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.

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.

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

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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Joanna Maguire
Joanna Maguire
12 years ago

How to tell your wife ? She has discovered you are a CD She is perplexed or horrfied. A good idea might be for u the CD is to write down what you do as a CD and how you feel about feminism include your sexual needs But only ones that involve your wife if you are hetro. Show your wife all your feminine clothing If you want to wear a nighty to bed ? Buy her a nice expensive one Make love and tell her u love her ? It will take time for her acceptance or understanding Understand… Read more »

Joanna Marie Phipps
Joanna Marie Phipps
12 years ago

Dear Vanessa, The more I read your tips for cross dressing husbands the more I realize that they are the same things that those of us who are gender dysphoric need to do. However our journey to acceptance can be made infinately harder by our need to eventually transition to being a woman. This will place intense strain on a relationship and many will not survive it. The hardest time I had in coming out was to my wife, I had a fear that she would either chuck me out, or leave herself (luckily neither happened), I was ready for… Read more »

ChrisD
ChrisD
11 years ago

My husband told me tonight that he cross dresses only because I saw a Victoria Secret charge on his credit card and asked him about it. It took him a great deal of time but he eventually told me. Am I in shock? Oh yeah! I was calm, and supportive and told him I love him but wanted to undertand why. He said it started when he was young and when his mother found out, it was a very detremental time in his life. Very damaging as she couldn't handle it. He would never have told me if I hadn't… Read more »

Lyta Darling
Lyta Darling
10 years ago
Reply to  ChrisD

Now it's been 5 weeks and probably you have spent a lot of energy on this already! If you haven't found them already, two resources I can recommend is the Yahoo Group "A Crossdressers Secret Garden", and the http://www.crossdressers.com forum. There must be a thousand more out there but these two I know of. I recognize myself in your description of your hubby, and believe me I know how hard it is to feel forced to have that secret even from the most loved ones. For me, being outed (yes, I never found the courage to tell her before she… Read more »

Prissyri
Prissyri
10 years ago
Reply to  Lyta Darling

These “support” groups just condemn those of us who tell our “husband” to leave if he is going to do it. As a wife who will not tolerate it–especially since I have been deceived my entire marriage–I find no support anywhere.

avalana
avalana
10 years ago

my s.o. was aghast! she said stop it or get out! but then she saw the cool clothes i had, and since we were close to the same size,started commandeering my prettiest skirts,and has mellowed a little.she still can't get with it though.over time? perhaps, but all bets are off,sorry to say. because i still love her.

Fiona
Fiona
10 years ago

This is my story. I started crossdressing when I was 12/13 yrs old. During that time, my mum found out many times and she couldnt accept it. I also got bi curious and eventually lost my virginity to a guy. Since that day, I've loved wearing girl's clothes, fantasizing about guys, and even slept with some. I wanted to settle down with a girlfriend but I never really met any potential girlfriends. There was an ex girlfriend who allowed me to dress up but after a while, she couldnt accept it. Anyways, after her I realised that I guess I… Read more »

Fiona
Fiona
10 years ago

Then, we got married in February this year and I thought all the problems are over. I realised a few years ago, that I will always be a crossdresser and that I'll always prefer men to women. Part of the reason why I got myself a girlfriend and got married is to make my family and her family (I have a Thai mum and Thai wife) happy. However, I was happy for a while and now it's starting to fade away just because I miss crossdressing and having fun with guys alot. Just recently, I've started taking up crossdressing again.… Read more »

Scott F
Scott F
10 years ago

I feel that after reading these on here i am a lucky one, when i first met my wife to be years back now, i told her when we started going steady, that i liked to CD and she wanted to see so i showed her though she never wore skirts or dresses so used her panties jeans ect and it made her laugh ect. Though as time went on we both got married and she was fine with me walking around the house with one of my skirts on tights ect she knows that i love her ect and… Read more »

Eva
Eva
10 years ago

Hi this site is very helpful. I have been on my journey through life as a crossdresser and it has not been an easy one. I told friends, and loved ones. Some were accepting some were not. I live as a closet cd’er now. I am fine with it. I have had many girlfriends, and I have told the ones that i loved very much of my crossdressing. Women today seem more accepting of it. I think they really want to be with a good man. the question always pops up, Are you gay, out of the 5 I have… Read more »

Prissyri
Prissyri
10 years ago

Caught my hubby after 30+ years. I look at our wedding pictures and now feel I am married to a stranger. Our entire marriage has been a lie. I will probably end up leaving him but haven’t yet because I don’t want our adult kids to have to deal with it. I should have been told before the wedding!

Lstimes
Lstimes
10 years ago

I’m a cross dresser and love to cr4oss dress in front of my wife. She dosent like it but tolerates it. When I,m cross dressed I want to do any thing possible to please my wife. She dosent realise this but seems to enjoy the attention she gets when I am crossed dressed. I love wearing her nities and waking up in one, it is so pleasent, I wear her nities most nights because she is more comfortable with this than when I am in a dress. Wearing a dress is a different sensation a little scary and very exciting.… Read more »

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