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Thread: The Costs of Keeping It Secret

  1. #1
    Aspiring Member NancyJ's Avatar
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    The Costs of Keeping It Secret

    Recently I have been seeing posts about husbands secretly dressing or buying femme things and being careful to ensure that they are not found out by their wives. I understand this. I really do, have been there, done that. But I have to say that it gives me a very uneasy feeling to read these stories because I always imagine the hurt and the blowup when she finds out.

    I was one of those who discovered my femininity gradually and shared it in bits and pieces with my wife. I would say it has been the hardest part of our marriage. (And it has led to a couple of the biggest fights and periods of painful emotional distancing in our marriage, but we eventually worked it out.) But, I have always wanted her to know because I have wanted her to love this part of me too. This has been hard for her and it has been hard for me to be honest.

    I have no judgement about those who choose to keep it secret. I raise this issue out of worry for you, out of fear that she will discover your truth and be hurt by the deception more than by the truth of who you are. Secrecy is a slippery slope.

    As I have reported before, my wife does not allow me to fully dress in her presence. She knows that I do, she just doesn’t want to be a part of it and she has given me parameters for what femme things I can wear while with her. She knows (obviously) that I underdress every day and some days we even wear matching panties, which helps me feel accepted by her.

    For those who keep this part of yourself secret from your wife or partner, do you find that it causes a distance between you? Nancy
    Last edited by NancyJ; 10-15-2022 at 07:28 AM.

  2. #2
    Aspiring Member Lacey New's Avatar
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    I have become used to compartmentalizing my crossdressing. And it has become easier actually because it has become a smaller part of my life Overthe past few years, as I age, the urge has faded somewhat and my stash has gotten significantly smaller. Not only that, with her recent retirement, my opportunities have been more limited. It is what it is. I will still be fascinated with the conversation though because I have been into cross dressing since my early teens and I still wonder ?Why me??. Reading what others post may not provide the answer but at least I know that I am not alone.

  3. #3
    Senior Member GretchenM's Avatar
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    Beautifully put, Nancy. I have no squabble with anything that you have said.

    Much of this behavior is caused by a sense or shame and guilt that creates a deep fear of being found out that, at the least, "you are doing something very wrong." And that feeling of doing something wrong comes from a belief that males are males, and females are females and trying to reverse that is wrong and possibly a sign of having something wrong with them. It is only natural to try to hide it if the perception of reality is consistent with that kind of strong binary thinking. In a round about way we are taught that our sex determines our gender or even that our sex and gender are basically the same thing. And we know that our wives were taught the same thing. Result? Internal conflict generating fear of being found out and guilt in being what we think is different but actually isn't.

    Unfortunately, that kind of strong binary thinking is incorrect. Sex and gender are actually very different things - one is a reproductive imperative that is actually an instinctive part of the total person while gender identity is strictly a behavior generated by the brain and determined by a far, far more complex portion of our genomes. Reproduction is a behavior as well, but that is mostly an instinctive requirement of being a biological organism - all organisms reproduce and they are born with the "knowledge" of how to reproduce. In humans we tend to connect the two behaviors in a way that we tend to think our gender is caused by our sex. There is some actual connection, but it is not deterministic. Gender is a social behavior and not a biologically determined behavior and humans are intensely social.

    Our brains are configured in a way that enables males to behave in a female-like way under the appropriate circumstances and females do the opposite. Without that, males and females could not possibly form a family unit necessary for raising our offspring to fit into the world, i.e. successfully carry reproduction to its complete conclusion.

    However, the depth of what we are taught as children sets the standard until we realize that is not 100% the truth. Both genders can perform some of what is basic to the other gender and that is what produces a conflict in perception between the sex and gender senses when rather than giving in to that natural overlap in gender behavior - being thyself in its totality. That, in turn, produces a sense of consistency that produces comfort in being who you are in its finest and most basic way. We are all unique.
    Last edited by GretchenM; 10-15-2022 at 07:26 AM. Reason: remove a contradiction

  4. #4
    Senior Member Heather76's Avatar
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    "I always imagine the hurt and the blowup when she finds out." You hit the nail on the head. It isn't a matter of IF she finds out. It is only a matter of when.
    It's never too late to enjoy a happy childhood.
    Live each day as though it's your last 'cause one day you'll be right.
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator char GG's Avatar
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    Thank you for bringing this up, Nancy. There are no right or wrong ways to disclose to a spouse about their CDing.

    However, the right thing to do is to be honest and share all of the information that is known. Give your SO enough respect so that they can come to a conclusion about how they want to spend the rest of their life. Marriage should be about the couple, not just one party of the relationship.

    I would give the same advice to a wife that was hiding secrets from their husbands.

    Deception is a red flag for couples.

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    Last edited by char GG; 10-15-2022 at 07:56 AM.

  6. #6
    Administrator Di's Avatar
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    What a great post much thanks .
    I probably do sound like I judge those that keep it from their partners but I come from seeing from the GGs all these years after the initial shock, those that try to understand, grow together and respect on both sides you can have a close relationship.
    I sound like a broken record I am sure but we have new members joining every day ( plus many guests reading) I always hope they will see it much easier all the way around for everyone to be open and honest.
    We met here so of course no secrets…..and I wish for everyone to have that in their life.
    Again great post
    In my opinion from so many GGs the not knowing ends up being the hardest thing to get over.
    They say things like it’s like I do not even know him
    What else is he hiding
    I can never trust again
    I hope for the best for all the couples .
    I feel bad for the wives after reading so many posts counting down the days till the wife is gone ……..mad if plans change……the wife not knowing why you act moody …So to me as an outsider I think how sad , there has to be such a distance and disconnect.
    Again I hope for the best, understanding coming to some sort of agreement.
    I do understand everyone has to do what is best in their relationship but I hope they have the courage to face it early on because it gets harder as time goes on .

    Hope it is ok to add Something personal *Happy Birthday Sherlyn *you showed me an unconditional love*something I wish for everyone.
    Last edited by Di; 10-15-2022 at 10:16 AM.
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  7. #7
    Member AmeeJo's Avatar
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    I definitely see how keeping my secret could harm my relationship with my wife. Based on her reaction to my recent pedicure, I don't think she is ready to hear my secret, yet. I have been crossdressing for 42 years and I've never told a single person, face to face, about what I do. I have been thinking about talking to my psychologist the next time I go in for my annual checkup but, I'm still not sure. I have been dressing much more lately and adding to the levels of my dressing (Forms, makeup, wigs, shaving body hair, mani-pedis, and now a breast plate). My stash has increased in size dramatically in the past year. I do keep everything out of sight but if she were to go on a search she would find stuff pretty easily. Fortunately, she is not the type to search without asking. I do the same for her things too. Unfortunately, since my accident (10 years now) we pretty much have seperate lives. We each have our own rooms and ever since she went through menopause, she is not interested in being intimate at all. Don't get me wrong, we still love eachother very much and we are still happy in our marriage. Our relationship has changed over the years as most do. I still feel the pull of the pink fog and I don't think it will ever go away, not that I want it to. If it means hurting my wife, I will take this secret to the grave. It's just something I have to deal with.
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  8. #8
    Gold Member bridget thronton's Avatar
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    I knew that keeping secrets from my wife puts great stress on me. This forum helped me understand that many women are more concerned about the hiding than the dressing. As I found out her love for me allowed her to accept that I needed to dress often (and was was probably less angry and nicer to be around even when not dressed)

  9. #9
    Silver Member Maria 60's Avatar
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    Telling my wife after a week back from our honeymoon because I put on her pantyhose one morning and the realization hit how real this was and I wasn't going to live as a fugitive all my life. Telling her was the hardest thing I ever did and she respected it of how hard it was. It just didn't end there, when I was younger and the kids were younger I would go for drives and being younger I would do stupid things. Coming home and telling her what reckless and taking risk things I would do was just as hard. I felt as if it was better to put all the cards on the table and let her see what it was really all about. I understand the risk of telling, I really thought and prepared myself that my new traditional European wife was going to leave me. She has commented how unfair it was to her that I told her after we married but she did understand the seriousness and emotional and embarrassing side of it.
    She asked me if she wasn't accepting of it and we stayed together would have I hid stuff and have did it without her knowing. I was honest again and told her there was no doubt I was going to do it behind her back.
    It really is the worst part of the dressing, sometimes it has nothing to do about the dressing but about no being totally honest, almost leaves them thinking what else are we lying about. My wife calls my dressing a blessing and when I read about all the sisters in hidding and I'm still hidding from my family I don't believe it's a blessing, it a lot on the mind.

  10. #10
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    The two headed snake raises its head again. Years ago one of the GG's responded to a post on this subject. It came down to whether or not the woman was given the chance or opportunity to choose. Gretchen stated "males are males and women are women" is a good portion of the shame or guilt cross dressing men experience. As to the guy side, I have to agree. What about the "girl side?" Is not part of her outrage rooted in "males are males and women are women?" I do not know how a guy explains to his girl what he does not understand himself. I wonder what the overall track record is when the guy does "the reveal" before the couple really knows each other. Immediate violent break up or full acceptance? Given the political climate in this country I think it is only going to get worse. Does the woman shed the man because of the fear, founded or unfounded, that may be heaped upon her by society or does she become a willing or unwilling participant in a "shared secret?" I suspect there are many marriages that become marriages of convenience.

  11. #11
    Silver Member Rhonda Jean's Avatar
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    Well, the truth can be costly as well. I'm not necessarily advocating secrecy, it's just a fact. I was as open and accepted and LUCKY as just about anybody from when I was a kid up through 30 years of marriage... until I wasn't. I felt sorry for those who didn't have it as good. I think, though, that those who are secretive have a pretty good idea about what would happen if they were truthful. Here's a little window into an "honest" relationship.

    I'm sure I said many times on this forum that I didn't hide anything, and I seriously thought I was totally open and honest. True, I didn't hide any of my stuff. True, I went out of town about once a month to do my thing and she knew and approved. My hair, long nails, waxed brows, shaved body... that was all the time. No hiding that. Delve a little deeper and you'll find a lot of deception and a lot of misunderstanding.

    I know now, years later, that she imagined that I was doing things on my trips out of town that I wasn't doing. What I actually did, boringly and predictably, was get my hair and nails done, eat my meals at a sit-down restaurant, and go shopping. BUT, I had a ridiculous amount of clothes, and some of them, in my mind, were not appropriate for me to wear in public, particularly doing the mundane things I did. Tiny skirts and dresses, revealing tops, ridiculously high heels, fancy dresses and flashy jewelry. I'd often take this stuff with me and try it on in my hotel room, but I didn't wear it in public. Understandably though, seeing this stuff in my unhidden mass of clothes, she imagined and assumed that I was wearing it in public, going no telling where and doing no telling what. Truth is, once a year or so I'd work up enough courage to wear an inappropriately short dress, etc. in public, which (except for a time or two) amounted to walking through the hotel lobby and driving around in my car. Maybe stopping at a convenience store. That's all I had the nerve to do dressed like that. Hardly the bar hopping she imagined.

    So, in this "open and honest" relationship, what else did she not know (but probably suspected or found out some other way)? Start with my computer search history, for one. Then there are all the times that I went out for the day, changing in a parking lot and changing back before I went home. Getting my hair roller set and washing it out at a rest area faucet before I went home. Shopping in male mode (and female mode, for that matter) and trying on clothes in the store and having SA's who knew me. Having makeup consultants at multiple department stores and stand-alone stores who knew me (sort of) and helped me, sometimes in male mode. Having my hair done in male mode at multiple salons all over the area where we lived, often on a weekly basis. Having a couple of hairdressers and a couple of makeup consultants who had become friends and confidants. At some of these places where they "knew" me I had told them (or they assumed) I was transitioning, and, since I wore a (fake) diamond solitare engagement ring when I was out they assumed I had a boyfriend, and I didn't correct them. I could go on, but you get the drift.

    I bet I'm not the only one who thinks they're honest, but if you dig a little deeper there's a lot of dishonesty behind the honesty. Years later I found out she was doing her own thing when I was out of town. Kind of explained why she was always so happy for me to go! Thinking about what she imagined I was doing, I can see how she felt justified. I was really in a don't-ask, don't-tell relationship that I thought was open and honest. The line was just at a different spot than most.

    I got the guy stuff right. I was the only breadwinner. I made a good living. I was an exceptional (excuse the brag) husband and father in all the traditional ways. There was not a force on earth that would have tempted me to cheat.

    So, what's the takeaway? Well, to not do it at all, not think about it and move completely beyond it without regret, that'd do it. Given that that's unlikely, how about complete transparency? I think that's just as unlikely. I considered myself transparent... until I took an unflattering look at what I was hiding. Maybe I should have taken a different path in life. My parents thought I should (and would) go to beauty school instead of college. I was not interested in beauty school. Can't go back anyway. So, more openness? Less? How about this? More self control, more talking, more listening. I could make an already long post much longer about how this would apply to me, but I think those are pretty universal. Suffice to say if I'd exercised more self control, there wouldn't have been as much to hide. Also, my everyday appearance would have matched the traditional husband and father I considered myself to be. If we'd talked more, she would have known what I was doing when I went out of town. If she had talked more and I had listened I would have known that I'd gone too far, and I would have known that that was the truth and not just a rant. IN my case I should have cut my hair, cut my nails, and moderated the brows. I think there's a lot of room in the middle, and many pull this off beautifully.

    I think it's wrong to think it's not a big deal, wrong to think it's your body and your life and everybody else be damned. It's wrong to think it's your "right" to do whatever you want when it affects people you are supposed to love. I think honesty is a lofty goal. Now defined honesty. It's hard to define honesty honestly, if that makes sense. My own definition was more or less one of convenience. I felt like there was a lot of honesty built into the way I looked all the time. Beyond that, it was pretty easy to be honest with someone as forgiving as my wife was. In reality, I was honest right up to the point I got some pushback and maybe a tiny bit further. Guess that's dishonest.

  12. #12
    Platinum Member kimdl93's Avatar
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    I first told my ex about my cross dressing early in our relationship, well before we were engaged. At the time I told her I it was limited to panties and stockings. In retrospect, I was only partially honest with my ex, and perhaps not being totally honest with myself. Needless to say, this did not work out well.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Debbie Denier's Avatar
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    The cost of keeping the secret can be the price of love. My secret stash was discovered. Made it clear not acceptable and to get rid off.Explained not gay some guys dress as cowboys. I like to dress feminine. Screaming shouting told its not normal. She was ashamed to confide in anyone. I then dressed for 10 yrs in mothers until she passed away. We are close in every other way .Wife has health problems so do not want to burden her again. Now out of sight out of mind and not as often as I would like.

  14. #14
    Junior Member FeliCD's Avatar
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    I have always been drawn to my femme side mentally. My wife and I explored this side of me one night over a game of billiards (lots of wine that night, lol!)when we were discussing fantasies. She suggested role reversal, so we planned a night and it was nothing short of amazing for both of us. She didn?t realize she would be opening Pandora?s box after that experience. I was definitely overcome by the fog at first and things leveled out gradually after many open conversations as far as dressing. She thankfully is accepting because there was no hiding of things. She is super supportive and we have gotten to the point where I can present 100% fem in front of her. I have helped her out many times with outfit pieces and shopping. I guess we are in the minority-So I count my lucky stars. I have gotten to the point where it?s the whole nine or nothing as far as dressing. Being able to openly share this side of me has been both a blessing and a curse though because I am still closeted and will likely never venture out.

  15. #15
    Member rachelatshop's Avatar
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    I want to thank everyone who has shared their story on this Thread, and i wish that every cross dresser I know would all read this Thread as there is a wealth of wisdom Here
    THANK YOU ALL AGAIN

  16. #16
    Senior Member Heather76's Avatar
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    I didn't start CDing until 36 1/2 years into our marriage (about 2 1/2 years ago) aside from just a couple times of trying on her pantyhose, doing the same with my 1st wife's pantyhose, and with my mom's bras as a child. I always thought of that as curiosity taking over. I never had considered myself a true crossdresser. When my wife suggested (in response to a "fit" I threw about something) I put my big girl panties on and deal with it, those past experiences jumped to the forefront of my mind. Within 2 days I had purchased 2 pair of panties. I loved wearing them. There was no turning back. It took about 4 weeks to find panties I really liked. It took about 5 months to tell my wife. We've had enough discussions about my CDing that I know she doesn't really like to discuss it very much. I also know she thinks it's just plain strange (weird is her word) that a guy would want to CD. I also know she wants nothing to do with it so far as shopping with me for feminine things (for me) and does not want to go out in public with me when I'm dressed. I can dress at home as often as I want; but, she would prefer not to see me with a wig on and makeup applied. I can do that after she goes to bed to my heart's content. I have worn a bra, forms, nightie, and stockings to bed every night since 1/1/22. Due to several physically limiting factors, we've been in a sexless marriage for roughly 12 years. My CDing had nothing to do with us arriving in that situation. My wife has accepted that I will dress pretty much from about 8 - 10 pm until 8 - 10 am every evening, night, and morning. I've been out a couple of times with her knowledge beforehand. If I tried going out weekly, I believe she'd have problems with that. By problems, I don't mean divorce. I just mean she'd be extremely unhappy with the situation. I do believe she might agree with me going out somewhere in the once per month frequency range. Without a doubt, she knows if/when she will be out of town overnight I will be dressing and going out.

    I wish our situation was such that she would embrace my CDing and be supportive. But, that is likely to never be my future. I love her with every ounce of my being; and, I believe she feels the same about me. She simply cannot get past thinking CDing is an abnormal behavior. Maybe it is abnormal; but, it isn't uncommon. I suspect there is a difference.
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  17. #17
    Senior Member DianeT's Avatar
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    I hid my dressing to my wife for 36 years. I don't think it put a distance between us per se, at least this isn't how I saw it. I didn't think (and still don't) that it changed my ways with her, the dressing belonged to my private fantasy world, not much different in essence from the dreams I have when sleeping next to her. But I had that secret garden (and a few others) that she didn't know of, and at some point I felt like I wasn't including her fully in my life circle, since I wasn't sharing with her something that was important to me.
    The coming out was difficult, but it wasn't the only difficult thing. Also difficult, since we opted for full disclosure and transparency, was laying bare all my other fantasies and desires, some of which I had already partially told her about, and some not. I really opened my heart and mind to her with my deepest secrets, things I had never told (and won't ever tell to) anyone. I have no idea if that is a good thing or not. But I consider that sticking to this oath I made is essential to restore the broken trust. If I did not, at this point of our relationship, yes, that would put a wedge between us.
    Last edited by DianeT; 10-17-2022 at 04:32 PM. Reason: Syntax/style

  18. #18
    Aspiring Member NancyJ's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of the thoughtful responses. Of course there are costs to being open and vulnerable, and I understand that some believe their wives would not accept or understand. It would be my view that when any aspect of life, whether that be our careers, a hobby, extended family, or crossdressing, becomes more important to us than our spouse, our marriage is in big trouble. I have always wanted her to know even though her knowing has resulted in restricting my dressing.

    As I have shared previously, I also took a huge risk when I told her that I wanted to submit to her authority in the marriage. Although on one hand you may think this has nothing to do with crossdressing, but actually, it has made it simpler for her to set the parameters of what she will allow. (I ask her permission and accept her decisions about what I can buy or wear.) But as far as this discussion, it was even a bigger risk for me to share this desire (for her authority) with her. Through many discussions and trial and error, she does now understand and I am so grateful that I took the risk to tell her who I am and what I want/need and find out what she wants from me.

    My heart goes out to those of you who feel you must keep your true self secret from your wives. Nancy
    Last edited by NancyJ; 10-17-2022 at 01:55 PM.

  19. #19
    Silver Member Aunt Kelly's Avatar
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    When you choose to conceal who you are from your partner, you are setting up your relationship for a huge wound if/when that deception is discovered. If you learn one thing from many, many accounts of this on this forum, make it that. If you learn two things, make the other the knowledge that you are who you are and that is not likely to change. No. It is not. You will be able to quit for a while, perhaps a good long while. Some of suppressed their nature for years, but that suppression is having an impact too.
    Am I advocating that everyone is deceiving their partner should come clean? Not at all. That is a judgement that each must make for his/her self. Confessing to one's partner that one is CD/NB/Trans etc. has ended more relationships than not, if the stories here are any indication. Nevertheless, I am advocating, absolutely, never entering a serious relationship without letting your partner know about this part of you. Yes, it may destroy a budding relationship, but that is always better than having it destroy one in which both partners have invested years of their lives.
    "Being honest may not get you a lot of friends, but it will always get you the right ones."
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  20. #20
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    I've tried to broach the subject a few times, but it didn't seem to go anwhere, I got a "If thats what you like" response as far as it went, but here's the thing.

    If you stay at home, have no interest in transitioning and don't "Show yourself online" really what business is it of anyone's what you wear?

    If you've been a great and loyal spouse, bring home the bacon, raise geat kids and are present in the relationship, seriously if I wear my flannels or a frock in my alone time, is that anone's business but mine?

    SJ

  21. #21
    Senior Member TheHiddenMe's Avatar
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    It's a cause of some stress in our marriage.

    My wife has known of my interest almost since we met many moons ago. She made me up and I wore some of her clothes later on. Fifteen years later, about eight years into marriage, I started getting clothes and more actively dressing.

    She didn't mind so much when I didn't go out, so I gradually added some clothes and a wig. I went out a few times, but not often.

    Then in 2016 I decided I was going to have four days dressed when she was out of town. She asked on the phone what I was doing, and I was honest and told her. Her response? "Lie to me".

    So I would go out and not tell her. She caught me once or twice. I joined a local group so I could have a reason to go out. Most of the time now I tell her, or tell her enough she can figure out what I'm doing. I try not to dress in front of her, so I don't rub her nose in it. She is still worried people will find out and feel sorry for her because she's married to a crossdresser.

    I like to think I have enough positive qualities that outweigh the negative of being a CD. In turn, I make allowances for her too, like her spending a couple of months without me in her home country of Australia.

    I also believe that people have the right to some private thoughts, and you are not required to tell your spouse everything. Sometimes, they are better off not knowing.
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  22. #22
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    Very interesting thread Nancy, I have not had the talk with my wife but I am seriously considering it with the help of this forum I feel more prepared to have the discussion with her. Very curious how the submitting to you wifes authority works I think it definitely ties into your Crossdressing wearing women clothes and being submissive can be very thrilling.

  23. #23
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    It's one of the reasons why I told my boyfriend before we got into a relationship. Being up front from the beginning is always a much better idea than having your SO find out later on and feel deceived by you hiding it for years, and if there isn't acceptance on the SO's part you'd wish you had found that out before getting into a committed relationship/marriage. Obviously there are some who start dressing after they got married, but telling your SO asap is always the best idea since it's more than likely inevitable that your SO will find out eventually anyway. Better that your SO finds out because you said something, not because you were "discovered."

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    one word, fear...

  25. #25
    Aspiring Member NancyJ's Avatar
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    I buy the argument that some women are better off not knowing, or that some marriages could not handle this truth. However, I would still maintain that such a secret remaining hidden would create emotional distance , would interfere with emotional intimacy. In contrast, I would suggest that feeling accepted and understood by someone else is deeply emotionally intimate. There are many marriages that are roommate like relationships or so called sexless marriages. Fortunately, my wife and I are very good friends, companions, and remain lovers after all these yeas. I know that I am lucky to have her! (To Jill, I have posted about FLR, you can find those posts and or PM me.) Nancy

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