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Remember, Your Spouse Has Feelings Too

Raw honesty

I often get involved in email conversation with friends about our little world here. One such friend brought up something many may not consider when dealing with all of this when in a marriage.

Here are some portions of those conversations, edited heavily to “protect the innocent”.

The latest emails have piqued my interest especially about what do we do when retirement rears it’s head. My wife’s retirement was looming so we started talking about it. When Pixie (a pseudonym) came back after her lengthy hiatus, one of the rules my wife was adamant about was I was not to go out as Pixie in our home town. Back then I was still a lonely CD, very depressed with absolutely no one to talk to. During our discussion about her impending retirement I said to her right now you don’t want me going out as Pixie and you also don’t want to see Pixie or have anything to do with her. So how are we going to handle this when you retire because if I dress and we’re both home, there’s no way of avoiding seeing her. So after some thought on both sides she said why don’t you go to a local city dressed and meet some people down there like you used to do when you were still working? To keep a long story short I thought that was a great idea so I started looking for Trans social groups in that area and that’s when I found a few groups. I had also run across a certain blog (not this site, another site which the Author here has been banned from) while I was searching for social groups. Now Pixie had girls to talk and vent to on that site as well as two social groups in a neighboring city to visit occasionally. So that was the solution to that problem. 

Recently my wife did a complete 180 in her thoughts of my crossdressing and her acceptance of Pixie. We began fighting and anytime we tried to discuss the issues it always ended up in a shouting match. So finally I suggested that we see a counsellor about our problems. Recently we celebrated a significant milestone anniversary and I really didn’t want to throw all those years away and neither did my wife. So we agreed and now will be heading into another session with the counsellor soon. The reason I bring this up is with a mediator between us we were able to actually talk about the issues. The amazing thing is we talked, actually talked and now both of us are hearing things we couldn’t hear before from each other.

A big takeaway to come out for me was my wife, for years, had kept bringing up “I don’t like the competition” and for all those years I thought she was talking about Pixie trying to be prettier than her. Well it wasn’t that, what it was is she felt she couldn’t compete with my new girl friends I’d found on the other web site as well as Kandi’s Land and the social groups nearby. She felt that I was slipping away from her by spending so much time in something she didn’t want to be a part of. She was feeling more and more isolated. It wasn’t the dressing but her perceived isolation. So I am working hard in doing things for her and saying things to her to let her know she is still number one in my eyes and always will be. 

We have a ways to go still, especially me, to get us back to where we should be as husband and wife. But at least now we have a game plan, a course of action. And who knows, maybe by me getting my act together will bring us closer than we’ve been for quite a while. I’m even thinking by putting my wife first where she should have always been the maybe one day she’ll start being supportive of Pixie too. The girls I go shopping with and then happy hour every second week have been talking to me about this as well. And my friend who has a very supportive wife and one of the Cis girl friends who’s a counsellor both think that with the track we’re on now it could very well lead to a supportive wife.

Pixie

We are all human. Human beings have a survival instinct and that often makes us focus more on our personal happiness before looking outwardly. Not to say we are all selfish, but getting through the day, as it were, is important for us to be there for others as well. Life is complex and layered.

Let’s return to another portion of this conversation.

I don’t think I have ever read a more important discussion for folks like us than this one. I consistently preach to the young people in my organization and to my children that the most important thing they can do to be a personal success is to figure out where their priorities lie.  The women in this group have decided to put their spouses first, even when doing so requires them to deny who they are. There is no greater love than this.

When I am honest with myself, I know who I am. But being who I am causes great pain to my wife. She is completely correct when she says she didn’t sign up for this. She is completely justified in saying that she wants her old world back. Yet, it is also true that change is a constant in every relationship. In truth, there is no going back for any of us, even if we popped every bit of female clothing into a rubbish bin (again!).

Trixie (a pseudonym) is who I am, regardless of my attire. My dear wife must accept that if she wants to be with me. On the other hand, what I must accept is that I can never be Trixie all the time or even all the time that I want. If I ignored my wife’s need for her husband, I would not be putting my wife first.

I don’t doubt that the dialogue between us on this subject will continue until we breathe our last breaths. How much can she stand? How much of Trixie will she allow in our lives? How much of Trixie will she accept? Will she appreciate the good things that Trixie brings into our lives? Can Trixie survive? We do talk about such things, but not often enough. When the truth hurts, talk is difficult. I know I don’t want to be purposefully causing her to be hurt, so I avoid the discussions. I internalize a tremendous amount of personal pain, but at least I know why I’m doing it.

Is there an answer? There certainly is no one answer for all of us, but I do think there is an answer for each of us individually. My wife is DADT, yet she has softened enough to put up with a lot. She’s able to do that because I don’t force her to see Trixie, and I don’t talk about Trixie. I struggle alone with the logistical difficulties these activities cause for me. They aren’t her burden; they are mine. 

And I will go one step further and say that every day I ask myself how I can do something nice for her. I don’t do this because she’s making me feel bad about being TG. I do it because it’s the right thing to do, the only thing I can do to make up for the fact that I have changed “the deal“ we sealed at our marriage. I would be lying if I didn’t add that I very much hope that she will see in these things the heart of a good person and that it will ultimately cause her to soften her positions more. Yet, I must be satisfied, because Trixie lives (and sometimes thrives).

Finally, I will add that the retirement issue will hit my marriage in about six or seven years. My wife has decided to continue to work for a while more, making it easier logistically for me to be Trixie when I have a scheduled activity. I too fret that once she does come home full time, she will need compromise more for Trixie to continue to have a real life.

You have definitely hit upon a theme that I struggle with every single day of my life. Thank you for bringing it to light, and sharing your personal experiences.

Trixie

There was more greatly insightful and meaningful conversation, but if the post were any longer, it would have to be bound and sold on Amazon. When you are feeling stressed by all of this, remember you may well have a life partner that is suffering as well and they deserve to be considered too.

No one said this would be easy, did they?

A friend will tell us about a situation she had with her wife, further demonstrating this point, during Christmas week.

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5 Responses

  1. Kandi, thank you for posting this – it’s the single most important issue any of us in a relationship of any kind have to face and one which is all too often completely overlooked.

    The bottom line is that unless a wife is able to completely embrace the idea of her husband being a CDer, and very few are, wives will almost always be worse off in these situations. They have to deal with the absence of their husbands when they are indulging their feminine side, they have to deal with the idea that the man they married has a fundamentally different personality to the one presented to them in the early days, they often have to deal with the knowledge that their husband has been deceiving them for years, if not decades, of the marriage and they have to face the prospect that all of the hopes and dreams they had to grow old with the man they fell in love with may go up in smoke if CDing proves not to be enough for him.

    As I’ve reported on several posts, I was on the receiving end of an ultimatum in 2014 which, in broad terms said that if I didn’t stop or if I ever brought even one single item of female clothing into the house, I’d be looking for somewhere else to live. Yes, that was brutal and some would say (and have said) that it was unreasonable. But what my wife was doing was setting out the parameters that were necessary for her to continue the marriage and it’s quite understandable that she took that stance given that I’d never paid any attention whatsoever to her feelings or needs. Fortunately, having learned my lesson the hard way, my second confession at the start of this year had a very different outcome as we both put the needs of each other ahead of our own needs.

    I’m glad that this topic is now being aired and discussed here and am looking forward to the Christmas week post. Ironically, the next post in my series also covers this topic and it’ll hopefully see the light of day in January.

  2. Kandi,
    What a frank discussion you have posted here. Many of us have a very difficult, or hidden, relationship with our wives. Knowing that my struggles are not unique is comforting.

    Thank you for presenting these comments from some very brave women. Any serious marriage must require both individuals to respect the needs of the other. That is no easy task.

    Love is a very complex emotion, an affection based on attraction. We must have love for our spouse, as well as love for ourself. Making that balance succeed is hard. Blaming each other will not work.

    Pixie and Trixie sound like they are trying very hard to make their marriage last; very commendable.

    A great post Kandi.

    Jocelyn

  3. Kandi,
    There are two school’s of thought on the issue of the wife/partner knowing about the Cding situation . Some say we must be totally upfront and honest before we marry and others prefer not to divulge , I was naive in thinking marriage could cure the problem not realising I was in fact transgender . Before we take the decision to open up and tell all I feel we must know as much as possible about ourselves and what is driving the need . It is going to be a huge shock to most women so we must be prepared for the obvious questions , it’s no good shrugging your shoulders and saying I don’t know !

    There are various reasons why she may struggle with acceptance , in my case it was basically losing the control my wife had over me , which she admitted to over a heated telephone conversation . If you can persuade a wife to attend counselling it is a step in the right direction , again my wife saw it as a cure , she refused to attend because I was the broken one that needed fixing . Social groups are a great outlet , you can meet others in a safe environment , also I was surprised how many wives attended with their CDing partners and really enjoyed it . The greatest fear many wives have is the question , ” do you really want to be a woman ?” that is a tough one with some difficult answers .

    I agree a spouse does have feeling too , she didn’t sign up to it but as I replied to my wfe , ” neither did I but I can’t change what I am ” . Marriage should be about an equal partnership , I found after I’d come out that it became a mariage of compromise and I was the one doing all the compromising . I did feel guilty . I was working from home so could dress as I chose when she went to work but it wasn’t a nice feeling that she feared walking back inside her own front door . The clock can never be turned back , the words are spoken , the marriage situation has changed , when we finally talked about separation we were both relieved , we talked honestly for the first time in many years . Sometimes you have to accept the inevitable , we had made the right decision for everyone , importantly that included our son and daughter .

  4. Unfortunately I am a statistic in how a marriage can fail partly because of one’s gender identity
    Many days I sit alone and wonder what could I have done different.
    Yes making her first and more important than who I was would have been one way but then would I have been happy or just miserable.
    There are things I could have done better and I do at times miss her
    I’ve done my best to move on and will continue
    But our wives must be important if we truly love them despite our gender issues

  5. Gender issues arn’t the only things that hurt relationship. I realized that while I was working towards a nice retirement for US, she was working towards a nice retirement for HER. Over a decade later, we are still ‘friends’ because we had kids together but no other connection except she likes to borrow some of my ILNP nail polish.

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