An Open Letter to Our Wives

This was one of my more popular essays. Time to revisit it. I am pretty proud of this one. My friend was relaying me her experiences and difficulties and I sat down and wrote this in a stream of consciousness, it just spilled out of me. I am simply talent wasted, I guess…..

This was originally written for a friend who you know from here. I am rerunning it because of another friend who you also know from here, having similar problems. No one ever said this shit was easy.

A friend is going through issues with her wife.  Frankly, I get both sides of the issue and wish I could help.  I thought I would simply put my thoughts on paper (yeah, I know this isn’t paper) and maybe somehow, some way I can help someone, somewhere.

I am writing this letter to the wives of crossdressers like myself.  This is not to the wives of the transgendered (different set of issues and nothing I can or should comment on).  This letter is not being written to those that are fetishists (giant heels, dressing like teenage hookers, yes that happens), not at all my cup of tea and another completely different set of issues.  I am speaking to the wives of those who wish to present themselves as women on occasion in a dignified and appropriate fashion, often in social settings.

This is not a choice.  This is who and what we are.  At some point in our lives, we would have done anything to make this all go away.  Almost without exception.  But it never, ever completely goes away.  It is manageable, it comes and goes, we may be able to suppress it for long periods of time, but at some point in our lives, it will consume us.  This happens for many of us on the back nine, so to speak.  In our late 40’s and our 50’s.

We have lied and/or hidden this.  Much of the lying is to ourselves.  Denial.  Complete and utter shame.  Self-loathing.  This is a mental issue (please note, please, it is a mental issue NOT a mental illness).  The truth is it is in our heads, it is a part of us.  I wish I knew why, I don’t.  Many like myself that I have met and/or spoken to, don’t know either.  Why?

I will speak about myself here.  I lied to myself, denied to myself that I am a crossdresser.  Never, ever even thought the word.  It’s a phase, it will pass.  This is the last time, I swear.  One more and then I’ll stop.  Familiar?  For me, the moment I finally stopped lying to myself, I immediately went about telling my wife.

I completely understand and defend your position, you married a man and want that man to remain your husband.  But that man you fell in love with was actually a crossdresser, whether admitted or not.  In some way, it shapes who we are, and may well have given us the traits that you actually fell in love with.  This is with us generally our entire lives.  Complete denial, absolute repression will manifest itself in some other fashion.  For me, I am convinced, had I continued to deny this, I would be an overweight alcoholic, no question.  That was the road I was on.  Now, despite the many challenges life throws at me, I am happy.  Being happy is, obviously, good for my physical and mental health.  It is also good for those around me.  I have gone from an overweight slob, with a cheesy mustache, to a borderline elite runner who makes others happy that are around me (usually).

The shame causes us to make bad decisions.  The guilt generally creates a self-loathing situation.  Freeing ourselves makes us better versions of the person you fell in love with.  Trust me, if I could change myself, I would.  But that’s not how life works, so I have found joy in what I am.  That joy is contagious.

We absolutely love you because if we didn’t, we wouldn’t torture ourselves about what we are.  You are our worlds and the reason we battle these feelings each and every day of our lives.  I completely understand your position, but please understand, this is not ever, never, going away.  It must be dealt with in one way or the other.  Lying, hiding are all due to the shame we felt in ourselves.  We love you more than you will ever know, then we can ever express.  We have just been handed a challenge that we must handle.  How we handle it is difficult because we have very few we can talk to to offer support and/or guidance.  The shame drives us back into our own heads, not always the best place to be.  Forgive us, help us, try and understand us.

PS This was written a few years back. Being completely honest, your truly is no longer a crossdresser (the old joke, the difference between a crossdresser and transgender is two years). While I would never, ever transition, in my head, I consider myself female.

8 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Our Wives”

  1. Kandi,
    I am glad you added the PS because, as I was reading the letter, I was thinking that this no longer describes Kandi based upon my reading this blog for a while. I was worried that if I commented would it come across correctly. Coming to understand oneself is not easy and is not usually quick. It is also a matter of circumstance. In your case you have a wife that appears to understand and your situation allows you to spend time as a woman fairly often. So congratulations on your journey and I hope you continue to find happiness in it.
    Leann

    1. Listen, this is a fluid situation for all of us. What is true today changes in a week or year. But all I know is somehow I have figured out a way to make this a joy. Now if I could only do the same with the rest of my life……

      Thank you Leann!

  2. I considered not commenting as this reminds me of my pain. The pain I went through because my ex choose not to understand this part of me. Unfortunately for her she got caught in the time when I began to know I was more than a CD but indeed trans. I didn’t know how to deal with it so I made mistakes and I drove her away
    So now I find myself alone
    I hope others out there will realize our wives need a lot of time and more love once we realize we must be who we are it’s a very difficult road and as I like to tell others this isn’t a choice who would choose this and all that comes with it.
    Sorry to sound so negative but I’m just being real
    Rachael

    1. This is not negative. This is reality. This is truth. This is what this blog is for, to inspire and educate and make us all feel that we are not alone in all of this. Your comments, painful for you (and me having known you this long) is important.

  3. Kandi, as you know this could be written to my lovely wife, with the PS as an exclamation mark. Anyone reading my “Spousal Relations” post will see in print my own turmoil (which can be pretty damn personal and unique). My wife still can’t stand the thought of seeing me, but she accepts Lisa as my reality, and that is huge. Life is a journey, and the pain of yesterday or today may lead to joy tomorrow. That is part of Kandi’s story, and mine as well. At least now I no longer define myself as a broken pot (we are not broken, just shaped differently). Accepting myself as trans may have something to do with that changed inner definition. Stay beautiful. Lisa

  4. This is a truly moving post and one which anyone confessing to their wife should read before they utter a word, and not seven years after as in my case. It puts into words the simple concept I learned as a result of my own catastrophic confession and that is that our confession has to be completely focused on our wife and the impact that our revelation will have on her. Because ‘I didn’t tell you because I was trying everything I could to be the husband you wanted’ is an awful lot more likely to preserve the marriage than ‘hey, guess what, I like to wear women’s clothes!’. Unfortunately, my confession was far closer to the second one.

    The only thing I would contest is the implied distinction between crossdresser and transgender. I am not on HRT, am not planning transition in any shape or form and yet I look in the mirror when dressed and feel that the person looking back is somehow more complete and more at peace with themself. There are, of course, as many definitions of ‘transgender’ as there are people offering them but I think that including crossdressers under the transgender umbrella is justified when one looks at the continuum of transgenderism. And the example I always quote is that we don’t define medical conditions by the treatment or medication prescribed but by the symptoms; in the same way that I can have a headache and choose not to take an aspirin, I can be transgender and choose not to pursue hormonal or medical intervention.

    But this is a small point on what is an amazing post which has also prompted some fantastic comments from other responders.

    1. Amanda, your response brought tears to my eyes. This post has touched so many. The truth of the matter is we sometimes get hung up on definitions, trying to put ourselves into some category. Each and every day I am 100% male, or 100% female or a crossdresser or I ache to be a woman or a thank God I am my wife’s (male) husband. Sometimes all in the same day. Anyone reading this blog that denies one over the other is not being honest with themselves. I just completed an awesome weekend and you topped it for me.

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