Her Cross-dressing Husband
Dear Dr. Tracy,
Boy, am I thankful to have found your site. Perhaps you can help me with a bit of advice about a situation I am facing.
I am a 32 YO woman who has been married for a little under a year now to a man who is truly a wonderful person. My mate, however, also happens to be a cross-dresser in private. I looked up and read all of your previous columns about this situation and I am glad to see that you don't think that this behavior in and of itself is necessarily a problem.
In our situation, I knew about the behavior before we were married, but considered it a harmless fetish. However, in the year since our wedding, my husband has grown increasingly withdrawn and it has become quite evident to me that his sex life is more centered in his solo fantasies than in his relationship with me. We have hardly had sex at all in the last 11 months. It's not all his fault; I don't mind his fetish, but I'm not turned on by it. Unfortunately, the fact that I'm not aroused by what turns him on the most has created uncertainty and misunderstanding between us that has really thrown a bucket of cold water on our sex life. I feel that I'm partially at fault for not having acted sooner to do something about this, and also for not being clear enough with him about how far I was really willing to go with the whole thing. I'm open minded, but I am also unabashedly hetero.
However, I have recently convinced my husband to seek some counseling to help him with his general fears about sexual intimacy and acceptance, and I feel that we could also get counseled together once he has a chance to deal with his own stuff for awhile. My dilemma, however, is this: I am a physically active, sexually mature, attractive woman. While my marital sex life remains on hold, so to speak, what am I to do with myself to satisfy my needs and also still honor my marriage, which I want to give a real chance? I have always enjoyed the company and friendship of men; however, I find that as time goes by without my having sex that it's getting harder for me to keep sexual feelings out of those friendships. I'm no prude about self-satisfaction, but for a woman who really likes men, as I do, it is just not the same. Short of continual violent exercise or drinking heavily, how can I get my overactive mind to cool out? Have you any advice for how a married woman who is not getting what she needs (and doesn't know when she will) can negotiate this razor's edge safely?
Faithful but Frustrated
Dear Faithful and Frustrated,
I don't think cross-dressing behavior in itself is a problem, except when it hurts the ones you love. And that's the case here. His cross-dressing turns you off and leaves you feeling frustrated and horny. In other words, you are hurt by his not wanting to have old-fashioned, regular, hetero sex with you.
You say you're not aroused by his fetish and you don't want to participate with him. Well, he's probably not going to change, and neither are you. Saving any marriage requires two people who are willing to be flexible enough to make each other happy. So if you're not willing to have sex with him on his terms, and he's not willing to have sex with you on yours, you are facing a breakdown of your marriage.
You have been married for a little under a year and haven't had satisfactory sex for eleven months. Even though your husband is a wonderful person, he's not going to suddenly turn into your sexual dream man. Cross-dressers usually don't stop dressing in women's clothes. If there are any reformed cross-dressers out there, I invite them to write me and I will pass along any suggestions for reforming a cross-dresser that I receive.
In the meantime, since you're not going to be happy with him, you should begin to consider separation and divorce. I don't think you're going to be satisfied with your suggested solutions of masturbation, exercise, or drinking heavily, nor do I think your sexual desires will diminish in the near future.
You are at the age when a woman's sexual desires are at their peak and you can expect those desires to remain high for another ten years. That's a long time to be frustrated. Set a time limit for this marriage to start working - say another six months. If it doesn't work by them, move on. Then find a man whose sexual appetites you can accept and enjoy.
Guys Who Make You Crazy
Dear Dr. Tracy,
I have a ridiculous problem that I need solved. I started dating a man who
is best friends with my older brother. He has been interested in me for
over a year and when I ended my last relationship, he approached me. Well,
this man has been married before and my parents had to sit down with him and
discuss us seeing one another. Knowing that he is a nice guy, they agreed
that we could date. Keep in mind that I am 21 years old and I still live
with my parents, unfortunately.
Anyways, me and this guy dated about a month when his psychotic ex
girlfriend came back into the picture. He says he wants nothing to do with
her because she abused him and treated him terribly. He sat down with her
and told her that he did not want anything to do with her because he was
seeing me. This made her even more angry and she kept on pursueing him. One
day I went over to his apartment and caught her there, he said she came over
to tell him she had some kind of brain disease (possible mulitple sclerosis)
and that she needed to talk to him about it. I agreed and left. Well, the
next day he called me and told me that he couldnt see me right now because of
his problems with her not leaving him alone and that he cared about me and
still wanted to see me and that he would come over that night to discuss us.
That same night me and one of my friends were out and she wanted to
know where he lived, so I took her by there and to my surprise the ex was
there. I went to the door and she answered it telling me that he was her
boyfriend and that they were getting married, that he called her that morning
telling her he loved her and that they had just slept together. He didnt say
a word when she said all this stuff and he told me to just leave that he
didnt want me to be around her and that he needed to talk to her to
apparently get rid of her. The ex ordered him to get into her car now and he
left me crying and drove off with her. Devestated, I called my brother and
mom and told them what happened.
Well a couple of days past and I got in
touch with him and asked him what happened, he said that his ex lied about
them sleeping together and everything else. He said she told me that just so
she could get rid of me. And that he was sorry that all that happened and
that he had made some very wrong mistakes and that he cared about me and
wanted to be with me and not her. Excited and forgiving, I agreed that I
wanted to be with him.
Problem, when I told my mother she freaked out and wont even let me
talk to see him. I havent spoken to her in over a week and I am resentful to
her because she is treating me this way. What can I do to make her
understand that we want to be together and that what she thinks happened with
his ex were lies. Please give me some advice, I care about this man and dont
want to lose him.
You only dated this guy for a month and you are so attached to him that you are willing to disregard everything that has happened and forgive him? You need to get a grip on yourself.
Whenever a man has an ex who he says is crazy, that should be a red danger flag for you. It raises some interesting questions. Was she crazy when she met him or did he do things to drive her crazy? If she was crazy when he met her, then why would a sane nice guy get involved with a crazy woman? If he got involved with her knowing she was crazy, then he was just using her for sex or whatever and could do the same with you. If she was sane when he met her, then he got her to act crazy by his behavior. I'd guess it was some of both.
You've gotten involved with a man who drives women crazy. He's already got you doing crazy things like driving by his house to see who's there with him. Now you've gone by his house twice and found her there. How many times are you going to let this guy make up excuses and feed you stories about how he is the victim of this crazy lady?
He had ample opportunity to act like a stand-up guy, to step in and tell you that she was lying, to refuse to drive off in the car with this woman. Yet he decided to leave you crying and go off with her. Then you're na?ve enough to call him again and believe his story about her being crazy and making it all up. Wise up. Make a lunch date with his ex and get to know her. Make your own decision about whether she's crazy or just a woman scorned and abused by a crazy guy.
As for your mother, well let that be a lesson to you. When you tell your friends and relatives about what a rat a guy is and how he mistreated you, it becomes very hard for you to go back to him without them being concerned. They're worried about you. They think you're in danger of being hurt again and again by a man who makes women crazy. And I agree with them.
The Virgin Problem
Dear Dr. Tracy,
I never fathomed that I'd be in this situation. I'm a 21 year college student (and a very "good girl" usually) and I'm deciding whether or not to get involved with a married man who's 20 years older than me. He and I have this mindblowing mental chemistry and this strange, deep connection I've never encountered with anyone before. We haven't done anything AT ALL. He hasn't even said anything inappropriate, but it's very clear that he wants me, and I think he knows I'm attracted to him as well.
I'm not deluded enough to think he's going to leave his wife. That would be great of course, but I know they never leave. He and I are so different that there's no long term potential anyway.
So here's the clincher... I'm a virgin (he doesn't know). I've dated a lot, but I'm TOTALLY and ENTIRELY inexperienced sexually. I wish I'd gotten it over with in already, because now it's such a big deal that I don't want it to be a 3 minute job with some stupid college frat boy I meet at a party. I want it to be with someone I care about who's going to make an effort. Mr. Married Man seems like a prime candidate.
And I know that extramarital affairs are all about sex. I have a feeling that he could be a great teacher, which is exactly what I'm looking for.
So... I guess my question is: can affairs ever be harmless? Would I be sending my butt straight to hell? This isn't something I would ever imagine myself doing (parental infidelity destroyed me as a kid)... but the devil on my shoulder is being very persuasive.
I appreciate any advice you can give me!
Dear Good Girl,
You're 21 and a virgin. You've obviously been a good girl for a very long time, so don't blow it all now.
Your first sexual experience is one you remember for the rest of your life. You want it to be something you can look back on with pride and pleasure. There's nothing wrong with choosing the "right" man for the first time. In fact that's a good idea.
However, choosing the "right" married man is not only morally wrong, it's dangerous. You could wind up in a terrible mess that would taint your first experience for the rest of your life. Sure he might be a great teacher and all that, but what if his wife finds out? What if she gets hurt and angry and wants a divorce or a confrontation? You could wind up with more than a great first time. You could wind up in the middle of a very messy domestic situation.
I understand that you wish you'd gotten it over with, but since you've waited this long for the right man, you might as well wait a little while longer. Don't settle for some stupid college frat boy at a party or a quickie in the back of a car. Don't give your virginity to someone who won't appreciate it or know what to do with it or give you a lifetime memory to cherish.
You've found one man. You will find another one. There are lots of men in the world who would be great sexual teachers and who would make an effort to make your first time wonderful.
Affairs have a thousand unexpected ways of being discovered. When they are, they hurt people deeply. Even when they aren't, they're never harmless. At the very least, they damage the integrity of the persons involved. Maybe your butt wouldn't go straight to hell, but that's where you should tell the devil on your shoulder to go.