asked him if he wanted to talk to me about it and he’s all “I don’t know whose those are, I don’t know how they got there". I’m working up the courage to have a big talk with him no matter how firmly he puts his hands over his ears – say something like I’m fine with this as a solo… Read more »

13 years ago

Not all crossdressers are the same even though we share the same hobby. Certainly not all wives are the same and the vast majority seem to be uncomfortable with cross dressing and dont consider their wearing of slacks and jeans as cross dressing. I love my wife and know her likes and moods and know she would react extreemly badly if told I had been cross dressing all our married lives, and it would be the end of our happiness together. Maybe I should have told her before marrage but I didnt now have to address the current situation, as… Read more »

8 years ago

Over the weekend (11/29/2015) I shaved legs,chest,and arms. I have been struggling for months to tell my wife (I’m 59 and married for 31 years) and while in bed my wife noticed and asked me why. Of course I “chickened " out. I told her I saw a lot of men in magazines do it..ugh. I am thinking about writing a letter to tell her instead of a face to face encounter. I have gone out in public a few times in the last couple months and really can’t fight my feelings anymore. I have definitely come to terms with… Read more »

Suzanne Jeffries
Active Member
7 years ago

Like a lot of us gurls I have been a crossdresser at heart for most of my life but only seriously for about the last 10 years. I came out to my wife about 4 years ago. To my suprise she tolerated it from the start and within about a year came to embrace it. We shop for clothes and makeup, etc… together often and I dress about once a week. I sleep in a night gown and panties every night. Even before coming out I did all of the house work but I guess now it is officially my… Read more »

7 years ago

single have not told anybody love to talk to shy

Wanda Shirkey
7 years ago

My wife knows I wear panties and bras as well as women’s jeans and some tops. She does not know about Wanda and that I like to dress up nor does she know that I would possibly go to the next step of transitioning. I chicken out every time I want to tell her. I try to tell her things like “I am really stressed out" and she will say “yeah, me to" and I don’t say anymore. I feel bad because she did not know of my cross dressing until after we were married for about a year. I… Read more »

Chrissy Will
Chrissy Will
6 years ago

Like so many others ( how many times do you hear that one? ) I am somewhat caught up in that “twilight zone" of how do you tell your wife your secret of all secrets. I’ve been cross dressing on and off since I was 7-9 years old and here I am now 60. I’ve purged many a time, saying to myself, never again, but…I’ve been married to my wife since 1992 and haven’t dressed in that period since two years ago. The dearest thing to my heart ended his life on Black Friday, 2012 at the age of 17.… Read more »

6 years ago

My lovely wife knows of my crossdressing fetish, but does not participate or encourage me in any way.

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