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.

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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

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Rozalyne Richards
Active Member
1 year ago

Hi Cassie i totally agree with you if you have been married a long time like i have and hidden it from your wife all your married life then it doesn’t seem to be fair to put your wife through the process of letting our marriage fail because i wanted to finally be truthful to her, I think she would feel more betrayed that i didn’t tell her when we first met so she could make up her mind if she wanted to marry me, I think most straight women want to marry a man who acts as a man… Read more »

Elaine Hamilton
Member
1 year ago

Hi Rozalyne and Cassie, oh my goodness I can totally free with both of you. It is heartwarming to know that I am not alone, thank you !!!

Love Elaine xoxoxox

Natalie Elizabeth
Duchess
Active Member
1 year ago

Hi Cassie – I really appreciated the article as it touched on an all too important dynamic in married life. My wife is quite accepting and there are boundaries (some between us and some external to us) that limit when I can fully express myself as Natalie. My wife acknowledges she’s always part of us whether or not she can be present. My wife knew before we married, but as kids came along and we lived in different areas the boundaries developed. The kids are essentially out of the house and we’re in a location where Natalie time has to… Read more »

Valerie Greene
Member
1 year ago

You are right that this revelation, if it comes after marriage, can be very disturbing and bring an imbalance in the power structure. But how to keep a secret with a person you love the most and with whom you live? In my case it was far from easy, but absolutely worthwhile opening up.

Last edited 1 year ago by Valerie Greene
Leah
Baroness
Active Member
1 year ago

I agree with you, a new relationship one should ALWAYS tell their SO if they plan to be with that person for the long term. For those that have not informed their spouse, they are in a catch 22 situation. The damage will typically never be recoverable. The hurt and feeling betrayed and wondering what else you are hiding. The problem is that, most CD’s will get caught at some point..just a matter of when.

Lucinda Hawkns
Active Member
1 year ago

i have been cross dressing for many years on and off. when i got married i did not dress up till later in the marriage , later my wife found out i dress up and told me she will not see me dressed up but will tell me when i can dress up for we have a 22 year old son still at home. there are times my wife seen me dressed up and also getting dressed up. i have more female stuff then she does. i buy my own female attire, clothing, make up, perfume, ear rings, nail polish,… Read more »

Robyn
Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Lucinda Hawkns

Thereare many things agree with in the article. However, I’m not sure about the Presumed Authority argument. It is based on the theory that one sentence in the article is correct: “.Inevitably, there comes a time when the wife uses or threatens to use her new power token”. I do not believe that relationships are jeopardised by the alteration in the balance of power, or indeed that it is inevitble that a wife (or SO) will come to “threten to use her new power”. The danger to the relationship is much more likely to arise from the fact that the… Read more »

Becki Strong
Member
Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Robyn

Dear Robyn,

As the wife/genetic woman/SO…..I thank you for your statement. Using a “power token” is not anything I would ever think about. Not in a million years.

Admittedly, it took me a minute to absorb everything and wrap my head around what was happening – but I could never intentionally hurt someone I love like that. Regardless of whether or not we could continue the relationship – holding something like that over anyone’s head is just pure selfishness and evil.

Sorry………but that’s not in my wheelhouse.

Respectfully,
Becki

Eve Bell
Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Robyn

I think it may be the same thing. While genetic women are remarkably strong, tolerant and adaptable creatures, there is no guarantee they will always be that way. Marriage is a vow, an oath to be faithful. If the one she married changes the fundamentals of that agreement, I think is is fair and valid for her to change her mind too…

Laura Lovett
Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Robyn

Every ending brings a new beginning. I totally disagree that there is a bunch of rules that I was unaware of signing up to when I married. The rules were laid out clearly in the marriage contract. For better for worse… until death do us part. Nothing about how anyone dresses. If I tried to divorce my wife because she stopped wearing pretty dresses and skirts, I’d be called a misogynist or worse. The claim that there’s an irreversible change is true. Many changes are irreversible. Getting older. Having new interests. Losing old interests. But damaging? No. No more damaging… Read more »

Becki Strong
Member
Member
1 year ago

Hi Cassie – as the wife of a crossdresser, and “genetic woman” as you put it – I have to disagree with many parts of your article, at least from my perspective. I have been married to my husband for over 20 years – and I was only told the truth a little over 2 1/2 years ago. And yes, I was shocked and somewhat devastated when I was told, but not for the reasons you may think. I entered my into my marriage with a vow and a promise to always be honest and truthful. To always respect and… Read more »

Becki Strong
Member
Member
1 year ago

Cassie, Thank you for the acknowledgement. And please know that I am not trying to diminish the fact that it is a huge undertaking on both sides to listen (and I mean really listen) and do their best to find the solution that’s best for them. All I’m saying is that there may be more genetic SO’s out there that feel the same way I do – so maybe making it sound like the majority won’t isn’t necessarily being objective. Again, it’s just my opinion. But I guess being the kind of person who looks for the good first, I… Read more »

Tommie John
Member
1 year ago

Cassie, I concur with your very insightful comment. My wife is a super fashionista and I totally support her to the point where I have seriously researched shoes, couture, hair, JEWELRY, everything spa/cosmetics. She realized I had a personal interest and started to, very slightly, suggest things for me (exciting). Then came comments like “do not use my makeup” but followed with an introduction to Dominique Sachse videos (I now subscribe). Recently I admitted to owning my own makeup and admitted in the past she should give lessons (hence Sachse). The fact that I would like to go proactive is… Read more »

Christine-Lynne Stephens
Member

wow. Did this ever hit home. Thank you Cassie for putting into words what I’ve felt for (a lot of) years. I’ve been married for almost 50 years, and Christine has been part of my life for longer than that, but I wasn’t so into the pink fog when we were dating. As I’ve gotten older, Christine has been crying out to be released into the world, and it’s taken all my strength to keep her in, as I know what it would mean to my wife and daughter. Christine has only been out a half dozen times or so,… Read more »

Tommie John
Member
1 year ago

Congratulations on an incredibly well written and extremely prescient article.
I am there and you are soooo right, and encouraging, thank you!
Tommie

Eve Bell
Member
1 year ago

I agree with this assessment. From my own experience, when my wife asked me if I wore lingerie and pantyhose I was honest and said yes. She asked me if I wanted to wear them around her. I considered this and said “no”. I told her that I did not think that was fair to her: she married a man and knew nothing of my secret passion. I did not believe that, after 25 years, she should be expected to accept such a fundamental change in our relationship. She knew, I knew, we never discussed it again.

Renee Peirsen
Member
1 year ago

If the marital relation is that fragile that it can’t survive this sort of revelation, then it seems to me to be an unhealthy one. Perhaps even, one not staying in. I hope that doesn’t sound calloused. If telling your spouse about your cross dressing leads to a power struggle in your relationship, how can that be a happy relationship? I’m not advocating either path, but I wouldn’t want to have a relationship with someone who would abuse me or leave me over the revelation that I am a crossdresser.

Laura Lovett
Member
1 year ago
Reply to  Renee Peirsen

Renee – this is the truth that I feel. Thank you for expressing it better than I.

Love Laura

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