Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Some Q&A

Q. I am married and I saw that you are too. I need some help getting my wife to support me. So your spouse is ok with it? Was it easy/hard? Did she come around eventually or was she kinky already? Sorry for the 20 questions. Any insights you can offer would be helpful. ("Maya")

A. No worries on the 20 questions, Maya. I'm always happy to help if I can. But I have to be honest. I'm not a very good source on this topic. My wife and I have been together a while, so she was there from the start. She's pretty much watched CiCi emerge. So I never really had to "tell" her. She's also very accepting of my other kinks and fetishes, so she's not a normal case. (We're not a very normal couple.)

Unfortunately, there's nothing you can really do to change how someone feels about dressing. For instance, I know a lot of people have foot fetishes. I don't. Boots and heels, yes! But feet? Just not my thing. Any way, no matter how much someone tried to convince me, I don't think I'd ever get into feet.

And it might be the same with your wife. She may never get into your dressing. She may never accept it. In that case, the key question is whether or not she'll allow you to explore. Will she grant you permission to dress? Go out? Date? Play? Have sex? (You may not even want to do all those things, but that's the usual progression.)

So how do you tell your wife? How do you break it to her?

It's a tough position to be in. But just try to remember: she's in a tough position too. Before you get started, here are a couple of key questions to ask yourself...

  1. How's your sex life now? How's the intimacy level?
  2. How good are you two at being friends?
  3. How does she respond to gays/tgs in the media?
  4. Has she ever seen you dressed or seen pix of you? What was her reaction?

Hopefully, answering these questions will give you a good idea of how to approach her. Obviously, the closer you are and the more understanding she is, the better your prospects for a meeting of the minds. Try to get a read on how she feels about gender-bending in general. Maybe watch a T-themed movie or TV show. (Have you seen "Dirty Sexy Money"? It features a really nice performance by Candis Cayne as Billy Baldwin's T-Girl love interest.) Probably the more positively she responds to images or portrayals of other girls in the media, the better your chance for success.

But there are no guarantees here. And there's an awful lot at stake. Important, expensive things can lie in the balance... from your marriage, your family, and your relationship with your children, to your home, your career and your investments. They can all be taken away in a divorce. So don't kid yourself about the possible consequences.

That's why I totally understand why a dresser girl would not want to tell her wife. Sometimes there's just too much at risk. But I would never advocate keeping this secret from someone you intend to marry. If you're planning on marrying a current partner, please by all means tell them. There is still a lot at risk involved, but why sentence you and your future spouse to a life full of secrecy and sneaking around? It's just not fair. And you won't be happy.

If you have a significant other and you're keeping this a secret, then you know exactly what I mean. Because you're doing it right now. You're hiding your clothes. You're hiding your make up. You're telling her that you're surfing the internet when you're really chatting with other girls. Maybe you're even sneaking out to meet people or to go to clubs. But you're lying to her. And you're lying to yourself.

You're lying to yourself because you're thinking that somehow this is a temporary thing. That you're just exploring a fetish or chasing a fantasy. You're telling yourself that you're not sure where this will all lead. But take it from me. Dressing only leads to one thing. And that's more dressing.

You may purge some day. (I did.) You may toss all your stuff in the trash and promise yourself that you'll never dress again. But I bet you won't keep that promise. The desire to dress is just too strong. And for most of us, it only gets stronger.

Telling your wife may be the hardest thing you ever do. So don't take it lightly. And be sure you've taken the time to try to really see things from her point of view first. She may be frightened that she'll lose you, she may think that you're no longer the person she married, or she may not understand the whole cd thing at all.

So if you decide to tell her, remember this: Don't just talk to her. Help her. Reassure her. And always make it clear that she is the most important thing in your life.

Take care out there.
Be safe. Be smart. Be sexy!


Jay said...

CiCi I just want to say that I am truly impressed. Your command of language is remarkable and so ..'I take this oppportinity to remark'.

What impresses me more though are two things. You are willing to tell the truth and your entry regarding how we tell our friends and family; and whether in fact we do tell them is insightful and honest and I applaud you for your willingness to give the writer a clear honest and forthright response.

Finally in the entry immediately previous to this, I sat in awe at the clarity of your insight into where we are, who we are, where we fit or fail to fit in our society and how we as individuals might find solace.

I consider myself very lucky to have Lillie in my life and give thanks daily for her love and support. I am equally aware that I do not enjoy the same support and openess in all of my relations and that there are surely others out there that conceal their identity and remember all too clearly the past years where I too felt I could not possibly let Julianna out into the cold harsh light of day.

What has helped me, for whatever it is worth, is to become completely disengaged from labels. I tried on the label of homosexual, gay, faggoty, the whole gamut and while I found that I do love men, it was not a complete expression of all of what and who I am.

I tried on the label of straight, red neck, cowboy, and all of those more "socially acceptable" labels in our society. In the process I discovered that women are a wonderful addition to the world and that there are things that I can share with women that I could not share with men.

Finally however, I have learned that the one label that does fit, at least with respect to the questions at hand is "Sexual."

When I learned to forgive myself for what felt like indecision and sometimes felt like just plain cowardice, and to see myself as a sexual being the confusion and angst diminished and I felt freed to explore. I learned that it is possible to love and be open with and indeed be sexual with any man or woman with whom I share a deep caring and respect.

It was then, and only then that I was freed to begin the journey (for the umpteenth time in my life) to integrate the man and the woman I am and have always been.

I want to recommend a couple of authors that have been instrumental in my sanity in this process.

I believe that Robert A. Johnson, an Episcopalian Priest and Jungian Psychologist ought to be required reading for every sentient being.

I refer to his books, "He" an account of becoming male told from the myth of Tristan; "She" an account of woman as Isolde; "We" the meeting of both; "The Man Who Lost His Shadow" an account of finding that persona that most of us never acknowledge or understand.

Finally, in my recent history I refer the reader to "Alice in Genderland" by Richard Novic, MD; an account of Richard's transition and acceptance of Alice into his life. While I take issue with some of his process, it is afterall his process and I cannot find fault with the "How" of an individual's process as it leads to growth and fulfillment.

And so, CiCi, I thank you for your insight and forthright honest manner and for this blog.


Anonymous said...

Hi, Very good advice. I had very much the same issue in the past and this advice is accurate. My Wife knew me as a heavy construction worker, a hunter, who drove a big red neck truck, a real dirt and grind "boy". When we first started to live togeather I through out all my shoes, knee high boots, wigs, breast forms, dresses and panties :( thinking it was just something I grew into and could grow out of. WRONG.

After a couple years I started to "dress" again in secret. It was fine and I really did'nt think too much about the lies and hiding. Than came the big talk....marriage and children? wow this was serious.

I found right away I could not be with this women and be a family and lie and sneek around (even if it was in heels). I told her, and she was fine with it.

It was hard having that talk with her though, one of the hardest things I ever did, I was sure she would scorn me forever. BUt having this talk was the most worth while thing I've done.

Now 3 years later, she does my makeup, swipes my clothes and my underware if it's not quite laundry day lol. Heavy construction worker yes but i'm very lean and we are mostly the same size. She buys me pretty things (knowing she can swipe them back later) and has even discoved the "freedoe" (look it up on net).

Moral of the story: I can't spell, She should be told (but it is totally your choice, you know her better than anyone), It's hard never dressing again as it's a part of who we are, and she may eventually catch you, which will just make things more diffcult in the end. Good luck and I hope it works out for the best.

Anonymous said...

Thank You CiCi,for your insight. I almost blew an opportunity to get closer to my spouse of 23 years. She's been supportive of me in everything else. Dressing was an issue that got sprang on her.. She has began to accept it,but has set some definite ground rules I agree with.I'm a lucky person. Shopping together is fun!"jan"

Anonymous said...

Wanting To Dress Doesn't Make Me Gay Does It?

Anonymous said...

thanks for being here

CiCi said...

Thanks so much for all your thoughtful comments. And for the compliments. i shouldn't be surprised, but i am constantly impressed at the thoughtfulness of the individuals in our community. and i just don't mean thoughtful as in caring towards others. i mean thoughtful in that we (obviously!) think a lot about this gender thing and how it affects us and what role we want it to play in our lives. thoughts that go to the very core of who we are and who we want to be!

CiCi said...

To Anonymous and Anonymous,
congrats to both of you on your honesty and openness. i'm not at all surprised that your openness has strengthened your respective relationships. i luv stories like this!!

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