I recently read a post on the forum that asked “Why Now?” written by a CDH member who recently began really exploring her feminine side. The post struck a nerve with me as I have wondered “Why now?” with respect to my journey lately. Though I may be thirty years younger than the author of the piece in question, I have only delved deeper into this aspect of my personality over the last month. After exploring who MacKenzie was privately throughout my early to middle twenties, it was too risky while living with my parents. After the relationship with my wife turned serious and I moved to Maryland, I let MacKenzie out again, but never really got to know her for various reasons which included financial issues and the fear of how she would affect my relationship with wife who was my fiancée at the time.
After almost ten years of allowing MacKenzie to live only in my imagination, I started to build up her wardrobe recently thanks to online shopping. Still fearful of how my wife would react to MacKenzie, I kept her secret and only dressed while my wife was at work. The incompatibility of our work schedules provided regular opportunities to allow MacKenzie out to play. As much as this was helpful, I still felt like I was not being true to myself. Additionally, given the relationship with my wife had always been built on mutual trust, I could not ignore the feelings that I was betraying the love of my life in keeping MacKenzie hidden from her. Hiding MacKenzie from my wife was more stressful than confining her to my imagination. Even my wife knew that I was keeping something from her. For weeks, I went back and forth about telling my wife. I was not sure how and I was scared of the impact that reveling MacKenzie would have on our relationship. Again, the web was a Godsend. Researching how I should disclose MacKenzie, I discovered several resources including this website, while others recommended several publications on the topic. Throughout my research, several conclusions keep recurring:
- Continuing to hide MacKenzie from my wife would be more harmful to my relationship with my wife than being open about MacKenzie.
- Sharing who MacKenzie would lead to changes in my relationship with my wife — whether those changes would be positive or negative, time would only tell.
- Sharing who MacKenzie was with my wife had to be done openly and with conviction.
These conclusion were both helpful and reinforced my fear in sharing MacKenzie with my wife. Though I now understand that I needed to open up about MacKenzie with my wife, I was still not sure exactly of the when or the how beyond the truth of MacKenzie and my continuing love for my wife.
For days I would start the conversation with my wife, only to chicken out before sharing anything vital about MacKenzie. That changed, however, one weekend morning for reasons I still cannot fathom. My wife and I were relaxing in each other’s company on the rare occasion when neither of us needed to work. Each of us knew that the other was thinking about how the several happenings had impact our lives and our relationship over the past year. As our discussion developed and deepened, I found myself opening up about MacKenzie and my need and enjoyment to wear feminine clothes. My wife, for which I will always be thankful, was understanding and accepting, but not naïve. We spent almost an hour discussing what this would mean. I answered her questions and we both shared our fears of how this would affect our relationship. When we finally decided that we needed to get moving on the rest of our day, we did so with a greater understanding of each other and the knowledge that we face each hurdle in our lives together and be stronger for it.
I would being lying if I said that the month since my disclosure of MacKenzie to my wife has been without its obstacles. Shocked by my wife’s willingness to accept MacKenzie and the relief of not having to keep her hidden at home, I over did it. My wife felt that she was losing me in favor of MacKenzie in those initial days following my disclosure. Additionally, my wife was afraid to share these feelings out of fear that I would fall out of love with her. This revelation by my wife scared me as much as the fear I faced before disclosing. My wife is the most important person in my life. My love for her and her love for me was the highlight of each and every day. I knew we needed to talk about MacKenzie more and I needed to be more cognizant of my wife feelings. I know that I cannot deny that MacKenzie is part of who I am, but I cannot also deny that my wife is a much, if not more, a part of who I am. I listened to my wife without judgement; her concerns were important and could not be denied. I apologized for forgetting her feelings and for hurting her. Most importantly though, I made sure that my wife knew that I loved her deeply and she would always be the most important person in my life.
Since then, my wife and I continue to talk about MacKenzie regularly, but more importantly we are sharing our feelings toward each other and toward MacKenzie. To both of us, our marriage is the most important thing. We have faced many tribulations throughout the years we have been together, which has both strengthened and deepened our love for each other. MacKenzie and her part in our lives is just a new aspect that we must explore together. With my wife’s blessing and support, I am more openly exploring who MacKenzie is, but I have slowed down. We are taking it day by day and week by week. Recently, my wife and I enjoyed an afternoon shopping for both her and MacKenzie. Being the first time that I have publicly shopped for MacKenzie, we were definitely venturing into new territory. As I was not dressed as MacKenzie (a true public reveal of MacKenzie is still far in the future), our normal habit of modeling the clothes for each other took some adaptation. Though it was far from perfect, the excursion was enjoyable for many reasons – I was being me, it was a share experience with my wife, and it was another step of understanding and accepting how MacKenzie fits into our lives.
Life is a journey; it has its gentle afternoon walks and its grueling treks through desert and snow. And such a venture is more successful if you are not making it alone.
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