Living with a Transvestite

From a Guest Blogger: Her experience of living with Fetish and Autogynephilic Transvestism. Its not you, its him.

Living with a Transvestite

It is not until now, in middle age, that I am able to express how the experience of living with a transvestite man has affected me.

I was very young when we met. He was a professional musician and was quite a bit older than me. He struck me as very sophisticated and artistic and I believed he was attracted to me.

We began seeing one another seriously and we fairly quickly progressed to a sexual relationship. I fell in love and was blind to the signs that all was not right, which I can see so plainly now. Like the times when a piece of my underwear would somehow be in bed despite me having undressed before getting in to bed. Or like when some of my things began to go missing.

Sex wasn’t brilliant and he began to insist that I wear underwear in bed, especially the girly, frilly stuff. I was puzzled but not overly disturbed. Still, after he had visited me, items of my clothing would be missing.

A few weeks later he invited me to live with him. Before I answered he said he felt there was something I ought to know. He told me that he was ‘interested’ in women’s underwear. Ok, I thought, what hetero man isn’t? I didn’t realise he meant wearing it.

So I moved in with him, still largely unaware of his proclivities and sexual interests. And his violent responses if he didn’t get what he wanted.

I remember that he wanted me to have a different bedroom from him. He said that it was to do with years of living alone and the inability to sleep with anyone near him. I had my own room and found that I was not allowed into his room unless invited. We still had but it was becoming quite infrequent. I felt it odd that so soon in the relationship his sexual interest in me was waning. It was at this time it became clear to me that he was ‘borrowing’ my clothes. Not just underwear but dresses, coats, scarves…anything really. He was taking these things surreptitiously, slyly returning them the exact way he found them. Almost. I began to set little traps in an attempt to prove what he was up to.

I felt unable to confront him over what was, to me, a huge violation. I felt it was somehow a failing in me, that I wasn’t liberal or open-minded enough. I kept trying to be ok about it but it made be very uncomfortable. I began to realise why our sex life had waned, it was because in reality he would rather masturbate that do anything else.

We skirted around the elephant in the room. We travelled abroad on holidays and he would insist on ‘time alone’, which was code for him dressing up in my clothes and masturbating. I once returned to the hotel room earlier than I had planned and he became extremely angry. The angry outbursts became more frequent as I fought to have what I considered a ‘normal’ relationship. In truth, I was afraid of him.

I realised at some point that I had to leave and waited until his job took him to Europe, packed up my stuff, left a note and found a place of my own. But it would take years before the wounds healed. I was young and beautiful then and yet I felt ugly and undesirable. I felt I had failed because I couldn’t be happy with the arrangement. I felt those things for years, always suspicious of any man who seemed interested in my clothes in anyway. I deliberately wore dowdy things and stopped having any interest in my appearance. I hated fashion magazines because to him they were pornography. I hated shopping for clothes because he loved to do that, getting an erection as he looked for items of clothing that were supposedly for me, but which he would wear.

I think women are put under a lot of pressure to accept relationships like this as being evidence of an open mind. Well, this relationship was a wholly negative experience for me. Even without the violence, I would have felt the self loathing and secret shame.

My advice to anyone in a similar situation would be to listen to your instincts and to put yourself first. Any behaviour that results in you feeling bad about yourself is abusive. If you are not comfortable then get out of the relationship because he will never, ever change.

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9 thoughts on “Living with a Transvestite

  1. Largely quite “on the nail”, I would, however, disagree with the final sentence. I think it takes an extraordinary effort to change but it is possible. If they don’t want to change then it will never happen. What I do think is that if it doesn’t stop then it will progress and worsen.

  2. I’m truly sorry this has caused such pain in your life. It’s not fair to be surprised by such a large part of a loved one’s personality. I got lucky and found a very supportive wife who enjoys it as much as I do, but more often than not, it’s a secret that is never shared but discovered. It’s always better to be open about it and give the other person the information before such huge life commitments are made.

  3. Thank you for sharing your story. I think it speaks volumes that it is only now, many years afterwards, that you can find the words to express how this disorder impacted you and your life. It’s HIS disorder, but it inflicts damage on everyone in his life. And that damage can be hard to identify and even hard to repair.

    Many of your points resonate with my story. The quick enmeshment of separate lives: I believe that for my CD, he really had no other life. No friends he could share this with, so he walled himself off. I became the focal point of his existence, and he was eager to bind me to him financially, geographically and socially. I became his front. Proof that he was a normal person.

    The subtle hints he dropped; which now look like glowing neon signs.

    The extraordinary interest he showed in my life, routines, friendships; which now feel voyourist and colonialist.

    The lies of omission for the questions I did not know to ask; The massive hate and disrespect he must have felt for me, to have withheld his true self from me while actively pursuing my love and affection.

    The massive, massive, massive hate, disgust and disrespect he felt for me. Me, just some innocent, blameless, someone he met one weekend, and whose life he targeted for unilateral destruction.

  4. i can’t believe what i’m reading. i’ve gone looking for answers to the questions i’ve been to scared, blind and in denial to ask. i’ve been living in a fog of depression and suppressed rage, exhausted by all the footwork it’s taken to figure out that it’s Not Me. it’s him. i’ve submitted to all his sexual fantasies and still, it’s never enough. his lies of omission…his obsessions with being his own sex object. it’s all making sense now. the selfishness of his unyielding self indulgence. before we were married, he told me he liked to dress like a girl sometimes but he was very masculine with me. as soon as i moved to be with him and became financially dependent, married and put my children under his roof, the charade began to thin. the veil is dropping away. now, i’m living in another country, far away from everyone i love and i don’t yet speak the language here. i’ve tried for over a year and a half to make it work, getting physically sicker and weaker as time has gone by. my mind has become addled with all the smokescreens and it spins, constantly, trying to get a grip on anything. nothing makes any sense anymore. i trusted him and i feel something larger and more awful and repulsive than words can name adequately. here, i’ve been working toward a healthy relationship and creating a happy home for my family and what i’ve gotten in return is a pack of half truths, financial destitution due to his obsession with porn, crossdressing and being dominated by some delusional version of who he wants me to be. he calls me mistress when he is all turned on and insists that he needs chastity and orgasm denial. orgasm makes him feel tired, ashamed and let down, i think. he can barely keep an erection if i am not saying humiliating things to him or keeping him in some submissive pose. it breaks my mind to realize, looking back over our 4 year relationship, that he’s never once said my name during sex or demonstrated any sort of intimate kindness that makes me feel loved. and i bet, in the end, that i’ll be the demonized one for “giving the bait and switch” because he was “honest” about his proclivities. it all came to light when, after being gone from “him” on a 2 month vacation, i saw him in a new light. he spent the whole time masturbating, dressing up, blogging our sex life from his perspective, keeping a detailed journal of his activities, making videos of himself. he became anorexic in an attempt to feel like a vapid bimbo and lost an alarming amount of weight. he is walled off from everyone. i can’t live like this anymore. i want to die. my life is trashed. my trust is gone. my kids fell in love with him. just like i did.

    • YOUR life isn’t over. FIND A WAY TO LEAVE. Sounds like you have a major narcissist on your hands- they isolate their victims, and they will drain the lifeblood out of you- they are vampires and turn innocents into zombies.

    • I’m sorry, I’ve only just read your comment. I am the author of the above blog post and I am so sorry to read of your experiences. They mirror my own in lots of ways and the common denominator for us both is having to centre our world around a narcissistic, porn sick man who puts himself first. You sound as if you are very isolated and of course that suits him very well as it makes it easier for him to manipulate you. I would urge you to seek help from family, friends (even start a crowd fund?) to get you and your children away from this man. He is draining your energy and self esteem and you must take that step to get away. I am very worried about you as you sound so defeated. Please reply and let me know if you are ok.

    • Hi,

      Men like him often uses your immigration status as a leverage to abuse you, thinking that you will not report him to authorities for fear of deportation or loss of your visa. Do not let him do this to you. If you are in the U.S., talk to a women’s crisis advocate line if there is one near you, document abuse, get psychological help (and have this documented), and if a case may be made that he is psychologically and/or physically abusing you, you may be able to receive a relief under the U non-immigrant status as mandated by the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (including the Battered Immigrant Women’s Protection Act) of 2000.

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