Welcome To the Anne M. Vitale PhD Website


Going Back and Forth

A Signficant Other View
By Julie Freeman

January, 2012
Going Back and Forth

One of the wives posed an interesting question on our forum. I have been on this forum for probably well over a decade and have never seen it posed before.
"I wonder how things would be different if my DH just wanted to be a girl rather than part male/part female. Do you think it makes it too conflicting having to go back and forth for the spouses?"
I thought that would certainly make an interesting topic at a social get-together of crossdressers and their wives. Is it difficult going back and forth? But for the time being, I can only refer to the responses of other wives on the forum.
The question as it appeared was interpreted in two different ways. In this instance, the writer when mentioning spouses was referring to the husbands-- whether or not a crossdresser found it conflicting having to go back and forth between female and male mode. So some of the responses to that interpretation were as follows:
"I can see how exhausting it is for him -- he doesn't like all the shaving required, etc. I think for him it would be easier if he could just stay in femme mode, but he doesn’t want to lose all the perks that go along with being a male." She recognizes how hard it is for him to go back and forth.
"The reason I think my DH gets depressed when switching back is because he has genuine gender dysphoria . When he is dressed as a woman, and interacting with the world as a woman, he feels right with himself. Going back to guy mode is like, oh yea right, back to my uncomfortable self."
Another wife replied that since her husband finished electrolysis, it is much easier for him to switch between femme mode and male mode and that both personalities have become more integrated over time, so switching back and forth is no problem for him. He is happy in whatever clothes he is wearing.
So perhaps switching back and forth is hard in the beginning especially when the crossdresser is first learning all about makeup, clothes, wigs, how to pass, etc., but over time with skill and expertise, switching becomes fairly easy and even an enjoyable procedure. For transsexuals, however, switching back to male mode remains painful.
Now most of the other wives when reading the above question thought that spouses in the question posed were referring to the Significant Others in the relationship. So of course their answers were different.
One replied that she felt being with a "girl" all the time was boring. She missed the male mode and wished that her DH would switch back and forth.
Another wife replied that although her husband had transitioned she was still quite aware of the HIM in HER. What she missed most were events where typically hetero couples were involved.
None of the wives reported finding it more conflicting to be with a crossdresser than a transsexual. And it is interesting but over the decades that I have known about my CD's crossdressing, I have never considered it difficult for me to adjust to Donna's going back and forth between male mode and female mode. And it never occurred to me that there might be those wives who might prefer the femme mode all the time simply because they found it too complicated to adjust to different modes.
For most wives, of course, it is quite confusing, especially in the beginning, to adjust to two different modes. One wife, however, reported that she felt it was far easier for a wife to adjust to being married to a transsexual than a crossdresser. Wow, I thought. I have rarely heard that said before. Most wives, in the beginning I should say, have enough difficulty with the crossdressing, let alone having to deal with sex changes, etc.
So like all questions posted, this one slowly evaporated and the responses went on to a variety of other topics some of which most likely will provide food for thought for this column again.

Copyright¬© 2006-2022 Anne Vitale PhD avitale.com All right reserved


Nothing on this site should be viewed as providing therapeutic advice. No formation of a client/therapist
relationship with Dr. Vitale is intended or to be implied or inferred. The information provided in this site is for educational
purposes only. I attempt to keep the information current but make no representation or warranties in that regard. You should
not rely upon this information as a substitute for consul with a qualified mental health professional.