Matrimonial Challenges – Part 2 – Keeping Schtum

By Amanda J.

In part 1, I talked about my botched confession to my wife – who I’ll call Mrs. Amanda or Mrs. A for brevity – which culminated in a ‘cease and desist’ ultimatum a few months later.  It only takes a quick look at my entry on the ‘Contributors’ page or a read of one of my earlier posts to know that I have not kept my promise so what happened? 

I’m going to declare at the outset that I’m in no way proud of what I’m doing.   The fact that I’m not only deceiving Mrs. A but also breaking the promise I made to her plays on my mind every single day of my life.  From every angle I look at the situation, it doesn’t feel morally right and yet I continue to do it.  With that in mind, I think it would be appropriate to dig a little deeper into this whole issue. 

The advice I would give to anyone dealing with any sort of trans issues, from occasional crossdressing to a persistent desire to transition is to tell their partner as soon as possible, ideally before the relationship gets serious and marriage is contemplated.  We all know that despite what we may think when we’re young, these urges don’t go away but, instead, intensify and get harder to manage as we get older, no matter how much we may think that falling in love has ‘cured’ us.  The relationship may well end there and then but far better before marriage than after several decades leaving you both with the prospect of spending your final years alone if the marriage collapses.  There are many women who can understand and accept a CDing or trans husband (and some who delight in it and positively encourage it) but to defer disclosure for a couple of decades is taking a big risk – if she disapproves, you’ve got big issues to resolve and if she approves, you’ve just wasted 20 years when you could have been indulging your female side with her. 

I, of course, didn’t need to confess before marriage as I was ‘cured’.  I delighted in buying Mrs. A all of the clothes and shoes that once I would have wanted to try on myself and all of the doubts & urges evaporated.  I didn’t expect Mrs. A to disclose everything she’d done in her past so why should I worry about a little bit of CDing which was by that time well and truly history?   But, as we all know, any disappearance of the urges is almost always temporary and, slowly but surely, they began to creep back.  I covered the next part of the story in part 1: Matrimonial Challenges – Part 1 – How To Blow Up Your Marriage – which was posted on 17 January 2022 so I won’t go over old ground.  Instead, I now want to jump forward to the point where I broke my promise to cease and desist. 

I made my promise in May 2014 but, by late 2016, the urges had started to return and, on a night away from home on my own, I finally succumbed.  I stopped at a fast fashion store (Primark for those familiar with UK retailers) and bought myself underwear, tights, a dress and shoes and, in the privacy of my hotel room, relived all of the old feelings.  Naturally, I felt guilty and returned what I could for a refund the following day and I managed to keep things under reasonable control with only the odd lapse until mid-2019.  My wife and kids went overseas for a couple of nights to see my sister in law and I took full advantage of having the house to myself.  That was the point at which I knew that ‘this’ wasn’t going to go away and I was soon far deeper into the whole thing than I’d been when I first confessed.  Then, I was just a recreational CDer.  Now, I was posting photos on public forums, and interacting with other girls as Amanda.  For a while I was even considering transition and whilst that particular idea has passed, I have subsequently taken a short walk in the roads around our house en femme and had a makeover.  The truth is that when I put on a dress & heels, I feel a completeness that I never feel as ‘him’. 

So what should I do? 

I’m by no means alone in conducting this side of my life under the matrimonial radar.  I’m in regular online contact with several other girls who operate in the same way.  There are secrets in pretty well every marriage and I am completely happy to live with the prospect that Mrs. A will do things that she doesn’t tell me about.  At a superficial level, CDing is harmless; it’s something I do on my own, it doesn’t prevent me being the best husband I can be and, in fact, I do think that having an outlet for my anxieties actually helps me in this respect.  I’m probably far more attentive as a husband than one who spends every waking hour on the golf course, or every evening in the pub or any of the other traditionally male activities that regularly ensure that wives will spend protracted amounts of time on their own. 

But is that a valid excuse for keeping quiet, particularly as I am now regularly breaking the promise I made to her?  In many ways, the assertion ‘so if it’s so harmless, why hide it?’ blows that whole argument out of the water, fundamentally because any decent individual would realise that engaging in activities which they know their spouse disapproves of is not harmless.  Furthermore, because I’ve confessed once already, I know exactly how Mrs. A will react and it won’t go well.  I could be hard-nosed about the whole thing and decide that, if she wants to disapprove, get angry or react negatively in any other way, I don’t care because that’s her problem, not mine.  But there’s one set of reactions from her that I can’t cope with – those associated with complete emotional devastation.  Because what I found out some time after my original confession was that Mrs. A was distraught and crying herself to sleep and I just haven’t got it in me to put her through all of that for a second time. 

And therein lies the biggest dilemma.  There appear to be two options, each with questionable morality.  One – keeping quiet – is immoral because it encompasses deception & breach of trust, both unacceptable traits in a marriage.  The other – confessing all – is immoral because it relieves my conscience by dumping everything onto Mrs. A to deal with. 

This is the point where I struggle to know what is best.  Personally, if Mrs. A was to do things that I would not approve of, I’d rather not know about them but I can’t speak for her.  What I do know is that when I went for my makeover, I had to actively lie about my whereabouts and it played on my mind for weeks in the run up to the session.  It’s one thing saying nothing but another thing entirely to add to the deception with falsehoods.  The only thing I can say is that, apart from the makeover, I avoid putting myself in any situation that would require me to lie so, much though I’d love to, I don’t socialise either as Amanda or with anyone who knows me as her.  I hate having to turn invitations down because this is a truly amazing community that I want to play a bigger part in but that, together with the guilt I feel about the deception and breaking my promise, is the price I have to pay for what freedom I do have to let Amanda flourish. 

So I have an uneasy equilibrium in my life.  But for how much longer that will continue, I don’t know.  I am already semi-retired and, sometime in the next few years, Mrs. A will follow suit and at that point, the luxury of having an empty house several days a week will disappear.  And then what?  Once again, it’s a question to which I have absolutely no idea of the answer.  And really, when all is said and done, the whole question is not what is the right answer but, rather, what is the least wrong answer. 

Never has the expression ‘stuck between a rock and a hard place’ seemed so relevant.
In the third and final part of this series, I’m going to look at what I’ve learned from this whole experience.  There are no formulas that guarantee success but there are many that ensure that a marriage will never be the same again (and not in a positive way) and if I can save even one marriage by sharing these thoughts, then the whole sorry experience won’t have been in vain.

8 thoughts on “Matrimonial Challenges – Part 2 – Keeping Schtum”

  1. Amanda,
    You are not only between a rock and a hard place, you are between a rock and a hard place on the North Atlantic coast with hurricane driven waves crashing down on you. By being there, you have joined many of us that are just down the shore from you. It is not easy and just trying to deal with it hurts. I wish you good luck and a few prayers.

    1. Leann,

      Thank you for taking the time to comment and for your kind words of support. The path we tread is a perilous one and often our only solace is in trying to make sure that others do not fall into the same traps that we have.

      Amanda

  2. Amanda,

    I know, and understand, your situation.

    Unfortunately, I don’t know how to resolve our circumstances.

    But, I do know we are not alone.

    Love, in friendship,
    Jocelyn

    1. Jocelyn,

      Thank you as always for your support. In many respects, this is a problem without a solution as it requires us to do something that is counter-intuitive in a marriage – to put our own needs above those of our loved ones – and that’s a huge ask. But I share this story not in the hope that someone will come up with a foolproof solution but in the hope that perhaps it will save one of the several hundred visitors to this site each day from making the same mistakes that I did.

      Amanda

  3. Like Neann said, I too feel sorry for both you and your wife for what may be a reality that may not result in happiness or joy by either of you. Good luck.

    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. The path we tread is not an easy one but I think it’s important to share the bad times as well as the good, if only to let others know that they’re not alone in their struggles.

      Amanda

  4. Another excellent post Amanda… and as a fellow secret keeper I can relate to a lot of what you are saying. The problem for some of us is that the girl only emerges later in life, in my case close to 20 years are I met Mrs B. Not all of us get the option to tell early before being too vested.

    My question to you is what do you think Mrs A would choose if she had the option of being told or to continue to be deceived? Of course you can’t know what she would want but what does your instinct tell you?
    Becky

    1. Becky,

      Good question (yours always are!). There’s a short answer and a long answer so here goes….

      The short answer is that Mrs A would immediately say that she would want to be told. I can say that with a fair degree of certainty as it’s a key element in the implied duty of trustworthiness in a marriage.

      But I think the long answer may be different. Because in that question, there is a subtext that disclosure would work to the detriment of the marriage so the question is really whether she would want to be told of an issue that would affect the marriage or remain oblivious, adding for good measure that the issue is ring fenced and would have no material effect on the marriage. I can’t answer that question for Mrs A as only she knows how she would truly feel but I can answer it from my own perspective. On a purely ‘here and now’ basis, I would choose to remain ignorant and ‘allow’ Mrs A her independence. I can’t see any benefit in choosing an option that would work to the detriment of the marriage and tell me something I’d rather not know.

      But there is another dimension to this. Suppose I told Mrs A that I wanted to take ballroom dancing lessons. She knows that she has two left feet and also that it’s something that I enjoyed doing at university so she tells me to go and enjoy myself. Or does she? She may stop and think that there may be single women looking for partners and close dancing is intrinsic to the activity. Suppose that I ‘clicked’ with one of the ladies there? What then? And I think that that is at the root of the problem – it’s not seen as harmless dressing up but, instead, something that will shake the fabric of the marriage if allowed to continue unchecked.

      To be clear, though, I stand by my assertion that this is something that should be disclosed as soon as its existence is apparent. In a perfect world, we’d all be perfectly happy to add it to the list of hobbies we tell our wives to be about when we’re getting to know each other and they’d reply ‘oooooh, that sounds great fun!’. But we don’t live in a perfect world and sometimes we have to make unpalatable decisions which go against everything we believe in to preserve the wellbeing of both the marriage and the individuals within it.

      Amanda

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