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Thread: How your Significant Other feels about your behavior

  1. #1
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    How your Significant Other feels about your behavior

    This is a tangent to Julie Marie1's earler post http://www.crossdressers.com/forums/...bout-your-wife

    As that post was specifically addressed to CDs with wives, I felt my comments, from a genetic woman in a committed but not married relationship with a MTF TG, needed a separate thread. We see many posts in the MTF CD, Loved Ones and TS forums asking how to get more positive involvement from SOs or lamenting loss of SOs due to gender expression and identity. And several responses to Julie's thread included both an assessment of how the wife feels and regrets that the feelings weren't more positive. This thread is my response to those posts.

    From my point of view, I see three primary drivers to how your SO feels about your behavior:

    1. Religious Conservatism - if your SO receives her life direction from a conservative religious entity, you are not in a good place.

    The chances are nearly zero that she will ever see your behavior, or expressed desire to cross gender lines, as acceptable. Your only recourse is to accept that there may never be a positive involvement and there will quite likely be a very negative response to your desired or enacted behavior. And this applies across the full spectrum of transgenderism - from fetish dressing to dual gender expression to transsexuality. Why you do this, or want to do this, won't matter. You need to acknowledge this to yourself, internalize it, make a conscious decision about what YOU are going to do about it, accept that decision as being YOUR choice and implement it. Either give it up, get in the closet and enjoy yourself there, or get out of the relationship and live the life you need to live. You only make your distress over your situation worse every time you start obsessing about lack of acceptance, participation, and support. Just accept your reality - give it up, get in the closet or get out of the relationship - and free yourself to focus on the good points of what you receive from your behavior or your relationship. Complaining about it won't change it and only keeps you tied to the negativity of it. Give yourself some love and try to be happy with the limited life time you have.

    2. Sexual Openness - studies and surveys report that an average of 70% of MTF crossdressers are fetish dressers. If your SO is not already sexually adventurous, comfortable with pornography or into other fetishes of her own, she is not going to be interested in having girl-on-girl sex with you. Your continued requests and botched attempts to do so will eventually drive a wedge between the two of you. So you, just as with TG #1 above, need to accept this. You need to decide if solitary cross-dressing is adequate for you or if you need a partner. If solitary is fine by you, be grateful for DADT, thank her for it, and leave her out of your fetish. If she can't cope with knowing that your secret behavior even exists, then you need to commit to giving the behavior up or giving the relationship up. If you need a partner, then you also need to get out of this relationship and get into one which will meet your needs. I'm sure you are in a relationship with a wonderful person, but if your most primal needs are not being met, you need to go ahead and get off the tracks before that train wreck causes too much collateral damage. It's not easy to be alone, but its easier than being miserable.

    3. Romantic Orientation - I view "romantic" orientation as being a blend of sexual orientation, gender attraction and sexual imprinting. And I feel like this is the greatest barrier that most of you face to experiencing more positive involvement from your SOs.

    Like other orientations, it does not change. It is intrinsic to each individual and remains constant over their lifetime. Your significant other was originally attracted you on the basis of her romantic orientation. If your transgender behavior and expression does not meet her romantic orientation, she is not going to feel the same level of attraction to you - regardless of sexual orientation. She may even feel repelled. Many of you claim that you are the same person under the wig, makeup and dress, and that may be so, but it doesn't mean that your actions and presentation match the primary characteristics of her romantic orientation. And those primary characteristics must be met in order for her to embrace your femme persona.

    She may be oriented to dark-haired (her 1st four boyfriends were all Mediterranean ancestry), square-shaped (Daddy played linebacker), bookish (Mom taught AP Lit), introverted technology geeks (who knows why!?!).

    When you present as a blond wigged, waist shaped, breast and butt padded hourglass figure who wants to spend the weekend dancing and singing karaoke - you are not matching her romantic orientation.

    It isn't "I'm not a lesbian", as much as its "You're not my type". And she may not be aware of this, she may, in fact, be saying, "I'm not a lesbian". But unless you are post-Op, she can't be a lesbian, and what she most likely feels is, "You're not my type."

    So your first action needs be that of understanding her romantic orientation. And this can be difficult because she may never have examined it herself. This will take time and talking - revisit her initial attraction to you. Discuss similarities between you and her previous romantic interests. Find the connection. Fit your femme persona into the appropriate template.

    What is more important to you - presenting obvious primary gender characteristics to reduce being clocked in public or being romantically attractive to your SO? Change the hair color, give up the waistline, settle for smaller forms, stay out of the gay bars and participate in a nearby book club together.

  2. #2
    Member Ann Louise's Avatar
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    That's very good advice for me. I've only recently (a month ago) come out to my wife, and am attempting to navigate these very waters in our relationship. I've found it useful to thoughtfully, sincerely touch base with her every couple of days to check in with her evolution of thoughts about me (and us). Seems like it's most important to her that I don't go full en-femme yet ("...we need to grow into this and see where this goes..," she said), and that on the weekends I don't hide in the house the entire time in a pink fog, but rather, still get out and do our weekend things like we always have done (shopping, eating out, etc.). I'm also trying to involve her in my slow, measured pace of new purchases of hose, panties, etc., so that she's a participant of the whole thing. So far, so good... fingers crossed. Thank you Elle, Elfin
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  3. #3
    Member Fran Moore's Avatar
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    Thanks Elle, this was a very good observation (from my point of view) and very applicable to my situation. This type of constructive input is why I so appreciate the GG's thoughts on this forum! Excellent!
    Last edited by Eryn; 01-10-2013 at 04:49 PM. Reason: Deleted quoted text as it is obvious what you are referencing.
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  4. #4
    Platinum Member Eryn's Avatar
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    studies and surveys report that an average of 70% of MTF crossdressers are fetish dressers.
    I'll point out that it is notoriously difficult to do an accurate survey among a population who are hesitant to admit, even to those closest to them, that they are a member of that population.

    My impression is that fetish dressing is more prevalent among younger CDers, but I also know that CDing seems to come to the forefront in a person's 40s and thereafter.

    It's a very slippery demographic to analyze.
    Eryn
    "These girls have the most beautiful dresses. And so do I! How about that!" [Kaylee, in Firefly] [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    "What do you care what other people think?" [Arlene Feynman, to her husband Richard]
    "She's taller than all the women in my family, combined!" [Howard, in The Big Bang Theory]
    "Tall, tall girl. The woman could hunt geese with a rake!" [Mary Cooper, in The Big Bang Theory]

  5. #5
    Platinum Member Beverley Sims's Avatar
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    Religious conservatism is the hardest to overthrow.
    Then comes Romantic Orientation and Sexual Openness.
    Work on your elegance,
    and beauty will follow.

  6. #6
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    I think there is another factor that should be considered:

    4. Rigid ideas of gender and / or relationship roles. This is implicit in the "religious conservatism" factor, but it really is a separate thing. My wife, for example, is NOT religious. She is, by all outward appearances a very liberal and progressive person in many, many ways. However, she has VERY rigid ideas about gender roles, at least for her relationship. "The man needs to be in charge." She was really, really angry with me, for quite a long time, because I didn't fix her car. (I don't know how to fix cars - I know how to pickup the phone and call someone who does.) Because, seriously, "what kind of a man doesn't know how to fix a car? ALL REAL MEN CAN FIX CARS!!!" We eventually sorted this out, and she accepted me as someone who never learned to be a mechanic. But it took a while. I went through many, many tests to prove I was a "real man," (I passed with a 70) until I finally told her "look, this isn't fair and we aren't doing this anymore."

    I'm thinking that because of this one alone, wearing a dress is going to be a tough sell. Romantic Orientation (she likes John Wayne), and Sexual Openness are going to be issues too.

  7. #7
    Member katlee's Avatar
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    She hates it, but is somewhat supportive as long as she doesn't see me as Kat. She still has a fear that I am gay. But, she still buys me pantyhose and thigh highs. I would love to be Kat in sexual situation with her, yep I fill the young CDer fetish group.
    I think I feel more like Natalie than I do Kat. I think from this point I will go by Natalie.

    Part of a recently ended relationship where a reason why it ended was my crossdressing.

  8. #8
    Julie Gaum Julie Gaum's Avatar
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    Most of what Elle outlined are probably correct although her three obstacles could be presented by many others on this Forum with different
    wording and discriptions but come to a similar conclusion. I do want to disagree on the 70% figure (as did Eryn). Perhaps that figure might be close to true with cross dressers up to the age of, say, twenty but then that percent by age 50 has likely dropped to 20 to 25% if that.
    In addition young CDs who eventually transition partially or completely must be excluded and that drops that 70% to roughly 60%.
    In conclusion all our estimates remain guesses not supported by actual facts. I am confortable with the belief that fetish dressing is probably higher than I once believed. How high? Pick your percent.
    Julie

  9. #9
    Aspiring Member Stevie's Avatar
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    That was well worth reading. My wife could probably say all three are true about her. That is why I'm confused she is still with me. There must be other factors involved keeping us together. As much as she resents me dressing I feel our bond for each other has increased and she has given me the green light to dress when I didn't want to. Of course my quickly took advantage of the offer. There might be a sign of hope for us.

  10. #10
    Making a life for Tina! suchacutie's Avatar
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    We've handled most of these issues differently. The simple one is that there are no religious issues. The fetish-dressing issue is not an issue for me in that although I find the transformation to Tina to be sensual (how could one not?), I don't find it sexual, and my partner is not interested in a lesbian relationship. Lastly, we've found that I'm really not the same when transformed to Tina, so we are able to have a platonic girlfriend relationship in that circumstance. That removes Tina from the romantic side of the husband/wife relationship, leaving it unaffected.

    With all that, we are both free to find out who Tina is and how she interacts with the world, and herself! It really is fascinating!


  11. #11
    "Cindarella Man" Jessica86's Avatar
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    1. Religion. If you know enough about it, then you can talk this one out. So many parts are left out....it's like law. Some is told and made known. Other parts are not unless you read it yourself. Like people who get religious tatoos when the Bible says not to.....

    2. Your 70 percent has already been covered. The issue that has not been covered is the most important. Who cares if you get aroused by wearing women's clothing. Who says you have to tell your SO that. That really just eliminates part 2 of this equation.

    3. Again, I will strike a match with this one. If you take your post for 3, put it into simple terms, there is a list of things your SO likes about you. If you do not meet that list, they are entitled to not accept you. I hate this one because if I had the idea of not dating a woman unless she had large breasts, slim waistline, brown hair, green eyes, and was exactly 5'09" I would be looked at as a creep. Yet we allow women to say a man must be X and X and X and X, and we call it....romantic orientation. Don't think it is right. What about my romantic orientation? What about hers as well....but where is the middle ground? That's the question that should be asked.

    Bottom line is this. Despite all the things said here, if you are in a serious....and I mean...serious like you are going to be together forever serious....then your SO probably already knows something. Honesty is the biggest benefit to you. Tell them. If they do not appreciate the fact that you told them, then they have already made up their mind on what they want. Some may disagree with me. This is fine. I welcome it. To sum this up for good, I have said this before. How can someone get upset over a behavior they can just say "Well, don't let me see it." That simple phrase solves issues for both sides. If you do it, express it. Then, they need to express acceptance, or act like an adult and express their side as well instead of just giving up.
    "If you think you can or can't, you're right" -Henry Ford

  12. #12
    ~ M2F Lezzie ~ Annaliese2010's Avatar
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    A very well thought-out helpful and objective essay, ElleduSud. Good tips. Constructive and usable. The xx pov is Always of interest to me. Lord knows, throughout the millennia your sex and the qura that surrounds the female mystique is, for the most part, unfathomable. Not any less so by those of us here who, as if somehow we defy gravity itself, find ourselves part & parcel to both sexual extremes. And so...not Necessarily better able to unravel the essence of your mystery than an essential or 100% grounded xy (we being nominally so, nebulously so, or, if you will, only thus so-so).

    IOW...loved your post, girl!

  13. #13
    Extraordinaire May(be)'s Avatar
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    Very useful post. I will be sure to keep this in the back of my mind. Thank you!

  14. #14
    Junior Member Rachael Jones's Avatar
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    Gotta say, (if you've read my long diatribe on how I got to where I'm at now) you'll know that point 1 is the sticking point. I've copied this for further reading and thought.

    I'll only add that alongside religious conservatism which Beverly mentioned is religious fundamentalism - those who will believe what they believe and will not be swayed by any other opinion. Just try getting a fundamental type to admit any possibility of them being wrong... Then welcome to my world (!).

    Very thought provoking stuff.

    xXx
    Rachael

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