I get messages through my website and from time to time I see that the provided address to receive a reply is very likely fake. But I usually respond and in almost every instance my instinct was correct and the email is bounced back. It’s possible the address had a typo in it but my suspicion is that someone had something to say but didn’t want me to reply to them directly. Cowards.
Most messages like this are almost always snarky or rude. My guess is that they wanted to tell me something to trigger a certain emotion but not have to face any sort of confrontation. Again, cowards.
I think the reason for some of these messages are intended to… well, wound me. I suppose that’s a little dramatic. The internet can provide a way to say something, be it a compliment or an insult, that you might not have the courage or nerve to say in real life.
Instead of being able to reply to these emails, I will sometime respond to the question or address the inquiry here. Some of my postings are meant to, in a way, set the record straight about something. I know I shouldn’t “feed the trolls” but there are times when I feel defensive. I am often impulsive but I’ve recognized this over the years and have learned to (mostly) control this. Lately my boss has been an absolute jerk and sends incredibly nitpicky accusatory emails.
I don’t know, but I feel that there’s probably a more constructive, kinder way to manage, inspire, and lead people.
But this is a website that is mostly about femme presenting transgender people, not a place to air workplace grievances.
My point is that when I get a snarky email, either from my boss or in Hannah’s inbox I fire off a really bitchy response and then I go back and edit it to something waaaaaaaay less confrontational. And then I edit it again. And again. And again. I deescalate my reply to the point it almost comes off as objectively weak. It’s impossible to disagree with certain people and I’ve learned to pick my battles. I stand by the work I do and the actions I take in both sides of my life but I also know when it’s constructive or beneficial or pointless to present my perspective with certain people in the world.
One part of my life that I will always defend is my wife.
I received an anonymous message a while ago where the sender questioned how supportive my wife really is. It wasn’t someone looking for… clarification or had a genuine query it came off as more… competitive?
The sender told me alllll about how they and their wife would go shopping together, to the movies together, to dinner, together to, ah, the bedroom together…
It was all very smug. There’s a difference between “my wife is amazing. She goes out for coffee with me and helps me shop” and “I know my wife is supportive because she isn’t ashamed to go out with me. I guess it’s because I look like a “real” girl and she truly loves and accepts me”.
If someone has a supportive partner I am just as happy for them as they are. But you don’t ever need to throw shade at someone to make yourself feel better or to prove something or go out of your way to make someone feel bad.
It’s not a contest. None of *this* is.
The sender wondered how supportive my wife could be if she’s never gone shopping with Hannah. The sender wondered how supportive my wife could be if part of the reason I am not our to everyone in my life is out of respect for her.
Oh girl. This got my blood racing.
I think it’s natural for someone wanting to defend their partner and their choices so that part of me kicked in. My reply was… well, I am not sure how to describe it. But like an email to my boss I edited it, softened it, and reread and rewrote it several times. I hit “send” annnnnd it bounced back. All that effort for a junk email address.
Now I SUPPOSE I could have ignored it and not let it get to me, but again, it’s not unusual to want to defend your partner, their actions, their decisions, their character.
This side of us is a LOT to ask of our partners. None of who we are is what our partners signed up for or expected.
Every gender non-conforming person is different.
Every relationship is different.
And of course it goes without saying that every relationship that involves a gender non-conforming person is different.
How two people express affection and love is different than another couple. People have different “love languages”. My wife and I express our love with very gentle teasing and doing small things for each other. Other couples show their emotions in different ways.
Our partners show their acceptance for this side of us in different ways as well.
True, my wife has never gone out with Hannah. But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t accept her or doesn’t accept me. The truth is that neither one of us really like leaving the house at all, lol. Our ideal weekend is staying in and ordering food and reading or catching up on a show or taking care of our new home. The idea of going out, no matter my presentation, isn’t as appealing as it was ten years ago.
Unless I am running an errand, I am probably not doing much in the real world unless it’s Hannah enjoying a day out.
And if there are other reasons my wife isn’t hitting the town with Hannah then they are her own and do not invite anyone’s approval or opinion.
…and here they are.
Essentially if she or I were to be seen in public by someone she knows, then it will very likely open up THAT talk. The endless discussion of gender and identity and transgenderness.
The conversation that is exhausting to simply think about.
This side of me is my journey. And it’s also my wife’s journey. One that she never planned on taking.
And honestly? Neither of us have that energy to have that talk. We are both relatively private people and… letting someone into the uniqueness and nuances and intimacy and dynamics of who we are and who I am and who Hannah is is not something we want to do.
It’s like trying to explain a show that has gone on for ten seasons. It would take too long for you to be brought up to speed.
We’re content and at peace and happy.
And if you’re wondering, IF I wanted to transition (and I really don’t) then it’s likely our relationship would respond to that.
But since we’re both, well, settled into who I am, the “what-if’s” are not something we discuss and probably never will.
Support when it comes to this side of us adapts and changes, like any aspect in a relationship. When I came out to my wife as a crossdresser she didn’t understand. When I started wearing a wig and presenting en femme things shifted to fear and confusion. These days it’s “I love you and I love that this makes you happy and I don’t understand it and I hope you have fun and stay safe!”
And it’s perfect for us.
Years ago I wanted more than anything for us to go out together however she wasn’t comfortable. But I never saw her hesitation or reluctance as a lack of love or support.
Because I knew her.
Because she shows her love and support and acceptance in different ways.
She sends links to a hair removal device or other products that she thought I might want to try.
She compliments a specific picture I post.
She calls my outfit for the day cute or describes my heels as WHOA.
These are just examples into how I know how she feels. And it wouldn’t surprise me to hear how your partner supports and accepts you in different or even similar ways.
We bought a new house this past summer and she spent an afternoon looking for some new furniture. She sent over a photo of a cute dresser and asked “Would Hannah want this?”
And yes, Hannah did want that.
I love our new home but it lacks the closet space that our previous house had.
A few hours later the dresser appeared in our room and I spent a Saturday afternoon organizing my lingerie. It was wonderful. An entire drawer dedicated to my bras with their matching panties. A drawer for my camis and yes, their matching panties. Another drawer for basques and bodysuits.
I couldn’t help but think how fortunate I am. To be comfortable with who I am, to have all this beautiful lingerie. To have my wife.
My wife is genuine and sincere. She doesn’t say something unless she means it. She’s diplomatic and polite and gentle and direct in her relationships and because of this I have every reason to believe her when it comes to my gender identity.
Most of the emails I get discuss marriage and relationships. The majority are from other t-girls and crossdressers asking about how to make THIS work. I tell them that every relationship is different and that I don’t know their partner as well as they do and I can’t offer specific advice for them. All I can really do is encourage them to try to look at things from their partner’s perspective and to be honest.
And this isn’t easy to do when we are clouded by the fog.
It’s not uncommon for someone to share their experiences or what their relationship is like when it comes to their gender identity. Some of the common dynamics range from “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” to going completely behind their partner’s back. Others have a partner that struts through the mall with them or enjoy a girls night in.
It’s normal for us to want more, though.
We committed to a person because we (presumably and hopefully) love and cherish them. We share a life with them and want to do things with them because they are our best friends. Going grocery shopping is boring but it’s (hopefully) a lot more fun with your partner.
Same thing with our gender identity. We want to do things en femme AND we want to do something we love, something that is important to us with the person we love more than anything in the world.
When it comes to this side of us, if we want more it might be for specific reasons.
I want to go out en femme with my wife because I think it will show that she isn’t embarrassed by me
I want my wife to do my makeup for me
I want to come out to my family but my wife isn’t ready for that
I want to be “the girl” in bed
And yes, I get it. I can relate to many of the things we want or think we want.
Sometimes I am given a glimpse into the dynamics between themselves and their partners when it comes to this side of them.
My wife and I go out as girls but she is only comfortable with me en femme at LGBTQ+ nightclubs
My wife buys me lingerie but doesn’t like it when I wear panties during sex
My wife lets me go out of the house but has requested I not frequent certain parts of town to avoid running into people we know
I mean… these all sound wonderful, to be honest. How many t-girls and crossdressers would absolutely die to have a wife that buys them panties?
Sometimes I’m told these things (and other examples) and it’s followed up by I WANT MORE.
I want to go to church en femme, not just gay bars
I want to wear lingerie when we have sex
I want to go to a mall that my wife said is “off-limits”
Again, I get wanting more. And again, this side of us is a lot to ask. It’s normal to want more. Sometimes what we have is never enough. That’s the fog clouding our heart and mind. And our perspective.
The key to life is loving and appreciating what you have. I mean, yes, there are aspects of our lives that could be better. It would be nice to have a boss that is not completely unhinged and to find a foundation shade that will never be discontinued but, well, life is going to happen.
If you have a wife that buys you dresses or helps you shop or picks up your lipstick for you… well, you have more than most of us could even dare to dream.
Yes, you might want more but appreciate what you have. Acknowledge the stress and feelings and fear and loneliness that this side of us may cause in your partner.
Our partners sacrifice a lot when it comes to this side of us. How many of our wives have stayed up all night stressed or worried about this side of us? How many of our wives have had to share the burden of our secret from others?
I know these things about my wife. And honestly I don’t feel I could ever be a good enough partner to show my appreciation for her.
I try to minimize the inconveniences this side of me creates. I plan my adventures or MN T-Girl events with my wife’s schedule in mind. It’s not much but it’s… something. It’s probably not enough. I feel so grateful for the life I have and my wife helps make… HER happen. Whether it’s shared closet space or teaching me about makeup or encouraging me to start the MN T-Girls and just being patient and firm and trying to understand me and who I am… I don’t know if I could ever be worth it enough.
Getting emails from partners of others like us are pretty frequent. One thing I’m asked, and this breaks my heart a little, is why what they do isn’t, well, enough? Our partners struggle to understand us as much as we can be understood and try to accommodate us to the extent of their comfort level. Not all of us have supportive and/or accepting spouses but there are many partners out there who are doing what they can, what they feel comfortable with, for our femme side.
But again, sometimes we want more.
I let my husband wear panties but he gets angry when I ask him not to wear lingerie when we are intimate
I accept my husband’s feminine side… but SHE is always around. I miss my husband
My husband keeps coming out to friends and family without talking with me first
These are examples of partners who have a level of acceptance but (in my opinion), reasonable boundaries. Boundaries that perhaps at one point their spouses were more than happy to respect. But as time passed… they wanted more.
Which is normal. I get it. I can relate.
But there’s a difference between accepting our partner saying “I’m not ready for that” and, well, us being a bitch when we don’t get what we want. Being passive-aggressive when we are not given permission or the blessing to… go to a different level is really not mature. This side of us has the potential to drive a wedge between us and our partners and when this side of us makes a stressful situation even more so? That’s even more stressful. It’s an example of how crossdressing ITSELF isn’t the problem, it’s the problem that behavior when it comes to crossdressing CREATES. Being bitchy, going behind our partner’s back, overstepping agreed upon boundaries… this causes problems.
This can lead to a good thing, maybe not an ideal thing in our mind, but a good thing turning bad.
I get many emails about asking how to make crossdressing and a relationship work. The short answer is that I worked a LOT on my partnership with my wife. I tried very hard to see EVERYTHING from her point of view, I listened to her the first time she said something, and I stopped (although it took longer than it should have) making THIS the center of everything I did and everything I talked about. I stopped making crossdressing more important than her.
Of course, this is easier said than done. We need a way to express ourselves AND we need to share who we are and what we’re feeling and thinking with our partners. BUT we can do this without overwhelming our partners. Sometimes I want to talk and talk and talk about gender so I turn to blogging. Sometimes I want to go shopping en femme so I hit the mall with another t-girl. Making friends with girls like us is very helpful.
I’ve used this comparison in the past but I have a friend who loves football. Like, LOVES football. Lives, eats, breathes, sleeps football. AND it’s alllllllll he talks about. His wife also loves football but not to the extent of him. For her, going to a game off and on is fine but he is down at the stadium every Sunday tailgating. Then he goes to the game. Then he goes home and watches other games. Then he talks about the game.
He’s a nice guy but not really good at picking up on someone’s vibe, you know?
Instead of driving his wife up the wall with endless and constant talk about football he turned to other ways to share his enthusiasm. He has a lot of other football friends. He made friends to tailgate with. He has directed his love and excitement for something towards others who share his passion. HIs wife is always invited to come along and sometimes she does, but the point is that their entire relationship doesn’t revolve around a sport.
We can learn from them.
Heck, I learned from him. Not every conversation with my wife didn’t have to be about clothes and makeup.
But again, much, much easier said than done.
No one gets exactly what they want in life. Even a dream job has it’s negative aspects, a beautiful dress just might be a LITTLE too snug in some parts, and the dynamic with our partner might not be exactly what we want.
But like a lot of things, we might have it better than we realize. It’s at this moment we need to appreciate what we have and remember that what we have is what someone else would die for.
This post is to encourage you to look at your relationship objectively when it comes to this side of you. I get that all of us might want more, but is it possible what you have, the support from your partner is actually… well, more than you thought you would ever have?
A decade ago I wanted nothing more than stepping out with her. It’s what I once wanted. What we have is different than what I thought I wanted, but like the song says, sometimes you get what you need.
5 thoughts on “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”
Much of the internet, and social media is inhabited by cowards. There is an awareness that it is possible to be mean, rude, aggressive or downright threatening to people without having to suffer any of the consequences. Unfortunately as soon as we pock our heads above the parapet some of these evil trolls will shoot at us.
I’m always impressed by supportive partners, it must be such a hard thing to come to terms with, I salute them all, however they express their support.
One of your best posts ever (and I have probably read every one).
P.S. Your boss sounds like a real jerk. Unfortunately, in your line of work, that happens. Good luck.
Enjoyed your Thanksgiving message of being grateful for the acceptance our SO’s give us for crossdressing. The delicate balance of ratifying our own need for expression with the needs of our partner is key. My partner knows I dwell on CDing, but chooses not to share it. I’m happy with that and respect the boundaries.
Thanks Hannah for your insight on this subjecct.
What you do between yourself and your partner is your own affair.
As for bosses there are lots of clowns out there who have a `Napoleon’, factor !
Any CD that has a spouse or significant other that tolerates them is lucky. For those of us who have a spouse that demonstrates an even higher degree of acceptance we are blessed indeed. As for the writer who questioned how supportive your wife is, that’s like the rich person that feels he needs to flaunt how rich he is to any and all. Such people alternately disgust me and fill me with pity.
I appreciate your thoughtful and balanced approach to this and most every thing you write about. Stay strong. You are doing a great deal of good for a great many people.