Cross-dressing causes fracture in a solid longtime marriage
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been together for 11 years, married for eight. We have been through a lot together, which has served to strengthen our marriage. My husband is my Prince Charming and my happily forever after.
Recently, he has discovered that he likes wearing women's clothes. It started with him wearing women's underwear under his clothes, which didn't bother me. I even bought him a few pair I liked. It has progressed quickly.
He assures me that he isn't gay, he does not want to become a woman or want to dress in women's clothes full time. However, some of his behaviors have changed, and his wearing women's clothing has increased. When I tried discussing my concerns with him, he said I was being irrational. We fought, and I thought we had worked some things out, but he still has an attitude.
I'm terrified that this is the beginning of the end of my marriage, and I don't want to lose him. But I also don't know just how much of this I can accept or how far he wants to go. He says if I can't accept it, he will stop doing it. But we will both know that he has that desire, and I don't want to stifle something that seems to mean so much to him. I have no one I can talk to about this, Abby. Please help.
— STRUGGLING IN FLORIDA
DEAR STRUGGLING: Take the opportunity to learn all you can about cross-dressing. More men than you may think engage in it, and the majority are heterosexual. An excellent support group for cross-dressers and wives of men who need (not "LIKE") to cross-dress is The Society for the Second Self (Tri Ess). Its website is tri-ess.org. Go there and you will find the support and answers you're looking for.
Keep the lines of communication with your husband open and honest. Only the two of you can determine how to navigate through this. For many couples, it's not necessarily a deal-breaker.
DEAR ABBY: When I was 21, I got pregnant with "Earl," a guy who had nothing to his name but a bicycle. It was three weeks after we met. Earl was 24. Two years later we split. I was working and he was a stay-at-home dad, and I couldn't stand it.
Five years later, I married a very wealthy man, moved to another country and lived a life of luxury. Thirteen years later we split. I left our small island and moved back, still well off on my own.
Earl was my rock and is a totally different man now. Sixteen years later, I have fallen head over heels for him. He has become everything I've always wanted. Our son wasn't crazy about it at first (he's 18), but now loves it. Earl's mother said she knew it would end up this way. My parents have reservations. Do you think we have a fighting chance?
— NEW EXPAT IN NEVADA
DEAR NEW EXPAT: Earl is not the person he was and, frankly, neither are you. Do the two of you have a fighting chance? Absolutely. However, before marrying anyone again, it is important that you discuss this with an attorney and have in place a signed prenuptial agreement. While it may not seem romantic, it's the intelligent thing to do.
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