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So, DH is crossdressing again..

(23 Posts)
DaddyPigInADress Mon 09-Dec-13 14:59:37

He doesn't know I know, and the stress is eating me up, but Christmas is nearly here.

DH has a number of fetishes/vices I found out about in 2010. While I don't enjoy or participate in them, mostly it doesn't bother me and I don't care. He tends to indulge when I am away or out for the evening, and only if in the mood, so a few times a year. Crossdressing, while the most harmless of the lot, does bother me disproportionately. It makes my flesh creep and I cannot find a man who crossdresses sexually attractive. I first became aware of it in early 2010 but then it was only a prop for a particular fantasy/fetish, so I didn't pay much attention. However he started dressing up more and more throughout the year, and I asked him to tone it down because I was getting uncomfortable with the frequency and intensity. He didn't buy me a birthday card because he "didn't have time" but was always coming home with armloads of dresses from primark, new look and river island.

Anyway in February 2011 I walked in on him one morning dressed up, and I knew it wasn't for fetish purposes (because I'd accidentally surprised him an hour or so earlier, masturbating, in a different outfit). Something changed immediately, it just flipped my stomach and I got super uncomfortable and walked out and went driving for an hour or so. When I returned he tried to initiate sex and I just couldn't bear him near me. After an uncomfortable discussion he agreed to only do it while I was away or out. But I couldn't shake it from my mind.

I agonized for most of the next year. Collapsing on the floor howling at sad songs on the radio while he was at work, generally mourning my marriage, faking orgasms when we had sex but holding him tightly so he wouldn't see me crying over his shoulder, etc. it was a shit year. When I was home alone in the day I'd plan the conversation where I told him I was leaving, but be pathetically grateful to see him the minute he walked in the door. Every time he went to kiss me I'd see the costumes in my mind and just wish I was anywhere else. It killed my sex drive stone dead. I went away for work for a month and didn't even masturbate myself, I just got too depressed even trying.

We didn't talk about it. Our other conversations hadn't gone well and he was very defensive. Understandable that if you open up about something so secret, and your partner initially accepts but then rejects you, you're going to be defensive, right? So we didn't talk about it. I didn't want to hurt my best friend any more and I had nothing nice to say - so I said nothing. Eventually he saw me checking replies to a forum we both use (and I no longer do), which prompted a conversation. I stressed that I didn't want him to change who he was, I had no interest in in forcing him to be someone he wasn't, but I couldn't be with a man who crossdresses. He swore it was something he did, not something he was, that he could give it up straight away, bin the clothes and bear no anger or resentment toward me for it (one of my fears). And to be fair to him, it's been over two years now and he has only ever mentioned it once, indirectly, in an argument. I said I couldn't promise we could ever get the spark back, but we both gave it a shot. And soon afterwards I fell pregnant and the joy and excitement of having our son took over.

It was never the same for me again though. I've never felt the same way about my otherwise wonderful husband - 95% at best! but it was pretty good and I always felt that was a number I could live with.

And last week toddler DS pulled the loose panelling from the bath down on top of himself and roared. And when I had picked him up and comforted him, I went to replace it and saw the dress and the platform heels cached under the bath. I felt sick. But this time round, even though I can't sleep and am a bag of nerves, I'm not crying. I'm done mourning.

I don't know what to do, or how to get through Christmas (my parents are coming!). I'm sorry this is so long, but I'm sure you understand there is absolutely no one in RL I can talk to about this. I have only one friend who knew about it before, but she lived abroad at the time and now she lives down the road and is married to one of DH's friends. When I do talk to DH, it will change our lives and I'm not ready for that conversation yet.

Ugh. I thought this only happened to people in Take a Break. I hate that it is my life.

struggling100 Mon 09-Dec-13 15:09:50

I understand that this is a really big shock that you're still processing- it sounds very tough for you.

I think you need to talk about it, but I do wonder if that conversation might work better if you tackled the subject with a counsellor. There are two elements to this: the discussion with each other about how this has changed your marriage, and the fact that you both need to process your thoughts and feelings about it separately to cope. Some kind of therapeutic process would allow you to do that in a controlled and supportive environment, which would help you no end to figure out where you want to go from here. I also think it's helpful to bracket off the rest of the world (i.e. 'what other people think') when you have these conversations, which can be a lot easier with a trained professional.

DaddyPigInADress Mon 09-Dec-13 15:10:45

Oh, one other thing... On other cross dressing threads I have seen posters say "what if your DH was telling YOU what to wear? Would you stand for it?! Who do you think you are then?!"

DH actually has form for this, he hates seeing me in jeans and trainers, and used to frequently have a go at me for being badly dressed (before all this started). I did try for a while to be much better dressed and take care of myself more. But after his dressing up took off, I started to dress dowdily because I would look at a sexy dress and heels I knew he would like to see me in, then picture HIM in it instead, and get very depressed. So I got fat and hid myself in my jeans again. Occasionally he would snap at me that if I dressed more sexy, he wouldn't have to! But we both knew that's not true.

These days I live in my jeans again. We live in a flat with cats and a toddler, and I need practical clothes as my mom-uniform.

I don't want to be someone who tells him what (not) to wear. I just don't want to be with someone who wears dresses and isn't female... It's like an anti-fetish I guess. Instant turnoff. Nothing personal, like I said it's harmless and affects no one, but it just makes me feel a bit sick. A wholly uncontrollable revulsion. After some of the more extreme and dangerous fetishes, I didn't really expect THIS would be the line in the sand.

DaddyPigInADress Mon 09-Dec-13 15:12:20

Thank you struggling. I think counselling would be a good idea. If it can't resolve problems, it might help us separate in a way that's best for DS.

We haven't had any luck talking about it together by ourselves, that's for sure.

I would suggest you talk to an organisation like the Women of the Beaumont Society as they would understand and give you support:-

Their number is:-

01223 441246

What are his extreme and dangerous fetishes?

AngelaDaviesHair Mon 09-Dec-13 15:16:51

I feel for you, OP. You can't change your sexuality, or your sexual triggers, any more than your husband can. It sounds rather as though your husband is demanding acceptance from you of how he is, but not offering the same acceptance in return.

I don't know what to advise, except to say I think that you will find it very hard to manage a way through this alone. Your best guide would be a therapist with specific experience in psycho-sexual therapy or other relevant field, and I urge you to find someone, whether or not you tell or include your husband.

struggling100 Mon 09-Dec-13 15:18:40

Awwww, Daddypig - I don't see how you could talk about it together very easily. It is too emotional, and anger and defensiveness tend to 'win' in those situations. You clearly have a very strong reaction to this, and aA good counsellor will not just listen to you and help you to explore the feelings you have in a safe, non-judgemental environment. What's more, he/she will help you listen to each other - and that really can be remarkably transformative. Even if the outcome is separation, it will at least be one where you have help working through the feelings assoicated with that.

Helltotheno Mon 09-Dec-13 15:23:32

OP this is then end of the road for you as a couple, it really is. You don't have to make any excuses for not being into this, he doesn't get to force a lifestyle on you and expect you to take it on board, just because that's what he wants.

From a moral perspective, I don't care who cross dresses but it does nothing for me and I wouldn't be interested in taking it on in a partner. Add to that the pure logistical aspect of our joint money going on a bunch of female clothes as well as the clothes he has to wear: that would just piss me right off... not to mention having to deal with how to handle it with the children etc. I just CBA, and like I said, this is clearly having a damaging effect on your health and you need to end it and do your best to salvage a co-parenting relationship.

He just seems to be completely missing a sensitivity chip in not being able to feel your pain, and don't even start me on the birthday card. So he was too busy buying women's clobber to even buy his wife a card, let alone a present?

He just sounds selfish. Let him cross dress on his own time. You need to think about your own life, health and sanity.

DaddyPigInADress Mon 09-Dec-13 15:24:06

Eirikur - I'd rather not say. I have told a certain friend who MNs about the others when in a very bad place but I have never breathed a word about this (my other friend guessed when DH made a "joke" himself and she thought by my shocked reaction that I didn't actually know when she mentioned it to me).

I'd hate anyone to draw links, as they are very specific. And not really relevant as far as I'm concerned. They'd probably be deal breakers for other people though.

tinkertaylor1 Mon 09-Dec-13 15:26:07

Wow shock you are being so brave holding all this together! I wouldnt even know where to start and have no real advice to give.

Handholding and I think you are a marvelously strong woman. flowers

tinkertaylor1 Mon 09-Dec-13 15:27:55

Dont sacrifice your life and DC for the happiness of some one else though!

MistAllChuckingFrighty Mon 09-Dec-13 15:35:39

Is it clear how long those clothes have been stashed behind the bath panel ?

Just a thought.

the rest of it, I couldn't live with it either. You don't have to, it's not compulsory. I am worried about what other behaviour he is indulging though. It seems liek you have made a lot of sacrificies, not least thrown your onw libido on the scrapheap just to stay with him.

Life is too short. Go find yourself another bloke that comes without all this dealbreaking (for you) baggage. You will look back and wonder why you tried to stuff a round peg into a square hole for so long.

DaddyPigInADress Mon 09-Dec-13 15:51:38

Could be any time since June, I went away for a week then with DS and DH had made some purchases from a BDSM website - he deleted all records from the email address he uses and leaves open, so I don't know what it was he bought but they always send marketing emails after a purchase which he never turns off. And if I'm using the computer I turn them off for him when I notice, so I have a start date... I didn't notice til I found the dress then I had a look at his emails but knew I'd find nothing. He's a smart man, and very careful. Just thinks he's more careful and clever than he really is.

I mean, the dress itself is not from a BDSM website, it's a pinky slinky thigh-slashed padded-bra affair from new look, looks like a summer item, but the whole lot of fetishes etc tend to go hand in hand and I've been expecting it since then I suppose.

The square peg in round hole is exactly what I'm afraid of. But now I'm a SAHM to a toddler, I wish I didn't have to ruin his world. I want DH to tell me it will be ok,and I want to believe him for another few years, but this is who he is and not just something he does, so it will crop up again. And next time it will be harder again to leave.

I'm not brave. I'm sweating typing this. I've been sleepwalking for a week. I feel like the life has been drained from me and I just want to sit and stare at walls. Last night while he slept I cried from jealousy. I am not the person to make my best friend happy. I wish I was. I cannot love or value or accept him the way he deserves. He should be with a partner who he trusts and who makes him feel happy, not shame or guilt or resentment. Someone else will do all that better than I. We have too many damaged bridges in our history, we cannot cross the river and it's become too wide and fast flowing to attempt.

I've neglected DS enough for now, I need to get on and do something else. Thanks for reading and thank you for the support - I will have a look at that organisation Attila. thanks

DaddyPigInADress Mon 09-Dec-13 16:03:51

I mean, I knew he was back doing these activities from July onwards, and things got worse between us (I don't like or approve of some of them even though in Nov 2011 we had agreed the others were fine and he could do them while I was away, but I just couldn't handle the crossdressing) but it's a compulsion and he cannot help himself, I am realising.

He used to say "I love you more than you love me, I'd be fine with anything you wanted to do!" but that's never been tested really. And I don't think he would, either, judging by the comments he had previously made on my weight/clothes/moustache/lack of gym-going.

I know I'm making him sound like a right prize here. In 2010 to early 2011 he was completely in the grip of his compulsions (one was a brand-new drug that has since been banned and is now thankfully out of our lives, he went straightaway almost back to his old self) and he had been very touchy/aggressive and difficult to live with. We have had an amazing relationship especially since I learned I was pregnant and until June/now no bad stuff to trouble the waters. He's been a brilliant dad and husband, and we are generally kind and supportive to one another. It's funny, I used to get so angry about him taking drugs, but I've never felt the same revulsion towards him as I have about crossdressing. It's not rational.

There was a similar thread around this recently - www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/1918834-To-NOT-want-my-husband-to-have-a-makeover-and-dress-as-a-woman.

I found the story from the lady whose exDH kept pushing the boundaries further and further to be particularly sad.

You sound very together and if it's something you can't accept, you are wise to want to end it.

Good luck with everything.

DaddyPigInADress Mon 09-Dec-13 16:12:36

Can't believe I missed that thread! Think I was away that weekend or I'd have weighed in, probably.

TiggyD made a post which absolutely describes my DH to a tee:

"Re the selfishness: After decades of keeping something bottled up, there is the tendency to froth everywhere when your bottle is open. A Transvestite who decides they don't want to pretend to be 'normal' any more may bang on and on about it for a year. It passes as the novelty of freedom grows old. Many become a right pain in the arse for a bit.

And men can be selfish about anything if they're that sort of person. An obsessive transvestite comes from the same sort of place as an obsessive videogame player, or obsessive train enthusiast, or obsessive bagpipe player. It's the obsessive bit that needs addressing."

PaddingtonBearsDuffleCoat Mon 09-Dec-13 16:25:50

I can't claim to offer any great insight into your sad situation but it does seem to me that you are putting a lot of blame on yourself for not coping with the cross-dressing. Reading your posts it would appear that you have been very understanding and sympathetic, more so than many women might have been in your shoes. Please don't blame yourself for any failing in the marriage and accept that you are grieving for the loss your future and that of your ds as you had planned it. I would second getting in touch with the Beaumont Society and maybe seek counselling. If you feel you can't face Christmas as it is then don't put yourself through it. Maybe it is time your husband faced up to his behaviour and took some of the responsibility from your shoulders. Well done for coping so far and being so strong.

AngelaDaviesHair Mon 09-Dec-13 16:28:18

He used to say "I love you more than you love me, I'd be fine with anything you wanted to do!" but that's never been tested really. And I don't think he would, either, judging by the comments he had previously made on my weight/clothes/moustache/lack of gym-going.

Please don't take all this on yourself. Your husband does not sound as though he has been empathetic to you. You can't make the marriage work all by yourself.

Helltotheno Mon 09-Dec-13 16:39:42

You are being too hard on yourself. He sounds selfish and self-indulgent. The problem is you're too much in the middle of it all to see that he's out of order by trying to force this on you, not to mention the personal comments about you and generally not placing you at the centre of his life. Any counselling you get should be with a view to keeping your friendship intact if possible, but separating. You're missing out and it's not your fault. All any child needs is two parents who are amicable with each other, respect each other and have the child's best interests at heart.

MistAllChuckingFrighty Mon 09-Dec-13 17:39:32

You two could still be good co-parents, couldn't you ?

You say there is still respect and love as friends and partners in the parenting sense. So set each other free before the resentment ruins what you do still have.

Split, and still be great parents for your ds, just not as romantic partners pretending to the world that everything is ok. Because it isn't.

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Oh yes and not to mention how critical, unpleasant and sexist he has been to you on many occasions, which you excuse by citing his drug use (!).

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