I have never told my wife I am a crossdresser, but this is the story of how I gradually came out to her. It’s a bit of a tale, with some ups and downs, and there is a bittersweet background to it. I have hesitated to post this but decided to do so before I start forgetting it myself, so if you are interested here goes …
You might have seen in my profile that I periodically crossdressed in secret over the years, but never told my wife. In recent years there were a few GLARING FLUORESCENT PINK FLAGS raised that she never seemed to notice—like using shiny nail hardener, buying myself a feminine shoulder bag, ditching socks in favour of knee-highs, and buying feminine slides for footwear around the house. I presented her with good “logical” reasons for all of those, so they just became accepted as normal.
In 2021, I mentioned that my underpants were wearing out and my favoured brand was no longer available, however, the nearest equivalent was panties so I might purchase those instead. Response: I’ll divorce you if you do that. Nevertheless, later in the year, I went ahead and started wearing them under trousers by day, but still wore underpants to bed. At some stage in 2021, I also started underdressing with suspender belt and stockings. Lots of surreptitious laundry activity during that period.
By mid-2022, I “arranged” for my wife to catch sight of me, initially in panties and later in stockings and suspenders. No reaction and it just became accepted as normal. So far, so good. So early 2023, spurred on by the thread of contributions to a CDH Forum topic, I thought “Let’s try keeping the panties on when I go to bed”. The result was: No reaction at all and it just became accepted as normal.
Back in 2022, my wife asked me to look on the internet for a skirt she was interested in; we found the skirt but after a good look her reaction to it was “no.” I casually said, “Well, if you are not interested maybe I could get it for me.” Response: I’ll divorce you if you do that. But near the beginning of 2023, the event came that caused an explosion of activity. My wife and I were in her favourite clothes shop, and while she was trying on a dress, I was outside the changing room area chatting with three of the sales staff. I commented, “Perhaps I shouldn’t tell you this, but last night I dreamt about trying on clothes here myself.” Now, that was actually quite true, but talk about light-the-blue touch paper…
One of the lovely sales staff was particularly keen with her encouragement (and I really mean keen,) so a couple of weeks later, I arranged to try on a skirt and top as my wife was also trying items on. I did tell my wife in advance, but I don’t think it sank in. When I was dressed, the sales assistant called my wife over to look. Reaction: shock, confusion, walked out of the shop (but came back after 2 or 3 minutes), period of stony silence. After we left the shop, we went through the not gay, not trans assurances and things settled down.
So, a couple of weeks later I ventured to buy a lady’s trousers and a blouse from the shop. My wife thought they looked good on me, and it just became accepted as normal. I wore the trousers and blouse around town with no trouble; during the spring, I extended it to a skirt and a couple of other tops, which I occasionally wore at home for short periods. Wearing the skirt at home initially upset my wife, so I changed out of it and tried again another day when the mood was good. In time her concerns diminished, and it became accepted as normal.
June was a lovely month in the UK, and one afternoon in mid-month, when we were about to go to a nearby town for a walk, I suggested that I should keep the skirt on. Reaction: why not? And from then on such outings became accepted as normal. And, step by step, over the summer and autumn, I added a jacket to match the trousers, a couple of dresses, more tops and skirts, and various styles of footwear. I was often fully dressed when going out shopping with my wife. When out and about, we interacted with all the people we used to meet in and around shops, and everyone was fully accepting of my crossdressing.
I hadn’t been particularly trying to pass as female. Make-up was limited to lipstick and a minimal (virtually invisible) application of concealer to smooth out the beard area. I didn’t try to feminise my voice, but my hair is quite long and maybe that helped to convey a feminine persona. In a nutshell, as far as my wife and the world are concerned, my crossdressing has just become accepted as normal. Whenever we go into shops where we are not known, my wife and I are often addressed as “ladies.” I even voted in local elections last week, fully dressed but showed my passport to the ladies managing the polling station (photo ID is required to vote in the UK now.) Their reaction was… nothing.
Does my crossdressing offend other customers to the detriment of the shop or cafe’s business? I asked a few of the managers of some of the places we frequent. I never received a negative response; some of the varied replies were: “If any of my customers ever give you any trouble just let me know and I will tell them to leave!” “But you’ve got a cracking pair of legs, it would be criminal to hide them.” “Of course not, but is it OK if I ask you about pronouns… how would you like to be addressed?”
Neither my wife nor any of the people we know are aware of my female name, Rebecca. To everyone, I am still Mr. [surname], or [first name]. Since I have no intention to transition, the answer to the pronouns was to just call me the same as before. I might be dressed differently, but apart from that everything is just normal. There are still limits to the extent to which I am out. In particular, no one else within the family currently knows. In time this may change to some extent.
How do I feel? Well: SURPRISED… because it has evolved in a far better way than I could have imagined. RELIEVED… that the relationship with my wife is, in the end, unaffected. EXHILARATED… that I can fairly freely choose what I wear day-to-day, be it in male or female clothing; however, I must admit that I often find myself planning to go out tomorrow as male but in the morning feel I would far rather dress female. On top of that, my wife often assists with or compliments me on the choice of clothes. PEACEFUL… because there is now no tension about crossdressing within my life. It all seems just so normal.
Yet, to some extent, there is also SADNESS and a certain amount of APPREHENSION because I believe part of the reason for my wife’s ready acceptance is that she is in the early stages of dementia. This causes occasional moments of confusion when she queries what is going on, where we live, or even who I am. Partly because of this I have kept carefully to just crossdressing and have not ventured into any significant makeup, jewelry, etc., as I don’t want to create the impression I am really trying to be a woman. I need to keep the focus purely on exploring and enjoying the wider variety of clothing.
Well, if you have managed to read this far you will have some idea of what a year of change this has been for me.
Thanks for reading.
PS: I still haven’t actually told my wife I am a crossdresser.