Anne Vitale Ph.D. Editor
Significant Other Index
A Significant Other View
by Julie Freeman
This article is reprinted with permission from DEVIL WOMAN, the Diablo Valley Girls newsletter. Ms Freeman is the wife of a crossdresser. She can be reached at Julie39@comcast.net
We all know how exciting it is for the crossdresser when he comes out of the closet he has been in for so long. He no longer has to fear a member of his family finding his "special" clothes, shoes, wigs, etc. He no longer has to crossdress when his family is out of the house and hope that no one returns early. He no longer has to fear someone answering the telephone at the wrong time; he no longer worries that someone may discover he has been frequenting web sites concerned with gender matters.
No longer concerned about hiding his "secret" he experiences a euphoria that expresses itself in a variety of ways that may frustrate and confound his significant other.
He may now feel he can dress at home whenever he pleases. He may feel he can go "out" crossdressed whenever and wherever he wishes. He may not be overly concerned about how much he spends on clothes, wigs, etc. He may decide to attend support group meetings, seminars, conferences at will. He may decide that since he is having so much fun, more must be better and increase his crossdressing dramatically. He may decide that since he had been confined to that closet for so long, he deserves the freedom to do what he wants when he wants regardless of what others want or think. He may feel that any attempt to curb his crossdressing is tantamount to pushing him back into the closet.
Needless to say, the euphoria that he experiences is not experienced by his significant other. As his happiness increases, her happiness decreases as she fears for the security of her children, the financial well-being of her family, the hostility of friends and relatives, and the meaning of her relationship with her husband.
The significant other wonders just WHOM HAS SHE MARRIED? What has happened to the man she thought she knew? What lies ahead? Her fear and anxiety increases the more involved the crossdresser becomes with his crossdressing. Her fear and anxiety turns to anger and resentment and a clashing of wills results.
Some wives demand that the crossdresser STOP his activities completely. Others ask that the activities be REDUCED. There may even be a few significant others who will accept completely the crossdresserís euphoria and may even encourage more participation.
So how the crossdresser responds to his significant other determines the status of their personal relationship. Very few crossdressers will stop their activities completely. Those who do so may become increasingly depressed as they find themselves once again closeted. Whether or not these relationships continue will depend on whether or not the significant other is willing to compromise and allow some activities.
Other crossdressers refuse to reduce their activities in any way, shape, or form and their relationships, already strained and rocky, may deteriorate completely. Whether or not these relationships can be salvaged depends again on whether the crossdresser is willing to compromise by reducing his activities.
Those relationships, which most likely can be saved, are those where BOTH are willing to consider each other, both are willing to compromise. The crossdresser and his significant other must communicate their feelings, fears, concerns, issues, and problems to each other and try to understand the other's viewpoint. Only through communication and compromise can crossdressing become a positive rather than negative part of the personal relationship.