By Karen

Maybe you found his “stash” of female undergarments, pantyhose, dresses, even wigs and makeup.  Or maybe he actually came to you and shared about his crossdressing.  However you learned that your husband is a crossdresser, you are probably completely shocked.  I’ve been there, in both situations.  You can read my detailed story in another article, but basically here is how I found out — and the way I remember feeling — in both situations.

First of all, my husband told me he was a crossdresser before we were even married.  From what I’ve learned, that is somewhat unusual as many crossdressers try to hide the behavior.  So initially I was surprised and had plenty of questions, but after learning he was “only” interested in wearing the clothing (he liked the way it felt…) and after doing a bit of research online, I decided it wasn’t really a big deal.  I found a group online that supported wives (I don’t believe that group exists anymore), and the wives in the group did not seem to feel crossdressing was an aberration.  The wives who had been a part of the group for a while seemed to feel like their husband was the same person as he always was, he just liked to dress oddly occasionally.  I didn’t really like our situation, but I do remember feeling honored that my husband trusted me enough to tell me his big secret.  And so life went on.

If you’ve read my detailed story mentioned earlier, you know that things changed.  Maybe 10 or 15 years later I was shocked, hurt, and felt very much betrayed when I found out my husband’s crossdressing behavior had evolved.  He no longer only wanted to wear women’s clothing, he also wore a breast form, wig, makeup and so on.  This was a great shock to me as he had insisted early in our relationship that he had no desire for that sort of thing.  But what really made me feel betrayed was learning that he had been going out in public at night, had made some friends in his femme persona, and had done all of this behind my back.  I happened to find out about his secret life after he’d been doing this for at least a couple of months.  So, at that time I probably experienced the sort of shock, betrayal and hurt that you are now feeling.

My reaction to this new revelation was strong:  I insisted that he stop the public crossdressing or I would leave the marriage.  He said he would not stop, though he wanted our marriage to survive.  He said he couldn’t and wouldn’t give up that feminine part of himself.  My earlier story tells more details, but after much turmoil (some of which still happens), we’ve been able to reach an agreement and our marriage has survived for several years since I found out about his changed behavior.

I say all of the above to let you know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE!  I’ve been able to “meet” online several other wives who are in the same situation, and I know that we all have had similar experiences to deal with.  How we each handle our situation varies from family to family.  And however it turns out, each wife – and you – will make the decision that is best for your own family. As you go (and grow) through this time of heartbreak and struggle, I want to share a few basic tips that I hope you will find helpful:

    1. Stay calm as much as possible – this WILL work out. Remember you are still in shock; things will look different after you’ve had some time to process this.


    1. Pray, pray, pray! No matter what comes from this situation, God is with you.  Stay close to Him and depend on Him as you find your way.


    1. Be very careful who you share this information with. You may want to wait until some of the initial shock has passed before you share with anyone other than a professional who will honor your need for confidentiality.  In time, once you are acting with intention (as opposed to re-acting in turmoil), you can better choose who – if anyone – you will discuss this with.


    1. Don’t make any drastic decisions until some time has passed. It actually took me a couple of years of trying different options to deal with this before I found a relatively comfortable spot.  I’m glad I didn’t act on my first thoughts!


    1. Try to avoid reading a lot about crossdressing on the internet. I guess each of us is different, but I know I can become very discouraged when I read writings by crossdressers – at least crossdressers who intend to stay that way or even transition to a different gender.  It’s not a good thing to torture yourself by dwelling on that sort of thing.  That said, see point 6…


    1. Request to join the Wives of crossdressers support group. This entire website has plenty of great information from a Christian point of view.  I would encourage you to do plenty of reading here.


    1. Post an intro in the Wives’ group.  Read what others in the group have written about their own situations and things they’ve struggled with.  Read how they’ve learned to adapt their lives to this situation.



And as you get beyond the initial shock:

    1. Ask questions of the other wives in the group.  We have all been where you are at this moment.  We can at least offer our support so you know you are definitely not alone.  Hopefully we can also share things we have learned in our journeys and hold you up during your struggles.


    1. Consider developing a mentor or friend relationship with one of the wives in the group.  Thanks to today’s technology, some of us have been able to do daily devotions together, communicate via Facebook and/or Messenger, etc.  Even if none of us ever meet in real life, these days we can still be a close supporter and friend. Remember, however, to use caution about sharing private identifying information with strangers!  Use caution, but get to know your sisters in Christ.


    1. Find a good Christian therapist. Perhaps your pastor or pastor’s wife would be helpful, but maybe you aren’t comfortable sharing this with them. That’s certainly up to you.  While I did share my situation with my pastor’s wife so that she could support me and pray for my marriage, I was also able to find a great therapist who shares my Christian faith.  The main thing I learned from my therapy was how to take care of myself.  Once I was stronger with self-care, I could make better decisions about my marriage.


    1. Find a way to live with the situation, but don’t make immediate permanent life changes.  If you need to separate from your spouse while one or both of you get help that is fine.  If you choose to stay with your spouse while dealing with these issues, that is fine as well.  Realize that each person and each family is unique, and only you know the best way to handle this time in your life.


    1. Use this time to grow closer to Jesus.  Let God carry you when you are most needy.  Focus on drawing closer to Him:  be sure you are reading a regular Bible study plan, devotional, etc. to learn from God’s Word.  Spend more time than ever in prayer, seeking God’s comfort, guidance and wisdom.  Let yourself grow in the Lord.  Look at this as an opportunity to turn away from the negatives (not to ignore them, but not to allow them to rule your life), and turn toward our awesome God who WILL help you grow through this.


    1. You will come out of this a better person, but along the way you may feel you are being refined by fire.  Take a few minutes each day, especially on the hardest days, to just take care of YOU.  If that means an hour alone with a book, going out for a walk, or just shutting yourself in the bathroom for 5 minutes of relaxation breathing, do it.  You must take care of yourself.


    1. Love and be kind to yourself.  Seek God’s will, and surround yourself with strong Christians.  Share what you are comfortable sharing, when the time is right for you. Seek support and advice from trusted Christian friends and leaders, but don’t act on advice until you’ve taken time to pray and consider it a bit.  It is easier to avoid making a bad decision than it is to fix the results of one.


Pray some more.  Remember God IS in control, others have survived and even thrived through similar times, and you are loved.