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Thread: I accept my husband. Why does he struggle to accept himself

  1. #1
    New Member Charlotte Ann's Avatar
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    I accept my husband. Why does he struggle to accept himself

    A few weeks ago My husband came out as a cross dresser without warning walked out of the bathroom in corset and garters . My response was a smile I wasn't surprised and quiet honestly excited " dam is he cute I thought" The next day out the bedroom he came in a short sexy skin tight dress and breast forms. The thought I then have is WT ? This is not your first rodeo. He explained that no it wasn't his rodeo and his past wife was not accepting to the point cross dressing destroyed their marriage.
    I wasn't shocked or horrified but blindsided I guess. He never had he lead on that he had gone further than some stockings in a past life nor that cross dressing was ever a factor in his previous marriage.
    The following week I come home and there he is spaghetti straps and Daisy Dukes. I have to guess he was testing my limit. Weeks later and after much shopping together to offset those Daisy Dukes with a less trashy version we have found my limit is yet to be determined.
    By being able to be open with his cross dressing it is his limits that have been tested and old emotions have surfaced as well as many new ones. Being able to explore his feminine side without hiding it has lead him to realize that perhaps it is a bigger part of him than he thought or could be and it scares him. The fear from what I can tell is his own questions of "how far is the rabbit hole ?"should he continue down that hole will it be a total loss of his man card ? Being a bit of a Tom boy myself I see no reason you can't have ownership rights to both cards. As a Tom boy I envy certain aspects of mans personality and physical strength. I don't feel less of a woman building a room addition I feel empowered in turn he envy's some aspects of being a woman and needs to feel that empowerment as well not be a woman physically . Shouldn't every man if they so desire give them self permission to go with it ? Why does it seem cause such torment and how can a spouse help ?
    Thank you
    C

  2. #2
    Member shellybme's Avatar
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    Hi Charlotte,

    It's actually ironic that my wife and I had the exact same talk last night. She told me that she loves all of me and not to try kill myself over being a cross dresser. All I can say, at least for me that it has been so ingrained in my head that you have to be a mans man and nothing less is disgraceful. I ask myself the same question. Why I can't accept myself? I'm still struggling with it as I am sure some are. But I think you came to the right place. A lot of men here are completely accepting of themselves. Sorry I couldn't really help but I wanted to chime in.

  3. #3
    Gold Member Lana Mae's Avatar
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    Charlotte, like you said he can have both cards!! I am widowed and my wife never wanted any part of it!! He is very fortunate to have a wife with such a great attitude!! He needs to answer the question of how far and how often himself and still be considerate of you!! You can supply the support he needs!! You both need to be honest and truthful with each other and set the limits together!! Best wishes Hugs Lana Mae

  4. #4
    stone free mykell's Avatar
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    hi charlotte,

    firstly group hug, not alot of spouses would be so OK with this especially a "Ta Dah" moment,
    excited is not the first word many use to describe theyre feelings after a reveal, so kudos to you....
    that being said im sure you will have more relevant answers to your questions here :
    http://www.crossdressers.com/forums/...f#faq_gg_forum
    some of the ladies there will more than likely have insight to share with you.

    i would think i would be able to dress in front of my mrs. if that day would ever come but for her benefit and wishes this is kept on the down low, she wants nothing to do with it and does not wish to see me or have me leave the house this way.

    i for one would be pleased to have her come shopping with me for things for myself, or even a gift of a womanly nature would speak volumes to me and you have already done those things so im of no help.

    i would however like to welcome you to CD.com.....
    ....Mykell
    i dressed like a girl and i liked it! crossdressing...theirs an app for that those who deny freedom deserve it not for themselves
    NOBODY gets a pass to blow out someone else's candle in order to make theyre's shine brighter

  5. #5
    Junior Member Oria's Avatar
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    Thanks Charlotte, I actually needed your words today. I am struggling to accept myself. My wife is ok with it I guess. I seem to be less so. But I know better then to deny that part of me. It will just pop out in a bad way latter on.
    Sarah

  6. #6
    Junior Member MartineCD's Avatar
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    Hi Charlotte.

    Your husband is a truly luck man to have found such a wonderful and accepting woman. I am on the flip side of that coin in that my SO doesn't understand why a straight man would want to dress in womens clothing and doesn't want to know.

    Up until recently my dressing has been very limited and only once or twice a year. After dressing I felt such a sense of shame. I have tried to understand why considering I wasn't doing any harm. Just as Shelly has said when we are being raised we are taught by our parents and society what way we must act and behave as a man. These feelings and beliefs are buried deep in the core of how we see ourselves and define what of ourselves we show to others. Speaking personally I find it very difficult trying to reconcile this side of my self when it flies in the face of the stereotypical macho male image I have been raised to believe I should be. Give hime all the time, patience and support I know you are capable of giving him and I am sure he will be able to accept himself.

    Take care

    M x

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlotte Ann View Post
    ...He explained that no it wasn't his rodeo and his past wife was not accepting to the point cross dressing destroyed their marriage.

    ... Why does it seem cause such torment and how can a spouse help ?
    Thank you ...

    Charlotte, two things. First, I'm calling BS on your first statement. Re-read what he told you. SHE wasn't accepting. There were other problems. So many that cross dressing became the proverbial straw.

    Second, cross dressing is clearly not an issue for you which is great news, but as you describe his "outing" where is his "torment'? He's dressing in front of you, albeit trashy.

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    Simple enough, talk with him, and say what you are thinking and what you know you can handle. Like once a week thing, etc and that you still need him time as "him" and not "her". I know its tough but like I get days That I would just like to dress in a dress all day. Yet others might just be for a little bit and relax for a couple hours. If its the clothes, find something that you might like better and surprise him and buy it for him if your accepting. He just needs to know where you are 100% at with it all, so he knows. Without talking you are only just guessing.
    As with mine, she might not want to see it, yet other days we are shopping and asks if iI want to get anything. Then sometimes after even asks if I wanted to try it on and show it off.

  9. #9
    Sallee Sallee's Avatar
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    I tend to think he hasn't fully accepted his cross dressing. It is still a bit of a fetish, not that there is anything wrong with that, I know that I have trouble accepting my cding with my wife I prefer to keep it on the down low. She was once more accepting and still is when I push the issue like going ot a group meeting or a a CD gathering but for me on a regular basis I prefer to keep my cding in my closet and get out around town on my own with out her. Now that being said I am straight and not into sexual experiences with others when dressed. Its not fun and I don't like it. But I do find cding a solitary adventure usually and I don't know why?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sallee

  10. #10
    New Member GG Holtzman83's Avatar
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    Hi Charlotte Ann!
    I have gone through a similar cycle of shame with my husband. (Minus the Tada moment, he showed me a picture.) The whole story is in the introductions forum.

    It took me a long time to understand how conflicted my husband was over sharing that side of himself with me. I think because I was supportive I expected him to, I dunno, do leaps of joy or something... But he has always had anxiety. He has always been the kind of person who just felt uncomfortable with himself. So I give him some space.

    And I still am frustrated by the incredibly slow "forward progress." But I remind myself this is his journey even if it does affect me. So we go at a slow pace.

    We recently had an amazing conversation & I just plan on checking in with him regularly.

    I think if you can keep the lines of communication open & continue to love & support your husband it will continue to feel more and more "normal" for him not to feel like he has to fight it or hide.

  11. #11
    GG ReineD's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlotte Ann View Post
    Shouldn't every man if they so desire give them self permission to go with it ? Why does it seem cause such torment and how can a spouse help ?
    You can help by simply giving it time. Don't forget that men and women are socialized differently. It's generally perceived to be OK in our society for women to build room additions, but not as OK for men to wear short skirts and high heels, as much as we here feel it should be equal all around and there shouldn't be a double standard. And so your husband does potentially face pushback from the other people in his life (not from you but potentially from coworkers, bosses, male friends of his, family members, etc), should it become known that he enjoys short, skin tight dresses or daisy dukes.

    Your husband will need time to work out the balance he wants with all of this and part of it is working out how far he wants to take it and who he wants to be. The best you can do is to support him fully no matter what he decides. Would you be OK if your husband made the decision he wanted to go full time?
    Reine

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    I'm not sure what this rabbit hole analogy means because you are either a crossdersser or you are not yes its that easy.
    He needs to understand his crossdressing doesn't have to mean anything other than he likes to wear clothes intended for the other gender.
    CDing doesn't mean he is gay or have anything to do with his sexual preference.
    He likes to dress like a $2 hooker in Daisy Dukes but that is really quite common for CDers because they find that look sexy for some reason.
    The so called rabbit hole analogy is one that a lot here use because they are scared to let go and just be themselves.
    I'm glad you accept it so far but what I think is happening is he is pushing the limits to see how far he can go.
    Thats OK and what I would do is let him have fun and dress as he wants so eventually he will burn out and stop pushing things.

  13. #13
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    I know these feelings exactly. He wants to express his feminine side, but his persona is based upon being a guy. It's scary to own up to it sometimes. You look at your closet and realize the number of female things are beginning to outnumber the male things. You want to express yourself but are afraid of being judged or abandoned. Unfortunately, this forum and most corners of the web are rife with stories of cross dressing and transgenderism ending long term relationships. That's why we fear how deep the rabbit hole goes.

  14. #14
    New Member Charlotte Ann's Avatar
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    Hi Jennifer,
    You would be correct in calling BS on cross dressing being the only issue. I too questioned that to find it wasn't the last straw but the first. I used the words not supportive as a nice way of saying she was horrified along with that came less than positive ways to express those feelings . Which lead him to question his own morale resolve and self worth. He does not think that him cross dressing by any means is what caused what he calls a dark time . He does however associate the two as being within the same period bringing to the present ghosts of the past . He didn't expect that to happen but it did that portion being it was 15 years ago I hope fades quickly

  15. #15
    Silver Member CynthiaD's Avatar
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    People here often express doubts about taking their crossdressing further. Mainly it seems to focus around "passing" or around fear of rejection by others. But the other side of the coin is just as real, and just as common. That is: fear of success. Suppose you dress up, go out, and nobody notices that you're not a woman? No one bats an eye. Everyone accepts you as female. What does that mean? A new and scary door has just opened for you. You can go 24/7 if you want. You might even consider a physical transition. These things are no longer just fantasies. They are real choices that could have a profound effect on your life. And now you have to face them. Everything that has been said up to this point is perfectly valid. But the fear of opening a new door that can never be closed is also a factor.

  16. #16
    Silver Member Tina_gm's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum. 1st, I do want to address the issue of CDing alone not ever being "the reason" for a break up. No marriage or relationship is perfect. Until such a human being comes along (perfect) there will be no such thing as the perfect relationship. Given any set of circumstances, introducing CDing into the mix and then the marriage or relationship then ends, yes, CDing can be the cause, and as other members have said on this forum, it was the reason. Other members on here are struggling when their partner gives them the ultimatum of CDing goes or they do. It does happen. Granted, the more healthy the relationship, the more likely that the relationship can survive and even thrive with CDing. But, I have witnessed some reactions of women when it comes to gender variance who I am quite certain would end the relationship/marriage based on that alone.

    Because of this, because of so much negativity, because of the internal struggle many of us face, simply by the confusion of feeling both masculine and feminine, or perhaps only feminine yet in a male body, I can tell you that it can be quite a struggle.

    For one thing, the feelings of isolation are so strong. Unless you go out with a group or with another, or a trans friendly environment, you are almost always likely to be the only one cross dressing that you see. There are so many ways in which it acts on you. Society non acceptance IS a big factor for many. Past experiences of non acceptance from a partner, family or friends, co workers, strangers that see you and give a look of disgust perhaps. It can be very very hard to overcome. How often have transgender people ever been positively represented in movies, tv or other media?? almost always, at best we are comic relief, often worse, much worse.

    If everyone had the same attitude as you Charlotte, there likely would not even be forums like this one. Not a whole lot of need for them really. I would just suggest that you need to be very patient, just show him that you are ok with it. It will likely take a lot of time for him to become comfortable and confident that you are ok with it. His past has shown him only that people are not ok with it until you. Combine that with all of the other ways in which it impacts those who are transgender or at least in the spectrum. Gender variant is a term I am using now as transgender now mostly seems to imply those who are totally opposite of their birth gender in terms of identity. Although technically transgender is a spectrum.

    I personally am what is common of CDers, someone who is or can be described as gender fluid, or dual gender. Basically, we feel a strong feminine presence within our core identity. It may not be the point of identifying as female, but it goes beyond feminine male. Just having this conflict can be difficult at times. I sometimes feel like both the masculine and feminine within me are sort of fighting for control. Expressing one side and you take or quell for a time anyway part of the other. Some of us can handle this quite well and can roll easily with it, but myself, and many others do find it difficult to deal with at times.

    I can and have related to the rabbit hole feeling as well. Just how far can it go? will it go? would it go? might it go? Many of us would just assume not to be different at all, and the farther or deeper it goes, the more different we become. The more at odds with society we become. The more likely those who are close to us, will not want to be close to us anymore. Statistics have shown the those who are TS and transition are much more likely to have a marriage or long term relationship end because of it. While it is more common the advice of CDers to go slow and be patient with their partners, this advice will go to you too.
    Chickens should be allowed to cross the road without having their motives questioned

  17. #17
    New Member Charlotte Ann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ReineD View Post
    You can help by simply giving it time.if your husband made the decision he wanted to go full time?
    Hi there,
    I hope I am doing this quote/reply thing right being new to the forum . You asked if I would be ok with my husband going full time. I don't believe that is a possibility but never rule anything out as such is life. I don't think that would be a deal breaker it would just take time to wrap my head around it there would have to be other issues in the relationship to cause an end to our relationship. C

  18. #18
    AKA Lexi sometimes_miss's Avatar
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    Why does he struggle to accept himself? Easy. Boys are brought up from day one to believe that being girly in any way is the worst possible thing we can be. The biggest insult you can call a boy is sissy or any other female adjective or noun to be used as a derogitory word. This is reinforced all through our lives, even by women (who you think would know better, essentially insulting themselves by using a feminine descriptor as an insult rather than a compliment). In athletics, a coach will prod male athletes to better themselves by calling them 'ladies', 'girls', or sometimes to put on their big girl panties and put more effort into whatever it is they're doing inadequately. Even the military uses feminine adjectives to insult their male recruits into feeling shame, to get them to work harder. Women too, seem to have no problem shaming men and those who break up with us upon finding out we crossdress often refer to us as being 'less of a man than she thought she was getting'.

    In short, virtually everyone in our society feels that a man who embraces anything feminine about himself is doing wrong, terribly wrong.

    A lifetime of that will certainly make any man wonder if behaving/dressing is an acceptable thing to do.

    Hope that explains it a bit. Even if YOU tell him it's ok, based on his life experience and observations, he will forever wonder if that's what you really believe.
    Some causes of crossdressing you've probably never even considered: My TG biography at:http://www.crossdressers.com/forums/...=1#post1490560
    There's an addendum at post # 82 on that thread, too. It's about a ten minute read.
    Why don't we understand our desire to dress, behave and feel like a girl? Because from childhood, boys are told that the worst possible thing we can be, is a sissy. This feeling is so ingrained into our psyche, that we will suppress any thoughts that connect us to being or wanting to be feminine, even to the point of creating separate personalities to assign those female feelings into.

  19. #19
    Silver Member ClosetED's Avatar
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    Welcome! So nice to see an accepting wife.
    Jenniferathome previously graphed out the "pink fog" as we call it - exploring his feminine side when let free to see where it goes

    http://www.crossdressers.com/forums/...7&d=1413431360

    So this may answer "how far down the rabbit hole" this may go. Probably a bit too much and then settle down. I would expect you could dampen the curve if it went too far for you.
    Why torment? Because the society we have grown up in says that men are not allowed to express and wear what the other half of society does. Those that do are ridiculed and attacked. He considers what it did to his last marriage. There is great TG story "Trust" by Amy Matthews that goes into the mind of the CDer when he finds a willing partner. Most here consider themselves heterosexual, but many here are still seeking to understand themselves and if crossdressing is enough or if living 24/7 needed or even transitioning.
    Revealing himself that way is not the best way, but you were open enough to let it be.

    So read more theads - you can find them by searching using the box at the upper right of the page or just looking over titles of past 2-4 pages of threads.
    You will see many opinions but we are never fully informed of the situation, so see what fits for you. This collection of CDers is probably the largest in the world and may be the best therapy session in the world. Maybe get him to join and post his thoughts. He will be told to cherish you for the wonderful chance to express both sides freely.
    Hugs, Ellen

  20. #20
    Gold Member bridget thronton's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum and thanks for a very nice post. The road to self acceptance is long one - some days are easier than others (even with a great wife likje mine)

  21. #21
    Senior Member Gretchen_To_Be's Avatar
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    Hi Charlotte and welcome.

    Your husband is lucky to have you. Thank you for supporting him.

    It is tough to turn in the "man card" and I struggle with the notion of becoming more feminine. I've been really successful as a guy, and that's partially why my wife married me. I don't want to push her away, but I do want to be able to look better as a woman when I dress, so I am pushing the boundaries.

    The torment comes from the shame we feel after having been conditioned for all of our lives to be macho.

    I hope your husband can come to terms with this better than I have. Good luck to you both!

  22. #22
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    Welcome to the forum. First, I think you're a gem. My personal belief is a person's life experience, man or woman, may condition himself or herself to view things with a lot of negativity. As your husband's cross dressing was in part, if not the entire reason for a destroyed marriage, I'm sure that is still swirling around in his head. If he was emotionally beaten down, there is a big hurdle or conflict to resolve. Maybe he is waiting for his current marriage to blow up? Maybe he is testing the waters? Just popping out of the bedroom dolled up would suggest "OK, let's see if she is really supportive before before I have too much invested in this marriage?" People just do not like to be continually hurt.

    All I can suggest is to continue to be supportive in words and action. In some respects I figure you are going to become his counselor.

  23. #23
    Member SuzyZahn's Avatar
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    I`ll totally agree with sometimes_miss. Spells a lot out for me.

  24. #24
    Platinum Member Teresa's Avatar
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    Charlotte,
    He is trying to find himself/herself if you like, he had to hide it in his previous marriage and when he couldn't it finished it, now he's hoping to find a balance, at the moment he's going through a stage many of us went through. You now realise if you're going to be part of it you want someone that looks OK without being trashy. He will have a lot of different thought going on so it's maybe time to talk it through and find out what he wants from his dressing. OK you may want to know about his sexual orientation and if he wants to transition, it's only fair you know those facts, so you can decide where you want to be with it.
    If you can get it in balance CDing can be fun and enjoyable, I'm afraid my wife doesn't want to know so I'm on my own with it but she does now accept I need to go out socially and meet others, I will add that has been a great leveller, it brings dressing into perspective.
    I hope you can find a way through this, you may find Loved Ones section useful as many more GGs give advice and their thoughts there .

  25. #25
    Senior Member Nikkilovesdresses's Avatar
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    Hi Charlotte and welcome,

    You can help him, most importantly, by remaining true to yourself. Right now he's in a daze, he has never experienced acceptance such as yours, and it means he has to completely reevaluate himself, re-find his centre. While he's bouncing off the walls, you need to remain sure of yourself and your limits. You speculate that he's been testing you, well think long and hard about what you're prepared to accept and spell it out to him- I think that would help him frame his new world. For instance, you might not choose to accept him going out alone to a bar dressed up, but you might feel ok going with him. Or maybe you can't face the idea of seeing him dressed as a schoolgirl - I'm just taking guesses- but where ever you think you'd draw the line, tell him clearly- this, this and this are acceptable to me, but this wouldn't be.

    He seems likely to go overboard for a while, Pink Fog we call it. I guarantee you he is thinking about it every waking moment and probably dreaming about it too, and his mind must just be whirling. This is a horse who's spent his life in a stable who's just been let out into a fresh green meadow for the first time. You are a truly remarkable person to be able to allow him this freedom- just make sure you still get your own needs met, and keep him talking.

    Finding how deep the rabbit hole goes may take him a year, or even longer.

    I hope the going doesn't get too bumpy dear girl- you are very special and you deserve the best from life.
    I used to have a short attention spa

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