I married a crossdresser

When you marry the man you love, you hope for a life of bliss – your own ‘happiness ever after’, but even the most optimistic of us will expect some challenges along this wonderful journey called marriage. You probably didn’t expect him to utter these fateful words, ‘Honey, I’m a Cross Dresser’.

A few weeks ago I wrote an article about what to do if your boyfriend is a cross dresser.

Today I’ll address some of the most common questions from wives who find out that their husband is a cross dresser. I highly recommend that you buy a copy of the book My Husband Wears My Clothes. It was written a few years ago by Peggy Rudd, a PhD and wife of a cross dresser. She provides loving insight into the how and why of cross dressing.

So what do you do when you find out for the first time? The most important thing to realize is that it is okay to feel shocked, uncertain and confused. It’s not every day that you meet a cross dresser, much less find out that your husband is one!

The next thing to realize, is that he is telling you this because he loves and trusts you deeply. He is probably just as scared as you are right now. You both need to be careful not to say anything that would hurt the other person.You’re both in a sensitive position. While you should respect that he it is difficult for him to share with you, you should also expect him to go as fast or as slow as you can handle.

The first thing to do is reassure him that you love him. This will be tough to do. You’re shocked and not in full control of your emotions, but even though you just discovered your husband is a cross dresser you need to show love.

So now you may be wondering:
He’s a cross dresser, is he gay? Probably not, most cross dressers are heterosexual

Why didn’t he tell me about his crossdressing sooner? This one is tricky, ideally he would have shared with you before you were married. Most likely he thought he could control it, he thought that being married would quell the urge to cross dress. That hardly ever (never) happens, and he probably put it off for so long because he was afraid of how you would react. Ironically, he has hid this secret from you for so long because he loves you so much!

Why does he cross dress? Phew, an even tougher but great question. I explored this in some detail in my article ‘why do men cross dress‘. The short answer is that no one knows for sure and many men have different reasons for why they cross dress, but most describe it as a need, an urge that won’t go away.

How can I make him stop cross dressing? You’re asking all the right questions love, but you probably won’t like the answer to this one. You can’t stop him from cross dressing. Sure, you’ll fight and he’ll promise not to cross dress, but a few months later you’ll find a pair of size 12 pink pumps in the wardrobe…

Does he want a sex change? Probably not. There are fewer transsexuals than cross dressers, so it is less likely that your husband has a desire to change his sex. Most cross dressers are happily married and only enjoy dressing part time.

So now what do I do? As I mentioned above, reassure him that you love him. Spend a lot of time in deep, open conversation with him about his desire to cross dress. Learn as much as you can about it (I know I sound like a used car salesman, but trust me buy this book!). Learn to compromise – let this grow you closer together rather than split you apart. Work with your husband to set limits that you are comfortable with as well. If you don’t want him to dress when your friends are around; let him know.

Tri-Ess has some great information and a Crossdressers wives bill of rights which makes for a great starting point as you and your husband come to a fair compromise about his cross dressing. There are many other good resources on the Internet. Also, take some time to explore Crossdresser Heaven, I’ve gathered a number of resources that may be valuable for you.

Good luck, and please contact me if you need any support or advice!



P.S. Thanks to my lovely wife for reviewing this article before I posted it. As much as we listen, we need to be open to the precious woman in our lives – they are often trying to tell us more.

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.

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Latest posts by Vanessa Law (see all)

  1. Michelle 7 months ago

    Well; here I am home alone again; all dolled up. My wife is working late tonight , so ” Michelle ” gets a chance to come out of the closet. I’m wearing a pink bra, matching pink garter belt, white nylon panties, sheer beige stockings, and red high heel pumps. How I wish my wife could be here and see me dressed, and have some encouragement and acceptance. However; with her, it’s out of sight, out of mind. For her acceptance and encouragement; I’d even be open to her seeing other men if she desired, at any time. That would be a fair exchange I suppose. Maybe too little; too late.

  2. Rosaliy Lynne 1 year ago

    wow – so many great comments and varying experiences.

    Lori, you were not a bad parent. Your children failed to learn to accept that that side of you was part and parcel of the parent you were.

    One of the most common failings of women who don’t accept their husband’s need to dress is the failure to realize that this part was always there and, as such, is part of the reason they fell in love in the first place, whether or not they knew about it. Also, they feel their trust has been betrayed. Well, yes, it was but you have to consider that they hid that from you because a: they loved you and b: they were afraid to lose you.

    tslesley: well written and I could add nothing to it.

    tabitha: I believe you are wrong to call your husband gay and put him down for his cross dressing. You make the same mistake so many women make here. Know also this, if he was gay, you very likely would never have married though there have been instances of gay men marrying to throw off the usual criticism of being gay. While I never got into it myself, I have to agree with those who commented about the humiliation aspect. There are people into being humiliated in their cross dressing or ‘sissy-hood’ if you will. Your husband may indeed be such a person. Give it some thought; read the book; exchange thoughts and ideas and re-think your husband and your relationship with him. You might be surprised in the long run.

    Debbie: Maybe it was a first time for him, though I rather doubt it. However, I would caution you about taking this discussion out of your home without first having a necessary discussion with your husband. Sit down and talk about this. Find out ‘from the horse’s mouth’ what is going on. Explore the possibilities and while you are doing that, think back on all that you found in him to make you want to marry him in the first place. If this side of him is as integral to him as it is to me, it may surprise you how much of that influenced you unawares.

    ed: you are a very lucky man and I am so happy you and your wife enjoy all of you together.

  3. TravisReks 2 years ago

    “The boy?” The king almost spat the words.

    alehouses around the harbor had been plundered or burned, though some looked still

  4. Lori Quaresimo 2 years ago

    Is this site only for crossdressers or can transsexuals join in the conversations too?

    • janedon 2 years ago

      Lori—Welcome to the group

    • Author
      Vanessa Law 2 years ago

      Hey Lori, feel free to join the conversation too. I transitioned 5 years ago and keep this site running as a service to all in the transgender community. Welcome dear!

  5. tslesley 2 years ago

    I told my wife right at the beginning of our life together in 1985. For me the urge & feelings got stronger & stronger. I hid the dressing as female away, while our boys grew up. But it made me severely depressed & I had a nervous breakdown. So I came out to my sons aged 14 & 18 at the time & they were fine about it. Once my youngest left mainstream school. He said now you can get the help you need. 5 years on from that & have been living full time as the woman I always knew I was, for almost 4 years. My surgery is this September (2015). My boys never wanted to cross dress etc, but are very protective of us both. My wife is still with me & we are very strong together. Not many turned away. But if they didn’t want us to be happy, they don’t deserve to be in our lives. You only get one life, live it & love it. If your partner & any children are Ok with your cross dressing, that’s all that matters. xx

    • Author
      Vanessa Law 2 years ago

      A wonderful inspiration hon! I’m so happy to hear how strong your family has been through all of this. Best of luck with your upcoming surgery!!

  6. Janedon 4 years ago

    Just How is crossdressing “Harmful” to children?

    • Anthony 2 years ago

      Something I have struggled with personally. I think ,me personally, that a child’s sexuality is dormant; their minds are occupied with figuring out how the mechanical world works. Why does the sun come up? Why do I put shoes on my feet ? Adding adult gender rolls to their menu makes them skip some of the basics. Kinda like ,which is more interesting ? , the shiny rock or the the grey rock.
      The child sees for the most part mommies and daddies ,female and male ,respectively, then if all a sudden your daddie becomes a mommy ; it’s just too distracting for the child. I can’t say that the situation is harmful but it does become predominate in the child’s mind.

      • janedon 2 years ago

        I’m not so shure about that IF it’s handled in a responsible(Adult) way–
        We(wife& I) have been through this MANY times over with friends/family& even nieghbours kids over the yrs—The most effective& accepted thing to say is very simple–
        “He likes to play Dressup-The kids say OK & go about playing with their toys or friends-The subject rarely comes up again —
        Problems are most likely going to come from Adults-

      • Author
        Vanessa Law 2 years ago

        So true Janedon,
        Kids are so accepting of those around them until we teach them what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’.

      • Author
        Vanessa Law 2 years ago

        Hey Anthony,
        I’m not a sociologist or psychologist, though my impression would be that children easily accept the world that is and don’t bring the baggage of value judgements into it like an adult would do. Sure, daddy dressing up like mommy might be interesting for a day (or an hour), but very soon they’ll consider it normal and get on with the business of discovering all the foreign things out there (like seeing if they can fly by jumping off the couch)

      • Lori 2 years ago

        If I may, I have expreience with this as I have children. They are grown up now, and I am not a CD but transsexual. I agree with Vanessa with children accepting easier than we might think. The only problem was that my son was picked on because of me.

  7. Alicia 5 years ago

    Hi myself I got lucky i been cross dressing since I was ten years old I used to take my mom and sister bra and panties and wear them when I could as I got older I though I grew out of it but no I used to dress for my wife and she loved it it made our sex better I got with another girl few year later I didn’t know how she feel about it I started out telling her I love wearing panties she was ok with it then it got to more and more I couldn’t stop still cant I started hormones the more I look and felt like a female the more she loved me now I have real breast long hair so I don’t have to wear a wig I have more women clothes then women I don’t like wearing anything but women I was so scared I told my daughter about me she was ok with it now at chirstmas they buy me women clothes and stuff which I love no matter what I wear I am always in women panties they are so comfy I go out dressed as a female when I can I love my life I wish you all the best of luck don’t give up Alicia

  8. Lori 5 years ago

    Someone said a lot of people worry about what others might say or think. I worry more about the violence. I’m afraid someone might beat me up or worse. I hear so much about transgender people getting hurtit worries me.

    • cuckholddon 5 years ago

      Yes-safety can still be a concern-BUT -If more of us don’t get out in public-things will Never get better!

  9. Tabitha Anderson 5 years ago

    Hi, My name is Tabitha Anderson. I had read what you had said about cross dressing. I had also just purchased the book “MY HUSBAND WEARS MY CLOTHES”. I have not read it yet. I am writing you to say that I have been married for 4 years to my husband and have been with him for 10 years. He had told me that he was a cross dresser when we had gotten together before we were married. I hate to sound mean but I have asked him several times to stop and had called him gay. maybe now I can get some insight from the book and not think that. I have no problem with him wearing my coats, skirts, or shirts. I have a problem when it comes down to him wanting to buy a pair of stilitos. 6 inches. I don’t even wear high heels. He says that likes wearing high heels because its tight on his feet and the embarrassment. I don’t like feeling like that. I let him go out sometimes dressed up in gowns and coats with purses. We have 3 boys together and I don’t want their father to see them like that. Is there a possibility that they will turn out that way too? I am not against gays or lesbians. I just don’t want my children growing up thinking its ok to dress like dad. please if you could give me some of your insights on the subject, that would be appreciated. thank you

    • cuckholddon 5 years ago

      This is confusing-You knew,it bothered you& you got married anyway!!!
      Kids are the most accepting of differance of all humans(unless they are taught intolerance& hate)!
      Wife& I raised 5 kids-now have grandkids& they all know& accept my dressing &-You know what-they are more conservitive that wife or I!!
      Think of it this way-Are you Excatly the same as YOUR mother!!!!!

    • Brenda 5 years ago

      Hi Tabitha,
      First of all, it’s very late, but I felt the need to respond. I jumped back to the beginning because the paragraphs could have been better organized, but i’m so tired.

      I am a straight cross-dresser. I’m forty three and i’ve never had sex with a man. And, I never will. I absolutely adore women! I love everthing about them. The way they look, the way the feel and smell, the way they think. And, I really love the way they carry themselves, they’re so graceful and beautiful. Just look at the way a man walks compared to a woman.

      There are many more straight cross-dressers out there than you could possibly imagine. Straight cross-dressers very rarely come out of the closet because of precisely what you did to your husband. Why would you ridicule a man you supposidly love. Also, what does him wanting to wear heels matter whether you do or not. It makes me crazy when I hear people getting so upset about such a small things like cross-dressing. Is he beating you, is he cheating on you, is he abusing you or your children, those are things to worry about.

      Even if your children accidentally saw your husband in drag, do you really believe that will make your children want to cross-dress or make them gay? If you do, that is absolutely insane. Every gay person i’ve ever met has told me they were born that way. Most knew by the time they hit puberty they were gay or bi sexual, whatever. Also, the fact that your husband likes cross-dressing, let me be the first to tell you, he was born with that kink or fetish. If you tell him to quit, he may throw everything away, but guess what? He will rebuy and hide it from you eventually. Many cross-dressers do that on there own. They throw every thing out and then rebuy, throw everything out and rebuy. Cross-dressers who are just getting started don’t want to be cross-dressers. Why would anyone want this hardship. Most people don’t accept it and you’re completely misunderstood. I said in the beginning because once you learn to love yourself, you can enjoy cross-dressing as if it were a gift. I do!! Do you really want him hiding a huge part of his life from you? If so, tell him he needs to quit.

      By the way, if your children were to accidenatally see him in drag, there are many things you could tell them. We were invited to a costume party and this may be your dads costume, isn’t that silly? Your father is goofing off with my clothes. Your father always tells me I take to long to get ready, now he knows how time consuming it is. Whatever!!!

      Your husband brought up liking the embarrassment. To put this in the simplest of terms, your husband is kinky. In your husband’s mind, he knows men aren’t supposed to wear womans clothes. It’s taboo! When he wears womens clothes he gets a sexual charge out of it. It turns him on. The more feminine the clothing the bigger the turn on. The highest heels, the brightest lipstick, the frilliest panties. I will guarantee he would love for you to play a dominant role in the bedroom. I’ll tell you how I know that in a second. If you open your mind, and open your heart, you will have the best sex of your life. You will spice up your marriage in ways you can’t possibly imagine. You will have a much stronger bond, I swear. You don’t have to be kinky everytime you have sex, even if you do it now and then, it will improve your marriage. I understand your husband because he has the same kinks/fetishes as I have. I’ve been very lucky to have understood what I needed to be happy in life. My sex life with my girlfriend is heaven on earth.

      The embarrassment aspects in the kinky community is called humiliation play. In your husbands and my situation it starts with the woman taking control,”Female Domination”. I know about this because I love this type of play. I’ll give examples of what I think you husband wants. Please be open minded this may be something you may find very strange. My girlfriend gets unbelievably turned on by the power of this type of play and you may also. Just try it, please.

      Get into the mindset, you are the boss. You are a beautiful Diva. Use your imagination. You can do anything you want, take total control. First, make him dress-up. You don’t even need to start with him being fully dressed. Maybe just make him wear lipstick, or heels, or both. Go to your bedroom and sit on the bed. Maybe spring this on him. Okay you want to dress, i’m going to make that happen. If you’re going to do it, you’ll do it my way. Tell him to put some lipstick and some heels on. Have him stand in front of you, as you look him over like an inspection. This will excite him because it will embarrassment him. Humiliation play may sound cruel to some, but I assure you, it’s a huge turn on. Make him walk sexy. Tell him he’s pretty. Tell him he’s a good girl. Make up a femme name for him. Call him Lisa, or Susan, whatever. Paddle him if he doesn’t do something the way you want. These things will be hard for him to do, he will be humiliated. But, it will turn him on more than he’s ever been before. One thing that was incredibly difficult for me was I was told to dance in front of my girlfriend while she sat on the bed and watched. OMG, that was horribly embarrassing, I almost couldn’t do it. I was threatened with not being able to orgasm that night, so I did it. OMG, it turned me on like you wouldn’t believe!! Take control!!! As you’re doing this you can make him do all the things you like. If you like back rubs, tell him to rub your back. If you like your feet being kissed, make him kiss your feet. If you like to make out, if you want him to go down on you, make him. You are the boss! Make it a game. Some things may be to embarrassing, you can feel that out, but be strict. Maybe give him a choice between two differnt things. I probably shouldn’t tell you this, but I know a woman who used this type of play to get her husband to do house chores. lol No Joke. If you don’t do the dishes we’re not playing tonight. lol

      I know this went all over the place. I’ve been up for twenty six hours. I wanted to explain what he meant by liking the embarrassment of wearing femme things. He will be embarrassed by “doing” femme things, he will be embarrassed if you treat him femme, as well.

  10. satin lover 5 years ago

    I like to wear womens underwear. Silky satin and lace, smooth, shiny, stretchy underwear. Actually, I love to wear womens’ underwear. I even sleep each night in a long satin nightdress and panties. For me it is strictly a case of sexual arousal – I have no interest in becoming a woman or even being seen dressed as a woman outside my house other than as a “caught” scenario fantasy to enhance masturbation. Neither have I any interest in men – again excepting fantasy role play instructions from a dominant woman to perform sexual acts on another man (actually doing it is not attractive in the least). The feminine side of wearing lingerie is appealing and adds to the submissive role I enjoy in my fantasies, but I have no desire to be anything other than the man I am. My fantasies are about my being dressed in bra, panties, stockings, slips and suspenders by a dominant woman and then used sexually by her. I do not want to wear makeup or wigs unless required to during role play and I know how ridiculous I would look trying to really pass myself off as a woman. The feel of silky satin underwear and the restrictive sensation of stretchy satin control panties and corsets or elastic bra and suspender straps is incredibly arousing, but the point is that the underwear is feminine; it’s meant for women to wear. One of the main components of my fetish is the embarrassment at being a man dressed in ladies undies, being called a sissy or a girl and being made to perform sexual acts for the satisfaction of a beautiful woman. As the submissive partner doing whatever I am instructed to by a forceful or manipulative woman whilst dressed in feminine underwear is so stimulating to my imagination – all the time being kept in a heightened state of arousal in the hope of an eventual release of sexual tension. Most of this is, of course, just wishful thinking and imagination, as it probably is for most crossdressers or tranvestites or whatever you want to call us. I just think of it as my fetish, because, I admit, I’m very embarrassed by it. Whenever I dress up for a session of masturbation I am incredibly aroused and enjoy myself immensely, however, as soon as I have climaxed my shame kicks in and I can’t get undressed quick enough. I have had partners in the past who have perhaps put a pair of panties on me before sex for a giggle but I’ve never had the courage to say just how much I liked it or that I would like to go further. I just wish that women would realise that men like me are not gay, do not want to prance around in a tutu or become a woman and would be fantastically faithful and grateful partners if they could get over what must initially be, I’m sure, a very disconcerting disclosure. I’ve been on my own now for a long time, and, though I’ve had some chances at relationships, I’ve always steered clear to avoid the awful day when I would have to confess my fetish and hope that I had met an understanding lady. I’m not sure how many women there are in the world like that. In fact I’m quite sure that some of the letters supposedly from understanding wives on these sites are actually from men with hopeful and active imaginations. However I live in hope. Perhaps one day I’ll meet someone I like enough to take a chance. I will be sure though, to tell all before the relationship goes too far. I think in all conscience, that’s what I must do.

  11. Ed 5 years ago

    I used to crossdress on ocassionally before my wife and I had children, but just stopped after our first child was born. Now that our last one has grown and moved out of the house my wife restarted my crossdressing for me. She came home one day recently with a shopping bag filled with a large amount of panties, bras and nightgowns for me. Last weekend she took me out to buy more dresses and bras. With all the new technology around these days she has me model for her completely made up as a woman, with all my different dresses and nightgowns, using her smartphone to take pictures of me. She encourages me to wear women’s clothing, heels, a wig and makeup all the time at home now. What used to be a mild fetish for me a long time ago has now become my wife’s full blown fetish. I do not mind at all, and am very happy to make myself into a woman without any concern that my wife might object. It is too bad that we live in a world that is quick to condemn anyone that doesn’t fit into the standard male/female roles laid out by society. I am very lucky to have a wife that is so open minded and actively taking a part in my crossdressing. If she had not encouraged this after our children moved out I probably would not have ever crossdressed again. I am glad that she did though.

  12. debbie 5 years ago

    I have been doing more research and found this forum. It was a shock to come home early and catch my husband walking about in bra and panties. He says he bought them and only has worn them once. I thought about discussing this with a close girl friend but I do not want her thinking “ewwww, TMI”. What does everyone think? Shall I belive him and would this be ok for girl talk with a couple girl friends?


  13. Heidi 5 years ago

    Hello, I have not told my wife yet and I wish I could. I have kids also and thats one reason I havent. I dont thing they would understand at all. My wife I dont know. She like to “hump” me and definitly likes to tease on top. although when we have sex, she just never seems to get into it. I have hinted and been almost caught several times but she seems to denie it. Sh does make comments at me and everyonce in a while she looks at me that certain way you only know after 10 years of being married. Ever since I was a kid I like the feel of womens clothes. I like feeling sexy. I always wrestle with the idea of is it just sexual or what I like. I think both. I have tried stopping over and over. I always start again. This time I have a big collection and heck dont even buy male clothes anymore for myself. I love wearing womens clothes so much that I can waste days just modeling clothes. It actually is a problem. I wish my wife knew so I didnt have to hide it and live two lives which takes up a lot of time. Anyway I have never told anyone or written anything like this before. I would love comments and advice.


    • Lori 5 years ago


      Why is it a problem? Is it because you have not told your wife? Heidi, you will never stop. It is part of you. What did you mean your wife makes comments at you? You say your wife never seems to get into it. But before that you said she likes to hump and tease you. I don’t understand. What does telling your wife have to do with your kids? You can tell your wife without telling the kids. What I think you need is to get some counseling with someone that deals with gender identity.

    • cuckholddon 5 years ago

      Heidi–Children are the Most accepting in society-the younger the More accepting–Hiding things from them(or anyone) just makes it more of a shock& you will have larger problems later!

  14. Lori 5 years ago

    Hello everyone,
    I am so very sad to say my wife of 26 years passed away November 12, 2012. I can’t tell you how much I miss her. I am lost without her. She was my everything. She accepted me as soon as I told her about me. She never had a problem with it. We had names for each other. I called her Angel and she called me Pookie Bear. We told each other everyday we loved each other and we hugged and kissed everyday. I just can’t believe she’s gone. I feel like this is a bad dream.

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