[I acknowledge that my story is only reflective of what happened to me. Every cross dresser’s wife or life partner has their own individual experience. I respect each person’s own story. The sole purpose of sharing my story is to further enable other cross dressers wives to post their own stories with the comfort of knowing I am one of them.]
I remember many details of that cold, rainy winter night. Our favorite way of celebrating New Year’s Eve was always alone, with the exception of two live lobsters, a chilled bottle of champagne and a blazing fire. We had each other, our beloved daughter (who was at her grandmother’s), a gorgeous home, exorbitant amount of love, good fortune, great friends, and healthy family members. We frequently traveled all over the world. Despite the fact we could have gone anywhere on New Year’s Eve, our first choice was always to have a fabulous, intimate dinner, with only each other.
After we ecstatically devoured our delicious live Maine Lobsters, we stared lovingly at each other; smiling like we really believed we had made it-individually, as a couple and as the parents of a gorgeous, highly intelligent, strong-minded daughter. We both noted how happy we were. Life was good and we were deeply in love for over a decade. Many believed, as did I, that we had it all. Even Cinderella could not have asked for more.
It was pitch-black, almost midnight and the New Year’s Eve fire was disappearing. My husband grabbed another dry log and set it ablaze. Then my marriage was about to be set ablaze when he said, “I need to tell you something but I don’t know how.” Immediately I responded “Just tell me,” never dreaming it could be something that could set ‘us’ ablaze. “I can’t tell you. I have to go upstairs because I can’t tell you; I have to show you. I‘ll be back.” I waited pensively for ten excruciating minutes, wondering all the while about his alleged secret. What in God’s name is he going to show me, and what is he doing in our bedroom?
Finally, he came down the extravagant, sweeping staircase, wearing his long, red, silk, otherwise unassuming robe. He sat next to me and silently opened his robe. Immediately I stopped breathing - no oxygen coming in or out. I was paralyzed. Something in his eyes made me realize this was no joke. He was dead-ass serious. While wearing what was supposed to be my black, silk stockings and matching black lace garter belt, that he had emphatically insisted I needed, I tried so hard to compassionately understand, as the man I loved disclosed that this was his long time wish, to try on lingerie. Then he wanted to make love.
I wanted to make love to my longtime husband, too, but I did not know this serious stranger in my familiar lingerie. I first offered to wear the lingerie but was unsuccessful with my initial attempts to get his hairy masculine body out of the lingerie he had allegedly bought for me. He was relentless in his resolve to keep the lingerie on. I loved him that much to help him live out this bizarre fetish, even though for me it was a gargantuan, sexual turn-off experience.
With an alcohol induced state of mind, all I clearly recall after that was keeping my eyes closed, as I continuously reminded myself to breathe.
When this shocking, disturbing, poignant, joyless and dismal sex game was finally over he declared it was the best sex he had ever had. It was by far the worst, exacerbated, frightening sexual experience for me; except it did remind me of when I was date raped at the age of eighteen, the only other time I felt so powerless. I kept that secret for decades, too. Sadly both of these unwelcomed sexualized acts traumatized me, for they were acts of abomination, betrayals that left me feeling permanently (though silently) horrified, violated and soiled.
* * * * * * * * *
We never spoke about that night. I thought it was over and that I had fulfilled his one-time fantasy, since he did not appear again in ‘my lingerie’ for several months. Then one night, he just came out of the closet wearing the same grossly familiar black lingerie. I remember feeling desperately sad and deeply confused for we had already lived out this highly disturbing and lamentable sex game.
His intoxication of champagne and cocaine allowed him to think I would want to engage in this hideous sexual act. I sympathetically, though firmly, told him I found it strange and highly uncomfortable. He told me how it really excited him to feel silk on his legs. I again offered to wear the hideous lingerie (which as a women studies major was a distinguishing task - it went against who I really was) but he said, “It just isn’t the same pleasure.” He had to feel the silk on him which meant he had to wear the stockings, not just feel them on my waxed feminine legs.
These alarming discoveries went against everything I knew about my heterosexual husband of a decade. My husband’s deadly combination of cocaine and dressing in lingerie were overt and serious clues about his true weighty and obscene, hideous, bizarre sexual perversions that I consciously and subconsciously chose to ignore, minimize and flat out disregard. In fact, I was married to a stranger, who I later discovered went far beyond being just a coked out, lingerie cross dressing transvestite.
* * * * * * * * *
Looking back, I distinctly remember the night we were having a quiet family dinner, a few months shy of his ‘coming out’ to me. He asked what I had learned in school that day. I had attended a class lecture on cross dressers. I didn’t understand what sparked or provoked him to ask me a series of detailed questions about cross dressing, since he previously showed little interest in my classes. Nonetheless, I was happy to share what I had recently learned about this unusual and bizarre sexualized topic.
My professor explained that the overwhelming majority of cross dressers are heterosexual men that derive sexual pleasure by dressing up in female clothing. Many social scientists claim that societal expectations of men are so stringent that one way to release these socialized tensions is for some straight men to bend towards their female side, hence cross dress.
I now see other telltale insinuations and innuendos that I missed that night. He had high levels of interest regarding cross dressers. He didn’t answer the phone, which was highly unusual, since he always took business calls at all hours. Unbeknownst to me, this was his opportunity to learn more about himself as a cross dresser, through the lens of a feminist academic, who was also his clueless wife. I chose to stay with my lingerie, cross dressing husband for 10 more years until our child left for college, and we are now divorced.
"Silence wasn't golden in this marriage; it was deadly," as Dr. Robin L. Smith, so profoundly states in her recent book, Lies at the Altar: The Truth About Great Marriages (p.57).