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September 17, 2018 11:41 am  #1


At a crossroads ...

I’ve been reading this forum for months now, and it’s helped me navigate my life after discovering that my husband of 26 years is cross-dressing... Now I feel I’m at a crossroads, and more importantly, that I’m losing perspective. I could use some support and advice, but have no one I can talk to about this. My husband had me somewhat convinced this was just a fetish thing- something he found fun in the bedroom, but that he’s all male and would never want to transition. What worries me is that this quickly progressed from ‘panties are fun’ to adding various other items, shaving body hair, etc. I feel that he gets a ‘high’ from feminizing himself, and he needs to keep adding elements to maintain the high. Am I off base here? The initial ‘coming out’ to me almost ended our marriage. I went into a deep depression; I think he did as well. That was almost two years ago, and since then I’ve tried to keep him in check with the ‘extras’ while being ok with the basics, but somehow it keeps inching forward. And even though he knows what an extreme turn-off it all is for me, he’s deluded himself into thinking that the more I’m exposed, the more turned on I’ll be- when I’m fact I’ve just become more tolerant of it. The crossroads part is that we’ve just been through multiple life changes almost all at once- the youngest of our children just went away to college, and we moved to a new city in a completely different part of the country. I’ve gone from being a stay-at-home mother for many years, to working part-time, to now not working because I literally just moved, and not knowing a soul in my new city. My husbands’ and my financial situation has improved dramatically by selling our previous home in a pricey area of the country. I had high hopes for this new stage of life, and of marriage, but my husband is giddy at the thought of spending our newfound wealth on hair removal, and I’m having a hard time believing that this will end with him staying male. Not to mention that although I’ve always loved him and still do, he doesn’t really want me sexually- just for me to be there to indulge in the fantasy with. I’d like to get out of my head and to talk to or hear from someone who understands. The life changes are enough on their own, but this added element... it makes me wonder if I’m in for more than I bargained for. I’m still young, maybe it’s not too late for a fresh start, but it’s so frightening to think about.

 

September 17, 2018 12:06 pm  #2


Re: At a crossroads ...

Hi MeInTheCorner, 

Welcome to our group.  I'm so sorry you are going through this stress in your life.  

You mentioned that you are in for more then you bargained for.  Yes!   Being with a trans person is certainly not what you bargained for.  

I can't talk much about the experience of dealing with a trans person, but I don't think I remember anyone here every saying that their spouse only experimented a little bit and then put it behind them forever.  I think it always continues to grow in their life.  

We have an amazing group of people here who can share a ton of first hand experience with you on this topic.  They will certainly be along shortly to help you with their thoughts. 

Thanks for signing and up and sharing your experience and questions.  Hope we can help you out with your journey. 

 


-Formerly "Lostdad" - I now embrace the username "phoenix" because my former life ended in flames, but my new life will be spectacular. 

 
 

September 17, 2018 2:23 pm  #3


Re: At a crossroads ...

Hi Mel,

Sorry you find yourself on here, but welcome.  A few of my thoughts in reading your story.

First of all, they are very good at convincing you of none sense.  Making you question yourself and everything you think or thought you ever knew.  Testing the waters of what you will accept and tolerate.  When I look back on my 22 year marriage, I’m amazed at what I slowly put up with.  Looking back, I can remember so many things that my XH tried to add to our personal life, that I drew boundaries on and then buried in denial.

My XH became a serious drug addict, then our lives centered around that.   I was a total enabler, trying to “keep him in check”, trying to “fix him”.  All that became the focus, (the drugs were the problem in the bedroom, not his lack of desire for me). 

I understand your isolation.  I too had high hopes for our future when we retired and moved.  Then my life really went to hell and I finally started coming out of denial.  Everything I thought our lives would be, that was a joke.  I just kept tolerating more and more.  Going crazy while I watched my entire world fall apart. And very quickly too, I left 2,5 years after we moved. 

Are you off base?  Heck no, you’re starting a slow road to the right track.  Are you in for more then you bargained for, unfortunately yes.  Keep going, keep waking up, keep reading.  I too loved my XH, thought I would spend the rest of my life crying over my lost marriage.  I’m over that and on the road to happiness now.   Yes, starting over at 50 has been insanity in itself. But I am finding myself and happiness again.  To be loved and wanted by a real man.  Not a perfect man, but a real man.  An honest and loving companion, to share the same hopes dreams and desires for the future with.  To share my life with, I’m blessed.  Good luck, stay strong.

 

September 17, 2018 5:01 pm  #4


Re: At a crossroads ...

MeInTheCorner wrote:

...... My husbands’ and my financial situation has improved dramatically by selling our previous home in a pricey area of the country.......I’m still young, maybe it’s not too late for a fresh start, but it’s so frightening to think about.

Half of your "improved financial situation".....is yours. Move some of it into a separate account your husband can't touch. This is important.If he's going to use money for his own personal improvement....then you should safeguard your future.
My partner and I have a joint account, but I have added a separate savings account to my part of it that can only be accessed with my signature. Proceeds from my mothers estate will go there. 
I intend to tell my partner when the money goes through that this is to safeguard my future


*between a rock and a hard place*
 

September 17, 2018 6:11 pm  #5


Re: At a crossroads ...

MeInTheCorner wrote:

My husband had me somewhat convinced this was just a fetish thing- something he found fun in the bedroom, but that he’s all male and would never want to transition. What worries me is that this quickly progressed from ‘panties are fun’ to adding various other items, shaving body hair, etc. I feel that he gets a ‘high’ from feminizing himself, and he needs to keep adding elements to maintain the high. Am I off base here?

Dear M,
You are not off base.  Your story is typical.  Your H's cross dressing fetish/paraphilia probably started when he was a kid. Most of us who have been where you are have come to the conclusion that sexual addictions do not happen in isolation. It's usually a symptom of a mental illness or personality disorder.  Professional research is confirming what we see and have experienced.  I was 2 years out like you and his lies and escalation became too much for me. I told him to leave.  If you've been reading on here for awhile you've probably seen many of us recommending distancing yourself to clear your head and start to understand and accept that he was never who you thought he was. 

 

September 17, 2018 6:12 pm  #6


Re: At a crossroads ...

I found and then joined this forum almost exactly two years ago this week. I was then where you are now in terms of my feelings and my experience with my stbx.  
 They don't go back, and they don't give it up.  It sounds like your spouse in deep in the pink fog high of feminizing, down to the delusional belief that you find him attractive in his woman-garb and persona.  PLEASE protect yourself financially--don't let him drain your joint assets on his feminizing crusade. 
 You can private message me if you like, or look up my posts by searching under my name.  I'm betting that my posts and those of others on the threads on cross dressing and transgender will ring bells with you.  

 

 

September 19, 2018 10:13 am  #7


Re: At a crossroads ...

Thank you all for taking time to respond to my message. It means so much to know I’m not alone.

I’ve looked up OOHC’s and Lynne’s posts, many others too, and I’m truly frightened by the similarities to my situation. I’m grateful to you all for sharing. Honestly I have no idea what to do at this point- I feel frozen, but it’s becoming obvious that this isn’t going away, it’s only getting worse.

What struck me the most in everyone’s insight was the mental illness perspective. Over the years I’ve often felt that my H might be somewhat manic/depressive, but not wanting to psycho-analyze him, since that felt disrespectful to him, somehow. These days, the ‘manic’ phases are when he’s actively pursuing feminization. That scares me to death, because if I truly am dealing with an addiction/mental condition here, I have zero experience. There’s a part of me- I’m almost ashamed to say- that wants to play along, see how far this goes without me trying to rein it in. Then I’ll have my answer, sooner than later. Mostly though, I want to help him... but how do you help someone out of the fog they’re in, when they think this is ‘self-improvement’ and they’re on such a high? If I was getting super fit, losing weight, eating healthier, and making much more of an effort with my hair or whatever, and feeling awesome about it- I wouldn’t want to stop! I’d want to ride that wave. But if I added growing out my leg hair, underarm hair, and thinking I’d look really sexy as a man and was turned on by that, I’d hope someone would try to help me! My H has always been nice looking... tall, reasonably fit, dresses well, handsome, etc. Why would a man like him want to look more feminine? He was an athlete in high school and college, and still has a muscular build, but he says he doesn’t want to look muscular (?) - ummm, ok... This is what scares me- that it’s mental illness, and that the farther he goes, the farther he’ll need to go.

And then I read in these threads about marriages ending because the H won’t give up the cross-dressing, or becomes trans, and I know deep down that’s where I’ll probably end up too, since when my H disclosed to me and I was in shock and having a very hard time accepting it, he told me I could leave... the lowest point of my whole life. He later took it back, was sorry, said he was depressed or sad or whatever, but ...

So I’m frozen, feeling that this female persona comes and goes, and when she’s not as present I almost forget, although whenever it’s time for sex, there she is again. And when she’s ever-present, H’s mind is completely preoccupied, obsessed with all things feminizing. That’s where he is right now, on a feminizing high. And he loves it because it comes with unlimited energy for working out, and the willpower to avoid junk food, etc. And I’m feeling more and more like I can’t live out the rest of my life like this. My husband as I once knew him is slipping away, he’s not the same person he was.

I will take steps to follow the advice a few of you gave, and try to figure out how to protect myself financially. As for getting some distance, I have nowhere else to go. But I know I need to figure things out, and I now know I have a place to come for support and encouragement, so - thank you.

     Thread Starter
 

September 19, 2018 10:34 am  #8


Re: At a crossroads ...

One of the hardest things I had to learn is that you can't help him stop.  Especially when he doesn't want help.  You can't even help him along, because this is something that is his alone, he hoards it (except when you are willing to play along in bed), and he needs to figure himself out on his own.  Look at it this way: you are a part of his life that he wants very much to jettison.  He doesn't want to be a man.  He doesn't want to be a husband.  He may (like mine) now consider himself a lesbian; or, he may wish to be desired by men, and to sleep with one to prove what a desirable woman he is.  You, however, are a heterosexual woman, not a lesbian, and you very reasonably want that reflected in your sex life.  You are also his wife, the thing he wants to be instead of a husband, so by your very presence you trap him in a role he dislikes, and trigger resentment in him.  He probably also resents you for your femaleness and your effortless femininity, even though he may be using you as a guide to follow or imitate. 
    Your first two best stops should be to a therapist (one for you, who specializes in trauma, and not someone who is a self identified "gender specialist, who will probably try to guilt you into "accepting"), and a lawyer, who can help you figure out the financial end of things so you can get away to your own place and get some distance.  

 

September 19, 2018 2:07 pm  #9


Re: At a crossroads ...

My stbx ran at a pace that my heads still spinning.  CD disclosed in February,  shaving legs and chest in April, Gender dysphoria disclosed in July, and then 2 weeks later I was told he may want to transition at some point.  Also is starting to go back to school to be a transgender sex therapist.  My lawyer literally looked at me like I had 2 heads on that last one and asked if he had a mental break.  Yes, yes he did, isn’t that what all this is?  Did they just wake up one day and say screw everyone that loves me, I want to do whatever I want to do from now on?  None of this CRAP makes any sense to those watching from the outside.  I always thought that anything that interferes with your life as a whole is considered a mental illness (ie. depression, ocd, anxiety).  Yet society has stated this is not a mental illness.  I don’t know who he is anymore. 

Sorry I don’t have much advice as I’m in the thick of this all myself.  I do suggest getting a therapist for yourself as others stated.  The lawyer thing can be iffy.  I went to one for a $500 consultation fee.  I had already done most of the research before going of what I’m entitled to in a divorce.  It is nice to feel like you’re not alone but it’s a process especially if you don’t want to rock the boat right now.  Take time for you!  I went to movies or drives alone to escape the crap in the beginning.  Breathe and know that you will have good days and bad days.  Some days I’m so confident and can handle anything, other days I am a puddled mess of tears on the floor feeling like I’m drowning (last night was the latter).  Try to find support for you.  I told my sister right away because she is my best friend (we live in different states but talk daily).

 

September 19, 2018 4:58 pm  #10


Re: At a crossroads ...

KitKat,

What we see is mental illness that has been exacerbated by our society's extreme political correctness. 

 

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