I have no comment (yet). Just wanted to put this out there.
This is a post wherein I discuss the downsides of being married to my specific crossdresser. Your spouse/S.O. may not fall into these catagories. In fact, I hope not. I really, really do.
1 – Melanie hates getting her hands dirty. She’s such a freaking girl OMG. Seriously, she uses the tips of her fingers to pick up anything even faintly dirty or slimy and don’t even get me started about cleaning the grease traps in the kitchen. Or digging in the yard. Or handling raw meat when it’s time to cook dinner.
2 – When she breaks a nail it’s a big deal. Melanie has stronger nails than I do – I think she actually had parents who gave a crap if she drank her milk growing up – and mine are all bendy. Thus when something would either tear my nail right off or just cause it to bend, hers will snap. And then she’s upset. Not because she’s got them prettied up at the time or because it could snag on something or scratch someone but because it’s now *short*. She’s had long nails for so long that the tips of her fingers are sensitive. And she types a lot doing her job so now it actually PHYSICALLY HURTS HER when she breaks a nail.
Plus now she doesn’t feel pretty and I have to baby her a bit. Over a broken nail. *sigh*
3 – Most jobs that your typical “manly type” will do around the house get outsourced either to professionals or family/friends who know what they’re doing. It’s not that Melanie *wouldn’t* do them, it’s just that she’d prefer to spend the money to have it done right so she doesn’t have to waste her time. Also she might get her hands gunky.
Does anyone want to come clean our gutters? It hasn’t snowed yet. And our roof is only CRAZY STEEP or I’d do it myself. Alas, I’m a clutz and I *would* fall and break my neck.
4 – She’s a clotheshorse AND a penny-pincher with a taste for Hot Topic. Do you see how uncomfortable that can make every damn trip to the mall? She wants to buy a corset at Hot Topic or a skirt but she’s shy, she doesn’t want to try it on so the clerks know who it’s actually for, and she doesn’t want to spend the money in the first place. So I get to deal with minor sulks for hours later because she wants the shiny-pretties but won’t spend the money for them. Though, to be fair, this is also a good thing. We don’t have the money for Hot Topic outfits unless they’re used AND I’d get sad because I can’t buy Hot Topic and look cute. I’m totally rocking the Mom-bod right now. *double sigh*
5 – Because she grew up in an all-boy household, Melanie was never taught the proper way to do things like fold towels, do laundry, mop, etc. And I get tired of having to clean on top of cooking, watching the baby, doing all the grocery shopping, AND working my job, so our house is frequently a wreck. But because taking care of the house is my job, I’m the one who gets blamed for it.
Now, how much of this relates back to being a crossdresser? Very little, actually. There are some incredibly MANLY MEN types who have these exact same issues. So if your crossdresser has any of these issues, don’t fret too much. It’s not the skirt. It’s the man.
EDIT: I’d like to add that I’m not complaining about my husband. He’s awesome in a great and varied number of ways. He just won’t clean the frickin’ gutters and I’m worried we’re going to end up with a roof leak because of it. Seriously, I’d do it myself but I’ve been forbidden to get on ladders since the last three times I tried, I broke our tv, tore our curtains down, and cracked my head open.
As I’m sure you all can tell, I’ve been busy. My son is teething, almost walking, and nearing a year old. All this plus my normal job and taking care of my home keeps me tres occupied.
So for today’s post I’m going to address a few questions I’ve been asked in recent days.
Question- TheWife, do you post every email you receive to your blog?
Answer – Nope. Sometimes I’m tempted to (Ah, easy content!) but I always check with people first. And sometimes I feel like the mail is too personal to even ask. Essentially, if you’d like to see your question posted on the page you can feel free to request that I consider posting it so other people can benefit from your situation – so they don’t feel alone, specifically – but I generally only request posting the emails that seem to strike a chord within me, personally. Either I’ve been through it myself or I’ve met/know someone who’s been through it.
Question- Do you and Melanie EVER fight? You describe your relationship as idyllic.
Answer – We do fight. We are like any other normal married couple in that there are a great number of things on any given day we can fight about. Whose turn it is to do the dishes, who spent X amount of cash buying the other person a really nice Christmas gift without asking first, who is addicted to fast food versus who would rather skip eating if they can manage it. Who’s Turn It Is To Change Mr. Stinky Butt. Plenty of stuff to argue about. But crossdressing? We don’t fight about it that much. Part of that is because Melanie is currently choosing to go through a dry spell – a sort of voluntary regression that occurs from time to time – but in general it’s because we’ve gotten a lot of our fighting about my husband in a skirt all fought out by now. Being with someone for close to a decade’ll do that to you.
Question- You describe the CDSpiral. Does it ever end?
Answer – Nope. It just gets further and further apart until it doesn’t matter that much anymore. See the question directly above this one.
Question- What do you think/how do you feel about some of the other sites for CD Wives out there right now?
Answer – I don’t have much of an opinion on most of them. Some of them are kind, good places to go – the Crossdresser’s Forum, for example, is a fabulous place to find a wonderful group of really supportive ladies and “ladies”. And then there are places which used to make me so mad I wanted to punch the ‘founder’ in the face. Places of hurt and bile, places where if you DO come in with a different attitude, you are accused of being a crossdresser and a male, and a terrible, abusive person.
Simply put? Fuck them.
Look, if you’re here that means you are one of a handful of things. You’re either a crossdresser yourself, or are married/in a relationship with a crossdresser. Maybe you’re the child of one. But if you’ve stuck around this long, gotten to know me and mine AT ALL, you know I’m not about the hate. There’s too much hate and pain in this world already, you don’t need to go wallow in a place that does nothing but exacerbate the hate and confusion the spouses of crossdressers frequently feel… in the beginning.
Doing so does nothing but bring you down.
I’m all about trying to lift people up.
Question- If you could have a normal marriage, would you?
Answer – Again, I’m a pretty firm believer in the theory that there is NO NORMAL. However, if you’re asking if I’d trade Melanie in for some 9-to-5 dude with a nice car and a nice house and a nice job with a perfectly nice attitude about life… nah, not really. I mean, yeah, it’s nice to dream about the 2.5 kids and the perfectly manicured lawn and the trip to the Bahamas every three years but seriously, when are dreams anything resembling real life? Melanie and I have history. Melanie and I have a good, solid companionship going on. And, infrequently these days (due to extreme case of adorable cosleeping baby) but frequently prior, Melanie and I had a pretty decent chemistry. She’s my best friend. I wouldn’t trade her for the world. Or even a ‘normal’ guy.
There’s no one else I’d rather put me out of my misery.
Now that? Right or wrong, folks, THAT THERE is love.
I write an advice column. Other people write advice columns. I frequently get letters from readers asking me to take the authors of other advice columns to task when they write something stupid. I expect that the authors of other advice columns get letters asking them to take me to task when I write something stupid. I usually disregard these requests because keeping track of my own stupidity is enough work. I don’t have time to keep track of Amy’s and Carolyn’s and Abigail’s too.
But I’m going to make an exception: Slate’s “Dear Prudence” responded to a question from an expectant mother whose husband cross-dresses. Daddy only cross-dresses at home, “so as not to alienate friends and family and to keep his work associates from finding out,” but what do they do now that they’re having a kid?
If we keep it hidden, our child will most likely find out someday—when mom is doing the wash for two dress sizes—and then feel betrayed and hurt. If we keep on as we are, then our child will likely tell someone that daddy wears dresses, and it wouldn’t be fair to burden anyone with that secret. What is the best thing for us to do?
Prudence’s answer is larded with limp sarcasms and drips with contempt. She describes the father-to-be’s cross-dressing as a “compulsion,” makes inane jokes about cross-dressed teddy bears and daddy dressing up like Madonna, and frets about a child “growing up amid such sexual confusion.” Those are fighting words for cross-dressers—particularly the “sexual confusion” crack. Straight men who like to wear dresses aren’t confused, Prudence, they’re just cross-dressers. (And to the person responsible for headlines at Slate: cross-dressers and drag queens are two very different animals.)
But… and I’m sorry to disappoint the many angry readers who’ve asked me to take Prudence to task… I happen to agree with Prudence’s advice:
It’s time for your husband to limit his dressing up to times when he’s not with the baby. As your child gets older and mobile, your husband will have to take more steps to separate his fetish from your family life…. You feel this aspect of your private lives is none of your family’s business, or your husband’s colleagues’, and that is an excellent attitude to maintain with your child.
Setting aside the sexual aspect of cross-dressing—and that cross-dressing in front of your kids, like doing D/s in front of your kids, involves your children in your sex life in an wholly inappropriate manner—there’s the little matter of the closet: Daddy is keeping his cross-dressing a secret from family and coworkers. The mom to be is correct: her child—no choid—should be burdened with keeping secrets like this for mommy and daddy, particularly when the consequences of the secret getting out are so severe. (The letter writer says that her husband would lose his job if his coworkers found out.)
And, yes, odds are good that the kid will find out “someday” that daddy like to cross-dress. But I doubt the kid will feel “betrayed and hurt” that this secret was kept from him. If anything, the the kid will be grateful—particularly if the kid only discovers this secret after he’s an adult.
I can hear cross-dressers grumping now: “Your kid knows you’re gay, Savage. You’re not keeping that a secret.” But here’s the relevant question: Is it who you are? Or is it something you do? If it’s who you are—gay, lesbian, straight, bi—your kid has a right to know about it. Your sexual orientation isn’t private, it’s public; it determines who you date, fall in love with, live with, have kids with. But the stuff you like to do with your sex partners is private. Cross-dressing, BDSM, anal sex, pony play, watersports, whatever—there’s no need for your kids to know about it. Or your parents. Or your neighbors. That stuff is and should be private; it’s between you, your sex partner(s), and the friends you confide in about your sex life. That’s not to say that you should be ashamed of your cross-dressing/BDSMing/pony-playing/whatevering. Far from it. But there’s nothing shameful about respecting other peoples’ right not to be burdened with too much information about your sex life.
So, yeah, my kid knows I’m gay. But he doesn’t know what his dads do for kicks. This cross-dresser’s kid will know his dad is straight. But he won’t know—shouldn’t know, doesn’t need to know, doesn’t want to know—what his dad and mom do for kicks.
Hello, My boyfriend likes to wear girl clothes. He has been up-front with me since the beginning of our relationship. Its going on 5 years now. At first i was ok, it was new exciting and fun. But now I’m not sure I can handle this. I don’t like it anymore, I don’t like to see a man in girl clothes. I’m the girl, not him. I feel so bad that i cant accept this because he is such a great guy and deserves better. He can’t buy any clothes for himself, he is too embarrassed and leaves that responsibility on me. Which I feel is unfair to me because this should not fall on my shoulders because he cant buy the clothes himself. Its not my fault if he doesn’t get what he wants. But all the blame goes on me. This is putting a lot of strain on our relationship…. I just don’t know what to do anymore. How can I love all the things about him but not the fact that he likes to wear girl clothes? Why was I ok with it in the beginning? Why do I hate it now? Please look at this situation from a neutral perspective. I know that I am emailing a cross dresser web page but I figure you have probably been there… Please advise!
Thank you for emailing me. You’re right, I have been there, and I
know about the confusion and frustration and (most of all) guilt
you’re feeling right now. I know my site seems like a “crossdresser’s
web page” but it really is for the wives and spouses and girlfriends
more than anything else.
I’d like to start off by mentioning the fact that I know you don’t
feel lucky right now, but in one major regard, you really are. Your
man has been honest and upfront about his crossdressing since the
beginning, which a lot of women don’t get. Their mates are ashamed or
hadn’t admitted it to themselves when their relationships began, so
they chose to hide it. (In one recent email I received, he’d hidden it
for SIXTY YEARS. 60. Six. Zero. Wow.) You’ve known since day one,
which puts you ahead in the long run. You don’t have to deal with
feelings of betrayal or mistrust to go along with the rest of it.
Now on to the bulk of your issue. I call it the “CDSpiral”. It’s
like the cycle of grief, but instead of being a neat circle ending up
with acceptance and going back to a “normal life” it’s a spiral that
gets wider and wider as you go.
Let me tell you how it was for me.
He told me. I loved him so I accepted it. We thought everything was
gravy for awhile.
Then he pushed my boundaries. Wanted to wear something I thought I
would be cool with, but I wasn’t. That butted up against MY self
esteem, which I blamed him for (because, after all, HE was the weird
one, right?). I got mad (+ guilty), which hurt his feelings, which
caused feedback. He overreacted in retaliation and swore he’d quit.
I felt guilty because why should HE quit being who he is – who he was
upfront with me about since day 1 – because *I* have an issue with it?
We discussed it, figured out where I’d be comfortable, what he’d have
to do to help me be comfortable, and then tested it out. I was
Then he pushed my boundaries.
See where I’m going with this?
As the wife of a crossdresser, I can tell you that the CDSpiral gets
wider. It gets easier. More and more time will pass between times
where he pushes your boundaries and you feel the need to react.
You’ll work out the rough spots in the road so the next time you visit
an issue you’ll know how to deal with it. Things will, if you just
*keep talking and keep loving*, sort themselves out. Melanie and I
hardly ever bump heads over his crossdressing anymore. It took
several years but we sorted out a time for me to feel feminine and a
time for him to feel feminine.
The main times I encountered “I’m supposed to be the girl, he’s
supposed to be the man” feelings was when I was feeling particularly
put upon. Like I’d been doing a lot of the chores recently and was
feeling gross and fat and suddenly Melanie bought a top I’d have
killed to fit into and wanted me to tell him how pretty she was. Bad
timing and short-sightedness on Melly’s behalf caused more fights
between us than anything else those early days. She wanted to be told
how pretty she was without recognizing that she never told me how
pretty I was. She wanted to buy piles of clothing she hardly ever
wore without recognizing that I rarely buy clothing for myself,
especially not pretty, expensive things. The dichotomy used to cause
a lot of static before we figured out where the issue stemmed from.
But we worked it out (eventually) and, if you want to, you can too.
Here’s my suggestion:
1) Sit down with your beloved and tell him exactly where you’re coming
from. BE NICE. Say that you’re not feeling particularly lovely
lately and you need to have your psychological femininity needs met
before you can meet his. (You have to feel pretty before you can be
okay with him feeling pretty. It’s not entirely fair but it is a good
place to start working on an equitable arrangement. He IS asking you
to work outside of society’s normal masculine/feminine structure, he’s
going to need to be a little flexible with you in this regard.)
2) He needs to buy his own clothing. Period. I help Melly pick out
outfits that aren’t skanky (if left alone she used to gravitate toward
Goth-Hooker for some reason) but if the outfit is more than $3 then
Melly has to try the clothing on in the store AND she has to take the
clothing up to the register. I usually pay (I’ve got the good credit
card) but sometimes I hand the card over and make him pay.
I do this for several reasons -
A) I won’t let my husband get away with crap I don’t plan on letting
my kid get away with. If you want it, you have to buy it.
B) If dressing is that important, then he needs to take responsibility
for it. This also makes him aware of the cost of the clothing. That
can become an issue too, but not if he’s got to carefully pick and
choose his outfits. Then he’s less likely to purchase something
because it’s “cute” and more likely to purchase something because it’s
“cute on him”. This keeps your closet from overflowing. Melly has
one drawer, one plastic tote, and about 1/7th of the closet space. If
something new comes in, something old has to go. We buy from
consignment shops and Goodwill/Salvation Army for this reason.
3) IF you want to be nice (and I really suggest being nice if it’s
something that makes him uncomfortable) – go shopping with him and put
your clothing in the basket with his stuff. That way it’ll just look
like you’re buying a variety of sizes… IF the cashier even bothers
to pay attention. Having been a cashier in the past, I can say that
generally, unless it’s a slow as hell day, no one looks at your stuff
Ultimately, you can love him for all of his parts – male, female,
puppy, whatever. It’s just going to take work. You don’t even have
to LIKE his female side. You can just come to a place where you
tolerate it, so long as you work towards an equitable relationship on
BOTH sides of the table. That means don’t push him around but don’t
let him push you around either. You both have needs and the frequent
emails I get about “I’m the girl, damn it!” are generally coming from
ladies whose needs aren’t being met first.
I hope this helps,
Wow, you hit the head on the nail.. This is exactly how I feel, confused, frustrated and guilty. I feel like the CDspiral has been going on for at least 4 years, does it ever stop? That’s probably what I hate the most! I feel so guilty for hating what he does but its a part of him. I just think that he is the perfect guy if he didn’t wear girl clothes. I have never told anyone about this, actually my boyfriend did tell his ex who told everyone when they broke up. That was real hard on him, I didnt know him then but he thought about committing suidcide and still does to this day. So he feels very alone and then I get so mad, guilty, confused, guilty, mad again and so on… and he has no one to talk to. Then that makes me feel even more guilty. I don’t want to alienate him but I think that is what I’m doing. I really don’t know how to be nice about telling him that seeing him in girl clothes…makes me very angry (almost want to say disgusted) but I can’t say that to him. He wears a bra and panties and dresses and bathing suits every night to bed… It makes me not want to touch him. I hate that I feel this way. I really, really do. I think we both feel alone. I just cant stop thinking “I’m the girl”. I would say my needs are being met, he does everything possible to make me happy! He is not gay but I feel like he wants to be the girl. He want to shave his legs, he wants to wear pads (sorry if this is too much) he wants to wear make up, all the things that I do, the things that make me the women. It makes me feel like he actually wants to be a girl and not just a guy who likes girl clothes. Then that makes me more confused because I think… If I’m attracted to a guy who like this stuff, what does that make me??? Lesbian on some level? I like the ruggedness of a guy. I think J is the sexyest when he walks in the door from work, all dirty (he’s a laborer) and just looking good. Then he showers and puts on a bra..
Funny that you say Melanie pushed your boundaries because J does the same thing. He wears something I think is ok but ends up not being ok… he picks out clothes I like so I don’t want him to have it because I like it.. Endless cycle.
I want to be with him. What if I just can’t get past this? I told him that I emailed you so we will talk tonight.
Yes you can post what ever you want, just not my email address. “Ally” isn’t my real name anyway so you dont have to change it.. I wasn’t sure if contacting you would post on your webpage so thats why I changed my name…
If feels so good to know that someone else out there feels or has felt the same way. And having someone to talk to about it may help me to help him.
I’m sure I will email you again..If you dont mind. Though I am sure you have hundreds of people contacting you daily. So whats one more! Thanks again.
Like I said before, it won’t ever stop completely – my husband and I’ve been together eight years and we have a baby and we *still* have the occasional issue – but it does get further and further apart. I know it’s hard to step back from right now; you are very much in the moment, in the drama of your emotions, and you feel trapped and overwhelmed. That intensifies every emotion, good AND bad. But I promise you, give it time and it’ll get easier. Right now, this thing you’re going through? It’s a rough patch. If you think he’s perfect in every way but the crossdressing, then that’s all this has to be… a rough patch. IF you want to be with HIM specifically.
I, too, felt disgusted some days. And disgusted is definitely the word you were looking for. Affronted. Angry. Angry with him, angry with yourself, angry with society for not preparing you to better handle “outside the norm”. Frustrated. You don’t want to be mean but you feel left out, left behind, left alone. You want to be there for him but you don’t think he’s being there for you – hell, you don’t even know if he’s seeing, REALLY SEEING, what the clothes he’s wearing are doing to you. And that makes you defensive and angry all over again. Sometimes it even makes you self-righteous about it.
Ally, I’m going to level with you. I know a huge part of it seems like his fault. And a large part of it is. But these emotions are stemming from more than just what he does. After all, if he were wearing a snorkel to bed you wouldn’t be offended by it. You’d think it was weird, but it wouldn’t impact *you* (unless he’s a restless sleeper, then OUCH SNORKEL IN THE EYE). The reason what he wears to bed impacts you is because you think it does. Because you feel like he’s treading on your territory. And if he’s the woman does that mean you have to be the man? Or do you have to be women together? Because, yeah, every girl thinks of experimenting, but dude, ultimately, when it comes down to it, you’re straight.
Am I right?
I went through all of this. ALL of it.
What you’re feeling is coming from you.
And you can decide – logically, mentally choose – to step away from it.
Just because he’s wearing a dress, it does not make you any less of a woman. Even if he looks better in the dress than you. (Which was my problem for years.) Keep in mind, what he’s going through right now, is what you went through when you were 10…13…16 years old. And you had the support of friends, of magazines, of girls in your class. Even if you were a tomboy, you could look at the HeadCheerleaderPromPrincess type of GirlyGirl and *see* what she did, how she did it. Subconsciously you could take it all in and from there you developed your image of yourself as a woman. At heart we’re all still teenage girls.
You are shaken by what he’s doing because you’re not 100% comfortable in your own skin. Believe me, I know this sounds really trite, but the easiest way to be okay with him dressing like a woman is to be okay with yourself as a woman. Not that uneasy teenage girl, but the woman you’ve become. I know you may think that you are okay with the woman you’ve become but stop and ask yourself – and answer honestly! – are you really? Do you see a perfect blonde size 00 walk down the street and do you say to yourself, “She’s so pretty! I’m so happy for her! She must work really hard to be that put together!” Or do you secretly want to punch her in the back of the head?
Even as recently as three years ago, I was a mental-head-puncher. Now I’m not. I got mostly happy with myself and when I did, the bulk of my issues with Melanie dressing out went away. I started being proud of her – that she’d get double takes or when teenage boys would hit on her. (What is it about goth chicks? Isn’t that look out? Seriously.)
Being with a crossdresser feels like a competition some days, but I promise you, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it shouldn’t be. YOU are everything he wants. Unless he’s closeted transgender or unaware that he’s transgender, then he really doesn’t want to cut off his bits. He might fantasize about it – about really being a woman – but that’s all they are. Fantasies. Because crossdressers think women are the most amazing, wonderful creatures put on this earth. They marvel at what we feel so uncomfortable with. But they would never, ever cut off their penis to become a woman. Because at that point it’s not crossdressing, that’s transgender, which is a whole different ball of wax.
So long as you’ve verified that he’s 100% crossdresser and not in the least little bit desirous of cutting off his bits, you’ll be fine. If he IS transgender I’ll have to forward you along to a very nice community for folks in that particular situation. Alas, I’ve never been with a transgendered individual, and thus I can’t help you in that instance (other than to offer an ear).
If you’re feeling like “I’m the girl” then he’s NOT meeting your needs. He’s NOT helping you feel feminine and that has to be his job for awhile – to make sure you feel more feminine than him. So as feminine as he wants to be, he needs to help you feel twice or three times that feminine. Then you won’t feel angry about when he dresses out. You’ll be okay in your own skin.
My suggestion for when you have your talk – make sure he knows that you’re okay with him coming to bed in ladies clothing some nights, just not all of them. That’s not fair to you. You need him to make an effort to be a man as well as a woman, so you don’t feel unbalanced in your relationship. The easiest way for him to do that is to pick three nights a week to dress out and the rest of the week he should wear boxers or whatever you think makes him look the most rugged.
Basically sit down and compromise.
If you need more help, I’m here, but I’ve got a baby yelling at me, so I’ve got to go.
PS – May I post this particular email on my website? Generally I
don’t but I think this one could help a lot of ladies out there. I’ll
change your name.