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How to tell my wife something......

(62 Posts)
StevieDW Sun 09-Oct-16 01:31:07

I am and have been a transvestite most of my life. I'm in my 40s and have been happily married for 20 years. I have a secret life which involves me cross dressing. This is purely solo when I'm away from home. I have a selection of women's clothes and even fake breast. I am not gay and do not want to be a woman but feel comfortable dressed in a skirt or dress in my hotel room. I don't wear makeup or wigs. How do I tell my wife? I'd love her to be a part of this but am frightened of how she'll react. I don't want to lose her. Please help.

FannyFifer Sun 09-Oct-16 01:33:25

I wouldn't tell her.

StevieDW Sun 09-Oct-16 01:38:34

Do you think I should keep something, which is a part of me and who I am secret?

peppercold Sun 09-Oct-16 01:38:42

Why now after twenty years?

awkward91 Sun 09-Oct-16 01:42:13

Do you watch Eastenders by any chance? Your situation reminds me of the Pam and Les storyline. I think honesty is always mostly the best policy so I think you are right in wanting to tell her, however I think you should prepare yourself for the possibility that your wife may not take your news well.

StevieDW Sun 09-Oct-16 01:43:20

It is consuming me and I guess I'm having the midlife crisis thing. I work away a lot and look forward to going away so I can be the feminine me.

JacketPoTayTo Sun 09-Oct-16 01:45:50

You absolutely should tell her and I'm glad that it sounds like you've already decided to do so. What's the point of being married at all if you keep huge secrets from each other? Look, she might not like it and it might take some serious soul-searching on her part but if you have a solid, close and loving relationship then I think it's unlikely that she would throw it away over this. I imagine that she would struggle to deal with it far more if she stumbled across your secret rather than if you opened up to her. I would have a good think about why you enjoy cross dressing because I think that will be her main concern. If it were my DH, I'd want to know if it was a sexual thing or not, whether he had other fetishes that I don't know about, whether it meant that he was not satisfied in our relationship, basically I would want to know what it meant for my marriage. So my advice would be to straighten all of that out in your head before you speak to her. Good luck and well done for opening up, the fact that you want to let her in on your biggest secret and vulnerability is a sign that you trust and respect your wife.

StevieDW Sun 09-Oct-16 01:46:44

I don't watch eastenders no but guess I'm not the first. I would give it up if she wanted me to but it would always be there. I'd be interested to know if anyone out there has had their hubby tell them. How did he do it? How did you react? Have you worked through it?

StevieDW Sun 09-Oct-16 01:54:40

To JacketPoTayTo. Thanks for the sound advice. It has always been in my life and a previous girlfriend was quite receptive to it. It is partially sexual/fetishism but it is by no means because of a problem in our sexual relationship, it is me..a big part of me. It's not a fetishism most of the time. I can be working in my hotel room all night dressed up and have no sexual thoughts. It's just that I feel so comfortable in this guise.
I will try to answer some of your questions in my own head first.

Tartyflette Sun 09-Oct-16 02:05:53

You need to be prepared for the possibility that she may feel very distressed and shocked, possibly even betrayed by the emergence of this 20-year secret, and that she does not know you any longer.
She may well not be at all happy to be 'a part of this' , whatever that might entail.
I do not have any direct experience of this but my gut reaction is that I would feel very unhappy to be told this; my DH would not be the man I thought he was and I seriously doubt I would be sexually attracted to him any longer. Sorry, but there it is.

MadAsABagOfCats Sun 09-Oct-16 02:10:28

This would be a huge shock for your wife after 20+ years, she may think she really doesn't know you at all and it could cause her to re-evaluate your whole relationship. Be careful how you tell her. flowers

VioletBam Sun 09-Oct-16 02:39:43

OP I do hope she's understanding. As a woman myself I am always shocked when other women react negatively to this sort of thing. I see it as a perfectly acceptable thing for any man to be interested in either as a cross dresser or someone who does drag professionally.

If she doesn't understand then suggest counselling for couples to help you both.

LuluJakey1 Sun 09-Oct-16 02:58:55

Violet It is not about you.

Italiangreyhound Sun 09-Oct-16 03:05:42

Steve I hope things will work out well for you and for your wife.

You said you would give this up if she wanted you to. Do you think you would be able to do that? You have chosen not to tell you wife before or after your marriage, for 20 years, so you must have felt it was something you could not share with her.

How do you think your wife will be a part of this?

I cannot advise you either way but I hope things work out well for you and your wife.

VioletBam you may be surprised when women react negatively, but it is a perfectly valid reaction to being told about something like this. You may not be able to put yourself in the shoes of women who feel that such a secret is unacceptable, or who simply are not comfortable being married to someone who cross dresses.

And it is not helpful to bring in the idea of dressing up in drag as a profession because presumably anyone who married a drag artist would know what they did for a job, so it is quite different, IMHO.

Italiangreyhound Sun 09-Oct-16 03:06:22

Sorry Stevie, my keys are sticking tonight.

seven201 Sun 09-Oct-16 03:08:33

I think you tell her as gently as possible and also write her a letter that explains that she can take away and read to help her digest and understand.

Italiangreyhound Sun 09-Oct-16 03:12:10

I think the letter, as well as telling, is a really good idea, seven.

SlottedSpoon Sun 09-Oct-16 03:15:20

Honestly, if you've kept it a secret all these years and you are content to do it when you are away from home only then I wouldn't tell her.

It takes a very very strong and open minded person indeed to be able to accept something like this after many years of marriage. I'm not sure I could do it and my DH is my soulmate.

It's not that I don't accept or understand it as a thing, it's that I would have preferred to know beforehand and go into marriage (or not, and I'll be honest, it would have been a big fat NOT) in full knowledge of the truth instead of finding out that I had been living with someone I didn't really know at all. It would creep me out.

There is a slim chance she'd take it well (and she'd deserve a medal) and a massive chance that she'd freak out and your marriage would be over. If your marriage is more important to you than the need to unburden yourself of your secret then don't do it.

I also think that if there is a sexual fetish element to what you do, then once you've told your wife, and if she is accepting of it (which she probably won't be) then the inevitable consequence is that there will be a slow creep on your part towards pressuring her to embrace it as part of your sex life together. And that could make her very miserable and be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

BummyMummy77 Sun 09-Oct-16 03:49:42

I would really bat an eyelid if my partner told me at the time we met or soon after but 20 years later? I'm going to be honest, I think I'd find it hard to stay with him. I'd view it as some kind of affair.

That may sound crazy but that would be my feeling I think. Nothing to with the act itself, just the deception. I can't stand even the smallest lie and that's too big a one for me.

I advocate honesty in 99% of cases but in this, I'm not so sure it's prudent.

flowers for you. It must be an awful situation to be in.

BummyMummy77 Sun 09-Oct-16 03:50:03

I wouldn't really bat an eyelid!

PoldarksBreeches Sun 09-Oct-16 03:56:45

It's a long time to be doing something without telling her. She may feel like it's too much concealment and deceit to get over.

popthisoneout Sun 09-Oct-16 04:02:16

I'm curious as to why an ex of yours knew but you haven't told your wife of 20 years? There must have been a reason you did t feel able to share it with her until now.

popthisoneout Sun 09-Oct-16 04:03:24

I'm curious as to why an ex of yours knew but you haven't told your wife of 20 years? There must have been a reason you did t feel able to share it with her until now.

Wallywobbles Sun 09-Oct-16 05:04:37

In her shoes I'd rather not know ever.

ChopsticksandChilliCrab Sun 09-Oct-16 05:14:59

I'm wondering how you manage to hide your dresses from your wife. Don't you ever wash them?

I would be very upset if my DH of thirty years turned out to have been hiding a massive secret from me. It would certainly change how I felt about him. It isn't the cross dressing that would bother me, I would not be happy to have been lied to by omission.

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