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transvestite husband
August 16, 2007
6:55 pm
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mousey
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Hi all,
Its been a long time since I've been on this site. I really need your help this time. I recently found out that my husband of 32 years has been cross dressing for the last 2 1/2 years. I found an e-mail address for a Jenniffer who I thought was his girlfriend. Apparently he has joined a group and goes out with them once a month dressed as a woman. I went to see a psychologist and he claims this is very common. I knew things been us were strained but I never suspected this. The psychologist evaluated my husband and told us he is a "classic transvestite", meaning he is heterosexual but has a fetish for womens clothing. The psychologist told him if he tries to stop he will be stessed and be miserable. If he doesn't I will be miserable. It just seems wrong to me. Any advise would be greatly appreciated. I am trying to read books on the subject and everything I've read says it's no big deal but it is to me. I love my husband and he says he loves me but I don't know if I can deal with this.

August 16, 2007
7:15 pm
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Matteo
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Did you ask yourself why it is such a great deal to you and why you wouldn't be able to cope?

August 16, 2007
7:44 pm
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mousey
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Transvestic fetish is a sexual thing. At first I felt like I failed him but now I know that's not true. I fear for his safety when he goes out like that. Not everyone is understanding. There are bullies that will beat him up. " six degrees of seperation". Everyone knows someone you know. It's bound to get back to someone we know. He himself is thinking about that. He says there's nothing to be embarassed about yet he fear being found out. I'm scared to see him like that. I can't imagine having him go out once a month and I'll know where he is and what he's doing. I was raised to believe it's not right for a man to put on womens clothing and I guess I can't get past that. I have always believed in a person right to have their choice of sexual orientation but this seems like he's not sure what he wants.

August 16, 2007
7:48 pm
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Loralei
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mousey,

Just ask your husband to not cross dress when you're around since it bothers you and probably turns you off. But it sounds like he's been pretty discreet about it so far. It's actually quite harmless. Just think if you weren't "allowed" to wear jeans or slacks. If you love him, grant him his quirks. Hey, we're all a little bit nuts anyway. Don't blow this out of proportion. It's not like he's cheating on you.

August 16, 2007
7:52 pm
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mousey
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Can I just ask this? What would you guys do if you found out that your significant other was doing this? Would you accept it our would you leave the person? I know he can't stop. I think the thing that hurts is that I've seen his clothes all down to the underwear and the breast forms. It seems more to me that he wants to be a girl than just wear the clothes.

August 16, 2007
7:55 pm
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mousey
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Can I just ask this? What would you guys do if you found out that your significant other was doing this? Would you accept it our would you leave the person? I know he can't stop. I think the thing that hurts is that I've seen his clothes all down to the underwear and the breast forms. It seems more to me that he wants to be a girl than just wear the clothes.

August 16, 2007
8:04 pm
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Antagonist
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It all depends on what you believe and where do you want to draw the line and stand to your morals and values.

It's not something that you can just accept and get over, and it's not as easy as some people say to be just "understanding". Ok so you understand your husband cross dressing, are you going to be "understanding" also if he starts sleeping with other men? Where do you want to draw the line and tell yourself it's too much and you are not going to be "understanding" and accepting it.

If I was a woman, and I found out my husband likes to cross dress, I would be pretty freaked out and probably not look at that person the same. I guess you can say I am not open minded.

August 16, 2007
8:09 pm
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mousey
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Antagonist,
That's how I feel too. He lied to me for 2 1/2 years about where he was. He was with the group on my birthday and told me he had to work late. I have lost so much respect for him that I can't see ever getting it back. I know he can't help himself but I believe if he had come to me first and not lied about all of it it might have been easier to accept.

August 16, 2007
8:17 pm
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chelonia mydas
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Mousey,

I am so sorry to hear this is causing you such turmoil.

ALthough I have not had much dealings with heterosexual transvestites, I would like to share an experience that might help.

It seems that if you are to accept your husband as a transvestite that you need to overcome your fear of others discovering this and your idea that it is wrong for a man to wear women's clothing.

My experience relates to dealing with people finding out. My father is gay and I have lived through the pain of friends discovering his "secret". In the end I learned who my real friends were and who the superficial posers were. But it sure sucked going through it and I thought my world would end- especially when some kids at my high school found out. But I lived through it and am glad for the experience because I am a much better adult for it.

Looking back on this experience, it has made me truly seek out and value real friends and be OK with letting the superficial socialites slip from my life.

If people are truely your friend, they will understand, if they aren't then it is OK to let them go. It just means that they didn't fit you.

Because of some of the experiences with my Dad, I learned to be proud of who I was irregardless of society's view of it. I have discovered that if I am who I really am and not worrying about what others think, then the people who fit me will find me and I find them. Everyone else goes about their business and I don't waste time and energy trying to fit a star tipped screw driver in to a flat head screw.

I wish you the best in searching yourself to discover if you can/will accept him for who he is. If you can, then you could be a strong couple with bonds that transend superficial societial views. If you can't then it is best to let him go with honor and dignity to be who he is happy being.

Sending you and your family strength and compassion in this difficult time.

Hugs, Chelonia

August 16, 2007
8:56 pm
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Antagonist
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~Chelonia

The difference is that you are not able to replace your father and no matter what he will always be your father. You are a very strong person to have overcome that and accept him for who he is.

The thing is that Mousey's dilemma is with her husband. If she comes to the conclusion that she cannot accept and live with this she can move on and find another husband that has the same view points and values as she does.

I have learned one thing from personal experience with my ex-girlfriend. Trying to change your personal values and morals about a relationship when you have believed them in many years is something very difficult and most of the time trying to change those values ends up in nothing but stress and sadness. My ex-girlfriend slept with my best friend, I ended up getting back with her but no matter how I tried to look at it and "justify" her betrayal I was not able to change my values and view points. In the end everything shattered and fell apart.

August 16, 2007
9:24 pm
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fantas
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Mousey,

I can't even begin to imagine what must be going on in your world right now. You must be angry that your husband lied to you and confused about this predicament you have found yourself in.

I think therapy is the best thing you can do for yourself. Take time to center yourself and let all this settle before you do anything. You might also find a support group for people who are in the same predicament you find yourself in. Perhaps googles "spouses of transvestite husbands" and see what comes up. They will understand exactly what you are dealing with and share the wisdom of their experience.

Continue talking with your husband and see whether you can come up with a compromise. Who knows there may be some midpoint in all this.

Although I do not understand the transvetite/cross dresser thing, I think that it's no different that women desiring to wear pant suits or wear pants. There was a time when that was taboo and unthinkable. However, it has become common place now. I wonder why were are surprised that some men might want to wear women's clothes? They are pretty, come in all varieties, and more versatile. Could be that we accept women dressing like men because we see it as an upgrade but a downgrade when we see men wanting to dress like women? I don't know just wondering about this issue.

August 16, 2007
11:20 pm
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Matteo
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Antagonist ~ you are talking about different things. You caught your girlfriend with your friend, mousey's husband is a transvestite, as he said himself he is a classic - heterosexual, and it doesn't mean that he will have affairs from now on. Transvestites have the same lofty or rotten morals and values as anyone else. There is nothing immoral about being transvestite, although we would probably define "moral" before discussing it.

Mousey ~ I think your husband didn't confess to you earlier because he was struggling with this issue himself for the longest time. You've said that you are married for a very long time and he is officially "out" for just two years.

To answer your question - I would be able to accept him the way he is if I loved him. But you are right: I would be scared for his safety. There are many macho men out there to protect their fragile egos and images. As fantas said, they don't want a "degradation" by men wearing women's clothes.

August 17, 2007
4:14 am
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cailindeas
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Hi Mousey

i went out with a transvestite but I knew he was one from the start. I had no problem with it because I think men miss out on dressing up and transforming themselves in the way women do. A nice tie and a splash of aftershave is the only difference between day clothes and evening clothes for men. There were bits of it I didn't understand but then as a straight woman I don't 'understand' homosexuality but I still am fine with it. I think if a phsycologist says your husband is a hetrosexual and just has a thing for women's clothes then what you have found out isn't something really bad. I would urge you to talk to him about it. Ask him how he feels when he dresses up. What is in it for him so you can better understand. If you have ever gone to a costume party and helped a giggling male friend stuff a bra or put on lipstick you realise how much fun it is dressing up 'as a woman'.

Is the secrecy part of the deal or would he like you to accept this part of his life? There is nothing creepy or nasty about this. I think it happens because the softer side of men is repressed in our culture and is then boxed into a tiny space where it can only be expressed secretly. I can be macho with boots and jeans and no makeup, I can also wear a knock-out red dress and heels and false eyelashes. Am I a wierdo , am I normal? No, I am just doing the thing that is culturaly acceptable, whereas your husband is doing something that is not acceptable. This is between you and your husband and who cares what anyone outside your marriage thinks. Hope things work out.

August 17, 2007
6:43 am
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mousey
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He said he didn't tell me because he knew how I would take it. I have seen and felt the difference in him for over a year now. I thought he was having an affair.I would try to have conversations with him and I would get one or two word answers. My husband said it was the guilt in him and the psychologist agreed that was possible. I understand that he was leading a "double" life and the pressure must have been intense. This group is headed by a woman who was a former social worker and cosmotologist. In his job he speaks to a lot of people in the school systems so his cell phone useage is huge. I discovered he was having 20 min conversations with her at least 3 times a week. He says that he needed someone to talk to about all of this. I can believe that. He's made friends with some in the group and they e-mail back and forth. They always use their girl names and talk like they are women. To me that seems like more than cross dressing. We have an appointment on Mon night with the psychologist together. I will address this with him. I love my husband but there is no room for another person or persons in our bed. And yes he does want me to accept this part of his life. He brought his clothes home last night. They are in boxes in the basement. He wants us to go thru them together and then find room in a closet for them. This is a man who can't match color when he wears dockers and a collared shirt but he has several pairs of colored shoes to match outfits. Just to tell you that I spoke to another wife in the same situation who has sent me books on the subject. The research on this subject states that during pregnancy at the beginning of the fourth month a woman experencies what they now call a hormanl push. They believe the fetis is bombared with too many female hormones. Thats what makes some girls more "girlie" and they believe that that's what makes men have this femine side. I don't know. I have a lot of thinking and soul searching to do. Please keep talking to me. I need all your input and support.

August 17, 2007
7:45 am
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sad sack
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Mousey,

I can only imagine what you are going through right now. Honestly, I do believe I would have reacted just like you have. I am with you and Antagonist on this one. This would have been a major shock for me, as well. As a matter of fact, I am surprised at the responses here. I don't agree that it is the same as a female wearing pants. Females wearing pants is commonplace. A very large percentage of women wear pants (especially in the colder months). I certainly would not consider them transvestites. Whereas a man who feels the need to dress in female undergarments and traditional female attire is fulfilling a sexual need and desire.

Well, you asked the question "how would I have handled it"? I am almost certain that the relationship (as I knew it) would have come to an end. Possibly, I could remain in a "friendship" type of relationship with him. However, I could not see me being intimate with him. It would just freak me out knowing he is a transvesite.

And the fact that he conducted his life in secret for so many years, would definitely play a part in my decision to move on. I just couldn't get past all of this.

I hope I have not offended anyone or their lifestyle with my opinions here. It is just that - my opinions. I am certain that many couples do llive harmoniously in this situation. I just could not.

Sad

August 17, 2007
8:16 am
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Robert123
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Mousey, finding this out is a major shock to the system. It may take some time for the reality of all of it to set in. I wouldn't take everything a psychologist says as ultimate truth either. Only you will know when you have had enough and decide to honor your self, your reality and feelings. Not all men want to dress up and look like women. I am very satisfied being male and enjoy admiring the female form. I think your concerns are valid.

August 17, 2007
5:53 pm
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cailindeas
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Hi Again

I just want to say to Sad Sack that I meant that the ideas of what is acceptable in terms of dress is really a cultural thing and that if women can dress like men and that's ok why is it a dirty secret if men do the same. It is commonplace for women to wear trousers because it is deemed ok by our society to do so. If you think about these rules that we obey they don't make alot of sense. I do think transvestisism is a product of our strict rules. Are there female transvestites who wear fake mustaches and go online calling themselves 'Brad' or whatever? I don't think so, because we are allowed to drop the female thing at times and be male-ish. I used to study sculpture and enjoyed wearing overalls and steel-toecapped boots and being one of the boys with my femaleness invisible for the day. When do men get to do the equivalent of this?
I know it is a shock to find something like this out and when I was dating the transvestite guy I did have a friend say how she dated a guy once and how he asked to try her clothes on and of course she dumped him. She didn't know about my boyfriend and the tale was told to the laughter of a group of pals (she and I aren't friends any more as a matter of interest). That hurt me and made me feel shame. You then have the dilemma of who do you tell and so forth.

I think Mousey and her husband are being very smart about this in seeking outside help and if it turns out that it is too much for the marriage to withstand then they will part knowing that they tried their best. I wish them luck!

August 18, 2007
1:13 am
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glittered when he walked
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((Mousey)) First let me say what a good person you are for handling this so well so far....and you have...not so many spouses would try to be so understanding. secondly, you may not feel like you are handling this so well, but you seem quite honest and forthright and that's all anyone can ask of you. About the lying, well men are often big on shame. Perhaps he felt like he couldn't tell you for fear of losing you

Cailindeas, you raise some interesting thoughts about women being able to dress like men without stigma, but is there a sexual aspect to it for those women? I don't know. but apparently for those men who do cross dress it's sexual thing? I knew of some lesbians who would wear wallets with chains, but they were lesbians, so it seems "natural" if you will.

August 18, 2007
7:54 am
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mousey
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Hi all,
Just read all your posts and wanted to say thank you. It really helps to get other peoples feedback. You are right in saying that the lying stemed from fear of loosing me, at least thats what he says. Part of me can understand that, but part of me is still hurt about it. After 32 years he should be able to trust in me. He says he knew my initial reaction would be to freak out and he was right. Part of me did. But I think that is semi normal. I don't know what is going to happen. Monday night we go to the psychologist together. I have many questions and concerns to discuss. I don't believe that women wearing pants is the same as being a transvestite. When women wear pants we still wear makeup and sometimes heels and perfume and we still look like girls not guys. A full transvestite wears womens clothes, makeup, wigs, heels, stockings, jewelry, nails and so on. Thats not the same as women wearing pants. Obviously there is a drive to do this, whether its sexual or biological. I have been trying to read on the subject and I am going to try to go to a support group for transvestites wives. I don't know if any of this will help and I certainly don't look at my husband the same way as I did. At this point I don't know if we will be able to stay married. But I would greatly appreciate if you would all contiue to write since I need advice and support. I will keep all of you posted on my progress. As much as I love or loved my husband and he is important I need to think about me first now since apparently he thought about himself first for over two years.

August 18, 2007
2:30 pm
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glittered when he walked
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Mousey,

Of course your reaction is normal, it was normal to you and theres no wrong in that. We can't help our gut reactions, to deny them is the worst thing to do, right? I completely understand your feeling that despite his fear of losing you it would have been better if he said something long ago. It would seem that the bottom line is that you are hurt, confused a little, and scared. And what average person wouldnt be?

We always need to think of ourselves...we are responsible for our own happiness in life. I'm not advocating pure hedonism mind you, there is much to be gained in being selfless..serving others, but we must all balance our needs versus the needs of others.

How mindful of your feelings is your husband at this point? I'm curious...what has been the style of lovemaking in your marriage? has it changed in the last 2.5 years? if so how? If these are too prying for you, feel free to skip them.

August 20, 2007
6:09 am
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mousey
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Hi all,
Glittered when he walked-the answer to your question is two fold. He definetly is releived that I know and I do see a change in him. He is more kind and caring than he's been and much more talkative. Any questions I ask him about all of this he answers immediatley. I'm not trying to be suspicious but I'm wondering if he's being this way out of fear of loosing me. He says it's because he's reveived it's out and he loves me. He says the quilt of hiding all of this made him change towards me. I'm not sure but he's definetly been different since the truth came out. As far as the lovemaking that has changed somewhat. I only noticed the change less than a year ago. I attributed it to the fact that he has a new career and he works crazy shifts so we see each other a lot less than we did. Since I started reading books on the subject of crossdressing many people seems to want to make love dressed. I haven't discussed that with him yet but that is definetly not happening.

August 20, 2007
1:32 pm
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glittered when he walked
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Mousey,

In my experience anytime there was an issue in my relationships that was finally out in the open, i was happy to talk about it - not for fear of losing someone so much, although that may play a small part. (Granted mine wasn't a cross-dressing issue, but it was something similar emotional weight - infidelity.) But because the shame-shock is gone and if you care about that person you feel closer to them by sharing all this stuff. But I suppose that some people are so afraid of abandonment that their chief motivation could be to keep the other at just about any cost.

I hope your visit with the therapist goes well. I probably don't have to tell you, because you seem caring and honest, but do be honest about how you feel and what you think. Best of luck and be well.

August 20, 2007
7:30 pm
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StronginHim77
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Dang. Let me be honest in answering the question, "How would I react/handle the discovery that my husband was a transvestite?"

My honest (if not "politically correct") answer is that I would leave him. Immediate separation. I could never exist in an intimate covenant relationship of marriage with a transvestite. No way. To me, this is an aberration...a perversion. It undermines the essence of the marriage bond. It might break my heart, but I would separate. He has serious issues about his own sexual identity.

- Ma Strong

August 21, 2007
12:40 am
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serenityali
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Mousey,

If this happened to me, I would be shocked and feel numb. I would have to do what you've done and seek advice. I would be researching the topic as well. This shows me that you care a lot about him.

On the other hand, it could be kind of neat to have a husband who would take an interest in shopping, make up and hair styles. I could learn to like that.

I don't think his interest in cross dressing make him any less a man or you any less a woman. If I loved him I would respect what makes him happy. Doesn't mean I have to like it, but I could accept it. Married or not you are still individuals with you own wants and specific needs. It causes you no harm that I know of. Maybe some adjustments in thinking. You need to decide what you can and can not live with. Can you leave him for doing something that makes him happy?

Did you say he missed your Birthday to go to a cross dressing event? If so I would be more upset about that than anything else. If he lied to you, that would hurt. I wish you the best while you work through this situation.

Ali

August 21, 2007
5:47 am
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lost lady72
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Mousey,
What a heavy rock you carry, once the shock horror factor fades on this situation you will be able to see more clearly how you really feel about all of this. Personally I don't really think these things just happen. You don't wake up one morning and decide your going to dress up. What people do is their own business but I don't think I'd be comfortable with my husband all of a sudden bringing this into my relationship it seams unfair but it is a reality now and you have no choice but to deal with it. No denying it it's bad but better that you now at least know what your dealing with. Take your time don't forget to breadth the ball is in your court. No matter what the dcotors say you have to live with it, it's your choice.

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