[The following information and resources contain tools, skills, techniques and consructive, transformative ways for living. Although they are not specifically written to address cross dressing, they can easily be applied to any person under stress and experiencing life-changes.]
Lies at the Altar, The Truth About Great Marriages, Dr. Robin L. Smith (2006)
"In secret, in the darkness, you don't have to show your pain. Once you speak of it and bring it into the light, you are required to face it." (p. 19)
"Know that lies lead to pain, and the truth can open your life to happiness. If you are desperate to keep the illusion alive, you will suffer." (p.23)
"Truth precedes love." (p.24)
"Silence wasn't golden in this marriage; it was deadly." (p.57)
"You can't honor a person who has to live a lie to get along with you. You can't honor a person who doesn't actually exist except in your fantasy. But this is where many lies at the altar occur." (p.60)
"We've all shared in the pain of a bad joke, but can a good laugh help the heart? Watching 15- to 30- min. clips of comedies - one used by researchers There's Something About Mary - increased blood flow to the heart up to 50 %..." (p. 80)
Dealing With Grief
When a cross dresser comes out during a relationship (instead of revealing the truth before the relationship gets serious), the wife often experiences grief. It is important to work through each of the stages of grief to enhance her ability to move forward.
Stage One: Denial - It is painful to let go of our perceived reality. We try to hold on to what we once knew and deny the situation of which we have no control. Once we accept that we can not go back to the way to things were, we enter stage two.
Stage Two: Anxiety - We become worried and emotionally distressed about what is happening to our lives. Anxiety can express itself as hysteria, depression, lethargy, indifference or a catatonic stupor.
Stage Three: Anger - It is normal to feel betrayed, hurt and/or enraged. We have been lied to by his failure to reveal his true self.
Stage Four: Guilt - We wonder if his cross-dressing is our fault. Wasn't my femininity enough? Through education, we learn that his cross dressing is a life-long condition that starts in early childhood and has nothing to do with us.
Stage Five: Fear - It can be scary to begin a new life with no compass to help navigate unchartered waters, especialy if we feel there is no one to turn to for help. We often fear he is homosexual, bi-sexual, or transsexual. We have fears of the unknown, because there are so few resources to explain what is happening in a relationship with a cross dresser.
Stage Six: Transition - We begin to work through the confusion and distress. We seek information and begin to see choices for our life ahead.
Stage Seven: Transformation - There comes a time when we start to shift our thinking, examine our situation and resolve to embrace this passage into a new phase of life.
Stage Eight: Acceptance - A choice has been made, to stay, compromise or to leave, and we begin to get our feet back on the ground. One may find it helpful to write a letter to your partner expressing forgiveness for the betrayal or any wrong that may have occured. Once it is written, you can give it to them, throw it away, burn it, etc. This is an excerise to bring about one's own peace of mind.
ALL THE JOY YOU CAN STAND Debrena Jackson Gandy, Crown Publishers, 2000.
THE FOUR AGREEMENTSDon Miguel Ruiz, Amber-Allen Publishing, 1997. To order visit: www.amberallen.com
7 SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL CROSSDRESSING: TURNING PERCEPTIONS INSIDE OUTLacey Leigh, Double Star Press, 2003. To order visit: www.laceyleigh.com
THE ART OF AROMATHERAPY: A GUIDE TO USING ESSENTIAL OILS FOR HEALTH AND RELAXATIONPamela Allardice, Crescent Books, New York 1997
THE LANGUAGE OF LETTING GOMelody Beattie, MJF Books, New York 1990
TRANSITIONS: MAKING SENSE OF LIFE'S CHANGES William Bridges, Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, New York 1993
THE WELL-BEING JOURNAL: DRAWING UPON YOUR INNER POWER TO HEAL YOURSELF Lucia Capacchione, Newcastle Publishing Company, North Hollywood, California 1989
LIVING ALONE AND LOVING ITBarbara Feldon, Fireside, New York 2003
THE ART OF HAPPINESS: A HANDBOOK FOR LIVING His Holiness the Dali Lama and Howard C. Cutler, M.D., Riverhead Books, New York 1998
LIES AT THE ALTER: THE TRUTH ABOUT GREAT MARRIAGES Dr. Robin L. Smith, Hyperion, New York 2006. To order, call 1-212-456-0133
A PRACTICAL SPIRITUAL GUIDE TO HAPPINESSDannel I. Schwartz with Mark Hass, Jewish Lights Publishing, Woodstock, Vermont 1996. To order, call 1-802-457-4000 or visit www.jewishlights.com
7 SECRETS OF SUCCESSFUL CROSSDRESSERS: TURNING PERCEPTIONS INSIDE OUT Lacey Leight (2003)
"The closet is a place we can no longer live within and must learn how to live without." (p.71)
"Folks, it absolutely incomprehensible that anyone wouldn't tell a spouse. They have the right to know." (p.97)
"Opting for honesty with your spouse can be a wife-altering experience." (p.98)
"I hadn't bothered to tell my bride about my prior crossdressing out of fear she would reject me...I truly believed my crossdressing would go away." (p.99)
"...the intitial denial became a habit of deceit." (p.99)
"... some crossdressers can justify concealing their very essence... they are concerned about their marriages, fearful of the consequences, and wishfully believing that they can continue to lead a double life." (p.100)
"The constant and long-term damage... from buliding and maintaining a barrier of lies, half-truths, and secrecy in what should otherwise be an open, trusting relationship will inevitably take its toll." (p.100-101)
"You will benefit from setting your marriage as a first priority, because when mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" (p.101)
Sooner or later, a wife will discover that her husband has been lying to her. Let's not sugar coat it by claiming that 'choosing not to reveal' is anything but a purposeful deception and a cowardly one at that." (p.101)
"It's common for a wife to blame herself as if she were 'not woman enough' for you." (p.106)
"The solution to each [of a wife's] concerns is a combination of honesty, patience, love, and enlightenment. Just be sure to include her needs and wishes in that solution." (p.107)
"Acknowledge she has every right to feel a betrayal of trust. Because that will be one of her first thoughts, along with 'What else hasn't he told me?' The trust issue is a biggie... You owe her the truth." (p.107)
"Remember, she may see this as the end of her fairy tale dream." (p.114)