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Thread: Question from wife of CD about trust & memories of your first time dressing

  1. #1
    Junior Member mumpossible's Avatar
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    May 2015

    Question from wife of CD about trust & memories of your first time dressing

    Hi everyone,

    I am new here- so hope this is the right place to ask this?

    My husband is a CD, i've know for 2 years, and am supportive despite not fully understanding it all. we have been out dressed a few times, and i buy her things, help with make up etc.

    So, i have been doing a lot of reading lately to get my head around all this, and have read a lot of accounts from CDs and women who are Transgender. I am trying to understand how i might be able to work out of my husband is 'just' a CD or is really wanting to be/is a woman. His CD urge (is that the right word?) is getting stronger and more frequent in the last few years. I have read lots about people not knowing they were transgender until they begin to explore their gender more fully. He's on his early 40s, dressed in secret for as long as he can recall, with periods of stopping/starting. But he did not own any clothes of her own, or dress fully before I found out almost 2 yrs ago, when I bought her first pair of shoes & dress. So the Kelly side of him is relatively new i think, even though he has CD for a long time?

    So, I have some trust issue because he deceived me for a long time (16 years) and is possibly still not fully opening up because i might not reach well. So even though he says he is definitely a CD only, i have a little trouble believing that because 1) He might be in denial and not know yet and 2) he might be lying.

    I read recently that early experiences of dressing, in terms of thoughts emotions etc, are one way to work out if the person has gender dysphoria or just likes CDressing. he claims to not remember his first time at all. to not remember even his first time dressing in my clothes. and cannot remember if he ever dressed in previous girlfriends clothes. i find this so hard to believe- because with all the fear and excitement that caused I kind of doubt it. Because I can believe that if you dress a lot you can’t recall exact moments- but I’m pretty sure something as significant as first trying on your mothers, sisters or girlfriends clothes would be something you must remember?

    Do other people remember their first time vividly- and am i crazy thinking their is some deeper reason he can't/won't remember? by deeper reason i mean fear of admitting how frequent it is/was, or fear of admitting it was more than just popping on some clothes for a quick..erm..bit of relief? So, is he in deep denial, a liar or just really bad at remembering things?

    Alternately maybe i just need to stop obsessing and work on my trust issues?

    Any advice gratefully received,

  2. #2
    Adventuress Kate Simmons's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    The Poconos PA
    Hi Maz, I definitely started dressing in my Mom's clothes when I was around 12. I can't forget that. Prior to that there was one incident when I was around 10 when I found an old dress in the closet that fit me. It was one my Uncle had worn one year for trick or treating. I put it on and ran around the neighborhood and the neighborhood ladies, probably thinking they were humiliating me, proceeded to tell me what I need to look nice. Panties, bra, slip, nylons, girdle, heels, makeup, hair done and jewelery and perfume. Problem is I didn't feel humiliated, rather I ate it up and felt good about it and that prospect stuck with me a long time.

    I had every intention of transitioning when I got out of the Army but met my future wife and figured I could stop but the feelings are pretty powerful, so secretly CD'd until I finally came out to her openly. I had to find out who I was , so more or less lived the part. The result for myself was getting in touch with all of my feelings and accepting them and taking ownership of them, The only way I found to beat the dressing as a compulsion was to make it a total choice to do or not. That having been said I'm good with expressing both sides of myself and enjoying it.One has to be totally honest with oneself for it to work though. Hope that helped some.
    Second star to the right and straight on till morning

  3. #3
    Aspiring Member
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    Aug 2008
    Northern Nevada
    He is in his early forties so he has been hiding this for thirty years, and now you have known about it for two of those thirty years. He is still VERY reluctant to disclose everything because inside he is quite embarrassed about wanting to dress like a girl and being aroused when he does it. It is going to take time and patience on your part, but by his forties he most likely has reached his limit on how far he is going to take this. And yes, he remembers the first time he tried on your clothes and a previous girlfriends clothes, but it is embarrassing to him.

  4. #4
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    Hi Maz,

    Great questions and no easy answers as to the "is he just a cross dresser" question.

    I started cross dressing at age 7 when I took a pair of my sisters underwear and wore them. I did not know why I did it but I did it A few years later I took my first leotard. At such a young age, "cross dressing" has limited meaning. At 12 or 13 I put on my first dress and I have vivid recollection of the event from location, to the dress style, pattern, etc. Over the years the need to cross dress has waxed and waned but never left and yet I KNOW I am "just a normal cross dresser."

    The question is, does my wife know this? Well, I think she is 99.9999% sure but there is always a kernel of doubt and that is fair. I lied to my wife from more than 20 years before I came out to her so I can understand your trust concern. It was simple cowardice and shame that prevented me from telling her sooner.

    Conversation is the only way to get to a better understanding of your husband's direction. In my case you might ask, how do I "know" I am not really trans and not just in denial? Well, one, when I read comments from the trans folks on this forum, most, perhaps all, only dabbled in cross dressing and report that it never felt "right." They try cross dressing to try and make some sense of the way they actually feel. And then there is this: trans people look forward to surgery with a smile on their face. Nothing would scare me more than losing my equipment. How does he think about that?

    The trans forum here could be a great resource for you. All seem willing to help with genuine questions.

    Best of luck,

  5. #5
    MIDI warrior princess Amy Fakley's Avatar
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    Jul 2012
    The South
    I can certainly understand your desire to have a clearer vision of the future. You want to know where it's all headed because that affects you. Totally understandable.

    Unfortunately, at least in my experience of this, clarity is hard to come by for everyone involved. To directly answer your question ... I have no clear memory of the first time I dressed, nor of instances of whom I secretly borrowed clothes from along the way. For one thing, I'm also in 40s and that stuff was a long time ago ... I mean how many things do you clearly remember from when you were 5 or 6 years old?

    I do remember certain aspects though. I clearly recall feeling left out and sad when I asked my mom for cool clothes like the girls had after my first day of kindergarten, and I was told in no uncertain terms "that's not for you, you're a boy". To this day I remember that. I also remember a specific blouse that I used to borrow from my mother's closet, and a specific dress one of my girlfriends had in college. Can't remember the first time dressing in those things though.

    I will say this ... and this is definitely true of me, and I've read many similar accounts on the forum over the years ... there is an "expansion" nearly all of us experience after coming out.

    After I admitted everything to my wife (17 years into our marriage), and it turned out that she was so accepting and supportive, there was a little "girl explosion". I bought new clothes and shoes and my wife taught me how to do my makeup better and I finally spent real money on a good wig ... and BOOM! Amy was "born" in a way ...

    What I mean by that is that my feminine side had been made physically real in ways that simply were impossible before. And the closest person in my life still loved me, and accepted it ... and that made me very happy, but it also "expanded" that role in my day to day life, where my feminine side had been a closely guarded secret for literally all of my life up to that point. Naturally, I wanted to dress more often, and I thought about it more often. My wife also worried that I had been lying to her or that I didn't fully understand the extent of my transness.

    However, after a time it became apparent that those fears were not founded. I had moved no further along the trans spectrum than I had always been. It's just that barriers had been lifted and the pressure inside me released.

    For me it was like a tube of biscuits.
    I came out ... that was like knocking my tube of biscuits on the counter. The seal was broken, my contents expanded. With a little baking, I became the biscuit I always was on the inside. But I wasn't a muffin. I was still just a biscuit, lol.

    Hope that made sense, and I hope you and your SO find your balance :-)
    Last edited by Amy Fakley; 05-13-2016 at 10:11 AM.
    "Why shouldn't art be pretty? There are enough unpleasant things in the world." -Pierre-Auguste Renoir

  6. #6
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    Oct 2011
    In responding to your questions, I can only answer as it relates to me.

    You ask about trust. I understand your concern that he hid his CD for a long time. You ask why. I hid my desires to wear feminine underwear for a long time too. It was done because I did not "trust" that my wife would accept me as I am. I was afraid that if my wife knew the truth about my desires she would think less of me or even leave me. I love her very much. When I did finally tell her she asked the same questions you asked. Did I want to be a woman? I answered "no". I do not want to be a woman. However, I am a heterosexual man who just likes to wear women's underwear. No more no less. The majority of CD men are heterosexual and have no desire to transition. Even after telling her about my desires and discussing it. She has not accepted it. My fears were partially founded. She did not leave me, but I think she thinks less of me. Your husband may be holding back because of fear.

    Regarding the firstime I wore women's underwear, I can tell you that it was something that I still have a difficult time talking about. It is a hard admission. Even though I told my wife that I wanted to wear women's underwear around the house, I could not go into detail about how I started. I spoke at a high level, but not in detail. I ask my self why. What I believe I have discovered is that growing up in a religious house I learned that all things sexual are not discussed openly. Therefore when I was young and tried on my mother's longline bra, I was thrilled and at the sametime deeply ashamed. Shame is a common denominator with people who CD. It is a carry over from the child who discovers crossdressing and is told it is shameful. That is how it affected me. So I have been reluctant to share the how's and why's of the beginning.

    My advice is be open, be accepting and ask questions. But sometimes when we ask a lot of questions, it can sound like an interrogation. Let him tell you the details about what is within him when he is ready. Just as you are adjusting to this new reality, he is adjusting to you beginning to accept him too. It is a journey you both should take together.

  7. #7
    Silver Member Tina_gm's Avatar
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    Sep 2013
    Hi, and welcome to the forum. Yes, it is very possible he is still in denial about who he really is or wants, or that he could be lying to you. I am saying possible. He could be quite certain he knows exactly where he is on the spectrum. As far as not remembering, I find it odd at least, but not everyone's memory works the same. It could be because of those initial dress up times there was so much mental anguish going on he may have blocked those memories??? like how some people don't remember jumping out of a burning building or whatever. Not exactly the same, but the blocking mechanism is still there because of how intense the moment was and how traumatic it may be.

    I was somewhat of a latecomer in that I didn't get my 1st real feeling/desire until I was a teenager. When I did, it hit me like a brick and I can remember it as if it was yesterday. There are some CDers who are not in any way confused by their identity, they are men no matter how dressed. Then there are TS women, who always internally identify as women. Many CDers are somewhere in the middle. A term that you may hear is gender fluid, and that is how I personally identify as. A gender fluid person feels a connection to both male and female. It may or may not vary as to how one is connecting, either more masculine or more feminine, often times due to our surroundings, but not always.

    I am fairly certain that the life of someone who is TS is much more difficult, as they are entirely the opposite their birth gender and the frustration if not agony and torture of being in the wrong body is never ending. For people like me, it is not always so difficult, but it can be sometimes. And, while not as difficult of a life as that of someone who is TS, I think because it swings to both genders, perhaps more confusing. I think a big reason why I was in such deep denial and repressed it all from the age of 17 when I got my 1st cognitive feeling of wanting to be her, to the age of 48 when I waived the white flag and began acceptance of myself. (I am 51 now) It is because I do have a connection to being male, and because of that, felt I could purge the female from myself. I thought if I tried hard enough or did it right, I could be more manly, end the desires to dress. I was quite stubborn hanging on for 30 years.

    He could possibly still be in a bit of a discovery phase. He may never feel a need to transition, but the "progression" is not an actual increasing of femininity, it is more of self acceptance which he will allow himself to be more authentic, to the point of where ever it is he is on the transgender spectrum.
    Last edited by Tina_gm; 05-13-2016 at 10:17 AM.
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  8. #8
    Member adrienner99's Avatar
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    May 2008
    He is lucky to have someone trying so hard to understand this phenomena. Despite many scholarly articles you can find I don't think anyone really understands CDing. It has many...variations, many levels of intensity...I started dressing at six or eight and remember it all well.. But figuring out where we are on the TG spectrum is confusing for all of us...even he may not know where he is....I am TS; I finally decided.....if that helps.

  9. #9
    Junior Member mumpossible's Avatar
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    May 2015
    Thank you for all the replies. These are some really interesting responses. and very reassuring, so thank you.

    Amy- I LOVE the biscuit analogy- what a great description of the expansion of dressing.

    Nvlady- that is reassuring,. thank you.

    gendermutt- the idea of blocking is interesting. I think I will ask him about this, it might explain the lack of memory. .

    Skyeyes- you are absolutely right, he has spoken of feeling as if i am interrogating him- but i just want to understand and to be reassured. i mean well. it is tricky to try to learn without asking too many questions.

    Kate- i think that makes total sense to me,. i think he cannot be happy until he accepts that he is who he is.

    Many of you have said about this (CD) being a shameful or deeply held secret. That just makes me so sad, for him & all of you really. The idea that you feel you have to hide is just so not fair. I'm not upset about the dressing, just scared for the future and upset that our relationship was based on dishonesty/lack of disclosure. It hurts that he did not trust me. I totally sympathise with why he didn't- but I still feel hurt and betrayed. I feel such compassion for him, and desperately want to help him to be comfortable with this.

    Maybe i just need to back off and let him tell me what he want when he wants- but that is hard because i feel it is difficult to move past the deceit without fully disclosing the extent of it. so i'm less bothered by the first time e dressed- but do want to know the first time he wore my clothes.

    Jennifer- can i ask (but of course i understand that it might be too personal). How long did you and your wife take to get back to the strong relationship you had before, after she found out about your CD?
    Last edited by mumpossible; 05-13-2016 at 11:45 AM. Reason: incomplete reply

  10. #10
    Member adrienner99's Avatar
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    438 last post should have read "I am NOT TS..." I think many of us can love CDing and appear feminine but still NOT be TS either.....

  11. #11
    Silver Member paulaprimo's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
    new york
    hi maz, and welcome to the forum.

    you seem like a wonderful and supportive wife, so the short answer for me is,
    why would he lie?

    i remember trying on my mom's stuff numerous times as a child, but don't really remember
    the very first time. that was the extent of my dressing until i was in my 50's. i'd like to
    think that i'm a very honest person, but i have lied about that, mostly from shame.
    it's a very hard, scary and confusing life we live, especially when raised in the 1960's.
    everyone's story here is similar but different. our paths may all begin the same, but then
    they branch off at different points for most. some may purge and quit, some remain
    cross dressers, and at the other end of the spectrum some fully transition. so for
    me i know that i'm more than a cross dresser and fall somewhere in the middle of the

    when i first started dressing i thought i was "just" a cross dressing. but living a life of denial for
    over 50 years and finally getting the chance to be the "real" me, i've found i'm much more
    than a cross dresser.

    where you husbands journey will take him is up to him. i don't think any of us here can answer for him
    as all of our roads traveled have lead to different places on the spectrum. i know that it has to be very hard for
    you, but i also know it has to be very hard and confusing for your husband. all i can say is, continue to be supportive
    and hopefully he will be honest with you.

    wishing you both the very best...

  12. #12
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    Aug 2013
    Northern Georgia
    Welcome, to the forum.
    You've got some tough questions!

    In my case, I've been CDing as long as I can remember. I have a sister that is 13 months younger than me, and she grew up as my mother's pampered princess. I grew up thinking that my mother would love me more if I was born a girl. I recall raiding my mother's closet when I was around 3 years old, but I don't remember the first time I cross-dressed. I remember my mother complaining that I was ruining her clothes and so she made me a dress of my own to play with, and then my father objected to it. I remember being reprimanded and being told (many times) that only girls can play with this, or only girls can wear that. It seemed to me that girls got all the good stuff, and being a boy was a terrible handicap in life. Nonetheless, I always accepted that I was a boy.

    There was several years when crossdressing was no longer in my life and then when puberty started, it flared up again - and was even more powerful! While I cannot remember my first cross-dressing as a toddler, I do recall my first time as an adolescent. It was a slip and a party dress... It was such a thrill that my whole body was shaking. It scared me, and I wondered "What's happening? Why did it affect me this way?"

    I was in denial too. I did not want to believe I was different. I wanted to believe everything I did was normal for all boys. I was afraid I would never be able to grow up like my parents. I didn't want to disappoint my parents. I wanted to date girls, and get married someday. Once I realized I was different, I was confused. Crossdressing made no sense to me, yet I needed it. I was afraid that no girl would ever love me. I wanted grow up and be the sort of man that a woman could respect and honor - I was afraid that crossdressing would ruin everything.

    My own solution was to limit my crossdressing and keep it private. My wife sets the boundaries to my crossdressing. It's my job to live within her comfort zone. It works for us. (If it was only up to me, my crossdressing would escalate and escalate without end.) In this way both my needs and my wife's needs can be satisfied.

    All I can advise you is to keep the lines of communication open. Have your husband join this forum.

  13. #13
    Gold Member NicoleScott's Avatar
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    Mar 2008
    He may not be lying about not remembering the first time. Many of us started out quite young, and just dabbling, as I like to call it. Like wrapping a pretty scarf around my waist, pretending it was a skirt. Or seeing a slip or panties on a towel rack and compelled to try them on. I do remember my first head-to-toe transformation, though.
    More importantly, I think, is what's driving his dressing, arousal or an internal feminine identity. The time for holding back because of embarrassment should be over. I mean, the secret is out.
    He may know what's driving his desire to dress, and he should tell you what he knows, but he may not know how far it will go. That's the scary part.
    There have been many threads here about how to get her acceptance. Some people advise advancing in baby steps, securing acceptance for what she knows and then bumping it up a little, hoping for more acceptance, and so on. Just panties. Then a bra, then pantyhose, dress, wig, makeup, shoes, going out, etc. Unless she has a potato for a brain, she'll know she's being "slippery sloped" at about the third step. Mistrust, resentment.
    Remembering the first time? Give him a pass. What's going on right now? Time to open up right now.

  14. #14
    Happy to be me!! S. Lisa Smith's Avatar
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    Hampton Roads, Virginia
    Hi Maz, Welcome! We are all different so my answers probably won't help with the search for what is going on with your spouse. I remember what I think was my first crossdressing experience. I was 8 or 9 and it was in a play at summer day camp. A bunch of us were in the chorus in Oklahoma and all dressed as girls. I loved it and then started getting into my mother's clothes. I have been dressing for 58 or 59 years. I told my wife after almost 20 years of marriage. She is accepting, but does not want to meet Lisa. I consider myself transgendered, but not a transsexual. I enjoy (actually absolutely LOVE) dressing and presenting as a female. I don't however have any desire to transition. I love both my lives, male and female.

    The reason that many people have not told their spouse is that they are horribly afraid of the consequences. Many spouses react in a bad way and the marriage is over.

    So, all I can tell you is about me. My experiences have no bearing on what Kelly's experience was and is. What you should take away from my post is that there are happy "just" crossdressers that don't want to transition, love their lives and appreciate what their wives have done for them. I hope that your situation is a good one and stays that way!!!
    Please call me Lisa!

  15. #15
    Transgender Person Pat's Avatar
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    May 2014
    Boston Area
    Hi Maz, and welcome!

    At this point in history CDing has not been well studied and few answers are known. There are lots of opinions, but few facts. In general, it seems like there are different categories of transgender people. The ones who "want to be women" (they prefer "are women" though most understand if you don't understand) are transsexuals and there are, again, different categories -- some know they are women from the instant they became aware and they know without question that they will transition. Some have to discover that they are women and it may take a long time. BUT a different category of transgender person is the crossdresser. They are generally OK with being physically male and will not transition ever.

    Within crossdressers there are also ones who know early in life and ones who discover it later in life. I was one of the ones who knew early. That said, I cannot tell you the first time I crossdressed. I only remember the first time I got into trouble for it -- I was 6 or 7 as best I can recall. There have been significant crossdressing events in my life but they're almost never associated with someone else's context -- so I couldn't tell you when I tried on some person's clothes because that in itself was not significant to me and I would believe it's not memorable to your husband either.

    Quote Originally Posted by mumpossible View Post
    So, I have some trust issue because he deceived me for a long time (16 years) and is possibly still not fully opening up because i might not reach well. So even though he says he is definitely a CD only, i have a little trouble believing that because 1) He might be in denial and not know yet and 2) he might be lying.
    I'm always a little uncomfortable with the idea of crossdressers deceiving their mates -- deceit is a cold and calculated lie (in my book) and it's entirely possible in his case it wasn't that. Crossdressers often have a high level of guilt and self-loathing. They often believe that dressing is a failure of character that they can "overcome" if only the situation is right. Many believe they can or will stop and when they do stop (for a while) tell themselves it's behind them. It's over. So they have this shameful secret that they don't want to share because they don't want to have you realize what a vile, unloveable creature they are. It's not deceit, in my book, it's fear and shame.

    Since very little is known about crossdressers and the only widely known role models are negative (Benny Hill, Milton Berle, Monty Python) your typical crossdresser doesn't have any sense of what success looks like. All they know is they'll lose their job, the love of their families and perhaps be physically assaulted if people discover their condition. Hopefully that will change and over time we'll develop role models of successful people who crossdress and have happy lives, honored by their families and communities, that folks would be proud to emulate.

    What statistics there are imply that the majority of crossdressers are not going to discover that they're transsexual and transition. The incidence of them being straight, gay or bisexual seems to be the same as the general population. Given the opportunity to accept their identities, they may move decidedly toward the female or you may just have a spike of girly behavior we call "the pink fog" which clears up after they recover from a lifetime of suppressing their true selves.

    It would not be wrong to suggest he get gender counseling so he can discover some answers (and share them with you.)

    Think of it like an adventure ride.
    Last edited by Pat; 05-13-2016 at 12:11 PM. Reason: I hate auto correct

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by mumpossible View Post

    Jennifer- can i ask (but of course i understand that it might be too personal). How long did you and your wife take to get back to the strong relationship you had before, after she found out about your CD?
    Maz, on an anonymous forum, nothing is too personal;-)

    My situation was about as perfect as one could hope for. The day I told her, our relationship actually got better. You see, I was subtly pushing her away for months maybe longer, without realizing I was doing it. I am sure that subconsciously, it was mechanism for me to deal with the stress of hiding. Somehow, my wife understood that the hiding was due to shame and humiliation and she was thankful that I could trust her, even after all the years of clearly lying to her. So, I was lucky. Still,the very foundation of our relationship was rock solid. We have never had any problem we couldn't discuss openly.

    Now, that stated, she was not keen to see me dressed right after I told her! That took several months and now several outings before SHE was comfortable (she was always so stressed about me enjoying myself that she was on constant alert). But all I really wanted from her after disclosure was acceptance that this is who I am. That cross dressing is just one of the facets of me. I was tired of hiding and she allowed me to just be. We talk often an openly still. Having no secrets is wonderful.

    And by no means does she "get it." Hell, I don't get it. Cross dressing is weird. It makes no sense so don't try and make sense of it. Is your husband on a path or is just a normal cross dresser? Only conversation will get you comfortable. I wish you the best of luck
    Last edited by Jenniferathome; 05-15-2016 at 08:02 AM. Reason: spelling. always spelling

  17. #17
    Senior Member Nikkilovesdresses's Avatar
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    Oct 2014
    The lingerie dept.
    Hi Maz and welcome to the forum.

    Your questions deserve honest answers, but even if your husband were able or willing to give them, they still might not bring either of you to the truth, because the most likely thing is that your husband doesn't know how deep the rabbit hole might be.

    It seems unlikely that he doesn't have a rough idea of his earliest experiences, and of course he knows whether or not he tried on his ex's panties, but for what ever reason he feels uncomfortable about discussing these details with you at this time and for now you have to accept that, if you can continue to love him with that provision.

    Your trust issues are just fine- you're handling it a lot better than many would. FWIW keeping the crossdressing from you for 16 years isn't as black & white as you might think. It's likely that when you got together he thought he could leave those urges behind him, as many others have thought. He may have been struggling with guilt, and with the understandable fear of losing you, and hoped that he could suppress the desire, but as so many of us have discovered, that need is very deeply seated and quitting smoking is a very brief walk in the park on a sunny day by comparison.

    Very, very few crossdressers go beyond the fantasies and commit to changing sex. You'll find some on this forum, but they are a tiny minority. It happens though, and I think all you can do at this stage is continue listening and supporting him up till the point where you feel too uncomfortable to continue any farther, at which point you must protect yourself and do what you need to do to make your life work. Nobody is going to blame you if you decide it's all too weird, and only you know what you're willing to live with.

    One thing I noticed from your post was your use of his/her. It seems confused, as though you can't make up your mind which to use. He's a man. He's your husband. He's a him. Keep that clear in your mind. If you choose to play along and call him by his femme name when he's dressing, that's appropriate, but don't allow his confusion to become your confusion.

    Try to keep the dialogue open with him as far as possible, but bear in mind that he may genuinely have no clue about where he's headed. Focus on the solid ground, what he knows and admits to, and work outward from there, taking very small steps. Try talking about it both when he's dressed and when he's not- you may find you get further with one or the other.

    Please keep in touch with us and let us know how it goes.

    Hugs, Nikki
    I used to have a short attention spa

  18. #18
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    The state of flux, U.S.A.
    Some thoughts to ponder:

    First, we have to acknowledge that in our society, we are all brought up to believe that for a boy to be feminine in any way, is the worst possible thing he can be. This is supported by both men and women, and any boy dressing or behaving in any way like a girl, is ridiculed, and will be reminded of his 'terrible transgression' throughout his life. Indeed, the worst possible insult you can use on a boy is to refer to him as a female. Girly, sissy, p*ssy, etc, in sports and the military the biggest insult is when the sergeant calls his recruits 'ladies' or implies that a soldier might wear panties. The disgust is so widespread, that as an adult male, women will still be attracted to some men who are liars, cheaters, theives, murderers, wife beaters, but a man who dresses up as a female is more of a sexual turn off than any of those things, perhaps because it suggests that he is 'less of a man'. And yet, why? Why do women see female behavior as somehow less important than traditional male behavior? Wouldn't that kind of be making one's own feelings and behaviors less worthy of respect? So it's odd that so many women feel that way about crossdressers. So it's no surprise that we suppress the feelings and ideas we have about wanting to embrace femininity: The shame implied is tremendous, and there's no escaping it. So we push any thoughts about it out of our minds, just to be able to function in our day to day lives.
    Quote Originally Posted by mumpossible View Post
    I am trying to understand how i might be able to work out of my husband is 'just' a CD or is really wanting to be/is a woman.
    Remember too, that there's a whole lot of people in the middle of that somewhere. The desire to dress up in female clothes also often coincides with desires to behave as females as well. In order to figure it out, you have to find out why he has this desire, and that's not usually a simple thing to do. People like things simple, so they usually insist that everything be explained that way. 'Just a crossdresser'. Or 'Definitely a Transsexual'. With nothing in between. There are plenty of us who exist somewhere in that continuum that ranges from both ends and meets somewhere in the middle.

    [His CD urge (is that the right word?) is getting stronger and more frequent in the last few years.
    I think this is a commonly misunderstood phenomenon. Middle age is fraught with all kinds of stress. For most of us, we expend a lot of energy and use of our minds, suppressing the desire to crossdress. This takes it's toll on us over time. As more and more things take up our thoughts, the ability to ignore that desire gets harder and harder. So to the ones not aware of that, it appears that the 'urge' or desire is getting stronger. It's not; it was already there. We were just able to put it out of our minds better. Over time, the constant need to suppress it wears us down, until we cannot ignore it anymore.
    So the Kelly side of him is relatively new i think, even though he has CD for a long time?
    We need to get past the idea that 'it's a side'. Lots of folks want to assign feelings and behaviors that they cannot accept in themselves, to a third person, to the point they invent a whole personality to blame their feminine traits on. All because we, and our wives/girlfriends cannot accept the idea that we have those female things about us.

    So, I have some trust issue because he deceived me
    This is the most common complaint. And yet, it comes under the category of, what do we need to tell? When we start dating, we gradually tell our mates about ourselves. We inform, or leave out, that which we think we need to tell, or not. There's no way to tell someone every single thing that has happened to us in our previous life; so we tell what we think is important. For a whole lot of us, when we dated, we had stopped crossdressing, and thought it was all in the past. So we believed there was no reason to trouble our mates with tales of things we went through that might make her upset. After all, we really thought that we would never do it again. An example: Ever take ANYTHING that didn't belong to you? Even a piece of candy, or take a pencil or pen and not put it back? That was technically stealing. But did you tell your prospective mate that you were a theif? Probably not, because you thought it was no big thing, and that they didn't need to know what you thought was a minor indescretion, and it was in the past, and you'd never do anything seriously bad. And so did we.

    1) He might be in denial and not know yet and 2) he might be lying.
    The 'not know yet' applies to most, because they have no idea why they want to crossdress, and often, are afraid to know. The idea that we might not be 'perfectly straight' is so completely unacceptable, that many refuse to even consider it.

    I read recently that early experiences of dressing, in terms of thoughts emotions etc, are one way to work out if the person has gender dysphoria or just likes CDressing.
    That hypothesis is not definitive. As above, many of us suppress any ideas we have that might indicate we aren't 'perfectly straight'. So it doesn't always show up early in life. When it starts, and how it starts, won't tell you how it ends.

    he claims to not remember his first time at all.
    Not everyone remembers early childhood experiences. Some do, some don't. Later experiences can be blocked out by selective amnesia because the mind cannot accept what it might mean. If a man grows up his entire life, being told by his family, religious leaders, and community that wanting to be a girl is a terrible sin, and/or the most shameful thing, there's no surprise that he might block out any memory of it.

    but I’m pretty sure something as significant as first trying on your mothers, sisters or girlfriends clothes would be something you must remember?
    There's NOTHING that a person 'must' remember. Just because you feel that it's something that a person couldn't avoid remembering, doesn't mean that someone else will definitely remember it.

    Do other people remember their first time vividly
    Some do, some don't. It really depends upon the circumstances.

    So, is he in deep denial, a liar or just really bad at remembering things?
    Perhaps a little of everything. Or as previously mentioned, he subconsciously blocks it out because he can't accept it. If so, then none of those apply.

    Alternately maybe i just need to stop obsessing and work on my trust issues?
    The obsessing is understandable as you have to confront the changing of how you feel about your husband. Learning that he has feelings and behaviors that most people believe are not congruent with being a normal male can affect your attraction to him, until you can come to some sort of understanding that this is who he has always been. He hasn't changed. What's changed, is your perception of who he is. All of his behavior in the past, is demonstrably who and what he is. Some women are overwhelmed with the idea that their mate isn't the always tough, always strong, always stable, rock that she can always lean on when she feels insecure about something; often, this brings up the idea of potential instability in her life for the first time, as she always assumed that HE was the one that had to be the ultimately responsible one for everything in their lives; men simply aren't allowed to show weakness, fear, or being unsure of things, because it makes people around us uncomfortable. Moving forward, and accepting that he sometimes expresses what are traditionally female-only feelings and behaviors, will be the challenge.

    The trust thing is the difficult one; he probably didn't initially intend to defraud you in any way. Remember, most of the time we think it's either something we've outgrown, or something that's unimportant because it doesn't affect the rest of our lives; and in a way, it usually doesn't. We go through our day living as usual; the occasional crossdressing doesn't intrude on our work, our relationships, or even our sex lives (usually). So it'll be up to you to decide how important it is to you that he didn't bring up something that he didn't think was important, since in his mind, it didn't affect his life in any other way.

    I have intentionally omitted mention of qualifiers such as 'most', 'some', 'always', 'sometimes', 'maybe', 'might', etc.. Feel free to insert them wherever you want, in order for you to avoid starting an argument because you can think of an exception to some idea I have written. Thank you.
    Last edited by sometimes_miss; 05-13-2016 at 01:17 PM.

  19. #19
    Aspiring Member WandaRae2009's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    As for many here I started experimenting with my mothers clothes in my early teens. Also as I got a little older that the desire was something that I would outgrow, it was just the teenage hormones or something that was out of wack. There was no internet back then so researching these desires was not easy, and there wasn't that much out on the subject. You would see some stories in the news or on talk shows where with those that have transitioned. I always felt that that wasn't me. I didn't have the feeling that I was born in the wrong body, that my man parts shouldn't be there and I hated them.

    I thought is was something that would go away when I got married and had a full time relationship. Well that didn't happen, and I still had the urges. After I got married there was a period that my wife was out of town for a while, and I don't know what it was, being in the Apartment alone with all those women's clothes I just had to try some on. I kept that all secret for a lot of years like 25 years. As I got older in my 40s The urges seemed to get stronger, I had started actually buying some of my own things, and raiding the donation bags, and have a stash hidden in the crawlspace.

    I then started to underdress with panties and pantyhose. I would put the pantyhose on at work in the restroom and take them off before leaving for home. That is when it happened, my wife went to put a Valentine's day card in my briefcase and she saw a pair of pantyhose. That is when all hell broke loose and I thought our marriage would be over. She had all the usual questions. Am I gay, do I want to become a woman, do I want to be with men. I can assure her and anyone else that that is not the case. If I did wake up in the morning as a woman, I would be a lesbian. The internet was around by then, so I started doing some research and I found a nearby support group, and found a reference for a therapist that specialized in gender issues. That one session was quite enlightening for both of us. She confirmed that I wasn't sick and could not be cured, and it was unlikely that the desires would ever go away. We are currently on a DADT basis. She doesn't want my other side to be in her face, but she want's me to keep it at home. There was a couple of time I ventured out when out of town on business trips before she knew, but she insists now that I do leave the hotel room dressed. She is afraid I might get attacked, since that is the kind of stuff you see in the news. That is our next hurdle I would really like to go to some events and meet others like me.

    I also think the medial comes up short on fully covering the issues. They seem to focus on those that fully transition. They leave out the segment of the population that are CD only. That have no desire to fully transition.

    I hope all the input you are getting here helps. My wife's comments were that she had no one to talk to about this. I suggested this site, but she wasn't interested. She also commented that it was a load off my shoulders (keeping the secret) that landed squarely on hers. And I appreciate that.

    Good luck in your relationship.

  20. #20
    Member Leelou's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009

    Welcome to the site! I think it's great to see wives and SO's that are supportive and care enough to join this site and learn more.

    You have received some great input already, so I'll be brief. Like others have said, I don't recall specific details about exact times early on and don't recall specifically the first time I "borrowed" women's clothes over the years.

    The vast majority of crossdressers are straight and do not want to become a woman or be with men. Your hubby says he's "definitely" just a crossdresser, so I'd tend to believe that lacking further info.

    I think it's great that you have been out dressed with him. You did mention that he's dressing more recently. Please keep in mind that it's perfectly fine for you to set some limits about what you're comfortable with. That is a very common theme from those of us that have or had supportive women. We understand the need for women to have limits on this issue. We're always happy to just have a supportive woman.

    Best wishes, and again welcome!

  21. #21
    Aspiring Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Las Vegas Nevada
    Hi Maz and welcome to the forum.

    I find it odd he dosen't remember the first time but it might have been at an early age and not a major event for him. Maybe ask when he first remembers doing it instead of the first time ever. It is also weird he don't recall if he tried girlfriends clothes.
    As far as not knowing what all he wants I can understand that. I know I am a cd and not trans but don't know fully how far I will go with it.
    He may be holding things back but itight be because he is ashamed of the whole thing and unsure of what to make of it homself. For me I have a lovely girlfriend who is very supportive but still have difficulty explaining it all to her. It isn't that I don't want her to know or I want to hide it, I just don't know how to express it.I mean how do you describe a feeling to someone?

    I remember my first time it was innocent enough I had wondered what it was like to wear a skirt. No feelings or thoughts about being a girl looking like a girl none of that. I just wanted to know what haveing a skirt on felt like.the opportunity presented itself one day when I was home alone in September when I was 12. I saw one of my sisters skirts and tried it on. I didn't feel any different inside but I loved how the skirt felt. I didn't even feel ashamed but knew I shouldn't be wearing a skirt and I couldn't let others know I did. It wasn't until 2007 I was 33 years old that I ever told anyone in my family.

    I will also tell you I am one of the odd cds that will go out in public without going all out to get into girl mode. I am fine being the guy wearing a skirt, and even though on this forum it is deeply frowned upon I get quite the exceptance from the general public.

    I don't know where you SO is on the spectrum but it is great that you are trying to understand him and that you support him hopefully he will open up to you.

  22. #22
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    I can't speak for anyone else but how it started for me was traumatic at the age of 8-9 years old, how it happened has affected me all my life so will never forget.
    I would be very surprised if your husband can't remember that defining moment when it it started for him, or maybe he still chooses not to talk about it for some reason.
    I don't mind recalling mine because it explains my CDing needs and the way I am now, I'm not ashamed of something that happened so long ago when I was a child.

  23. #23
    Member LisaKarenAZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Quote Originally Posted by mumpossible View Post
    Many of you have said about this (CD) being a shameful or deeply held secret. That just makes me so sad, for him & all of you really. The idea that you feel you have to hide is just so not fair. I'm not upset about the dressing, just scared for the future and upset that our relationship was based on dishonesty/lack of disclosure. It hurts that he did not trust me. I totally sympathise with why he didn't- but I still feel hurt and betrayed.
    I won't speak for anyone else, but there seems to be some common undertones to my thoughts on this.
    You have every right to feel betrayed and hurt. Please take a moment to reflect on how many of us came to find shame it what we were doing; our parents and/or family members. These people are the ones that we learn to trust the most at a very early point in our lives. We've spent years with these people that may continue to shame us as we progress through our most vulnerable years, yet we can't stop what we do.

    By no means am I looking to excuse the lack of disclosure on my part to my wife, but it helps set the level of understanding behind the inability to share my deepest, darkest secret with anyone. If the ones that are supposed to love us unconditionally, are not able to accept this part of our lives, how is anyone else supposed to accept it?

    For me, it wasn't deliberate lying as much as it was fear of the repercussions of the truth; a truth that repeatedly and consistently resulted in guilt, shame, and hurt after being revealed to someone I thought I could trust with anything.

    At first, I thought that being married and having a family would put the feelings to rest, once and forever. They did stop for a few years. But, then, they came back with a vengeance. I wanted so badly to tell my wife, but I was afraid of losing this amazing woman who completed me at a spiritual level. I was afraid of losing contact with my children, who I love dearly and would have rather died than lose them. The guilt of hiding this continued to exacerbate the shameful feelings. I began feeling more and more insecure about myself. I didn't know who I was. Our marriage began to suffer because of my inner feelings.

    And then, she found my things. This was not the way it should have gone. For all the efforts of hiding, it was right there in front of us, and I had no choice but to share this with her. Like you, she was angry, hurt, and disappointed that I lied and didn't trust her enough to share this with her. What complicated the situation was that even I didn't understand this enough to explain everything she wanted to know. I did my best to explain with what I knew and understood.

    Fast forward about 10 years to today. My wife and I are still together. It has been a long, arduous road, but we are now at the best point of our relationship that we have ever been. She just recently finally came to terms with my dressing to the point of tolerance and a little acceptance mixed in.

    I hope that my ramblings helps put things into perspective. I can't say that your husband feels any of the same things that I have, but I hope that my ramblings shine some light on how hard it may have been for him to get to sharing this with you.

  24. #24
    Miss Judy Judy-Somthing's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    I don't remember their first time vividly but my sister took a photo of me after dressing me up in her old ballerina outfit when I was 8.

    I have memories of putting the ballerina outfit on when ever no one was around.

    I thought the urge to dress would stop when I had a steady GF but it didn't.

    In my teens I was out to all my friends and some of them would dress up also, even girls got involved and of course drinking.

    When I got married and the crazy parties faded away and dressing up got pushed into the closet.
    My wife felt that cross-dressing was something that could only happen at a Halloween party and not every year.

    So far after 50 years of cross-dressing I can honestly say I have no interest in being a women.

    I've tried to stop this so called crazy cross-dressing thing but I found that after about four weeks I get noticeably un-happy.

    I've tried telling my wife over the years but she would always push it away and say negative things about cross-dressing.

    She made me feel that something was wrong with me. I can tell you it's not a good feeling.,

    Life's definitely interesting.
    Last edited by Judy-Somthing; 05-13-2016 at 04:37 PM.
    "This is ME" I am not CRAZY, I'm just a GUY who likes dresses!
    Since allot of men dress up in woman's clothing that makes it a manly thing to do!
    Much more fun than fishing.
    I do construction like house building and I love CD-ing, what's the difference?

  25. #25
    Secret Asian Man azncd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Hey there,

    Welcome to the site, as others have already said... and there are some great insights here already, so I won't go into my own experiences necessarily, but suffice it to say, the notion of feeling uncertain as to an outcome (and possibly ruining what is otherwise a good thing) is a real worry for many of us here.

    That being said, I'd like to touch on that area specifically. I enjoy being a CD, and I enjoy dressing up, getting dolled up, feeling pretty, etc. but at the end of the day, it doesn't define me. I understand that you probably felt betrayed and lied to, and to an extent you were, but for me at least, possibly breaking up over something that doesn't define who I am as a whole individual is a big risk to take, which is generally why a lot of CDs stay in the closet.

    Anyway, I certainly hope you're able to communicate to him about how you feel, and your willingness to be open, and hopefully he'll be able to see that you can be trusted, no matter the outcome.

    Good luck!


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