By Amanda J.
In early 2022, I wrote a five part series of posts here under the collective title of ‘Matrimonial Challenges’. In it, I covered what I’d learned from my own confession in 2013, how I’d been unable to keep a promise I made to stop & was carrying on under the marital radar and suggesting what MAY be a workable strategy for structuring the confession. What I intended to be the final part had the title – ‘Uh-Oh, The Game’s Up’ when I declared that it was almost certain that our secret would be discovered, on our death, if not before. As I was writing that, I knew that there was every chance there would be a part 6. I didn’t know when or what would prompt it but given what I’d written in part 5, it would have been foolish for me to ignore the possibility.
I’m writing this on 23 January and looking back over what has been a memorable week, not always for the right reasons.
Five days ago on 18 January, Trish’s first post here was published in which she talked about how Kandi’s ‘Open Letter’ had helped her wife understand and accept her feminine side. I left a comment and, as a result, Trish opened up far more on how her wife’s acceptance had evolved.
The following day, Kandi’s post centred on a quote from Glawdys de Villandry, a CDer active on Flickr which beautifully summed up who we are and what we stand for. I logged onto Flickr to see the original post and wanted to comment but found that she’d blocked me at some point in the past. Her Flickr bio made the reason why obvious as it contained the following: ‘IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SHARE, I’LL BLOCK YOU’. The block had obviously come at a time when I had no photos of my own to share for the sole reason that I did not yet have the confidence or opportunity to do so. I left a comment about being blocked, Glawdys saw it and unblocked me. All sorted out but the whole thing inspired me to write a post about the challenges we face when starting out.
On 20 January, in her post Lisa mentioned how I was 100% in the closet to protect my marriage and what I didn’t realise as I read that and then started to write my post was how it, Gladwys, Trish’s post and Kandi’s open letter were all about to come crashing down around me.
I started writing the post on Saturday 21st. Mid-morning, my wife called me from work to say that our work computers had been ‘compromised’. She said that she was trying to copy and paste something but, instead of what she’d copied, ‘IF YOU HAVE NOTHING TO SHARE, I’LL BLOCK YOU’ appeared. I obviously realised the significance of this but said I would take a look and run a virus check. But worse was to come. She went on to say that she’d tried to copy and paste again but this time the name ‘Glawdys de Villandry’ had appeared and that she’d googled it and arrived at a website with lots of photos of crossdressers.
That was the point I realised that the game was up. But how had things I’d been copying and pasting at home come to be transferred onto a PC several miles away that, for obvious reasons, I would never use to access anything associated with this side of me? The answer, unfortunately, lay in software I use to remotely access our work PCs from home – Anydesk – and I was connected to the PC my wife was working on at the time I was working on the post for KL. Quite why it suddenly decided to malfunction in this way is a mystery but, whatever the explanation, it had happened.
If you’ve read my matrimonial challenges series, you’ll know that I confessed in 2013 but promised to stop under an ultimatum. Of course, I couldn’t stop and eventually returned to my old ways realising that there was far more to this than just CDing but hating myself for the deception that was involved. And now, as I sat with my head in my hands in utter despair, I was trying to figure out what on earth I could do to redeem the situation.
I clearly couldn’t confess to Mrs A while she was working and it would be another six or seven hours before she finished. I knew I had to talk to her at that time but what to say? I decided that I needed to prepare a script as I couldn’t take the risk of screwing up for a second time and let’s face it, there’s only one place to go if you need to write down a script for this sort of thing – Kandi’s Open Letter. I didn’t copy it verbatim as there were things I needed to add and there were some things that weren’t relevant (I’ve never had a ‘cheesy mustache’ for example!) but here’s what I ended up with:
When you phoned me about the computer this morning I felt everything collapse around me. Because the computer had not been compromised, as you thought, it was a malfunction that caused whatever I had copied and pasted here to be replicated on the work PC which I was connected to at the time. You are obviously aware of the implications of the name that appeared when you tried to paste and I need to offer you an explanation.
You are obviously aware of what I confessed to in 2013 and in May 2014, I made a promise to stop under threat of the marriage being over if not. I managed to keep that promise for a long time.
However, the lockdown of 2020 hit me hard. As you know, I became isolated to the point of being fearful about meeting friends. The old urges resurfaced and I sought solace in responding to those urges with a small supply of items that I put together when I was able to. Every day of my life has been a battle and the best I could ever hope for in that battle was a ceasefire. It was a battle I could never win and sometimes I well and truly lost it.
I hated myself every time I deceived you and would have done anything for it to go away. But the reality is that it never goes away and whilst I was able to bring it under control to the point where I only succumb to it every 3-4 months, it is something that I am trying to cope with on a daily basis.
I have looked for answers to try to understand why I am like this and reached out to a number of people online in that pursuit. That explains why the name you saw cropped up today. A few have given me unconditional support and, in the process, I discovered something that may explain why I am the way I am.
(I then included an explanation of how I suspected that my mother had taken DES during her pregnancy and, being a synthetic oestrogen, it was rumoured to be behind gender issues in the resultant sons.)
As I have battled with this, I have wanted more than anything to be honest with you. I made a promise I was ultimately unable to keep and the right thing to do was to tell you. However, I know that you have tried to completely blot this out of your mind and I felt that it was immoral to dump everything onto you just to ease my own conscience. If I have made a bad call here, I am very sorry but it was done with the best intentions, not to deliberately deceive you.
So why tell you now? Because quite simply, I cannot lie to you and doing anything other than explaining the truth about what happened with the computers today would require that if you raised the subject.
I want to make it clear that whilst I have looked to others online for support, I am not succumbing to the urges on a daily basis. For the past year, it has only been once every three to four months when everything got too much to cope with.
I want to be the best husband I can be to you and the best father I can be to our children. I’m not about to declare that I want to make permanent changes to my body or identity and am happy being me. I can’t commit to ridding myself of this because I know that it’s not going to go away but I can commit to giving you my unconditional love for the rest of my life and will make sure that this is kept well away from our relationship if you are prepared to accept me on that basis. I know that this has not been what you ever wanted to hear but I hope that now I have finally been able to share it with you, the barriers I have placed around myself will start to fall.
I love you.
At around 5:30pm, I delivered that emotionally to my wife, breaking down into floods of tears at the end. What happened next was totally unexpected. She stood up, walked over to me and hugged me. She told me that she’d realised it would never go away and that I would be continuing to dress in private. She told me that I could continue with what I’m doing as long as she never got to see or know about it and that our children were not told (although she acknowledged that they may be fine with it).
She did, however, express a lot of concern about being me online and, as a result, I have deleted my Flickr & Reddit accounts and I no longer appear on the list of Kandi’s Land contributors. That side of things is obviously a great shame but what I have gained is many times better so I’m definitely not complaining. Because as I write this now, two days later and dressed exactly as you’d expect someone called Amanda to be dressed and without the debilitating feelings of guilt which had previously accompanied these activities, I know how important this side of me is and to have had to choose between this and my marriage could not have ended well, whichever option I’d chosen.
As I bring this to a close and start a new chapter in my life, I’d like to leave a few final thoughts to anyone reading this who is either carrying on under the marital radar or who is faced with the need to discuss this side of themself with their wife:
1. It’s regrettable that I lacked the courage to confront my wife about this until I had no choice. But it’s also regrettable that she never once said to me ‘I know what you’re doing, it’s OK but don’t involve me or the kids’. Nearly nine years has passed since the ultimatum and that’s nine years that this was a needless barrier in our marriage. More than anything, this underlines the need to keep the dialogue going once the door has been opened.
2. If you haven’t already done so, I would urge you to read Kandi’s Open Letter. It doesn’t guarantee success but it’s a near perfect example of how to state our case with an absolute focus on how it will affect our wives. Whether my 2013 confession would have had a better outcome if I’d had it to refer to at the time, I don’t know but it certainly wouldn’t have made things any worse.
3. No matter how careful you think you are, you can only ever take precautions against things you realise could happen. On more than one occasion, I’ve seen words on forums to the effect of ‘it won’t happen to me, I’m meticulous in how I manage it’ but obviously my downfall came from something I could never have imagined in a million years. I console myself firstly that it wasn’t a lot worse in terms of what appeared on my wife’s PC and secondly, it’s ultimately had a good ending. It’s not a perfect scenario but it’s light years better than I could ever have hoped for and what I’ve lost in the process is nothing compared to what I’ve gained.
4. In the end, whether you succeed or fail in your confession, it’s beyond your control as it depends solely on your wife’s attitude to crossdressing in general and her husband’s participation in it in particular. However, if you are going to have any chance of success, you need to step into your wife’s shoes and look at everything from her perspective. Fail to do that, as I did in 2013, and you only have yourself to blame.
I’m going to be taking a back seat as far as posting here is concerned for now. I don’t see any risk as such (if I did, I wouldn’t have posted this) but my wife has given this side of me the greatest gift I could ever wish for and I want to respect her wishes regarding online visibility from now on. But I’m going to leave this particular door open and keep commenting on posts because I owe Kandi’s Land and its amazing leader far too much to ‘do a runner’ as we say in these parts.
Thank you for everything, Kandi, you’re the greatest!