Tuesday, February 7, 2012

So What Does This Mean for Me? A Blog for SuddenlyFem by Cupcake


Humans are, fundamentally, selfish creatures. Regardless of how loving she is, I promise you, she’s wondering what this all means for her, for your marriage and for her lifestyle. While the answer to all that will differ depending upon your relationship, she’s worried. Coming out often means that you’ve been locked in your own world and maybe a bit oblivious to everyone else for a while as there was a lot to muddle through in your own head. Her questions and concerns may be totally different than yours, but they’re no less valid.

Are You Gay?

Okay, I wasn’t guilty of this one myself, but rumor has it it’s a biggie for an awful lot of women when they realize that the presumably straight guy in the relationship is wearing panties. If you are gay (or even bisexual), well, this does pose some problems in a heterosexual relationship, whether you opt to split so the two of you can pursue other relationships, open your relationship or remain monogamous. In this case, a counselor can help the two of you come to a solution that works best for both of you. If you’re curious or unsure, deciding whether to tell or not can be harder. If she’s open-minded and has handled your coming out well, open up to her. If she is struggling, adding additional worry right now might not be for the best, especially if you intend to maintain your relationship. Either way, she does have a right to a safe and honest relationship, so keep it in your pants until you’ve had a bare-it-all discussion. Really, though, we all know that many crossdressers are heterosexual and happy in their relationships with women.

If you’re, in fact, happily straight, she’s going to need a good bit of reassurance for a while. Even if she doesn’t believe you’re gay, she’s likely feeling very, very insecure about your feelings about her and your relationship. The same old guy-in-trouble strategies can come into play here. Date nights, flowers, a weekend getaway are all good, but probably not good enough. I’m enough of a lady to be delicate about this, but make sure that things don’t change for the worse in the bedroom. If there’s a change in that regard, it better be for the better.

Transitions

This one’s a lot bigger and a lot scarier for both of you. Some marriages and relationships do survive gender transitions and can remain happy and stable, but it’s going to be tough on both of you, require a hell of a lot of flexibility and an open mind. Whether you’re jumping into life as a girl 24/7 or you’ve made this change gradually, both of you need professional help through this transition. Even in the best of circumstances, she may not be interested in you as a woman or attracted to you, regardless of love and history. Transitioning often comes with a number of really difficult body image issues that will, almost inevitably, affect both of you, but those questions are for another post.

Secrets and Confessions

You might be prepared for her worries about the neighbors, but may be less ready to handle the reality that she plans to tell, even if only her closest friend. This is her secret as much as yours now, and she has a right, within reason, to discuss it with a trusted confidante. She needs the opportunity to process this new information with someone other than you. If she doesn’t want to talk to a close friend, you might encourage her to talk to a queer- and kink-friendly therapist or to find a support group (either in person or online) for partners. While she has a right to tell, she does not have a right to tell everyone. You should feel free to ban her from telling the local gossip, your minister, or her parents. Allowing her the space she needs to work through her feelings can help the two of you make it through this revelation together and come out of it stronger. In this case, you’re going to have to take a deep breath, pull up your big girl panties and deal with the fact that her best friend probably knows.

Ask

If you really want to understand her experience in all this, you need to ask her, probably more than once. Checking in regularly, especially if things have changed, can help the two of you negotiate this new phase in your relationship.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

wow i dont know what to say ... you hit on so many of the issues im dealing with right now . i am a straight male ...well as straight as a cd male can be . and it seems that after 13 years of marrage being the same person i have pretty much always been , my wife seems to have turneed a corner and is starting to reject my " fantacys". its not so much of a fantacy as it is a part of me and my soul and my happyness . i dont want to go all the way and have a sex change but the way i feel getting all dressed up is a feeling i CAN NOT give up without major mental reprocussions. at this point shes worried shes gonna wake up 10 years down the road with me deciding that i do want to go all the way . i dont . but how is it possible to assure someone of something that they just cant understand???

Cupcake said...

Anonymous,
I wish I had a good answer here. I can sympathize with her worries and with your side in this. Would it be viable, within your relationship, for you to dress at times and places when she does not have to be aware/involved? I'm not suggesting dishonesty, but simply a little mutually agreed upon distance. Based on your use of the word fantasy, I'm wondering if perhaps this is impacting your sex life to a significant degree. Obviously, I don't expect an answer, but you might think about whether her needs are being met in that regard, if you think it's relevant. Does she know any women who are partnered with crossdressers or T-girls? I think a sympathetic ear (and not yours!) might help to make this all seem not so scary.

Anonymous said...

Excellent spot on information. Been there and done that. Came out to my wife last spring and she has been so understanding. We've been married for 20 years and I decided it was time to bring my other shelf out of the trunk of my company car. She has said, she not only has a husband but a girlfriend to shop and talk with. Its been so great. At first she was my cover when shopping, you know "we're looking for cloths for our aunt." No more, I take the lead when shopping for my fem cloths and shes right there making suggestions. My wife encourages me to dress in Fem around the house. When I get home from my job I'm into my fem clothing within 10 minutes. She encourages me to get dressed and relax. Wonderful!
Now I've become a very happy and relaxed CD.

Anonymous said...

To Anonymous whose wife is so understanding -- please treat her extra special and tell her that there are a number of us out there who wish to find someone as special and loving as she is. (Does she have an unmarried sister? :-)

Sandra M. Lopes said...

You do make some excellent points on your article, thanks so much for writing it!

My wife and I are currently struggling with the "next stages" of my crossdressing, which I had "revealed" to her in early 2005. So far, I was allowed to crossdress at home in peace, and she wouldn't mind; her curiosity was spiced at the very beginning, and she still gives me the odd tip now and then, but, in general, that has faded. Neither of us is unhappy about that, of course: crossdressing is "my" personal thing, and she might only complain if I'm overspending our meagre budget in femme things :)

But "staying at home" is never enough, so I've moved — very carefully — to the stage where I'm allowed to drive around once in a while. Going to clubs and meeting other CDs is the next stage, and we'll eventually come there, but this has brought a lot of anxiety and worry on her side, which made me very reluctant to "insist" more (I'm selfish, yes, but not that selfish).

It's interesting how you approach the subject of "telling" — our own case is the exact opposite of what you describe! Instead of being worried if she "tells" anyone my "secret", what happens is that she gets in a panic about neighbours "finding out" (not to mention close friends or family), and this is the main reason why she's so reluctant in letting me out of the home dressed as a woman. In fact, I've even suggested that she talks to her therapist about it (I like her therapist a lot, she seems to be an excellent professional, and they have worked together for several years dealing with my wife's anxiety attacks, and so far the results have been wonderful), but she totally refuses to do so! I'd love her to have a "confident" (a professional therapist would be best) but she's not keen on doing so; I'm aware that she very likely talks a bit about it with a common online friend in the UK (whom neither of us have known in the flesh, but we have even worked for the same company together), who is also transgendered in a certain degree (but not interested in "coming out" crossdressed), but that's all.

I'm currently toying with the idea of "revealing" myself to my wife's mother, since, among both our families, she might be the most open-minded and tolerant, and at least my wife would have someone to discuss about my crossdressing. But we're not there yet. I'm personally not 100% sure about my mother-in-law's reaction, and don't wish to put a stress on our otherwise excellent relationship. What drives me to this idea is that my mother-in-law has an excellent fashion sense and she is my inspiration: because nature hasn't flattered her with great looks (and surgery was the only way for her to get a thin body!), but that never stopped her from having an excellent taste in dressing and choosing the perfect accessories. So I would definitely benefit a lot from her advice — much more than from my own wife, who is not very keen in the way she looks like...

So we two have the opposite problem that you describe in your article: I'm the one willing to have her "share the secret", my wife's the one very anxious about "anyone finding out". I still have to struggle with that. In a sense, knowing that she gets in a panic if she mildly suspects that anyone has a clue has refrained me from being more "open" about my crossdressing and paying a lot of attention not to be "caught" — not for me (I wouldn't care... much), but because I know she'd freak out if anyone knew. And by "freaking out" I really mean something as serious as a panic attack — which looks like a heart attack for all purposes, and can actually even be fatal (!). She already went through one (not related to my crossdressing, fortunately!) and none of us wants her to go through the same experience again!

Lana said...

so helpful and insightful..thanks