If we are fortunate, we will live long enough to learn. If we are wise, we will choose to learn from our experiences and grow. If we are truly wise we can learn from others’ experiences.
There are times when I look back and wish I knew then what I know now. Often these moments are when I hear how I impacted someone with my actions or words.
I had a colleague years ago that had a very sarcastic sense of humor. He was hilarious. I would try my best to match his wit and to be as funny as he was. Often my attempts were about as misguided as you could imagine. I thought he would take my “humor” as gentle teasing, the way friends sometimes do among themselves.
The problem was that my humor wasn’t clever and after a few weeks he told me he was tired of me constantly making fun of him. I was shocked that he took my comments the way he did. It wasn’t my intention at all.
It was a reminder that the importance of our comments and actions is all about how they make someone else feel… even if it’s not what we meant at all.
I felt horrible. In retrospect he was absolutely correct. His sense of humor was targeted towards a situation… never individual people. He was sarcastic but never made fun of a specific person. But in my stupid attempt to be funny I resorted to making fun of HIM.
I felt horrible. Even now that moment pops into my head and I replay the conversation we had when he bravely, well, stood up to me. I’m sure he thought (and rightly so) that I was an asshole, a bully. I cringe at thinking I was the reason he hated going to work every day.
We cleared the air and got along… better after that. But my God, I am sure he hated me. I hate knowing that I made someone feel that way.
I learned from this. I wish this lesson didn’t have to be learned by making someone feel as horribly as I made them feel.
Of course, THIS side of us is always about learning. How to walk in heels, how to blend foundation, how to do all the tiny, numerous, practical aspects of presenting femme. There are countless tutorials online that teach the… hm, technical parts of all THIS.
The emotional part of this is what is the hardest. Learning to accept this side of yourself is not the step-by-step process that learning makeup is. The emotional part is not only about how we feel and think about ourselves, but can also include how who we are impacts the other people in our world.
Now, I am not referring to the random people we pass by at the mall or the transphobic jerks that say nasty comments online. I’m speaking specifically about our partners.
When my journey diverted from exclusively lingerie and underdressing to presenting femme, wearing a wig and “real” clothes, adopting a femme name and identity, and going out into the world my wife witnessed every single step. She was also there for every mistake, both practical and emotional.
That’s not to say she was going out with me. What I mean is that she was there when I purchased my first real wig online, she was there when I was learning makeup, when I decided on a femme name, and a million other key moments. She saw me evolve and change. Literally.
We both went though this but our point of view was very different. As thrilling as it was to shave my legs, it made my wife feel apprehensive about someone noticing my smooth legs and wondering why I was doing that… and perhaps putting two and two together.
I was very concerned about what she thought and felt about “all this”. But what I failed to acknowledge was how… impactful all of this was on her. Every new milestone could potentially trigger a new emotion or fear. My wife being accepting of me wearing panties doesn’t necessarily mean she would be comfortable with me going to the mall en femme. Both of these situations are different and opened up new fears, new emotions, new thoughts.
But being concerned doesn’t mean I was making the right decisions. It didn’t make me listen.
Why? If I was “concerned” why was I making bad decisions?
I was lost in the fog. I was so focused on myself that I didn’t always listen to her or pay attention to her nonverbal communications. When you are with someone for long enough you can usually sense when something ISN’T fine, even when they say it is. Sometimes it just means that they are not ready to talk about something.
I was also drinking a lot back then. When I was drinking or hungover my thought process, my ability to think things through and consider the potential consequences was pretty bad, to be honest.
After what as been more or less a ten year journey for myself but also for my wife and ultimately for US, we have both settled into my gender identity. I think the days of her wondering and worrying I would want to transition are gone and that the desire to come out to others has dissipated. No new milestones, no new paths on my adventure. Hannah has arrived to where she was heading to.
There is a peace in myself but also between my wife and I when it comes to who I am.
Of course this wasn’t ever easy. At first it was one major new leap after another. With each new THING, whether it was a wig or a name or starting the MN T-Girls or stepping out, new fears and concerns and emotions surfaced. These emotions for me were pink filled moments of excitement. For my wife… not so much.
Now that we are at the point that we are at, I can look back at the past. It’s not unlike being at the top of a mountain and seeing how far you’ve climbed and being able to recall the points where you stumbled. The hard parts. The moments you wanted to turn back. We’re at a point where my wife can tell me things like “When you were first doing THIS, it made me feel THIS way”. She can tell me she told me she was fine with something but in reality it really was stressful. She can tell me that in the early days how lonely she felt because she couldn’t talk to anyone about her husband’s wardrobe.
It’s very possible she tried to tell me these things at the time. As I said I was lost in the fog, drunk, hungover, and just too focused on me, too focused on Hannah, to really listen.
I’m glad she told me these things then as well as after the fact. I’m glad she feels secure to tell me how I made her feel. Of course I feel horrible about all this. To realize how selfish and self-absorbed as I was.
It’s another example of how often it’s not the crossdressing ITSELF that is the problem… it’s the things that can come FROM it.
I am often reminded of my selfishness, my self-centeredness, my carelessness, and my mistakes when I receive an email from a partner of a crossdresser.
Something that may be worth keeping in mind is how similar t-girls and crossdressers are. Many, many of us had the same feelings and desires as we grew up, as we came to understand and accept who we are. Many of us can relate to each other. Many of us have done, and want to do, the same things as each other.
We also make the same choices. These are not always the right choices. I admit I didn’t always make the best decisions when it came to this side of me years ago. These decisions impacted my wife. If you made the same choices as I did, it, it may be safe to assume they also affected your own partner in the same way my choices affected my wife.
WE are all very similar. And our partners? They are all very similar as well. Why is that? Well, they are all involved with someone that most of the world thinks is a big, tough, manly man… but in the privacy of their own home, or in the safety of the internet… things are not what they seem. Our wives, partners, and girlfriends can all relate to each other in this.
If we as crossdressers and t-girl make poor decisions we will more than likely cause our partners to feel and experience the very same emotions and thoughts that my wife experienced.
The emails I get from partners of crossdressers are all strikingly similar. I am saying this not only to let those like myself know this, but also if your partner crossdresses I want you to know that although you feel alone in this, there are countless other wives and girlfriends who can relate to you. This side of us is complicated for us, but it is complicated in different ways for our partners.
Please know this. I am not wise. I am not, and have never been, the world’s greatest spouse. I am not the most enlightened crossdresser on the planet. If anything, I am fairly introspective, I am an overthinker, and I read a lot. In this example, I read a lot of emails and comments from the partners of people like myself.
During those early days I was absorbed with myself. With Hannah. I wasn’t paying that much attention to what my wife was feeling. I was lost in the fog, I was drinking, I wasn’t who I wanted to be and I wasn’t who I am today.
I was only listening to myself.
If I could turn back time and talk to myself, if I could talk to Hannah in those exciting and selfish days… well, maybe I would listen.
But I can’t do that. But maybe I can talk to you.
I am not here to preach, to lecture, to shake my finger at you. That would be hypocritical. If I think you are making a mistake it’s only because I made the same mistake. I didn’t know it at the time but in hindsight I realize so many decisions were, to say the least, selfish.
What I will say here are what many, many of our partners are telling me. And it’s very possible it’s YOUR own wife that emailed me. A lot of the emails I receive say things along the line of “…my husband reads your website…”
I know this side of us is not always easy… and it’s not always easy to hear how we as human beings can negatively impact others. I think I will forever be haunted when I remember how my colleague felt, how lonely my wife was, the countless other interactions and relationships I’ve had over the years where I said or did the wrong thing…
This rambling post is an effort, from one crossdresser to another, to let you know what your partner might be feeling based on emails I’ve received. What they might want to tell you. Perhaps what they already have told you… but their words fell on deaf ears.
Admittingly some of this might be hard to hear and hard to swallow. I can relate. I often had to brace myself when my wife would say “I need to talk with you about something” and I absolutely knew what we would be discussing.
For the sake of simplicity, I am going to use the word “wife” as opposed to alternating between “partner”, “spouse”, or “significant other”. Most emails I get from our partners are indeed our wives so let’s stick with that.
Once again, I want to reiterate that I am absolutely not holier than thou. Every single thing here is what my wife and I discussed over the years. I am as flawed as anyone.
I also want to make it clear that I am absolutely writing this from my perspective and my own interpretation. I am very aware I could be missing the mark on this.
What Is Your Wife Feeling?
In a word, overwhelmed. She is trying hard to understand YOU, the WHY, the REASONS. I know this side of you might be incredibly simple but, well, it’s not.
She wants to be supportive and wants you to live your truth BUT feels she is putting her feelings aside and is focusing on YOU. Some wives feel like they have to sacrifice their own desires and needs and be loving and giving. If you have kids you have likely seen your wife put aside her own needs for your children… whether it’s giving up sleep or a job or a social life. Some women feel that is expected of them. She might putting her needs aside for YOU and for this side of you.
What Is Your Wife Having a Hard Time With?
The CONSTANT conversation about clothes, makeup, going out together…
Trust me, if you’ve asked her ONCE about going out as girls and she declined you don’t need to ask her again. She remembers. She knows the offer is still out there. She knows you still want to do this. If and when she is ready she will let you know. Repeated requests and bringing it up again is not going to help and will probably, hm, backfire on you.
And yes it’s super fun to talk about clothes and style and fashion. For many of us we’ve been wanting to talk about this side of us for years, especially with our wives… and when we get the chance it is like a breaking dam. It’s a relief for us… but can be very overwhelming for our partners. Reel it in a little.
Your wife may also be tired of the CONSTANT same thing in the bedroom. Intimacy between people is a balance of “oh, THIS again?” and “Wow, WHERE did you learn that?”. It’s not uncommon for people to try new things in the bedroom. People enjoying sex with each other might take some time. Learning what you like with that person, learning what that person likes… just finding a flow that works for you both that is satisfying and sincere and fun.
Roleplaying, fantasies, costumes… all of these things can change the dynamic between people. If your wife wears… you know, THAT nightgown you probably knows what she is trying to communicate to you. PAY ATTENTION.
Aaaand of course, WE want to wear a nightgown too. And likely other things. Sometimes our wives are, well, up for it. Your wife knows you wear lingerie. She knows you probably want to (and you might already) wear something sexy, something femme to bed. This changes the moment. You may put on something cute and you may want to… hm, be the girl, for lack of a better phrase. Your wife might be into that, but maaaaybe not all the time. She maybe wants to have sex with her MAN. Your wife, again, for lack of a better phrase, might want to be the girl. To be the cute one. To be the sexy one. It might take her out of the moment if her husband’s lingerie is cuter than hers. Cue her feeling insecure.
And yes, I know we have needs too and I love lingerie on an almost obsessive level but this side of us is a lot to take in. A lot to put up with.
Sex is not always about SEX. Sex is sometimes an intimate moment between two people. Two people who have committed to a life together. It’s a time to enjoy each other, a moment of refuge from a demanding life. A crossdressing husband brings a lot of baggage and tension and stress. Intimacy is a break from deadlines and Zoom meetings and household chores and bills… and she might also want a break from her man’s penchant for bras.
And yes, she is very likely really hesitant and reluctant to bring this up to you.
What Is Your Wife Afraid of?
She’s afraid you are in denial. This was my wife’s fear. No matter how many times we discussed that I was not strutting towards transition she had a very, very hard time believing that. In retrospect I don’t blame her at all. We went from me telling her that I liked to wear panties to a femme name and going out en femme in a couple of very short and quick years. It seemed like I was going a million miles an hour towards estrogen. It felt inevitable to her.
Time dissipated this fear for her. Somehow she held in there until enough time passed for her to be at peace with this side of me. This was a LOT for her, it was too much. She felt so alone. My heart breaks a little when I remember these days for her.
My words meant nothing to her. It was a little hard to believe me when I was en femme and telling her that I didn’t want to be full time. I mean, she saw how happy I was. She perceived that this side of me made me happy (and it does) and thought (and understandably so) I always wanted to be this happy and would want to transition.
I didn’t have the perspective on who I am at this time. I didn’t have the words to reassure her. I wish I had been seeing a counselor at this time. Not because I needed help understanding who I was, but I think if she knew I was speaking with a trained professional about my identity AND still feeling that transitioning wasn’t for me then she might have felt a little more at ease.
So, perhaps seek out a therapist, one that specializes in gender if you can. You don’t need to see a therapist every week for years… even a few sessions can be helpful.
Your wife is afraid of coming off as non-supportive. This can be… hm, this can feel hypocritical for people in our lives. My siblings and mom are fierce advocates and allies of the LGBTQ+ community. BUT this side of their brother is a little… well, it is taking some time for them to be comfortable with.
Your wife might be in a similar situation. She may have a lot of gay friends and you might (naturally) assume that her having and loving her gay friends is just a hop, skip, and a strut away from loving a gender queer spouse. It’s not. For any of us that have come out to our partners we likely know this from experience.
This was something that I learned early on. Based on the friendships my siblings have, I (naively) assumed they would also be enthusiastic and supportive of me. They are… they were… in their way. It wasn’t instantaneous. It was an adjustment for them.
Your wife might also be afraid of someone finding out which I wrote more about more in depth here.
She is afraid you will cheat on her. It’s normal for our partners to think that because we are blurring the lines of gender that we may also be blurring the lines of sexuality. She likely has wondered if you are gay, to be honest. Although to many of us wearing panties has absolutely nothing to do with being intimate with a man, it’s not that simple, not yet anyway, to our partners.
Listen, the Pink Fog can be dangerous. Your wife has likely already felt that THIS side of us is making us do things that contradict what she is used to. I’ve heard from wives telling me that their husbands are very fiscally responsible so it was a huge shock to learn that their spouse just dropped hundreds of dollars on heels.
This side of us can tempt us to do things out of character… including cheating. A common fear that I hear from our wives is that if they request that you stop wearing lingerie during sexy times it may lead you to looking for someone else to dress up and be intimate with.
And yes, I know that this didn’t cross your mind. It certainly didn’t cross my mind when my wife expressed this fear. Regardless, it’s something many of our wives are thinking.
What Are You Not Hearing?
Years ago I spent the day out en femme. When I got home my wife asked about my day and I told her where I went. After a moment she reminded me that she requested I not go to a certain mall that I went to that day. She has too many friends who go there on the weekend and was afraid someone would see me.
This is understandable and reasonable.
However, I had no recollection of this request. I do one hundred percent believe her though. This was a perfect example of our partners setting a boundary and me absolutely not listening. It’s very possible I HEARD it but quickly forgot about. Again, the Pink Fog…
Some of us let a boundary request go in one ear and out the other. Some of us ignore it. If she asks not to post a photo, leave the house, or whatever else, please listen to her. Please don’t try to get away with it. Again, it’s not always the crossdressing ITSELF that is the problem… it’s the things that can come FROM it.
Some of our wives feel like they are talking to a brick wall when it comes to this side of us. This side of us, as I mentioned above, can find it’s way into the bedroom. Intimacy, sexy time, fun in the bedroom… there’s a lot going on between two people. Sometimes sex is raw, passionate, intense. Sometimes it’s gentle, an expression of a love and commitment. Regardless, it’s something that both of you need to feel satisfied with.
That satisfaction is more than the PHYSICAL. It can also be emotional and respectful. If your wife asked you once not to do THAT or touch her THERE then you need to listen. It’s not always easy but we need to pay attention to what our wives are saying, feeling, and responding to… especially in bed. If you feel her energy shift when she sees you in a cute bra and panty then maybe take them off.
And I don’t know about you, but what I am wearing can change my mood. If a work week brought stress and frustration I can bounce back from it by getting dolled up and spending a Saturday en femme. This is also felt when I am being lazy in leggings and a femme shirt (like I am wearing right now) or feeling sexy in lingerie.
I have received emails from wives who tell me that their man is a raw and sexual animal… but when they are in lingerie suddenly they are submissive.
Look, roleplay is a normal and fun thing in the bedroom… BUT it requires a new level of communication. If your wife tells you that she is uncomfortable with SOMETHING, then don’t do it. If your wife doesn’t like being called _________ during sex, then don’t do it.
Likewise if she asks you to leave your lingerie in your dresser during sex then listen to her. She has needs too and they can go beyond her sexual needs. She needs to feel respected and listened to.
And yes, you have needs too. It’s very likely you WANT to wear lingerie during sex. After all, lingerie and sex is pretty synonymous with each other. It’s normal to be aroused while wearing a Basque and stockings. It’s natural to want to be more aroused during intimacy and let’s face it, wearing something cute or slutty or sexy is a GREAT way to do that.
Some wives are afraid you are having only having sex because it’s an excuse, a chance to dress up and the sex is not about desiring HER.
That being said, let your wife set the boundaries here. Have this discussion OUTSIDE of the bedroom. Ask her what she thinks of you wearing lingerie.
Her response will likely go a few different ways.
“I don’t mind it, but please, not all the time”
“It kinda bugs me that you have sexier lingerie than I do”
“I am afraid that if I am not wearing something equally cute you may not be turned on by me”
“Aren’t I enough? Why do you need to wear lingerie?”
“Lingerie changes you… sometimes I like you being “a girl” in bed, but I am not always into that”
“I support your crossdressing but please, could you not dress up when we are having sex?”
These might be disappointing, to say the least, to hear. Of course we would prefer our wives to say that their man wearing a bra makes them very horny and that you should go buy more lingerie but that’s not likely going to happen. Sorry.
Please know that whatever she says about this topic likely required an insane amount of courage. It’s likely something she’s been wanting to tell you but could never find the opportunity or the right words.
Whatever she says, listen.