I have no doubt that this will be a controversial article (and opinion) on Crossdresser Heaven. (I do so look forward to reading the comments.)
The common wisdom in our community is that a crossdresser who is in a marriage or serious relationship with a genetic woman is best off finding a way to tell her the truth.
“Honesty is the best policy.”
“It’s only fair.” “Somehow or other, you are going to eventually get caught anyway.” “Even if she is not supportive, generally she will be tolerant as long as you ‘keep it private, even from me.’”
And I agree with that common wisdom, I do, but only as long as you have not already married the woman.
But I don’t agree that you should tell your wife. And the reason I don’t agree is just as controversial. It requires the reader to be honest with himself. (I use the male pronoun here advisedly, because it is his male version that is endangered in the relationship.)
Here’s the most controversial part: that risk is to something we deny, sometimes even to ourselves, something that is nevertheless vitally important; it is the place of relative power in what I call Presumed Authority within various aspects of a relationship.
There are two reasons I feel this way about “telling your wife.” The second reason derives from the first.
The second reason is anecdotal from many decades in this community: I’ve seen and read about so many, too many marriages devastated (immediately or eventually) by said revelation. Often, the pain accompanying that devastation is nearly unbearable. Conversely, I know of many crossdressers, even crossdressers who are out and about in our community, who have successfully kept their secrets from their own families for decades. They might have been happier having been able to share their secret lives with those they love, but they decided that the risk was too high. They dealt with things as they felt they must.
As for the first, the prime, reason: I think it comes out of an obvious truth about all human relationships, even loving marriages.
Underlying all human relationships is a social contract. Although it is a contract with terms that are always open to renegotiation, the terms of the contract usually remain stable for many years. Partners understand the terms. Everybody abides by the rules. Relationships stay happy.
The sad, inevitable truth about that contract is the great importance of the clauses that have to do with relative power: for example, the complex clause in that contract called: Presumed Authority. (On this list of topics, my opinion carries more weight; on that list yours does.)
So, what happens when a crossdresser lets the genie out of the bottle?
First of all, of course, once released, you can never, ever get that genie back into that bottle.
And with the revelation, the crossdresser has irrevocably changed the contract rules and especially the rules about relative power. Principally, he has given his wife an immense power token that is immediately regretted at having been handed over, a power token of great value, even when unspoken.
Certainly, the marriage can be saved if the crossdresser simply and fully accepts the rewritten terms of the contract. Generally, that means ceding power and authority in the relationship to the genetic woman.
But that doesn’t happen. Try as he may, he just can’t do it. (Again, I use the male pronoun here advisedly.) The crossdresser can’t accept the rewritten terms of the relationship. The crossdresser resents what he has lost.
Inevitably, there comes a time when the wife uses or threatens to use her new power token. The crossdresser gets very angry. The relationship is mortally wounded.
From then on, it’s a painful downward spiral.
The reason the situation is different before marriage is obvious. The revelation is already assimilated into the social contract before the marriage contract is made.
In short, it’s not so much about the relationship itself; it’s about the consequences of the sudden, irrevocable change in the rules of the relationship.
In short, before or after marriage, don’t tell until you’ve thought long and hard, until you are sure you are being totally honest with yourself about your willingness to accept the new terms … forever.
More Articles by Cheryl Ann (Cassie) Sanders
- Thinking “Softer” about Men …and Love
- The Vicarious Woman: Part 3: Biographies, Autobiographies, and Memoirs
- The Vicarious Woman: Part 2: Transitioning Youtubers
- The Vicarious Woman: Part 1: Crossdressing YouTubers
- The Convenient Women: A Response to a Dismissive Transsexual