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Thread: The sometimes blurry lines between our male and female selves...

  1. #1
    Junior Member Amelia_Rose's Avatar
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    The sometimes blurry lines between our male and female selves...

    Hello again! Time for some more rambling and whatnot from me to you! Tonight, I had an interesting conversation with my wife on a variety of stresses, thoughts, feelings, etc that have been in both of our minds recently. We've both been though a lot of big changes in the last few months, with more on the horizon as we juggle the ever changing landscape of working in a pre-post-COVID world, while preparing for a move later this year while not being certain yet on the exact timetable, and at the same time continuing to work on fitting Amelia into our lives without letting her take over.

    Obviously I'm going to focus on the "Amelia paradox" part of our conversation, and I should point out that, at least in my opinion, we have made incredible strides in a short amount of time. I came out to my wife in November, and since then we've grown by leaps and bounds in terms of acceptance, understanding, and love. But, the road is still a bumpy one, as to be expected, and as we travel along and take new turns in our journey, we find new bumps to navigate.

    The latest; the confusing and sometimes blurry lines between my male and female self. On paper, it seems pretty straight forward. If I'm dressed enfemme, wearing a wig, etc, I'm Amelia. If I'm sporting jeans, t-shirt and my typical military style buzz-cut, I'm the man. This should be easy enough...pronouns to match the outward appearance, simple right? We needed some way to establish going forward exactly how I wanted to be addressed, and this rule, guideline, whatever you want to call it, served us reasonably well as a starting point.

    But, I also made sure to throw a self-sabotaging wrench into the plan early on, by telling my wife "I'm still me, regardless of what I'm wearing". Is this true? Absolutely! Do my mannerisms change a bit when I am enfemme? I would say yes. As we've both grown more comfortable with Amelia being an open part of our relationship, has there been a bit of bleed through? Yes. You might be saying "wait wait wait, what the heck does that mean?" So, allow me to explain!

    In the pre-Amelia days of our relationship/marriage, I as the man had no outwardly expressed interest in fashion. When asked about how something looked on my wife, I gave the same default answers "you look great" or "I always think you're beautiful". Not wrong...as I do always think my wife is beautiful, but also not very helpful for someone who is trying to genuinely figure out what to wear. I also refused to participate in yoga, I do NOT dance, and forget about talking about feelings! All of this, I'm sure, was a subconsciously devised strategy to keep the yet-to-be-named Amelia locked as far back into that closet as possible. And then one day, as we know, she busted out.

    Amelia loves fashion, even if she is a bit clueless sometimes. Amelia is much more communicative in terms of her feelings. She also is much more likely to dance, smiles more, enjoys yoga...she's not held back by that societal expectation of tough exterior that a man "should" present to the world. "Ok ok, get to the point!" I hear you saying...sorry!

    The problem arises now that some time has gone by. Whereas in the beginning stages of Amelia's arrival into the world, there were clearly defined days, times and activities that she OR my male self occupied, but not both, we now slowly see a bit of merging of the two. I'm still not walking around the house in a dress while rocking a beard or anything like that, but I (the man version) regularly do yoga with my wife, and will happily discuss fashion/clothing/etc whenever the topic comes up. Amelia, at the same time, enjoys playing video games, and is also seen in the kitchen on occasion helping prepare meals where before only my wife and her husband shared time together. Throw the "icing on the cake" that is intimacy into the mix, and we've got quite a mess on our hands (no, not that kind of mess, get your mind out of the gutter)!

    From the inside, I don't immediately recognize the blur. After all, I am me, regardless of what I am wearing. But for my wife, who wants to be as supportive and loving as she can, but also needs to be able to understand what's going on inside my head, while also coming to terms with her own relationship and attraction to both versions of myself (which might be a whole other blog post topic entirely), it quickly gets confusing and frustrating.

    To be fair, I don't consider myself to be suffering from gender dysphoria, at least not to any level which drives me to pursue a full gender transition, and being addressed by the wrong pronoun or name does not send waves of pain through my soul, but for many it is a very real situation and struggle. My wife, to her credit, is simply trying to be as respectful and understanding as possible. But, as the line between my male and female self is blurred in my own mind, it can be difficult to keep everything neat and organized. The ultimate fear, from my wife's perspective, is an accidental "outing" wherein the wrong name slips out in the presence of someone who does not know about Amelia.

    That's a lot of pressure to put on someone I love, and brings up many questions with regards to whether I should come out to the family at large, reducing the risk; double down on efforts to keep my two sides separated, or just give up Amelia entirely. None of these options are easy, and really the last one is impossible, that genie is out of the bottle now!

    So where do we go from here? Excellent question! Perhaps someday I'll be at a point in my life where I can come back to this post and laugh at how clueless I was. But, until then, the journey continues! For those out there in similar situations, all I can offer is to keep communicating, keep learning, and keep trying! We've managed to overcome every obstacle so far, this one will be no different!

    With kindness, love and hope...

    Amelia
    Never forget that life is short. Whatever you believe, there's no guarantee of tomorrow or a second chance, so live your life the way you want! Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, and let's make this world a little brighter together!

  2. #2
    Connie Connie D50's Avatar
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    Amelia great post the only thing that I can say is the question of stopping, If you're like most here that would be very hard.

  3. #3
    Senior Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    Amelia, I relate fully to what you are saying and the difficulty of figuring out exactly who you are. I suspect most of us deal with that once in awhile, if not continuously. It is a journey without a defined goal.

    The fact that you see that you are you no matter what the expression is a major step accomplished smoothly. I think we all too often think there are two genders. The neurological reality is there is only one but it spans a very wide range of the possibilities rather than being more restricted as most experience. You are still normal; just different.

    For me, a lot of the problem stems from thinking from the outset that there are two genders - male and female. Modern science has found that is very likely not the case except in a practical sense. Men and women are far more alike than they are different, but when you view it all from the concept of gender being binary the unity of gender becomes overwhelmed and it is hard to see it is all one package and just a matter of everybody looking at gender based on the differences between males and females while ignoring the vast range of similarities.

    Unification is sometimes called "merging." It is where your self concept changes from viewing it all as being separate to a self concept of unity. It appears that not everybody can merge because there is still too much distinction to unify them, but many do merge. My own merging was completed rather suddenly while I was asleep. I went to bed with two distinct genders and woke up with only one that contained everything the two each contained. They split again a few times but could not hold the separation and remerged and have now been one going on 9 years. Expression wise (that is what I wear) they are still distinct, but inside they are one that spans a wide range and the expression just matches where I am in the continuous variation of the totality.

    I think you might be on the verge of a merger, based on some of the things you said in your wonderful post. Only you can be sure. But you really don't have a lot of control over a merger. When it happens it is a matter of your brain achieving a higher level of efficiency and simplicity in your sense of self. It takes a lot of energy to switch back and forth, but when they are one the shifting is smooth as glass. It is your brain using the best combination for the situation at hand, a situation that your brain works on without you being consciously aware that your brain is turning on and turning off certain neural networks that create a sense of self that fits the situation. After awhile that changing becomes like changing the volume on a radio or stereo - it is continuous and smooth until your brain sees the two match closely.

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    Gold Member Lana Mae's Avatar
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    All I will say is keep the communication and love going! Hugs Lana Mae
    Life is worth living!
    "Foxy lady! You look so good!!" Jimi Hendrix

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    Junior Member Amelia_Rose's Avatar
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    Thank you ladies for your responses and insight! I definitely have no intention of stopping, this is a part of who I am. But, that doesn't mean I don't still have the occasional self-doubt. My main hope is that in verbalizing this experience, it will help both myself and others to push past those kinds of feelings.
    Never forget that life is short. Whatever you believe, there's no guarantee of tomorrow or a second chance, so live your life the way you want! Be kind to yourself, be kind to others, and let's make this world a little brighter together!

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    I think you're over thinking some of this. Yes, when I am wearing a dress (no pants, thank you) there are mannerisms that seem to go hand in hand with that attire. I smooth my dress against my rump when sitting down. I do not enter my car foot first. I sit down first and then turn body. I sit with my legs together....a woman must not show her panty. Etc. Throw on the wig and I am whisking away that stray hair off my face. All those mannerism come with the territory.

    As to male and female preferences and activities I think it is a matter of just throwing away some subconscious male biases. Some men relate cooking and baking to be female activities and somehow a man doing those activities makes a man less of a man. Ignorance. If there is a chore to be done around the house I have freely done it, whether en femme or en drab. It is something that needs to be done. My wife and I share the meal preparation. However, it is top heavy on my side. Maybe, five out of seven days due to total Covid boredom. We do the laundry. Etc. I think many men are totally dysfunctional when it comes to domestic chores because they choose to be dysfunctional.

    I belong to a group of men. Many of them grew up on farms or worked on car/truck engines all their lives. When they start talking about engines I have no idea what they are talking about. It's almost like they could be on "Jeopardy for Engine Repair." I feel like an outcast. Totally bored.

    IMHO, there are many suppressed cross dressers out there who are afraid of their inner beings. Any hint of thinking about or partaking in the "world of women" is akin of being castrated. Show too much interested and you have 'outed' yourself. There is way to much conditioning still going on in society. Men do this, and women do that.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Pumped's Avatar
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    Stephanie, I understand what you are saying, but I do know my way around and engine, but clueless when it comes to sports or hunting and fishing. My wife finds it funny when we will be sitting with friends and us guys are talking motorcycles and I over hear the women talking fashion and I jump into that conversation and can talk styles and brand names. I get the "be careful" comment from her once in a while. She thinks women will wonder why I know so much about women's fashion.

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    Amelia, keep the love and communications open with your wife and all the rest of the issues will work themselves out. My wife and I were always open with each other about my two personas. Her support of both eased my growth tremendously. Over the years there has been a significant blending of the two, and both are better for it.

    Don?t worry about the accidental "outing" by your wife or even yourself. It will happen. You can depend on it. Just carry on like nothing happened and 99% of the time no one will notice or care. Many times my wife miss named me (or used the wrong pronoun) when talking with others and nothing bad happened. I have accidentally "outed" myself a few times in conversation or actions, too. If you don?t stop and have a reaction, chances are they won?t either.

    Best wishes with all the projects you and your wife have planned.
    Hanna

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    Fun Member Natalie5004's Avatar
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    Amelia, or should I call you Mia?

    I really like your thoughtful writing. There are some insights to you that come across in the text. I am sure you are correct in both of you being present at the same time. Or is that the two personalities are merging?

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    Senior Member Geena75's Avatar
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    Personally, I think there is a problem is we compartmentalize ourselves into two different people. My usual male self and Geena are like two intersecting circles, with the bulk of each overlapping. How I wish to look falls into the areas distinct to each circle. However, I don't suddenly like cottage cheese become I'm dressed like Geena any more than I stop wanting to lose a few pounds when I'm not. I have grown as an individual through exploring cross dressing, and my attitudes, likes and dislikes, and regard for others are part of who I am, regardless of how I present myself. The differences really lie in the presentation, not who I am.

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    Platinum Member Beverley Sims's Avatar
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    Don't stop and you will succeed.

    I lost any blur I had years ago.
    Work on your elegance,
    and beauty will follow.

  12. #12
    Aspiring Member SaraLin's Avatar
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    Amelia,

    I don't see it as "blurring" between the two sides. I see it more as the "social mask" slipping.

    Does the "male" you really dislike fashion or yoga - or were you just pretending, so that you wouldn't look too 'girly'?

    You're feeling the freedom to express yourself more openly than you have ever done before - and it's just hard to go back to pretending to be what you're not.
    Embrace that - and let's hope that your wife truly loves YOU and not just the mask.

    And if the "wrong name" slips out in conversation, simply smile and say that it's an "inside joke" and move on.
    For example, since I'm doing a lot of the housework these days, my wife will jokingly call me "Becky" - as in "I see that Becky did the dishes already."
    IF she ever slipped and used the term in front of someone I didn't want to know, I'd just smile and say something like "That's because I help with the housework." Truth, but incomplete.

  13. #13
    Aspiring Member Star01's Avatar
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    I grew up in the 50?s and 60?s when hiding my desire to crossdress was not so much a choice as a survival technique here in the rural Midwestern US. When I joined this forum I assumed that all crossdressers were dressing in secret like I was. I thought that only transgender women lived full time and crossdressers turned it on and off like I had been doing.

    As someone who grew up when I did where I did there was no choice but to get indoctrinated in and participate fully in the male traditions. I went onto do things like launching planes in the Navy, fishing, camping, hunting when I was younger along with following the Sprint Car circuits. I had my little secret but it was never of such urgency that it caused me to take risks with my dressing or have any problem in both roles.

    I will admit to having brought Star to the motel with me more than a few times while following speedweeks. She stayed in the motel as little country dirt tracks in the middle of red hat country are not conducive to public showings of male attempts at femininity.

    I am comfortable presenting in a way that enables me to peruse my life long interests and passions without causing an uproar by dressing. I apologize if I am coming across as being snarky but I live in a place where half of what I read here would get my butt kicked where I live. I am content living my second secret life and do not feel compelled to flaunt my desire to bend gender norms. I am very comfortable staying where I am at. It allows me to still dabble in life long passions that I don?t want crossdressing to interfere with. True, this is a free country and is within my right to attend sporting events in small towns dressed as a woman. Within my rights does not always translate to a wise choice. I have no issues with enjoying guy things in guy mode. As I mentioned in another thread, after reading experiences here on the forum I am glad that I can pull a starter and run to the auto parts store for another one without feeling compelled to spend an hour getting pretty before I do it. I am a very practical person and by my way of thinking it is easier and better for my personal safety to keep crossdressing in its place.

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