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cross-dressing

This week’s dilemma is as follows:

You’re married to Carl, and have been for over ten years now. You have two beautiful children, and you have a great relationship.

One day, you come home early to find Carl dressed in your clothes, with a fully made up face, the works.

Carl is horrified, but admits that for the past ten years, he has secretly been wearing your clothes and enjoying the sensation of looking like a woman. On the occasions when you’ve gone away with the kids to see your parents, he’s also dressed up, and gone out to specific clubs, where’s he’s known as Carla.

Carl explains that this is something that he has to do, and it’s not as if he’s cheating on you. He wants you to accept him as he is, cross-dressing habits and all.

What do you do? Do you accept that your husband doesn’t feel complete unless he dresses up in women’s clothes, or do you give him an ultimatum, whereby he has to either give up cross-dressing, or risk losing his family?

What do you do? *g*

31 Comments »


  • SarahT
    March 27
    9:32 am

    I think I’d leave him. I guess we all have our limits in how open and tolerant we are and a cross-dressing husband would test mine.

    As for giving him an ultimatum: I don’t think this is realistic. Of course he could promise not to do it again, but he would probably just be more careful not to get caught.

    Besides which, him giving up cross-dressing would not resolve the issue for me. I would question whether or not he found me sexually attractive, or just liked my clothes!

    Maybe I simply don’t know enough about cross-dressing and am misinterpreting what motivates a man to do it. Nonetheless, my gut reaction to this dilemma was to say I’d leave him.

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  • I bought him his own shoes because his feet are too big for mine and a smaller bra because mine looks ridiculous on him.

    Been there, done that. I date “Erika” as well as Mudd.

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  • I would make sure he bought his own clothes. I’d accept it – though not understand it – but there would be no more of him wearing MY clothes. And I would also make darn sure the kids never saw him in his alternate state of dress.

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  • Mireya
    March 27
    10:43 am

    I’d be shocked at first. Then I would have a good talk with him. After that, I’d research cross dressing like a lunatic, to try and have a better idea about it. I’d also try to speak to others that do this. Then I would decide if I can live with it or not for the rest of my life.

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  • Sparky
    March 27
    10:54 am

    He’s not doing any harm that I can see – and he isn’t cheating or bringing harm to the household. It’s clearly not infringing on the rest of the family life.

    Maybe insist he get his own wardrobe so he doesn’t do undue damage to his wife’s 🙂

    But really – it’s important to him, it’s not hurting anyone else – why stop him?

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  • Marianne McA
    March 27
    11:49 am

    I don’t know. It’s not the cross-dressing so much as the he’s been lying to me for ten years about an important part of his life. I would certainly hurl things at him when he used the ‘I wasn’t cheating on you’ line – the old & odd assumption that the only fidelity you owe your partner is your sexual fidelity.

    Be a balance, wouldn’t it? Depend why he had lied about it, and how happy the relationship was otherwise.

    KristieJ: I’m not sure about the children – I know, in this scenario, they’re young – but perhaps at a young age, it’d be easier to accept? That is, to a six year old, daddy dressing up might seem fairly normal, whereas I could imagine that a sixteen year old unexpectedly coming across their father in woman’s clothing could find it a bit poleaxing.
    With a lot of family issues, I’d avoid telling the children until they were old enough to understand, but with this, I’d wonder if it’d be better to have it as a normal part of the family life from early on.

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  • Fae
    March 27
    11:55 am

    Ignoring the child part of the equation, because ha, yeah, no. As for the rest…I’d be hurt he didn’t confide in me, confused too because I actually think crossdressing can be really hot, and there’d probably be some issues from the lying, but not the cross dressing. I wouldn’t care about that, I’d care that for whatever reason he didn’t feel he could be honest with me and that belies the picture you painted of a happy relationship. People in happy, fulfilling, loving relationships don’t lie about major parts of who they are.

    So there’d need to be counseling for us to figure out why he lied and how I could trust that there wasn’t more serious things being lied about, but I think it’d be worked out.

    The crossdressing is the most minor issue in that scenario for me. Pretty much a non-issue in fact.

    Edited to add: I’d also go on a diet asap, cause my husband shouldn’t be able to fit in my clothes. !!

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  • sallahdog
    March 27
    12:14 pm

    I have been borrowing my hubbys clothes for years… so, I guess turnabout is fair play..

    Seriously though, it would be the lying that bothered me more… I guess I would be wondering what else he wasn’t telling me….

    How is that for a “I dunno?”

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  • So there’d need to be counseling for us to figure out why he lied and how I could trust that there wasn’t more serious things being lied about, but I think it’d be worked out.

    Well first off, they would not be my clothes because I don’t do drag.

    Second, why do people do this? Spring their freak on other people like !!surprise!! Whatever happened to the typical “we need to talk.” I did not broach the subject of my sexuality with my parents by having them walk in on me giving a blow job to some poor guy.

    I had this one friend of mine way back when I was first going out come to me in tears telling me about finding her hunky husband wearing her underwear. She wanted to know if he was gay and I had to tell her “no, that alone is not enough to go on” but he is hiding things and you should probably talk more about all of it with him.

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  • Fae said: I’d also go on a diet asap, cause my husband shouldn’t be able to fit in my clothes. !!

    LOL, me too.

    Then Teddypig said: Second, why do people do this? Spring their freak on other people like !!surprise!! Whatever happened to the typical “we need to talk.”

    Exactly. The cross dressing wouldn’t freak me out, but finding out about it after ten years of marriage would make me wonder how well I knew the person.

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  • MB (Leah)
    March 27
    2:04 pm

    I’d totally help him get dressed. Put on the make-up for him, take him shopping for more clothes. Maybe even dress like a man and go out with him. snrk

    It wouldn’t take me 10 years to find that out. I really pay attention to what’s going on.

    IRL- outside of finding out that my guy might be into little kids, in which case I’d walk out the door and never look back, and outside of him doing risky things and maybe bringing home a disease to me, I’d probably go along with any thing he might be into, maybe even join in, or at least be open to him doing it.

    As far as kids go, I’d make sure they wouldn’t be exposed to it.

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  • Randi
    March 27
    2:07 pm

    I’d be shocked that I didn’t have a clue. Seriously-I have kinks and I would hope after 10 years of marriage, they’de all be out in the open.

    I would neither divorce him or give him an ultimatum. I WOULD ask him to buy his own wardrobe (can I help? heh!) and shoes.

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  • Anon76
    March 27
    2:10 pm

    Wow, what a toughy.

    I’m with the group who would be worried about the trust issue after such a long term secret. But then I’d also be questioning myself. I mean, I’ve lived with this man every day for years, so how self-absorbed am I that I had NO inkling this was going on?

    And while I know that cross-dressing is not a reflection of a person’s sexual orientation, it would still make me feel a bit funky. Probably more so about my own sexual appeal than the other way around.

    But the hardest thing of all would be…not laughing at my beloved when in full female gear. Because honestly, my hubby would make one butt-ugly woman.

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  • But then I’d also be questioning myself. I mean, I’ve lived with this man every day for years, so how self-absorbed am I that I had NO inkling this was going on?

    I see this topic a lot.

    How much should we know about each other? I see guys all the time discussing how they want to have space even in their marriage. I see women discuss wanting time to go out with the girls.

    I know a ton about Jason but I also know I don’t know everything or really even want to. There are things probably very painful that will not get shared ever.

    Communication to me at least does not mean you have the guy figured out. It just means you can always talk about it.

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  • KCfla
    March 27
    3:18 pm

    I’m also going to throw myself into the “why didn’t I know” camp. After years of marriage, you’d think there would have been clues.
    And I also would have serious problems with “trust” if he had kept this a secret after all these years. IMVHO- trust is a MAJOR part of a marriage. If that’s not there…..

    But the hardest thing of all would be…not laughing at my beloved when in full female gear. Because honestly, my hubby would make one butt-ugly woman.

    Mine too! The “man-scaping” that would be involved… Well, let’s just say I don’t call hubby my “Russian Bear” for nothing ;-)!

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  • I’m on the “trust issues much?” camp on this one, with some of the “how could this go on for years without my noticing?”

    I don’t seem to be able to move beyond that, really.

    Teddy, I don’t think that it’s about knowing everything about the other person as much as… if he’s wearing my clothes, don’t I notice that they need washing when I didn’t wear them? Out of place? Stuff like that.

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  • Anon76
    March 27
    4:30 pm

    Yeah, Teddy, I’m with Aztec on that.

    It’s not about knowing every little hidden secret in your chosen’s life, but being aware of those little odd things that appear and you can’t explain.

    Like your guy’s lips looking especially “colorful” after you’ve been away. Once, you don’t think much about it, but as time goes on and it happens again and again, well…

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  • Emmy
    March 27
    6:47 pm

    I’d be horrified that my hubby fit into my clothes and run to the gym.

    I’d accept it more if I knew from the beginning and not 10 years in. It’s obviously important to him, and if he can’t share the important shit with me…well, why are we together?

    Also, if he looked anything like your pic there…don’t wanna see him dressed up. Ever.

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  • Hmmm. I think my biggest issue would be the fact my husband didn’t trust me enough to tell me about his cross dressing fetish. What would that say about the quality of our marriage? If we could get over our trust issues, I really wouldn’t care either way. We’d probably have to see a kid’s counselor to discuss the best way to broach the subject with our kiddos though. But, really, as long as there’s no infidelity, I wouldn’t be overly concerned. It could have been worse, you know?

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  • I would be thinking what else is he not telling me about? Do I have to catch him out doing something else for him to tell me the full truth? The dressing up is just a side issue. It’s the lack of honesty that would piss me off. I would be wondering can I trust him.

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  • I have to agree with those who said it isn’t the cross-dressing, it’s the lying.

    I’d probably accept the cross-dressing in a blink, tell him off for hiding it, and then 2 weeks later in the middle of the night it’d hit me upside the head that as much as I have trusted him with all my quirks and fears and vulnerabilities, he hasn’t trusted me with his.

    So then, anger. He lied to me, and I’d be pissed. Rightly so. Then, depression, what have I done wrong, where have I failed him that he couldn’t trust me with this? How is it that after all these years he didn’t know me well enough to trust me.

    Ugh.

    Cross-dressing, no problem.
    Lying, major ick.

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  • Bonnie L.
    March 27
    8:44 pm

    Wow, this scenario more or less actually happened with my parents and it was the final tipping point that tore their marriage apart. So, for me, that would be a deal breaker, especially considering the fact that my husband was my boyfriend at that time and pretty much went through everything with me.

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  • I’m different I guess in that I don’t really see it as that much of a lack of trust as I do a ‘fear on his part’ issue. Guys are more taciturn by nature I think then women – though of course I realize there are exceptions – and this is a biggy to confess to. If it’s a good marriage and by the scenario that Karen gives it is, he is probably terrified that if the spouse found out the marriage would be over. I don’t see it as lying as much as not confessing to a very unusual compulsion.

    “So then, anger. He lied to me, and I’d be pissed. Rightly so. Then, depression, what have I done wrong, where have I failed him that he couldn’t trust me with this? How is it that after all these years he didn’t know me well enough to trust me.

    And that’s probably the exact reason why he wouldn’t say anything. 🙂

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  • Ah but Kristie, if he had come forward–instead of being caught red handed (or high heeled)–there would be much less wondering “what else is he hiding?”

    It is very different to have your partner/spouse/s.o. say, “I need to talk with you, I need to tell you something” than open the bedroom door and find him cross dressing.

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  • AL: True – but at what point does he confess? While they are dating? (what if she dumps him?) When he proposes? (what if it causes her to say no?) On their wedding night? (I’m thinking that’s not the best time *chuckle*)
    By then he’s over the big hurdles and probably thinks what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.
    And FWIW – I agree with you – it would have been ever so much easier to tell the wife rather then “SURPRISE” but then – guys can be odd – this from a woman who was married to one for over 31 years and raised two of the little dearlings.
    And… (this is such a fascinating topic *g*) what type of guy is he? That might make a difference. Is he a macho, alpha type or a more sensitive, beta type. If it’s the former – then it would be harder to confess too I think.

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  • If he already has the fetish when they are dating, by golly yeah! tell her while they are dating. She dumps him? Well, then she honestly wasn’t the one for him.

    Isn’t that what we tell women about being honest with the guys they date, instead of expecting things to magically fix themselves after the wedding?

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  • I’m with Kristie.
    I saw no lying per se, just a basic closet situation. Like all closets, it got opened.

    And my husband has always been able to fit in my clothes. We’re roughly the same height. I outweighed him by 15 pounds when we met. (He was a stick) So ruining my clothes isn’t an issue.

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  • Sheila
    March 28
    7:19 am

    Snort!
    After ripping into him for not trusting me enough with his secret, I’d be more than willing to dress up like a man and take him out.

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  • MelindaEvette
    March 29
    5:35 am

    Carl is cool with me as long as he gets his own panties and shoes. And he doesn’t look better than me!

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  • Sorry…but there is nothing about a man dressing in panties, stockings and high heels that excites me. I would be totally turned off and I think I would loose respect for him.

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  • Jeanette
    March 1
    8:55 pm

    He should have been fair with her and declare his “interest” that has probably be with him from an early age HE will never shake it off, its not a fetish, or a passing fancy, but heh, as Joan Rivers Mother said “Marry a transvestite and double your wardrobe”
    Rule No.1 Not in front of the children,
    No.2 All housework is now totally shared
    No.3 Up front and honest about everything from now on.
    There are advantages about having a Tranny Husband
    He knows why you take so long in the bathroom.
    What you can and can’t wear (sometimes to honest)
    Why you have such a collection of shoes
    And so on…………
    Far more fun and much better than most of the arrogant swines out there

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