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Ask Jane, Column 5

Ask Jane: Paying a Horrible Price for Crossdressing

Jane,

My wife of almost seven years decided we might be happier if we divorced so I can crossdress whenever I want to. I am sick at my stomach about it because other than checking my e-mail and chatting on URNA once in a while I do not let my "hobby" interfere with my family. She asked if I met people whom I've corresponded with online - which I have not and never would do. I love my family. I do not want to lose them. I guess I am in deep despair... My fantasy of being a woman is there... but reality knows I am a man. What should I do?

Alyssa

Hi, doll,

I am so very sorry you're in such crisis. To anyone who has understanding of the need and behavior, losing one's family is a steep price to pay for the innocent activity of crossdresing. On the other hand, having to shut down an integral part of who you are in order to keep your family intact is also exacting a very high price.

Please encourage your wife to go to counseling with you. Her sarcasm ... that you "might be happier" if you divorced so that you "can crossdress whenever you want to" ... shows lack of understanding and that her issues with you run deep. She's probably angry, disappointed, scared, frustrated, and/or puzzled. She might hold resentment that you failed to disclose this aspect of yourself before marriage (if that's the case). Or she worries that you're gay. Or she feels she's no longer married to a man but to another woman. Or she believes that you've emotionally checked out of the marriage in favor of connecting with other CDs online.

You won't know what the real issues are if you don't talk. And therapy is a safe place to do that. A good therapist will let you two know that this needn't be an either-or decision; there's room for compromise on almost any marital issue, if only both parties are willing to do what it takes to keep their family together while addressing each person's need for personal fulfillment.

Good luck, Alyssa. Please feel free to write me anytime; I wish you success in finding your way through this dark tiime.

Jane

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