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Thread: Should I feel guilty?

  1. #1
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    Should I feel guilty?

    Hi everyone,I'm new to this forum, and I would just like to say thank you to all that have given me such a warm friendly welcome. I'm already loving it here!
    I've been CDing at various levels for about 25 years, but an very much in the closet. I have never told anyone about this and would be just too self conscious if anyone saw me dressed. Perhaps this forum will change that over time, who knows? My SO has discovered a few items over the passed few years, probably me carelessly leaving things out, so she does know something is going on. I also once fell asleep with this site on my tablet, which she discovered and resulted in an awkward discussion. I ended up saying I was just curious, but she made it clear she was not happy about it. She did eventually say that if that was the life I wanted, she would not stand in my way, but made it clear it would be on my own. This is definitely not what I want, so my dressing is very much in secret with no discussion at all. Don't think you can even call that DADT!!!
    I'm happy with this and have no intention to stop dressing,and as I say, I do it in private and am not hurting anyone. However, sometimes I feel guilty, like I'm sneaking around or betraying everyone. Should I feel guilty? Has anyone else felt like this?
    Obviously,this is more for those of us that are not in an accepting relationship, but would love to hear your thoughts.

  2. #2
    Gold Member Helen_Highwater's Avatar
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    Phillippa,

    We face the problem of being up against a society that for so long both ignored while ridiculing what we now know to be the LGBT community. Being Gay was a criminal offence not that long ago and while things have improved greatly the residue of those days lingers.

    For many CD = gay which isn't the case for the vast majority of our community. No empirical evidence to support this but I suspect the incidence of Gay CD'ers is about the same as Gay's in the general population. It's these sorts of thoughts, preconceptions about the whys and how's that we dress that taint peoples views and attitudes to our dressing. So it's understandable as to where your SO is coming from. Also if you ask yourself, aren't some of those very same thoughts to be found deep in you? Do not underestimate societal pressures.

    As for guilt; some see what we do as cheating but I don't subscribe to that. We're not in another relationship, what we do remains within the one we have albeit kept under the radar. Some stop dressing but it's very few that then at some point don't return. It's something deep inside us and you'll debate long and hard as to why we feel this need. If you read here you'll see so many who've been doing this since they were very young.

    You'd like to be open but the person stopping that is your SO. You can't blame her, as I've said, societal pressures still persist and so I feel it's fair to ask, who is the more guilty for ending up in the situation you're/we're in. After all, what we're talking about is clothes.
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  3. #3
    Member ziggie's Avatar
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    While it is entirely appropriate to be concerned that your wife is not comfortable with your dressing, guilt is probably not the right thing to call it. I know that may seem to be a semantic difference but, from your description at least, you are trying to make things work for both of you. Nothing to feel guilty about in that.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member Kris Burton's Avatar
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    Phillipa, before I begin, I must state that I am one of the lucky ones, whose wife is accepting and has even on occasion participated with me, makeup tips and lessons, wardrobe selections and such. However, when I first admitted to myself that I was a crossdresser (not very long ago as it happens) and began actively doing it (not just imagining it) I was pretty scared. I feared losing her. I was not ashamed, but I did feel like I was sneaking around behind her back, almost like I was having an affair. I would try so hard to cover my tracks hiding even my participation here at the forum.

    So, I sort of know how you feel. The big difference for me is it didn't last long, just a couple of weeks actually. Way too much stress for me, and I came out to her, ready to accept the consequences, whatever they were. I was greatly relieved when I did. Even if she was not accepting, at least I was able to put that burden down, and I'm so glad I did not underestimate her and continue on that way. To paraphrase her, crossdressing she could handle, sneaking around is dishonest, and that she could not and would not. So now for me, no guilt, no shame just a little embarrassment from time to time when she finds me looking at ads for frilly things or leave my shaping garments out. No problem, as she actually seems amused.

    I don't know what the nature of the personality of your SO, or the nature of your relationship, but it obviously is placing a burden on you and perhaps your SO as well. It might be time for both of you to talk about this seriously and not cover it over. Difficult to be sure, perhaps with an undesirable outcome but at least it will be honest and the sneaking and guilt can end. And sometimes if you take a great risk,can come a great reward.

  5. #5
    Junior Member britskye's Avatar
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    Hi Philippa,

    I'm new here as well, but your situation sounds almost identical to mine. After having pretty much the same conversation with my wife late last year, i spent a couple weeks in deep thought. I don't think you need to feel guilty, but understand why you would. For me, that couple weeks of introspection helped me come to terms with who I am.
    Like you, I don't want to lose my wife (or kids), so my CDing is being kept at a very private level for the foreseeable future.

  6. #6
    Gold Member alwayshave's Avatar
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    Philippa, I have been with my SO/Wife for nearly twenty years and I admitted to my hobby early on in our relationship and she is accepting. However, I did hide my CDing from my ex-wife and I understand the guilt you are feeling. At this point I understand that you have nothing to be guilty about. You are not hurting anyone. If your wife is choosing to be upset about your dressing, she is hurting the relationship, not you, in my humble opinion.
    Please call me Jamie, I always_have crossdressed, I always will, "alwayshave".

  7. #7
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    Philippa,

    You can't change who you are. Your eyes are a certain color. Should you feel guilty about your eye color? It is who you are. There is no changing it. Your desires to crossdress are the expression of who you are. It is the feminine self that is aching for expression. It would be a little bit like having a perfectly functional hand, and never allowing yourself to use it. You might get used to it, but it would drive you nuts.

    Your wife didn't sign up for this. She has a right to not be happy about it. She has a right to express her displeasure about it. You have a right to be who you are. Somewhere between the two of you is a middle ground in which both of you can exist and still be together. If that middle ground is you staying permanently hidden, and you are willing to accept that in order to remain married, then so be it. But, under no circumstances should you EVER feel guilty about it. The situation as you describe it is not one in which you are the one causing the lies (and lies they are). She is the one causing the lies by refusing to accept and threatening severe consequences if you express yourself. That's not to demonize her in any respect. It's to lay blame where it belongs. Should she feel guilty about wearing a skirt? Pantyhose? Heels? Bra? Of course not. Neither should you. You are a person, every bit as much a person as she is.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator char GG's Avatar
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    She did eventually say that if that was the life I wanted, she would not stand in my way, but made it clear it would be on my own.
    What did she mean by this ^^^^

    Does she mean "dress on your own" or "live on your own"? Big difference. If she means dress on your own, then you can continue dressing at home with her knowledge. If she means that she is leaving you over your dressing, then that's another thing.

    Maybe it's time for a real conversation about what you want and how it effects your lives.

  9. #9
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    Char beat me to the punch on the meaning of her statement. You need to clear up the meaning of that statement. My wife and I are in a deep "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" marriage; 50+ years. I know her position on my cross dressing. Guilt? In the distant past I felt a lot of self loathing, self hatred because I did not accept myself. I don't know if I can assign the term, guilt to my feeling. I told her I wish I was a cross dresser which is true. I also came to the conclusion to nudge her in the direction I wanted her to go amounted to mental spousal abuse. I also realized I did not need her validation in order for me to self validate myself. Yes, she and I went through "The Talk." It was all the "if I had know, I would have_______>" Fill in the obvious words.

    Are you feeling guilty because you're a cross dresser? Or because you're hiding your true feelings and needs from her? I see it as two different issues. If your wife obtains full knowledge, then, if she chooses to totally avoid the issue, then you should not feel guilty about your cross dressing. It becomes her choice. You may not like her choice, but, it is her choice. If she walks out the door, she walks out the door. My wife told me, if I wanted to join a support group, it was alright with her. (I looked and none was to be found back in the 1980's.) I have bought tons of women's attire. We can well afford it, so it's not a case of kids going hungry because I bought some femme stuff. That would be a different guilt trip. I need to be on this site and buy femme clothing on occasion (too many occasions) to keep my head straight. Yes, it bothers me when I read postings of acceptance, like by Maria60. But, that's life.

    I cannot tell you to initiate "The Talk." Only you will have to deal with the outcome. Not us. However, you cannot dance around the issue forever. "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is only valid when a wife knows what her husband is doing rather than remaining in the dark. This is how I see it.

    I cannot

  10. #10
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    The sneaking around part may be a short term survival strategy but its not a reliable long term plan. I do not have a good answer beyond being honest about your interests and hoping that at least you can pursue them with your wifes consent, like a hobby that she has no interest in

  11. #11
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    Phillippa , My wife made it clear that our marriage would be over if I did not stop after finding my stash of clothes despite the talk after . I did feel guilty in the past but don?t anymore. This is part of me and won?t go away.But I don?t want to throw away nearly 30 years of marriage or upset my family. She made me purge at the time. I had a breakdown came out to my mother who accepted..I use to dress at my mothers until she passed away in 2020. Now opportunities are limited. I underdress and hope to have a makeover later this year when the family are away.. As Helen pointed out no one is cheating with another woman. I felt in the past like I was having an affair with myself.

  12. #12
    Administrator Di's Avatar
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    #8

    She did eventually say that if that was the life I wanted, she would not stand in my way, but made it clear it would be on my own.
    Exactly what the others have said this needs to be addressed.

    If
    She means she will leave you?..you are just kicking the can down the road. You are not going to stop and for many here / will have the need more.

    I know I sound like a broken record but those not married yet ( reading this )please work this out and get your spouse to understand it doesn?t have to be that big of a deal. There are so many that hide it think it will go away - it does not then the guilt AND when the wife does find out and she will she will feel betrayed.
    My advice is to get her to understand but then you know her I do not .

    You are not alone in this, many do this, it gets so frustrating and heart breaking.


    ADD we were writing at the same time so I see your answer to my first part
    Can you go to counseling and then take your wife so she understands this. .

    Heart breaking all around, my second bit of advice is when it happens again do not lie and say you will stop.the lies piling up is what she will focus on.
    Again sees a Counselor be honest and ask for help sorting this out.
    Last edited by Di; 01-22-2022 at 12:25 PM.
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  13. #13
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    What she meant was that we would split up and I could explore this more or even full time. But that's not what I want. She is a very strong, loving woman and we have a strong marriage (with kids), and I guess 1. I'm not wanting to compromise that, 2. I'm not nearly ready to have the talk, 3. That's why I sometimes feel a bit guilty, because of the secrets, which I know she doesn't like. But I don't feel guilty enough to stop! Maybe it's not even guilt, but just uncomfortable with the secrets?.
    Your comments and feedback have been a massive help.

  14. #14
    Administrator Di's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philippa Grace View Post
    . But I don't feel guilty enough to stop! Maybe it's not even guilt, but just uncomfortable with the secrets?.
    Your comments and feedback have been a massive help.
    We keep typing at the same time lol I-added more to my first post.
    Just so you know every GG I know. The lies is what they cannot get over .
    And also I know you cannot stop I know of no one that has ever completely, it is apart of you.
    I still recommend a counselor that can help you and maybe eventually have joint sessions.
    Best of luck.
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  15. #15
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    First you are not cheating. It is hiding part of who you are. Would you pretend to be right handed if she saw you were left handed and said you can be left handed on your own? Would you dye your hair if she didn't like the color and wear a wig in secret to see yourself with the color you like?
    Or we can go at it like this as many say it's a hobby. Would you give up any other hobby because she didn't like it? Such as golf or model airplanes? I mean it is your life and your decision. Therfore you have to decide for yourself what to do. I personally won't change who I am for another person because they are insecure or don't like something that is part of me.

  16. #16
    Female Illusionist! docrobbysherry's Avatar
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    Phillipa, "DADT" is not, "sneak, cheat, and lie". And, u wonder if u should feel guilty for doing those things to your "loving" wife? How could u not?

    I think u should start writing down the stories you're going to tell her whenever u r caught. Because, u will be!
    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!

  17. #17
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    I think what you are feeling is not really guilt, but dishonesty. Because you have not spoken to her in more depth about this and because you are sneaking around you feel you are being dishonest to, obviously, one of the most important people in your life. Unfotunately, i feel, until you two talk about this and you are open with her and yourself you wont know if its ok or a DADT or ok to underdress but not be fully dressed type of relationship, if one at all. Its scary to come clean and the wait while they wrap their minds around it all can cause alot of anxiety. Go slow,be honest, willing to compromise and maybe you two can find even ground where you both are happy. Im wishing you the best!

  18. #18
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    Phlllpaa my situation is somewhere in the middle of guilt and not having the courage to tell my wife how i really feel.
    My wife has known about my crossdressing for 10 years now(married now 37 years) and is somewhat tolerant and
    even has gone to support group events with me.
    However our physical relationship died the day i came out to her.
    Basically i will just be going through the motions for the rest of my life.
    Good luck with any decisions you make.

  19. #19
    GG Dutchess's Avatar
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    I have not seen this mentioned yet but surely someone is is thinking about it ...but alot of times the guilt surfaces when your sex life is spent with your female alter ego or just your self dressed and your wife gets none or very little of you anymore . This happens and it happens alot no matter how many here protest to the contrary . It can get away from you if you let it .This happened to me and really messed me up, in my eyes my husband would rather have a facsimile of a woman instead of me . I still am not sure when I am in all this even years later . My husband at the time also felt guilty and this was why .
    Last edited by Dutchess; 01-22-2022 at 08:26 PM.
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  20. #20
    Princess Candice candykowal's Avatar
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    Gosh everyone, rough crowd!
    The event you experienced is over...you are still a loving husband, you know where she stands.
    You haven't done anything more to suggest you want to go another route then to be her husband.
    It was a good lesson to know where she stands, time to be smart, a bit cunning, and move on.
    You can be both a wonderful husband and fulfill your desires to explore your feminine side as long as you understand, "you are a husband first."
    There will be those time when the wife is gone with the kids and you are finished with the chores, you can get your girly on!
    We call this "ME" time and it is a great stress reliever.
    You can do anything you want during "Me" time and not feel guilty.
    Wife asks what did you do while we were gone?
    You can say I had some "Me" time....without explaining or lying about it.
    Get yourself a hidyhole, fake duct work, look-a-like locking chests, something to squirrel away those things.
    Be careful and you will be fine! You don't think wives keeps secrets from husbands?????...."Pleeeeeeeeese!"
    Wives hide things from every husband...it's human nature.
    Don't loose who you are and become a shell.
    Don't loose the love of your life, your children...have it all and stay happy...make it work, a lot of us do it by figuring it out along the way, being smart, savvy.....
    ...without "Letting The Genie out of the Bottle!"
    Candice Coleen Kowal ....all my friends call me Candy!

  21. #21
    Silver Member Maria 60's Avatar
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    When I got married I threw all my fem stuff out thinking I'm starting a new life and this stage of my life is gone. Well 2 weeks back from our honeymoon first morning alone I seen her pantyhose on the dresser and I put them on. I sat there for 2 hours sitting on the bed realizing this is real and it's not going anywhere and I refused to live a life like of a fugitive.
    That same night she came home from work and I told her everything, from the first time when I was young putting on my sisters pantyhose up to that same morning that I put on hers. At this point I wasn't looking for permission I was looking for a way if we could work something out and find a happy medium that we were both happy. I told her I didn't have to dress in front of her but at least if I do slip and leave something out she won't be shocked or surprised. I'm not going to lie she was upset that I told her after we were married but she was very flattered that I was able to tell her and trust her with this secret. Thank God it did all work out, she drew a line in the sand that she would be able to handle and we found a happy medium. Don't get me wrong it wasn't all roses there were some hard times but I guess that's just being married.
    Well as far as I'm concerned you put the seed and told her your desires and now even if she does find something fem you could give her the "I told you already about this" and she shouldn't be totally surprised. Sorry I felt as if I told you my life story but sometimes it's hard to explain and have to take the long root. My point is in the future it the conversation should come up it should be a way that both of you can be happy and she doesn't have to see it but as long as she knows. You stated you have a strong married so that's already a plus. Hope I helped you a little

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Philippa Grace View Post
    What she meant was that we would split up and I could explore this more or even full time. But that's not what I want. She is a very strong, loving woman and we have a strong marriage (with kids), and I guess 1. I'm not wanting to compromise that, 2. I'm not nearly ready to have the talk, 3. That's why I sometimes feel a bit guilty, because of the secrets, which I know she doesn't like. But I don't feel guilty enough to stop! Maybe it's not even guilt, but just uncomfortable with the secrets?.
    Secrets in a marriage can cause a marriage to deteriorate. That's not an argument for you to not be secret about your crossdressing. Rather, as an in-the-closet crossdresser, you are going to have to pay extra attention to your marriage, and actively work on it to ensure these secrets do not cause that deterioration. It's good advice in general, but even more so when you are forced to keep a secret like this.

    Long term; once your kids are out on their own and self sufficient, you might be ready for a different conversation. It is possible she will divorce you, but at least at that point it won't be a punishing to the kids. I know if I were in your shoes, I would be greatly concerned about the impact to the kids still at home, and think it selfish to want to push this so far as to cause harm to them. Yes, kids are resilient. But, parents breaking up is very hard on them. That's not to say anyone should stay in a bad and/or abusive marriage. But, if the marriage is otherwise stable and strong, allowing crossdressing to ruin it is, in my opinion, very callous towards the kids.

    Once the kids are out on their own, that equation changes. My kids do not know I crossdress. Once they are on their own, that might change. My wife knows about my crossdressing and actively supports. She knew well before we became engaged. We had a rough spot 10+ years back about the crossdressing, but worked it out. Once my kids are out on their own, I intend on crossdressing a lot more. My wife is aware of this and accepting of it. We are also conscious that we need to be careful it doesn't harm our relationship. I wouldn't be surprised if I'm crossdressing 50% of the time once the kids are gone. Once I'm retired, it might be even higher. I don't know. My point is; the equation changes, and if your marriage remains strong and stable until then it will change for you too. At that point, you'll have to make a determination for yourself. Can you go the rest of your life repressing this? Or, are you willing to try repressing it less, knowing it might ruin your marriage? Hard questions.


    Quote Originally Posted by Philippa Grace View Post
    Your comments and feedback have been a massive help.
    You're quite welcome! I'm glad you're here!

  23. #23
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    She kinda knows already as she found the tablet and you said you were curious.

    She needs to know, if it comes up again, that it's clothing nothing more. UNLESS you are thinking of transitioning. IN that case the sooner you tell the better. See it from her standpoint, if you came home and found her in a man's suit with a moustache and a strapon, you'd be a bit bewildered right?

    Best advice I've seen on here? Be a husband first and foremost. Our little hobby has nothing to do with that. I think we're BETTER husbands as we understand more than the average guy

  24. #24
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    Reading your post and others input and reactions reminded me of how it was for me when I first joined this group a couple of months ago. The group is supportive and also challenging at the same time. I was also in the same place. What I felt was less like guilt for what I am doing. I like many started dressing between 8 and 10 yo. What I did feel was guilt because I was hiding everything and worrying that I might leave something out and she discover it. She was aware of my dressing when we were dating. I think she chose to purge that out of her mind like the various times I tried to purge dressing out of my life. Me thinking it would go away, and her thinking it was gone. On several occasions I brought the discussion back around, but mainly failing to be authentic with myself and my needs, and also not trusting her enough to really talk openly. Before our talk I was starting to feel more anxious and depressed. Only you will know what is appropriate to discuss with your wife. I found that I felt so much better after The Talk. She agreed that if I wanted to underdress that was my decision. I just needed to deal with it if something happened. She just wanted me to return back to regular (men's undies) before I got in bed with her. Humorously, my boys undies are sometimes closer to some of my girly panties. So I would agree with others have already said and ask that as opportunities come up, please share with her where you are on your journey.

    What is also funny is that my wife sleeps every night in a pair of men's boxer shorts with her panties under them. Many times I have wanted to bring this up, but I find myself more able to laugh at the stereotyping instead of letting it eat at me.

  25. #25
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    Please keep in mind that you are not doing anything wrong. You are doing something different but not at all wrong. Try to let some of the guilt go and just enjoy whatever time you are able be dressed.

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