Coming out to yourself seems hard enough. When you consider coming out to your best friend and lover it sometimes feels like your world comes unglued.
My First Experience Coming Out
Like most cross-dressers, I never mentioned a word of it until about two years into my first marriage. One night, after a week apart, things were getting romantic. She tossed a pair of panties at me, and I casually just slid them on, naturally tucking as I went. I sat down on the edge of the bed to watch her finish undressing, but she just stood and stared.
At that moment, I wanted her to say ANYTHING! Instead, she simply stared for another minute, then she casually walked over and stood in front of me. The show was over, she bent down and started kissing me. I felt confused and guilty until she slid the panties off, and the rest of the evening went as planned. Then next day, she took me to a department store and helped me pick out my own panties. Her excuse was that she didn’t want me stealing hers.
That might seem like the perfect beginning to a beautiful thing, but it died quickly. She left me and our daughter for another woman a couple of years later. I guess I just wasn’t feminine enough for her.
How can I test the waters first?
Start by telling her a story. It might go something like this:
This one friend, Jenny, just found out that her husband cross-dresses. Part of her feels intrigued by this revelation, but part of her wonders about leaving her husband. She thinks he wants to stay a man, but feels shocked by the sudden surprise of finding out. What would you do in her shoes?
Watch your wife’s reaction carefully, and actually listen to what she has to say. You want to know without a shadow of a doubt where your wife stands, and how she feels. That makes the next step a little easier, knowing how she feels about your femme life.
How do I bring it up? What do I tell her?
First of all, NEVER simply surprise her without warning. Her finding you dressed up, or a picture, or your size ridiculous bra would probably cause her distress. The fact that you cross-dress provides enough surprise, so avoid adding to it. You should also avoid any situation where someone might see you and ask your wife about it. She should never hear about you cross-dressing from anyone but you.
One suggestion someone made involved taking a little break and going someplace private and relaxing. You might start your conversation something like this:
Sweetheart, I love you. You are simply the most wonderful and important part of my life. I would like to share something with you that I have enjoyed since (insert when you began here). Just to begin perfectly clear, I don’t want to become a woman, but I’ve hidden this forever. I am a cross-dresser.
Now brace yourself. Your wife will now have to process what you just said. She may show confusion, anger, denial, sorrow, excitement, neurotic, understanding, or even draw a complete blank. Relax and let her think about it without you opening your mouth. Trust me, I know how hard this feels. Everything will sort itself out relatively quickly once she finishes processing it.
What if she asks questions?
Relax, questions mean she still has interest in you. I suggest thinking about these questions well in advance. Make sure you understand your answers and have invested the thought they deserve. If she asks a question you haven’t thought about, then tell her honestly that you need time to think about the answer. Then follow-up as soon as you think it through.
Some of the questions you should know before you even think about coming out to her include:
- “Are you gay?”
- “Am I not pretty enough for you?”
- “Do you want a sex change?”
- “Am I not feminine enough for us?”
- “Are you going to start dressing like this all the time?”
- “Am I a bad wife? mother?”
- “Why didn’t you tell me this before we got married?”
- “Am I not sexually satisfying you?”
When should I not tell her?
Timing means everything to something as big as coming out to your spouse. Try not to add to something already stressful. If the family pet just died, you should probably find a better time. You cannot put it off indefinitely though. You might try creating the perfect opportunity if you need to. Help her feel less stressed by loving her. Help her feel and understand that she really is the most important woman in the world to you. Then tell her tactfully as possible.
Will it destroy my marriage?
More than likely not, unless you keep it a secret. Keeping secrets from one another will definitely destroy your marriage. Remember you have the right to express yourself however you choose. However, she has the equal right of not accepting it. Having suffered through divorce, I highly discourage against it. But sometimes you need to make room for the right person in your life.
I cannot honestly say that coming out to my ex-wife, or even my current wife made my life any easier. But I can assure you that keeping a secret from them would have eventually destroyed me. Without the confidence that I can trust my wife with anything, our marriage wouldn’t work.
If you have any experience or advice, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Please leave them in the comments below.