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Husband is transexual and I don't know what to do

(32 Posts)
RealWoman Wed 13-Feb-13 10:35:29

Have name changed as don't want to out myself.

Background: Have been married 12 years. 3 dc, eldest of which is disabled and so I am a SAHM and carer for last 11 years.

2 years ago I found out my husband likes to dress as a woman. He decided to come clean about it all and was relieved when I said I was OK with it all. However, I don't think I have ever been OK with it at all. I have since seen his alter ego and he sometimes dresses as her (about once a month). I find I cannot look at him/her but I try not to show this. Recently he has been sleeping in corsets and feminine sleepwear as well. I panic that my children will walk in and discover him as a woman and what will happen then.

I love my husband but since this revelation I have no interest in DTD and actively avoid it by staying up later than him. I do cave sometimes but it is not the same anymore. When he is dressed as a woman he still tries to stroke my arm and cuddle me on the sofa but I find this horrendously uncomfortable as I don't think it is my husband next to me. He is a great husband, helps out around the house, cooks, irons and he is pretty good with the kids as well, he is also the sole income provider in our family.

I don't know what to do, I feel like my marriage is over but I don't want it to be. If I hadn't found out about this secret I would still be perfectly happy in this marriage. I cannot tell anyone else about this as I am too embarrassed and don't want him to be 'outed'.

We are not wealthy and if we separated we could not afford 2 homes on 1 wage. I cannot work due to caring for my eldest dc and we have no savings so financially splitting up is not an option. He says he has always been this way and knew from quite young that he liked dressing as a woman, he does not want to be a woman though. This means he deliberately deceived me before we married and for the first 10 years of our married life to a point where I now have no options.

I feel trapped in a closet not of my own making. Help.

2rebecca Wed 20-Feb-13 16:47:58

Agree he sounds tranvestite rather than transexual as the clothes turn him on rather than make him feel more "normal", after all few real women wear corsets to sleep in. I'd feel angry and lied to. If you want to split up then you need to start working out how to be financially independant. It depends how important living without him is. can you get separate rooms as a start?

SarahGoodwin33 Wed 20-Feb-13 16:40:30

before in write this I want you know that I am not comparing your situation to mine in any way at all.
I am a transsexual (huge difference between transsexual and transvestite) which means I believed i should have been born a female and have now after 25 years of leading a double life i am now living as Sarah and have had great surgery and am due to have the 'rest' done in June.
From what you say your husband has all the traits of being a transvestite which means he gets pleasure from wearing women's clothes and I can totally see why that is uncomfortable for you.
I can also relate to the fact that you feel cheated that he never told you when you met or before you married but it is not something that is easy to say. I kept my secret of being ts from my long term partner for years in the hope that i could somehow magically become a tv instead of a ts and just be satisfied with secretly dressing (mind you the leg shaving, eyebrow shaping, facials, incredibly nice nails, female hair cut, lots of nights away etc etc took a lot of explaining).
what you need to remember is that the man you fell in love with has that persona because of who he is and part of that is being a tv. take that part away and he becomes someone else. ok so you don't have to welcome it with open arms, in fact you could insist its only done when you're not there or when he's away but please please try to find a way of accepting it. you never know you might find parts of it that are good. my partner loved the fact I loved shopping and was so in tune with her feminine side, sadly though me wanting to become a woman was too much and I totally get that.

Slolee Tue 19-Feb-13 11:48:27

Oh I don't know....youv'e made me a bit curious.....

izzyizin Mon 18-Feb-13 14:27:02

The OP's h isn't simply dressing up as a woman but is acting/behaving like one too, Slolee.

Although you've admitted you wouldn't be happy if your dw took to dressing as a man, I'd hazard a guess that if donning men's garments led to her displaying an alter ego - say, that of Bob the Builder - you'd be considerably less happy if you were expected to entertain 'Bob' for the evening and exchange notes on the merits of various drill bits, rawlplugs, and screws (no pun intended), or which shaving creams/razors are most efffective at removing a 5 o'clock shadow.

If, encouraged by your seeming tolerance of her alter ego, your dw took to visiting your local or nearest tranny club dressed and acting as Bob and flaunting his builder's bum, I suspect you'd not only be horrified - you'd send 'Bob' packing quicker than he can stuff 2 plums and a banana down his boxers.

Slolee Mon 18-Feb-13 12:30:55

Hmm,maybe you'r right.I would be very unhappy if my wife started dressing as a man.

GoSuckEggs Thu 14-Feb-13 15:33:47

I have had EXs who enjoyed dressing up, and we would often have sex whilst they had womans undies on or tights etc. I have no problem with it.

But the fact of the matter is that YOU do have a problem with it. You do need to speak to him and set out what you are happy for him to do eg. so to clubs on his own dressed as a woman and what you are not happy for him to do eg: sleep in womens clothing and dress as a woman whilst you are around.

make it clear to him where your boundaries are. Are you happy for him to dress up around the house, as long as no one is in?

Imogencodpiece Thu 14-Feb-13 14:41:34

SloLee so you would be happy if your missus turned around and said she wanted to dress in mens clothes, wearing boxer shorts, strapping her breasts down, cut her hair short ect?
nobody is getting hurt so why not?

I can tell you if my fella turned around and told me he liked to dress as a woman i would see him in a totally different light,it would put me right off him and this is not because what he is doing is bad or dangerous but the fact that i like him as a man. i am not into women.

OP have you thought about whether you could come to some compromises seeing as though you say you don't want to lose him?


No dressing as a woman if the DC could discover him like it?

No coming to bed in ladies sleepwear

Do not expect me to refer to you as (whatever woman's name) when you are dressed as a woman

Do not try and be affectionate to me in a familiar way whilst dressed up?

If you cannot tolerate it in the home would it be acceptable for him to restrict t solely to his club visits?

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 14-Feb-13 13:57:02

Someone is getting hurt in this case. The OP

Slolee Thu 14-Feb-13 13:26:02

'worse fetishes' implies fetishes are bad,but most of them arn't, theyr'e just fetishes...& yes,they are my own views, & my main view is,as long as no one is getting hurt,then vive la difference!,everyone to their own..

Helltotheno Thu 14-Feb-13 12:12:56

Why not go along with it & have a fun time dressing up together..

See, speaking as a woman, there are many things I would find fun and dressing up in girly clothes with my husband is definitely not one of them. Maybe you could accept that those are your views and not necessarily anyone else's?

Justesayin Thu 14-Feb-13 11:48:58

No, Slolee. OP should not be made to feel that she has to stay be and be involved with her husband's fetish - which is making her uncomfortable - just because he might be stressed or just because he could have had worse fetishes.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 14-Feb-13 11:37:52

"Its not a big deal surely?".... not to you but it is to the OP. Her opinion and feelings are all that counts.

Slolee Thu 14-Feb-13 11:33:04

Speaking as a man,I adore female clothing - on a woman..I know that I would look ridiculous in female clothing so I don't wear it! -- the more feminine my wife dresses,the more I love it,so maybe its only a small step to taking things a stage further.In the present economic climate,your husband may be feeling mega stressed from being the sole wage earner with a wife & 3 children to support & his dressing up maybe a way of dealing with it.Its not a big deal surely?Why not go along with it & have a fun time dressing up all seems very mild compared with some obsessions that some men have!

Darkesteyes Wed 13-Feb-13 23:27:09

Agree with Fastidia. Demanding that you cant talk to anyone about something which you never knew about at the start of the relationship due to HIS deception is controlling IMO.

Doha Wed 13-Feb-13 15:58:21

Agree with above posters, the boundries are getting a bit blurry now, he is cross dressing more frequently and going to trans clubs too. You are uneasy with him dressing in case your DC's walk in. He is giving no thought to you or to your DC's at all.
Do you think he would prefer to dress as a woman at all times.
Time for some serious discussions and decisions, time to put your wants and needs first, be truthful how you feel. The past can't be forgotten you have to find a way to live with this together or go your separate ways.

izzyizin Wed 13-Feb-13 15:07:04

As your experience has shown since you were made aware of your h's prediliction, the problem is that once Pandora's box has been opened 'she' won't go back into it as she's enjoying a previously unknown degree of freedom to express herself openly.

You are going to have lay it on the line, honey - bin those nighties for starters and make it clear to him that, if he continues to trip down the primrose path of open transvestism, he'll need to look for a husband partner who is willing to accomodate and/or facilitate his fetish.

Btw, he's receiving support from the tranny community and he is, again, being grossly unfair in expecting you to bottle your feelings up and keep his 'secret' which is now known to many.

Fwiw he's not gay but, as he seems to be rapidly moving from transvestite to transgender, I suspect he's not being entirely honest with you about his longer term intentions.

FastidiaBlueberry Wed 13-Feb-13 14:32:12

I agree with Cogito.

Demanding that you don't tell anyone about something you really, really need to talk about is way beyond selfish and self-centred.

I would urge you to put yourself first - no-one else will.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 13-Feb-13 14:14:24

Don't you think you're putting him first far too much in your thoughts? Why are you second priority in your life? You don't want to hurt him but he doesn't seem too worried about hurting you. He's frequenting tranny clubs in the area.... do you go out on your own? As for him being trapped, I'm not getting that at all. He seems to have had free rein to do his own sweet thing without being challenged.

And finally, when it comes to thinking about where he would go, isn't that his look-out? When you're in a long-term relationship it kind of goes with the territory that if your behaviour becomes too selfish or unreasonable, you may forfeit the right to still be part of the family. He's been taking a big risk and must know that there may be consequences.

RealWoman Wed 13-Feb-13 14:01:31

Right, time to pull my head out of the sand methinks.

I know my husband is not gay, as for whether or not he wants to become a woman, he is not sure. He thinks not but his alter ego has definitely become more dominant so I can't rule anything out. He used to say he only needed to dress once in a blue moon and would never dream of going out. Now he dresses a lot more regularly ( including wearing nighties all this past week) and has been to various trans clubs in the area.

I need to lay out all my feelings to him before it escalates past a point of no return. I don't want to hurt him (and I know this will) but there needs to be some serious talking and thinking in this relationship. As for separation I was asking myself the other day that if we won the lottery would I divorce him then (as money and security would no longer be a problem). I came to the conclusion that I would possibly but I would still want him very much in my life. He is also trapped, he loves me and our children very much and he would have nowhere to go, we live near my family and a long way from his. As far as he hid it for 10yrs can't he go back - well, he was dressing but not as much, whenever i went out. We can't go back now I know.

So my plan is to have a chat this weekend sometime. This will probably be one of the hardest conversations I have ever had. I also need to tell someone in RL because this is not fair on me. He released a lot of tension when he outed himself to me but didn't want me to tell anyone. My confidante has always been my mum, we are very close and I want to talk it through with her like I have every other problem in my life. At the same time, I know she will not be accepting of him so I will have to plan that a bit more carefully. I will let you know how it goes next week.

Thanks again for helping me to face this

bestsonever Wed 13-Feb-13 13:05:48

He's not transsexual, that is entirely different. Transvestite is wearing women's clothing as it makes one feel good. Chances are he is every bit as heterosexual as men who don't cross-dress and are not gay or bi. Don't panic that he is less of a man generally. What is unreasonable is for him to make advances whilst he is dressing that way.
I was intrigued once and got chatting to a 'tranny' about stuff on a night out. Later on he hinted strongly that he fancied me. Not quite sure at the time what he expected, but unsurprisingly at the time I felt totally neutral and non-sexual towards him so did not reciprocate. Totally understandable that you would not fancy him at all when dressed up. I can only guess that dressing that way makes some feel more sexual at the time which, unfortunately for them, is in direct opposition to the feelings that most women would have towards them at that moment. You could ask him to be more discrete about it, and make it clear that you will never be fancying him during the times he is dressed up so quit with the advances then as it is off-putting.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 13-Feb-13 13:05:43

"However, I know that this is a part of him that I cannot change, so it will be me changing or leaving."

Why is you that gives up and leaves? The person who has done nothing except be the same. Why not the person who has radically changed? I think that, even though you don't want to accept your marriage is over, or talk about the problem, you should think about the practicalities of what a split would look like and maybe do some research.

Helltotheno Wed 13-Feb-13 12:45:08

I agree with izzy OP that it was no less than grossly unfair of him to deceive you like that. When you marry someone, you're shackled to them like it or not, and have to take the consequences of that person's actions, whether it's lying about a 200K debt or lying by omission about being a transvestite.

You are entitled to think about this long and hard, and do what's best for you and your DC. Your confusion around not being comfortable with it and not wanting him to leave is fully understandable and, I imagine, normal. But it doesn't have to a black and white. If you have a good relationship with him as a person and co-parent, that does not have to change; equally, you're under no obligation to continue a sexual relationship with him.

If you fundamentally love and respect each other as people, you'll work through this with good consequences at the end, whether that involves staying together or not. But you absolutely have to talk about it first. Make sure from the outset that he knows what he did (ie the deceit) to you was wrong wrong wrong, and he doesn't now get to tell you how to feel about it. But be very honest about how you do feel.

izzyizin Wed 13-Feb-13 12:28:32

There's a world of difference between an individual who cross dresses to make a statement, or because they find items of clothing which are traditionally regarded as being for the exclusive use of males or females more comfortable to wear, and a transvestite who adopts the persona and the mannerisms of the opposite sex they are endeavouring to imitate or pass themselves off as.

If you'd wanted to marry a woman, no doubt you would have done so. As it is, there's 3 of you in your marriage and the additional female is surplus to your requirements.

What I'd like to know is where 'Elsie' or whatever her name is was hdiing during the 10 years until you were appraised of her existence? If she stayed under wraps for that length of time I don't see any reason why she shouldn't go back in her box for another 10 years or more.

You say you dont want to lose him - now it's time to find out whether he wants to lose you. Lay it out as a dealbreaker and then attempt to see if you can find some common ground that will pave the way to negotiations which may enable you to see him as a man you actively want to be sexually intimate with.

FWIW, your h has been a deceitful little shite and you can rest assured that no-one at WOBS will attempt to persuade you to put up with anything you're not comfortable with.

RealWoman Wed 13-Feb-13 11:55:04

You all are making sense but I don't know if I can broach the subject. This isn't what I wanted for my life but I don't want to lose him. The problem is I think that I have already lost the DH that I married and I am having trouble accepting the new terms. I honestly cannot see me ever being comfortable with this but I also cannot see me ever leaving him! How confused is that?? However, I know that this is a part of him that I cannot change, so it will be me changing or leaving.

I think I will contact the beaumont society but I am worried they are all women who have accepted their husband as a transvestite and I am not sure that is me. Then I will have a talk with him.

Thanks for the advice and sympathy

(I realised too late that I wrote the wrong word in the title, sorry, still get them confused!)

frustratedashell Wed 13-Feb-13 11:52:09

you really do need to talk to him. Maybe he thinks that you are ok with it.
Your feelings are valid and important. hes deceived you and youre walking on eggshells. Its really not fair. Perhaps agree times when you will tolerate his dressing up. I certainly wouldnt want him sleeping next to me dressed like that. He should consider you more (and the kids) but if he thinks you dont mind then in a way youve not been honest with him either. Time for an honest talk. good luck

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