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Caroline Schact, divorce360.com, Published December 29 2011

Talk to your husband about his cross-dressing

Q: My husband and I have been married for 15 years and have two pre-teen children. I recently found out that my husband has been wearing woman’s clothing when he is at home alone. When I discovered this, he admitted to me that he is a cross-dresser. He is a good man and is good to me, but I don’t know if I can stay married to a man who likes to dress up like a woman. I am torn between leaving him, trying to figure out a way for me to accept him, and giving him an ultimatum: either he stops wearing woman’s clothing or I divorce him. Any advice?

A: You are not alone; there are millions of spouses who have husbands who cross-dress. Not only are you dealing with the knowledge that your husband cross-dresses, you are probably feeling hurt and angry over the fact that your husband has kept this “secret” from you for so long.

If your marriage is otherwise fulfilling, do not prematurely decide to leave him. Every marriage partner has a quality or behavior that we would not wish for, and your husband’s “catch” is that he cross-dresses. If he is otherwise a good marriage partner, see if you can find a way to work through this issue. Giving him an ultimatum may temporarily stop his cross-dressing, but chances are he will continue to feel the urge, and his need to express himself through cross-dressing may be so great that he may not be able to stop the behavior long-term.

This issue may be bigger than you and your husband can handle alone, so you might consider counseling. It may also be helpful for you to contact Tri-Ess (The Society for the Second Self) – an organization that provides support for cross-dressers, their spouses or partners and families. You can access this organization at (713) 349-8969; email: triessinfo@aol.com.

Caroline Schacht has a master’s degree in home economics and another in sociology. She has been trained as a divorce mediator and a teacher at East Carolina University, specializing in courtship and marriage classes.

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