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help with crossdressing husband

I found this posting in the Dear Prudence advice column and was happy to see the response to the concerned wife was nuanced and not dismissive of a potentially bigger question. I can imagine such a query being handled quite differently in the past. See if you agree…

Q. "The other woman: My husband of 10 years always liked to cross-dress; he did it when we dated and all through our marriage. It was casual, the occasional outing, a stress-reliever for him that I had no problem with. In the past year, all of a sudden he has ramped up his cross-dressing activities, ordering tons of clothes, going out at least once a week as “Pam,” and telling a few close friends of his proclivities. I know a lot of this is a reaction to our daughter we had two years ago and the new pressures and responsibility, but how do I deal with the resentment that Pam gets all his attention and his daughter and I are second?"

A: "There are two issues here, I think: One is that your husband is not spending enough time with your new child. This needs to have its own conversation unrelated to issues of gender expression and dress.

The other is that you two seem to see Pam very differently. To you, Pam is a stress-relieving hobby. It sounds like your husband considers Pam to be an integral part of who he is. I doubt very much that Pam is a “reaction” to the birth of your daughter. What you see as cross-dressing may very well be what your husband considers freedom. There is a difference between cis men who enjoy cross-dressing and a transwoman beginning to come out to her friends and family. The part where your husband is introducing close friends to Pam suggests to me that this is not about cross-dressing for fun every couple of weeks.
I don’t know how your husband identifies, but you two need to have a serious, loving, open conversation about it. I know what Pam is to you—an occasional distraction that pulls your husband away from what you see as his real life. What you need to find out is what Pam is to your husband."


Good answer.

Comments

  1. Yes, totally agree, both that it's an excellent answer that it would have been different in the past. I'm not sure I could improve the answer at all!

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