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The Non-Supportive Wife

Notes on Gender Role Transition
Anne Vitale Ph.D. Editor
A Significant Other View
by Julie Freeman

This article is reprinted with permission from DEVIL WOMAN, the Diablo Valley Girls newsletter. Ms Freeman is the wife of a crossdresser. She can be reached at Julie39@comcast.net

The Non-Supportive Wife

Posted Jan 14, 2014

Recently, I wrote about some significant others who wrote to me about their husbands who they believed were crossdressers. These were wives who were genuinely concerned about their husbands and wanted to understand what was going on. But for many reasons the husbands refused to talk to their wives about their crossdressing. I asked my on-line support group members for their opinions as to the reluctance of these husbands and those who responded to me thought it was quite common as a first reaction when being confronted for crossdressers to deny they crossdressed simply because they were afraid of what might result.

Some mentioned that it was only when their husbands were accidentally discovered "en femme" that the truth came out, and they were then willing to discuss what was going on. And then there were those husbands who really did not comprehend what was going on, so how could they explain something they didn't understand.

But by far it appears that fear is what causes many crossdressers to remain mute when asked about their crossdressing, fear that life as they currently know it can change immediately and not for the better. And where does this fear come from?

Well, crossdressers who are active in the community and have not been honest with their significant others may be reluctant because of the horror stories they have heard from other crossdressers. Those who have had the courage to be upfront with their wives and have been willing to let the chips fall where they may have related personal tragedies that would cause others to reconsider whether being open and truthful is the best way to go.

Significant others do have a responsibility when told about their partners' crossdressing and often instead they are so hostile, intolerant, and angry, that they do exactly what their crossdressing husbands feared. Some cannot wait to tell someone, a confidant perhaps. That person may be their mother, their sister, their neighbor, their friend. And not infrequently that person with whom they shared the "secret" may not consider it a secret and all of a sudden everyone knows and not everyone is supportive. And some of those confidants may also believe it is their duty and responsibility to do whatever they can to destroy the crossdresser's marriage.

Some significant others feel they cannot trust their husbands anymore because of the "secret" and react exactly the way the husbands fear – they head for the hills. And, unfortunately for all of us, there are those crossdressers whose behavior of lying and cheating have caused so much distress for their significant others that heading for the hills seems to be their only option.

I could go on and on with the stories I have heard over the years from distressed, angry and even vicious wives, but it is not necessary --just one horror story is enough to shut the door on communication. Here is a quote from a new wife just within the last couple of weeks regarding her husband. "I absolutely will have nothing to do with my husband's CDing -- I truly loved this man with all my heart, but just knowing he feels this way makes me sick in my stomach. We can't go on this way much longer, it will destroy both of us. I just want to be married to a real man. What's wrong with that?"

These types of comments are not uncommon and may help explain why husbands are so reluctant to talk.

If wives and partners want their crossdressing husbands to open up and discuss transgenderism with them, they are going to have to demonstrate that they are not part of the hostile, hateful, judgmental, and woefully ignorant, but rather part of the group who are supportive, loving, and caring.

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