Staying Sane

Kandi had a question for her guest bloggers (a bit ago), namely:

“All three of you live in DADT relationships. 

I, myself, am not in one, but struggle with the male and female sides of myself.

How do you reconcile going out, knowing your wife isn’t wild about it, with the obvious need we all have in doing so?

We all love our wives and yet we have to get out dressed.

I’m just looking for another angle on this beside the one banging around in my empty head.”

Chief Executive Blogger

In lieu of my normal posts about my trips out, I’d like to share my answer, because some of you might find it helpful.

How do I manage? 

I do what sex/relationship advice columnist Dan Savage recommends, “do what you need to do to stay sane and stay married.” His advice concerns couples in monogamous relationships where one party is no longer interested in sex (he is sanctioning cheating), but the same advice applies here.

I do what I need to do to stay sane and stay married.

My wife knows about me. She’s known I’ve had an interest for all 35 years we’ve known each other (we’ve been married 28 years). She sees all the clothes in our walk-in closet. She’s bought some of the clothes for me. She doesn’t mind that I dress, but she doesn’t like I go out in public. She’s afraid that people will feel sorry for her because she is married to a crossdresser. On the whole, she’s pretty tolerant, but it has caused some stress to our marriage. 

Right after I started going out I told her I had been out, and she was upset. She said “lie to me”.  So I do.

Most of my outings she doesn’t know about. I’m out of the house a lot (I’m retired, but I golf, play tennis, bike, etc.) so I often have a good cover story. She plays bridge and tennis, so she’s out of the house often too. Plus, she’s Australian, so there are times (like now, for the last 6 months) where she and I are in different countries. 

I have gotten adept at changing in the car, into either gender, so I can go out dressed one way and come home the other.

There are times I do tell her I am going out. Partly because I don’t have a good cover story (e.g., I can’t bike ride at night), but mostly because I am sending a message that I have the right to do this, I am not hurting anyone, that I want to, and that I go out and nobody is the wiser, so her fears are overblown. I’m the Treasurer for the St. Louis Gender Foundation, and we have monthly meetings (or did in pre-COVID days), so I tell her I am attending the meetings. I occasionally tell her other times than my regular meetings.

But for every time I tell her I’m going out, there are probably ten times when I don’t (I haven’t done the exact math). I’ve made friends she doesn’t know about. I’ve gone on girl trips she doesn’t know about. She doesn’t know I write these blog posts, nor most of the events I write about.

Am I happy that I lie to her? No. I would prefer to be open with her and tell the truth. But she has told me NOT to do that, so I abide by her wishes (at least in this regard; I am not abiding by her wishes when I do go out).

I have wanted to dress as a woman since I was a young boy. In grade school I was always jealous of the boys who came to school on Halloween dressed as girls (truth be told, I’m still jealous of them). 
In my late twenties/early thirties, I got to experiment with dressing with several of my then girl friends (and my wife). Ten years later I became braver with my wife and started accumulating clothes, shoes, makeup, and a wig. I would dress at home every so often.

It took another fifteen years to screw up my courage and overcome my fears about going out in public. It took about 15 minutes to start overcoming those fears (while getting my nails done dressed as a guy with a very friendly and supportive nail tech) and 24 hours later I decided “I can do this” (after a Sephora makeover with a wonderful MUA and a lengthy dressing session with my fabulous Falon, a Nordstrom sales angel).

Once I saw myself in the mirror, made up and wearing a dress, I was hooked. There was no going back, no putting the toothpaste back in the tube.

My GG friend Renee, one of the girl friends who helped me experiment thirty years ago, says I have a “Mona Lisa” smile. I do smile when I see myself dressed. It makes me happy. It gives me pleasure. I am always anticipating the next fix; the next time out, the next outfit I get to wear. I can’t explain why; it just is.

Dressing–and lying to my wife–helps me stay sane and stay married.

3 thoughts on “Staying Sane”

  1. HI Dee:
    I can really relate to your article – in fact, it’s been on my mind all morning! How does one achieve a balance between CDing and marriage, yet fulfill the desires and “pull” that CDing presents .
    When I began to crossdress actively not long ago, my biggest concern was how it would affect my marriage of 40 years. I decided not to be deceitful and came out right away. I was lucky, after a few tense days my wife accepted my proclivity and now is even participatory up to a point. She had just one requirement – do not go out in public. That is an acceptable and even reasonable request, especially since, if followed. a secure marriage continues.
    So, of course, like the forbidden fruit, what do I want to do the most – step out of course! It’s as if there are wild oats that need to be sown – but how do you explain that one?
    As yet, I have not done this. However I know that at the first opportunity of her being away for an extended time that is exactly what is going to happen…and the dreaded deception begins, with the stress and guilt that always follows.
    So, how does one achieve balance? You suggest one way – but I think the day will come I will need to find my way as well.
    Kris

  2. Dee, as you probably know, the whole thing around disclosure in a marriage is a subject very close to my heart and your take on this was absolutely fascinating. The fact that Mrs Dee would prefer you to lie about your whereabouts is particularly interesting but I think that it does underline the huge amount of trust she has in you.

    But I think your point about staying sane and staying married is particularly pertinent for both of you. Living a lot of this side of your life under the marital radar does not imply dishonesty but just an appreciation that blissful ignorance is your wife’s coping mechanism so that she too can remain sane and married and it’s a testament to you both that you can be considerate of each other’s needs as well as your own.

    Great post, thanks for sharing it with us!

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