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My Husband Is A Cross-Dresser

Question:

I recently found out that my husband is a cross dresser. I have been married to him for 23 years and have 3 teenage children. This is very upsetting to our family. He refuses to see how this upsets us. He has a 21 year old son who is really having problems. I love my husband, but I don’t love what he is doing. He goes to work with bras and long fingernails on. He wears make-up, and I know that he has been seeing prostitutes for sex. I am not turned on by his make-up or his dresses; he doesn’t understand why. I find it a turn off. What can I do?

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  • ‘Anne’ is the pseudonym for the individual who writes this relationship advice column.
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Answer:

How long has this been going on? Finding out about this after 23 years of marriage is tough to grasp. You need to decide what you want in this marriage. Your marriage is definitely experiencing some problems, to say the least. Talk to your husband and tell him that you still love him, while letting him know how unhappy you are. See if the whole family will go in for therapy. Let him know that his actions are affecting the entire family. It is no surprise that your son is having problems handling this. Another option (if your husband refuses to seek therapy) is for the family to sit down and discuss this situation rationally. That way everyone can talk in private and try to understand each others’ thoughts and feelings. Hopefully you can work this out. I also want to remind you of the dangers your husband is exposing you to by having sex with prostitutes. There are many diseases that can be spread various ways (not just sexually). Keep this in mind if you plan on trying to salvage your marriage. Sincerely, – Anne

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Comments
  • Anonymous-1

    I found out only 6 months into my marriage (2nd for me, 5th for my husband). We have been married almost 8 yrs and it has been such a roller coaster for me. I push him away when he's dressing and pull him close when the anxiety level is low and there is no dressing. It has caused us to become so distant that he has asked me for a divorce. I'm so torn because he is the love of my life but I don't know if this is something I can continually live with. It was so bad at one point, I almost took my life. I have no advice, just very, very strong compassion for you.

  • Bp

    I too am married to a Cross Dresser. I knew since before we were married that he had some fetishes, but somehow was foolish enough to think that was the extent of it. Throughout our marriage I have uncovered signs that I was being lied to.

    Just last month I came home from work sick and my whole world changed. Walking in on your husband fully clothed and pleasing himself will change you forever.

    What do I do? We have a daughter together and she is a daddy's girl. It would devistate her if I left him. I think I can accept the dressing, but the other sexual activities that come with it I can not.

    I feel completely alone and worry that this will destroy me. I am tired of smiling and lying through my teeth when people as if I cam okay. I can't handle this. I have never considered ending my life, but It's almost more than I take.

  • Cdok

    I am in the same boat. My husband was laid off of work and I was working full time. I didnt catch him doing anything but I did find video he recorded while he was dressed and relieving himself. I myself have know since we first met and I have been able to handle the dressing but now that I have seen the sexual stuff that goes along with it I am having a hard time. I keep wondering why he would even persue our sex life if he can satisfy himself completely.

    Anti depressants have been my friend for a while now.

  • AnonGuyOk

    Thank you for your discussion. I think I get it now. I've never felt anything but self humiliation over crossdressing.

    Many crossdressers have a hard time accepting it, so do you guys, so we are emotional outcasts, in our own eyes.

    There is nothing more personal or threatening than admitting this to a spouse. We love you too, very deeply.

    The best way to describe it is being left handed. It is that much a part of whom I am.

  • Charity

    And I couldn't be happier. While I understand where it'd be a shock to learn about it after being married a long time, I must say I don't understand why your reactions are so negative. What other "sexual activities" go along with crossdressing? Are you talking about masturbation? Surely you realize your husband masturbates! I don't get it. I just know that I love my crossdresser and now I'm not so sure I could ever have a relationship with a man who didn't crossdress. I guess you could say I've gone native!

  • Gwen

    I was married 40 years when all this came to light. I had hidden it until about 25 years into the marriage, but it came out and as Fundamentalistic Christians, we agreed that it was Satan and I prayed to be healed. Believe me, no one wanted to be healed more than I. The second time it came up, I was thrown out 2 days before Christmas. They are all gone from my life now. So much for "in sickness and in heath". Oh, and I have never had sex with anyone since my wife, or before her. It is really ugly. It is a horrible life.

  • Anonymous-2

    I am in the same boat too. I found out about 20 years into our relationship, a pair of panties and pantyhose I thought belonged to another woman! No, he admitted, he wore them, but it was all my fault as we hadn't has sex in a while!

    I thought it had died down, until a few years later, when all sorts of womens' clothing, makeup etc. started appearing, hidden around the house etc.

    Now he gets up early every morning so that he can dress up for breakfast, I stay in bed as I do not want to be involved. He can't wait for the days I go out so that he can be 'she' all day! Now he spends more on clothes than I do and can't unerstand why I feel he does not need more. I went with him a few times to help buy things, but then found he was still buying secretly too.

    He says it is intolerable for him! - what about me? He seems to be trying to persuade me that I want to divorce. He is so selfcentred and not at all the loving, kind, considerate man I read crossdressers are supposed to be!

  • Anonymous-2

    I am in the same boat too. I found out about 20 years into our relationship, a pair of panties and pantyhose I thought belonged to another woman! No, he admitted, he wore them, but it was all my fault as we hadn't has sex in a while!

    I thought it had died down, until a few years later, when all sorts of womens' clothing, makeup etc. started appearing, hidden around the house etc.

    Now he gets up early every morning so that he can dress up for breakfast, I stay in bed as I do not want to be involved. He can't wait for the days I go out so that he can be 'she' all day! Now he spends more on clothes than I do and can't unerstand why I feel he does not need more. I went with him a few times to help buy things, but then found he was still buying secretly too.

    He says it is intolerable for him! - what about me? He seems to be trying to persuade me that I want to divorce. He is so selfcentred and not at all the loving, kind, considerate man I read crossdressers are supposed to be!

  • Understanding

    Why if a man dresses like a woman is it a problem when women dress like a man all the time. Pant suit, business suits, boy shorts, jerseys and flannel.

    Leave the guys alone.

  • Anonymous-3

    I too am married to a c/d. its not the dressing that bothers or hurts me, but he goes on a high when hes dressed. a selfish all about him high. this can last for days when all he wants to do is dress and watch porn so he can reach the biggest high he can get, then it takes days for hin to become " normal " again, people who think or believe it is all about feeling comfortable in womens clothes imo are sooo wrong. its like he has two personalities. the male side of him is loving and caring, the femme side brings out the bitch side of him, we too have been married years, and while i knew before we were married i soon learnt that the all lie about the extent of the pull this has over them, my husband has tried so mant times to stop this cycle but cant  seem to stop, all that happens is he does it in secret and that causes more hurt, i realise it has nothing to do with his feelings for me as he has been doing this since his teens, but why marry and expect a woman to meet you half way in a marraige when he himself is not putting even 50 % in. so how do i deal with it, well i go away with the kids once or twice a year and work it around his hols so he has the house to himself. so far its working but i dread to think of the day when the last of the kids are gone and he wants to be "her all day ". and colleen rooney thinks she has problems ..lol if i dont see the funny side i would be dead with depression ..xx good luck to all .

  • Anonymous-4

    My husband is also a cross dresser. I've been married for approx 18 years and I found out 6 years ago, when cleaning up for a party at our house. I found bras. I thought I could be understanding about a man dressing in women's clothes out of sight of me (and our two sons), but don't be fooled by the "it's just cross-dressing line". Within the past 6 years I have had many discoveries and each time it's worse. I have found pictures of she-males... which he uses to 'get off' on. I have found a black bin bag full of high heel boots, and a big dildo! pictures of him dressed as a woman sucking the black dildo and most recently (within the last 6 months) I've found that he goes online to cross-dressing chat rooms and I read emails of him chatting to men asking them to send him pictures of themselves dressed up. It was like he was having an affair. One guy called him "hun" and said "why did you rush off". I realised that my husband was getting up at 6am in the morning on weekends - leaving me asleep in bed - to go and chat to these men. He never ever come near me - not sexually anyway - only for a cuddle. I'm seriously now considering divorce but I will look like the bad guy as I wouldn't be able to tell anyone why, as I wouldn't want to hurt my kids or my husband. I do get admirers and I have had an affair before, but it made me feel worse - not better. Please don't accept it when your man tells you it's just cross-dressing.... soon you'll find more - if you're brave enough to look for it. To be honest - I wish I didn't know!

  • Anonymous-5

    I have been with my partner for 8 years. He started wearing things like tights and knickers a few years ago and said that he found it a turn on. At first it was just a bit of fun, but then it was make - up and skirts, dresses etc. He only ever does it for sexual purposes. But I find it a huge turn off. I have tried to be understanding but it has put a huge strain on our relationship and my sex drive has hit rock bottom. I love him so I will keep trying but it takes a lot out of me. On top of that I am terrified that our children will see him like this. If that happened I don't think I could take it.

  • Depressed wife

    I am also married to a cross-dresser. I have been married for 4 years now and found out 2 years ago. He also tried to convince me it was just about wearing women's clothes and feeling good but I have found out so many things: his collection of travestis pics having sex, his emails to other crossdressers describing sex fantasies of both of them together. This is too devastating. He says he is straight and is not attracted to men but I don't get it because you can't call yourself straight when you are attracted to someone who was not born as a woman. We have no sex life and to me this is the proof that is much more involved than just wearing womens clothes. I have a 3 year old daughter and no family in Australia. I am so lost and can't talk to anyone because I don't want to expose himself. I wish he had told me before we got married. I see no other way but to leave him. I am depressed all the time. Help please

  • Anonymous-6

    Unfortunately your husband doesn't seem hetero crossdresser.

    Sorry but dressing up is one thing but having sexual chats with other cd seems pretty obvious that he wants the whole package, i mean, dressing like a woman and having sex like a woman.

    You have to ask yourself what you want. And you probably know the answer deep in your heart, you are probably just insecure because you have no one in Australia and because of your child.

    You are not getting fullfilled in your marriage. You deserve to be loved and desired as a woman.

    Be strong!

  • Anonymous-7

    I recently found a stash of lingerie, womens clothes (some were my clothes cut up to fit him), wigs, fake boobs, and large heels in my husbands trunk of his car. I am just as confused as the rest of the comments I have read. He says he would never do it again, but I don't know if I believe him.

    Everyday I have this image of my husband dressed up as a woman in my head. If I can't find an article of my clothing I wonder if he took it. I have nothing against drag queens or people who want to crossdress, but when it's my husband, the one I've been sexually attracted to dressed or undressed as a man it is different. I still love him, but don't know that I can be sexually intimate with him again because I can't get that image out of my head. Can counseling help me forget this image and help us with our intimacy? I can't be in a marriage without intimacy.

  • Janette

    Seriously? Almost every post here says that "I don't understand" and "I can't take this" or "I hate this" or "I dont' know how to handle this." Then they're all titled "these men are so selfish." My favorite comment is: "I don't have a problem with queers or crossdressers but when its my husband its different." That's like saying ur okay with gay people so long as its no one you know. Be honest with yourselves and with your husbands. Try to understand and suspend your traditionalistic views for a moment. What would your husband say if he came home to you in jeans, a t-shirt, a ballcap, and workboots?

    Double-standard anyone?

  • POWife

    I am currently ending my marriage of over 20 years. I discovered after giving my life to my husband that he wants to be a woman. As it stands, not only was I lied too, deceived and manipulated, but the pain and the hurt does not come from the “crossdressing” as much as it does from him not having the courage to be honest with me. There are more issues including cross dressing, fur and leather fetish, bondage urges, foot fetish, pornography and so much more. You also need to remember that YOU DID NOTHING WRONG! I realized this with quantity of merchandise that I found. I am talking tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of merchandise. You see, I put this in the same category as someone who is gay. … what I mean by this is that this is something he was born to do. I know that he can’t stop. He is now mentally healthy from what he says since coming out. I cannot get past knowing that I didn’t know who I married.Per his own decision, I am no longer allowed to speak with him unless I am willing to be unemotional. Like that is going to happen! I believe for him it is so much more then being a crossdresser. His character and his inability to take responsibility, his flippant attitude on how this affected me and our family, his lying so easily, the fact that he does not care about me or what he did, the understanding that the money and possessions are most important and many other reasons, I believe he is also a sociopath. So.. for those that say you did something to make him this way.. shame on them. You did nothing and those that say you did should be smacked. You did nothing to deserve this. You did nothing wrong. I did nothing wrong. It is just who they are.

  • Anonymous-8

    I fear for my husband of 24years as he cross dresses and then binge drinks. I come home from work to find him incoherent though he always denies drinking as much as he does. Occasionally he has broken things and worse hurt himself. I ask him to please get himself cleaned up but he doesn't. It makes me feel betrayed and disrespected. I love him so much and am at the end of my rope. I feel if I leave him he will end up drinking himself into alcohol poisoning or possibly worse. I try to tell him he is making risky choices but he refuses to believe anything is wrong. He has left me stranded late at night waiting for him to pick me up because of this and sadly Ihad to learn I cannot trust or rely on him to protect me. He goes through these cycles a couple times a year and I am always anxious about when it might start up again. Like some other posts, his attitude is very selfish without consideration of the impact on me and our marriage. I have asked him to please seek medical help to sort out his issues, especially around the alcohol use and why he only cross dresses while drinking. I could accept him cross dressing if he was sober and aware of what he was doing.

  • Me too;(

    I been married 20 years this year. A ouple years ago I was told it was just dressing and nothing more. It's more. A lot more. Pics in websites looking for friends with benefits to just being distant and moody. I have a child or I think I just take a bridge.

    i feel very scared and I am all alone.

  • Anonymous-9

    My husband told me a man without honor isn't a man. Well now he has no honor, a man with honor wouldn't continually lie to his wife, bully her and not make any discisions without the blessings of crossdressers.com. We don't have a marriage anymore because he loves the dress more than me. More than god, more than anything on this earth. Even when I agree to his demands just ask he not do it in public, we live in a very small area an everyone knows everyone he doesn't want to diminish his thrill. He isolates me asking, no demanding I tell no one but when I'm on the verge of a break down, that only by force of will and keeping my hand over my mouth can I keep my self from screaming does even consider my request after he gets the ok from crossdressers.com. Read

  • CCL

    After living with M for almost 2 years (after leaving a husband of 30 years to be with M") he has come out to me that he is a cross dresser.

    For now he is claiming it's ONLY panties/stockings/garters. I am having a very difficult time with the lies leading up to this. I am having a hard time with HIM in MY panties. He owns a bunch now, but they are the exact same as MINE.

    I dont' want him to feel bad for being truthful, but I dont know if I am the one that is right for him anymore. I changed my whole life to be with him, how I dress, my job, my state, my entire being ...and now I find out he's not who HE projected himself to be.

    My instinct is to run away and hide my head.

  • nonee

    My now ex boyfriend was a cross dresser... a liar and manipulatore I feel now also a very cruel and clever narcisist. We had been work colleagues then friends for 3 years, very close I thought chatting every day and he left a 10 year relationship and we began ours.

    It was not a light hearted decision to go from friends to partners and for him to leave his 'perfect' very comfortable life. Only after we were dating and in a relationship did he start to hint at his love of womens underwear and his need to and love of wearing stockings under his clothes and nail polish on his toes. I was shocked to say the leat and nieve enough to think that is all it was with no meaning or deeper intentions behind it. How wrong I was!!!

    He promised me so much and I fell deeply in love with what I believed to be my ideal man, my soulmate and the most caring, generous, loveable, romantic, affectionate man I ever met. This was all bullshit and lies. His ego acting out what he thought would get a woman to love and accept him so when he then threw his fetishes at me it became tit for tat like I owed him. He was secretive, moody and emotionally cruel and distant the more he was his true self. He has intimacy issues and blamed me, stress, his ex.. anything for his inability to get an errection and we rarely ahd sex mostly with me initiating it beyond the first few months. I tried to talk to him about his 'personl time' as he called it and he would get angry, defensive and start verbally attacking me to the point I was a nervous wreck and my self esteem plumetted. I discovered everything from shoes, clothes, underwear, lesbian porn, makeup, wigs, fals prosthetic breasts hidden around his flat.

    It made me feel sick and as though I had been deceaved and manifpulated into a false relationship. I felt judged and now see how he would admire other women all the time commenting... I used to think it was a man thing and get jealous but now realise it was him admiring them wanting to be like them! I even feel he wanted to be like me and in fact that I was his fantasy women and he wanted to get close to me and study me, hence the relationship but when his fantassy became a reality and I was a real women the novelty turned to almsot disgust for me. I suppose I am lucky after 9 months he ended it.. mind you very immaturely and cruely by simly going cold, cutting all contact with no warning and blocking me out of his life!! After my attemtping to contact him all I got were abusive texts saying the relationship was toxic!! wow.

    This man was cruel and a liar. I know now he hates himself and it had nothing to do with me but it has taken therapy and much couselling to even feel I can be ok. Why do these men do this? And feel it is ok to treat us like this? As a friend I would have listened and stood by him but he made it nasty and hurt me beyond words, damaged me and now I hate him. He needs alot of help and I can only pray he doesn't keep repeating his patterns. I know his ex has no idea he was like this and I feel for her wondering if I should tell her the truth so she can feel better about herslef and nt carry guilt he has enforced on her re the ending of the relationship.

    I feel these hiddden lives are far more common than we will ever know and there is alot of hurt people out there. My heart goes out to everyone who has experienced this and if more people were open and able to share and be honest the world would be a far more accepting place.

  • Anonymous-10

    I am finding comfort and support in reading other stories of women who were also "tricked" by narcissistic cross dressing men.

    My ex boyfriend, left his 14 year, second marriage to be with me. He was 43 at the time. He is the father of a 20 year old girl and a 12 year old boy. Our relationship lasted 16 months, and my boyfriend appeared to be my "soulmate." He asked me to marry him, and I brought him cautiously into my son's lives. All was bliss. Then, I discovered his 12 pack per night beer drinking problem. As I began to lovingly and supportively address that, he started to cut communication with me. He "seemingly disappeared" for 10 days. He came back to me crying and begging for forgiveness. He cheated on me with a woman. I forgave him. Within a week, he vanished. Blocked me from his life. He began having sex with multiple women. He carries the genital herpes virus, so I did warn 2 of his sexual partners, which led him to "wish me dead."

    Now, I find current photographs, of his "new" behavior...dressing in stockings, garter belts and black lace panties, at private parties. I'm physically and spiritually sick! WHY did he bother to pursue me and "love me" at all? I'm left feeling conned, used and discarded.

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