December 11, 2015 at 6:49 pm #693
I hadn’t been on the old site for a while, and I was so saddened by the attacks on wives that I saw there. The old site was one of the few places that women who have been adversely affected by cding could actually discuss how they were feeling. The format was inconvenient, the posts could be made by covert cders without moderation, and our stories often became jumbled and spotty, making it incredibly difficult for a newbie to jump in and tell her story…but we had a good thing going for awhile. We reached out and helped others who were in our same situations. We asked questions that could not be asked – or answered – with any kind of truthfulness by the cd support sites or by the general public, who only repeat what the support sites insist.
Meanwhile, the world has become more and more insane about “transgender rights”. We wives, or exes in my case, have had the unfortunate experience of seeing through many of the arguments that are presented as truth by our partners. We have lived with the deception, the omissions, the twisting of reality, the glossing over of the sexual aspects, the anger and resentment that were thrown our way when we didn’t fall in line with their desires…even if it was destroying us. We have so much to say, so much to offer a wife who is questioning her sanity, her reality, her feelings.
I think that if we don’t fight for our space, if we don’t keep telling our truth, then the propaganda that is put out by the sites that support cding is going to win by default. There are partners out there, right now, who are sinking into depression, anxiety, blaming themselves (encouraged by their impatient husbands) for being “closed-minded”, following everyone’s advice to TRY HARDER while their lives are skittering out of control. Turning to substances just to get them through the day. These women are looking to any “expert” out there who claims to understand them. And the only ones talking, the only ones who claim to have their best interests at heart, are the forums that support cding or “gender therapists”, who are often trans themselves or involved in the transgender lifestyle.
These women have no one to tell. They have no one in their lives who could possibly understand what this can do to a heterosexual woman, how it makes her feel, what it does to her sexual identity, her sexual orientation, to her confidence in herself as a woman. There is no one to tell her that her feelings count. No one to tell her that she is not being selfish or unreasonable if this affects her desire for her husband.
How can she describe to someone who has not gone through this, that the gaslighting involved in partial disclosure makes her feel like she is going crazy, remembering things wrong? How can she feel sane when she is checking and re-checking her clothing in an attempt to make her world safe again? How can she find out the truth when, according to “the experts”, any invasion into her husband’s phone, computer, or private life, is proof of her untrustworthiness and controlling behavior, even when her partner has been caught in lie after lie? How can she describe her pain when her mate shows terrifying anger at her attempts to understand what is happening? How can she put into words the confusion and hopelessness she feels when everything about her is attacked when she dares to make an objection to her husband “expressing his true self”, which, somehow, was never disclosed to her? How can she reconcile her entire past history with her partner with the reality that she was never what turned him on? That she wasn’t even there, as herself, in bed with her husband, who also wasn’t there as the man she knew, with whom she might have had children? And how can she possibly break her children’s hearts over something that is dismissed, minimized down to “clothing choices” or “scraps of fabric” by all the resources she can find? The whole scenario is just crazy-making, and this woman is on a roller-coaster with no way for her to control it.
I sometimes forget how devastating this can be to a partner. I have been out for a very long time. But I will never stop trying to help others who are now in my previous situation.
If you are out there…
Don’t let them win by staying silent. Speak your truth. You might totally disagree with everything I’ve said. That’s absolutely fine. Let’s talk.
December 16, 2015 at 1:08 pm #694
Thank you for your wisdom, Shelly. Women need to hear the truth of being the wife of a crossdresser and the very sad existence this entails. I’m glad you are out, but like many (or most), the profound damage continues even long after you are able to “escape.” Have you been able to trust again, or do you still have that hypervigilance to protect yourself? Sadly, when a brain becomes rewired because of living with this hell the effects can now be lifelong, such as anxiety, depression, ptsd, etc. A woman can learn to cope when she is no longer living on a daily basis with her abuser, but it is NEVER erased. And it is abuse. It may not take the form of hits and slaps, but it abuses the mental, emotional, spiritual, and health (physical consequences of extreme, chronic trauma and stress) of the woman. Please keep posting. Your message is profound!
December 16, 2015 at 6:06 pm #695
I have been able to trust again, but, I agree with you, this type of abuse cannot be undone. There have been repercussions… I am a very different person from what I once was – but in many ways, a better one. I remain very vigilant about my personal boundaries, and my bullshit detectors are finely honed. I trust my instincts and value my thoughts. I do not consider this to be a bad thing.
I agree with you: what many wives have been through is abuse. I have always said that unknowingly becoming deeply involved with cder is an inherently abusive situation for a partner. The manipulation and deception that are employed by a cder to carve out the time, hide the money, cover the motivations, deny the reality, excuse the sexual behavior, and maintain the secret, are truly mind-boggling. The blaming, minimization, gas-lighting, and guilt-inducing strategies used by her partner to get his needs met, do unbelievable damage to a woman who does not understand the abuse that is going on. It is even considered the wife’s fault if she loses trust in her partner after catching her spouse in lie after lie (after all, if he had felt safe enough to discuss it with her, it would not have remained a secret for so long! The wife was the one who made it unsafe for her husband to disclose!) . She is accused of being shallow (it’s only clothing choices!), uneducated, prejudiced, selfish, uncompromising, if she does not want any part of this scenario.
Over the years of my marriage, I slowly lost all faith in my own perceptions of reality because everything was turned up-side-down. Good was bad, male was female, up was down, Truth was Lie. The re-wiring of the brain, as you mentioned, took a long time…but the process is quite simple: isolate you, take away your normal support systems, introduce a new way of thinking, bolster your arguments with propaganda written by supporters (or go to a “gender therapist”), introduce dire consequences if you do not comply, re-educate using aforementioned resources, use your religion, personal convictions, and politically-correct commentaries to provide evidence that you should look at this in an “enlightened” way, promise great rewards (or alleviation of suffering) if only you would “get with the program”, then love-bomb you when you do what they want. Sound familiar? It’s called “persuasive coercion”, or in more basic terms, brainwashing.
The wife’s world, after discovery, is so often thrown into disarray: her past is not what she perceived it to be, her future is drastically changed, her security (peace of mind, financial, emotional) is gone, her sexual identity and preferences are disregarded. Everything in a wife’s existence will change if she cannot welcome this secret into her life. If she cannot accept, her marriage will be destroyed, her kids will not have a safe and supportive home, finances will often be impossible, and she will have lost the one man she had loved and wanted to spend the rest of her life with – often her closest friend. Add these stresses to the coercion involved in these men trying to get their way, and you have a recipe for depression, anxiety, ptsd, and the health problems that kick in when the body is stressed beyond its limits. As the stress piles on more and more – in tandem with the new disclosures or discoveries – the wife’s ability to escape her situation becomes more and more remote. Fear is paralyzing. So is depression. So is anxiety, feeling like you are insane, and finding out that your entire world belief system was wrong.
I have lived through all of these consequences…but I need to tell women who find themselves in my previous position… there is a better life out there!
I truly think that there are many, many women who are trapped, feeling hopeless, losing their minds because of the abuse that occurs in these relationships.
I am not saying that all cders are evil, abusive assholes…but a cder who uses the tactics described above? One that marries and has children with an unknowing woman, then pressures her in ways that are harming his partner, while dismissing her objections as ridiculous? These men are absolutely abusive. I was married to one of them.
These women need to have someone that they can talk to…they need to have someone who understands what this is doing to them, to understand why their emotions are all over the place as they try to keep their world from falling apart, keep their kids from coming from a broken home, trying to preserve the relationship they have given their lives to, trying to follow their religious convictions, and trying to educate themselves with all of the politically-correct advice so freely given out by people who are not in their situations and do not see what they see, after living with this condition for years. All in isolation, while the only voices being heard are those who support the cder.
No. Just No.
ElizabethK, did I read your post right…you are still in a relationship with your partner? One of the most important things I did, when I was finally realizing what this was all about, was to read up on abuse. The one thing that confused me, at the time, was that the resources said that abusers ALWAYS abuse…so I thought that my husband couldn’t be an abuser because we had had many “good” years together. But when you are dealing with an abuser with a secret, one that he can’t afford to get out, you are dealing with a whole new animal. As long as the secret was hidden, and you were going along with everything that he wanted at the time, the abuse was underground (the manipulation and deception involved were undetected by you), but it was happening the whole time. He was manipulating, lying, minimizing, rationalizing, and gas-lighting…you just didn’t know it. It is only in hindsight, when you know what you know, that it can be seen.
Let’s talk some more!
December 17, 2015 at 3:10 pm #698
Profound message indeed! i wish every cdw could read this. You’re spot on when it comes to voicing feelings. As most of you’ve saw my position changed completely the last two years. But that does not mean I’m not grappling with consequences. The fact that especiallymy past/my life history is not at all how it seems is very difficult to come to terms with. Shelly, please keep writing as much as you can. The tremendous insight will be so valuable to other wives
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