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Thread: Can't Ask, Can't Tell

  1. #1
    Aspiring Member jacques's Avatar
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    Can't Ask, Can't Tell

    hello All,
    My wife has always mostly been accepting of my dressing. But, I still behave in a secretive way for no good reason that I can think of.
    For example - yesterday a parcel arrived for me from a women's clothing company, with the name of the company written all over the parcel in big letters. My wife asked what it was and I replied "just some stuff I ordered".
    Later, she had done her Avon (cosmetics) order. For ages I wanted a particular perfume and have been waiting for her to ask me if I wanted anything. She never does and never ask. Because this might be the last order for a while I got the courage to speak, but it came out a bit wrong...
    I wondered if any other cross-dressers are in CACT version of a DADT relationship?
    Stay healthy,
    luv J

  2. #2
    Silver Member Micki_Finn's Avatar
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    It sounds like there are two possibilities here. 1) You still harbor feelings of shame over your dressing and that’s driving you to still keep things as hidden as possible. Not much to be done there other than maybe talk to a therapist or something to help with your self-acceptance.
    Or 2) By acting secretive, you’re hoping to bait your wife into becoming interested in You and your dressing. It sounds like it’s the latter, but you’re going about it wrong if that’s the case. You’re going for coy but coming across as standoffish. “Just some stuff” reads as “I don’t want to talk about it”. Next time give her a little tease if you want her to ask. Instead of “just some stuff”, try “A dress”. THAT will beg inquiry. A dress for who? What kind of dress? What does it look like? Etc.

    You say you want perfume, you have to try to open the conversation. Next time she puts on perfume try telling her how much you like it on her then slip in, “Do you think it would work for me?” You’ve now opened up a conversation about perfume.

    You can’t expect her to be a helicopter wife and always be there for what you need. You have to meet her half way.

  3. #3
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    I think you're in the same situation I am in with my wife. My wife and I are in DADT. She knows I am a cross dresser. She does not say a thing. She hasn't said anything since the mid 1980's. Her choice. I don't know what you mean by "mostly been accepting," but, to me that may mean "tolerates." I do not "push" my cross dressing into her face. There are no clothes hanging in the walk-in closet. She chooses not to open my armoire as I would not open her dresser draws. On occasion she has seen a package arrive. I think my actions would be classified as "secretive." There is no hostility. However, since my wife really wants nothing to do with it, what else would I do? Would it be appropriate to open the package and show her (my wife too) the bra you (me) just bought? "Hey, dear, let me show you the bra that just arrived?" I think it may be elevating your (my) cross dressing to a higher level with potential unknown consequences. Sort of "let sleeping dogs lie."

  4. #4
    Gold Member alwayshave's Avatar
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    Jacques, My wife is very accepting and even encouraging. Even given this, I don't always disclose my purchases. I'm not sure why. Maybe an engrained habit of hiding crossdressing learned earlier in my life.
    Please call me Jamie, I always_have crossdressed, I always will, "alwayshave".

  5. #5
    Silver Member franlee's Avatar
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    I have much the same situation as "alwayshave." And I attribute it to not wanting to over-do it. I enjoy our arrangement and fear that pushing to much will erode some of if not all of her support. Her encouragement is firm but does peak and subside from time to time with the pressures of everyday life.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Fran
    It's worth something just being around to Fuss!

  6. #6
    Female Illusionist! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    It is my experience when it comes to GG women? Whatever u think they r thinking, you're wrong!

    And, beyond that? Whenever u think u know what they will think about what your thinking, you'll be mistaken again!

    But, I have the answer that solves this conundrum! Ask them what they think!
    U can't keep doing the same things over and over and expect to enjoy life to the max. When u try new things, even if they r out of your comfort zone, u may experience new excitement and growth that u never expected.

    Challenge yourself and pursue your passions! When your life clock runs out, you'll have few or NO REGRETS!

  7. #7
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    Its all your fault so next time ask her.

  8. #8
    Aspiring Member Star01's Avatar
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    I think there are a lot of us lurking in the background on here that are in similar situations. My wife found an eyebrow pencil in my laundry and asked if it was mine and my mumbled reply from around the corner was neither yes or no but "just throw it away". She never said another word and sometimes throws little jabs about wearing a dress and things like that. I'm not sure if she's challenging me to say more or putting a little rope out there so I can hang myself. I don't know your age but we had the talk about twenty years ago which was basically her challenging me what it was going to lead to and saying she didn't want to see me dressed or know about it. I hesitate to push it any further and she pays the bills so I don't shop online and can't take deliveries that might be identified as feminine items. I'm non confrontational almost to a fault so I haven't pushed it but the dysphoria has progressed to the point where it's driving me crazy, especially during this lock down when neither of us are going on overnight trips by ourselves. I'm working through my issues in therapy. You'll get a lot of advice from the more open ones who insist on their rights which I can understand how they feel but we're all in different circumstances so I'll weigh in as another DADT. It really boils down to how important your relationship is as opposed to the pink fog or dysphoria or whatever drives your dressing. Nobody can really answer that question or spend a day in your high heels.

  9. #9
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    My situation is similar to that of 'alwayshave' and 'franlee'. My wife is quite accepting and even encouraging at times, but I don't discuss all of my purchases and I don't really dress as much as I could and as I desire to. As franlee said I think it is about not wanting to over-do it. Mentally in the back of my mind is the thought of 'sure she's fine with it now but if I dress three times as much or make drastic noticeable changes (pluck my eyebrows, adopt a female hairstyle etc) she might reconsider'. I don't think she will, but the thought is always there. Mostly I think it is because of the era I was raised in (1960's) where that sort of thing was much less accepted than it is today, and possibly because people can change their minds about things so her changing her mind about this is always theoretically possible.

  10. #10
    Sallee Sallee's Avatar
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    WOW this CACT seems to be prevalent. I guess I suffer the same syndrome. She was active back in the late 70's early 80's. I would receive womens clothing as gifts and we went out together to different functions, support groups, dinner and other events. Then kids came along so I understood not wanting to push it out there. Just keep Sallee in the closet which I really had no problem with. Dressing is important to me and I enjoy it but I realize there is more to me and my life than just cross dressing and it has to be kept in perspective which is fine. Now the kids are gone and I could be a little more open but I am not for what ever reason, my own shame I guess and I know there is no reason to be ashamed. She certainly doesn't want it advertised around the neighborhood nor do I and she would prefer not to be involved at all. So the rest I guess is up to me to act and do as I please with keeping things, life, in perspective and not letting dressing take over as it can if we let. So my answer to the question is let it out more but just a little at a time maybe. Couples therapy might be good and just being more open. So to get to a solution I and you have to be a little more open, just a little, and if asked be honest, Take time for ourselves and have fun. No one understands our dilemma certainly not our SO's or ourselves. We have to accept this is not something in most cases that our SOs want any part of but they don't care if we want to go out and be girls for a very hours or maybe even one of the many CD-TS events like fantasia Fair or Diva LV. Its out party and they don't want any part of it and probably wouldn't enjoy. They want there man and we want our woman.
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]Sallee

  11. #11
    Silver Member Micki_Finn's Avatar
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    Aaron, why not ask? If she’s accepting, asking her first will help further build trust because she’ll realize you’re not about to go half-cocked and do something crazy if you’re consulting her first. Some of you are averse to “asking permission”, but you can always just drop a “I was thinking about [plucking eyebrows, dressing more, changing my hair, etc]”. That way you’re not asking permission per se, but you’re still inviting her feedback and giving her the opportunity to say “that’s a bad idea” or “sure, go for it.”

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Micki_Finn View Post
    Aaron, why not ask? If she’s accepting, asking her first will help further build trust because she’ll realize you’re not about to go half-cocked and do something crazy if you’re consulting her first. Some of you are averse to “asking permission”, but you can always just drop a “I was thinking about [plucking eyebrows, dressing more, changing my hair, etc]”. That way you’re not asking permission per se, but you’re still inviting her feedback and giving her the opportunity to say “that’s a bad idea” or “sure, go for it.”
    Hi Micki
    I did speak with her about the feminine hairstyle thing, as with the stay at home stuff the whole world is going through my hair has gotten much longer than it would typically be. As a result of that length I started thinking about whether when hair salons reopen again I could somehow get my hair cut in such a way that I could do either a feminine style or a masculine style on any given day. You know, just comb it slightly differently depending on the look I was trying to achieve that day. After discussing we agreed I should try two things around this 1) Try putting rollers in my wet hair to give it some curl and see how feminine that will make it look as that will be quick and easy to change if needed 2) Go to a hair salon in the more LGBT part of the city and discuss this with them to see if they had any ideas on how to achieve what I want.
    Essentially then we reached a compromise where she doesn't want me to get a blatantly feminine cut, but she's fine with me exploring the idea around the edges somewhat. As I was trying to convey in my earlier post, it's really more me putting limits on myself rather than than her placing limits on my dressing, although she obviously has some high level limits she doesn't want me to go beyond without her input. Just the typical marital give and take.

  13. #13
    Silver Member NancySue's Avatar
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    I, initially did the same thing...order or buy things, but say nothing. I don?t know why. When I wore my new purchase, she?d comment...oh, you got something new..Finally, she broke the ice and told me to just make a list...which I now do. It works perfectly. The best of both worlds..I order things...usually lingerie...she buys things like makeup, perfume, etc.

  14. #14
    Reality Check Krisi's Avatar
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    If I get a package and my wife asks what it is, I tell her. My dressing is no secret and I dress around here from time to time. My clothes are hanging in the closet and folded in my dresser. She sometimes buys me feminine things and she shops with me. The other day she gave me three bras that she bought but didn't like.

    My "hang up" is not getting dressed when she is home. If she goes out to the gym or shopping, I will often dress and stay dressed when she returns, but for some reason, I can't just get up in the morning and dress if she's around. I'll have to work on that.
    Krisi

  15. #15
    Aspiring Member April Rose's Avatar
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    Aaron, I think the way you describe it in post #12 is the way to go. I think you are on the right track.
    I am a vessel of the goddess. Let me express my calling to a feminine life through nurturing love and relatedness.

  16. #16
    Member Ameli's Avatar
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    I can relate to this thread. I still harbour a lot of shame and that is most of our problem. My wife is very liberal minded but has some trouble embracing this quality in me. We’re working on it. We have two small children and are isolating right now. I haven’t dressed in a very long time.

  17. #17
    Aspiring Member jacques's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tracii G View Post
    Its all your fault so next time ask her.
    Harsh - but true!

    [SIZE=1]- - - Updated - - -[/SIZE]

    hello Everyone,
    Many thanks for your replies.
    I have realised that I can't talk about my dressing with my wife because I started dressing when I was young it was a secret thing - aged about 8, "borrowing" my sister's clothes.
    It makes no sense to hide something from my wife that she knows about and accepts.I will have to learn to break the habit!
    stay healthy,
    luv J

  18. #18
    Aspiring Member Star01's Avatar
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    I have been thinking about this since reading threads that touch on the subject. I discussed it in therapy the other day and likened it to the feeling one gets as a teenager with a girly magazine hidden under their mattress hoping their mother doesn't find it. My wife are at the age where sex is off the table due to her health issues so the hiding and not talking about my dressing puts a whole different dynamic on the relationship. Sometimes she feels more like an annoying roommate standing between me and happiness that my former intimate lover.

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