HerNorm is a community-supported website. We may earn a small commission on purchases made through our links. Learn more.

My Husband Is A Cross-Dresser: What Does It Mean?

Last updated on June 10, 2022 by Sonya Schwartz

How would you react if you discovered your husband was in panties in his suits just beside you in a dinner? Or you stumbled upon pictures of your man fully dressed as a female model you would have admired if you did not notice distinct features of your lover?

Different women have varying reactions to the discovery their husband crossdresses, and this is mostly linked to the method of discovery. From suspicions after a lady notices her best lingerie and underwear missing, to seemingly queer acts then coming home to see their husbands fully dressed in female attire. Some women find this a fascinating, intriguing affair, but most wobble up and double over like one caught in the midst of the tremors of a huge earthquake. What causes this reaction to most people? A viable answer is that, whether the wife finds out herself, or her lover comes out to tell her (some women prefer to see it as a confession), it has been well hidden in the confines of secrecy. In most cases, the husband has really tried to banish that aspect of their personality into the confines of inexistence. Male crossdressers are worried about other people's perception of them, and as stated in an article detailing Sebastien Lifschitz and The Photographers' Gallery titled "Under Cover: A Secret History of Cross-Dressers"  1 some crossdressers get to express their felinity through dressing as female characters in movies, most men are unlucky and do not have the opportunity to dress as a Dolly Paton. They expend effort repressing it.

This article briefly explains cross-dressing, addresses a man’s desire to cross-dress, other opinions on crossdressers and having to enjoy a relationship with a cross-dressing partner.

The most important thing to bear in mind for now is, your relationship will survive, and his cross-dressing will not make your relationship drastically unenjoyable if you both are willing to go around it. Hopefully, this article helps with tips on working things out with a cross-dressing partner, especially y if it is for you, it is a nightmare turn reality upon awakening.

Crossdressing; What It Means?

Crossdressing; What It Means?

Cross-dressing is wearing clothing articles of the opposite sex. Males and females often wear clothing items of the opposite self for various reasons, though prominent among them is the exploration of the sensuality behind the act and the expression of feminine or masculine tendencies inherent in the cross-dresser.  The desire to cross dress cuts across numerous reasons, which according to Vern L. Bullough and Bonnie Bullough in their widely acclaimed book Cross Dressing, Sex and Gender. They could be biological, psychological or the results sociological inputs. The Journal of Sex Education and Therapy review of the book, as featured on University of Pennsylvania Press website 2 states thus,

Crossdressing therefore slightly varies from one region to another. Skirts and some other clothes viewed as strictly female in some areas are masculine in others and are for both genders in other climes.

A crossdresser could be partial or complete, from basking in the pleasure of hidden garter belts to fully transforming to the opposite sex, wearing makeup and wigs alongside full female adornments. In some cases, female mannerisms and female names are adopted.

​Crossdressing! What It Is Not!

There are many misconceptions surrounding the idea of cross-dressing, especially for males. A crossdresser is not a gay, a transgender or a transsexual. Matty Silver listed some of the misconceptions surrounding cross-dressing in her post (3) titled 'What to Do If Your Husband Is a Cross-Dresser', cross-dressing does not mean any of the following.

  • ​That Your Husband Does Not Love You; The fact he loves crossdressing Does not mean he loves you any less. Cross-dressing men are as loving, caring and romantic as men who do not cross-dress. Crossdressers are known to be more caring, affectionate and connected to their partner as they excuse the more nocturnal sides present in their felinity.
  • ​He Is Gay: Crossdressers are not necessarily gay. In fact, Homosexual tendencies occur at the same rate between crossdressers and non-cross dressers. The fact he is in a marriage or relationship with you strengthens the assertion he is not gay. Furthermore, cross-dressing is not purely a sexual activity, it sometimes is a reflection of your partner’s feminine side. Some men get better aroused when clad in female clothing, many find it as a way if identifying an aspect of them laying deep down in them, and some others as a pastime. In this article titled ' Helping Wives of Crossdressers to Understand and Cope" (Helping Wives of Crossdressers to Understand and Cope), it is revealed that amongst the numerous male crossdressers in the United States, most of them crossdress to explore the full range of their personalities. Many crossdressers discover their preference for silky, soft female clothing even before their teen years, they, however, are attracted to the opposite sex, though work to feel like them.
  • ​They Want to be Female: No. They only desire to explore the feminine aspect of them. Crossdressers are mostly unwilling to undergo surgery to look more feminine. Transitioning from one gender to another is pivotal to the pleasure acquired.
  • ​It is Easy; Cross dressing could appear to be so much fun to a cross-dresser. Wan has found it hard to understand why a man would do such acts that really displease them for only the fun of it. In truth, cross-dressing goes beyond the fun, for some men, it’s a way of relieving stresses and maintaining physical and psychological balance. Some men could become really grumpy and unhappy if they do not find a way to experience such relief once in a while. Men, therefore, try as much as possible to hide the truth away from others and even themselves.
  • ​They do It for Sexual Pleasure: While many men have reported being crossdressers for the range of sexual pleasures it gives them, some get aroused from the grinding of their shaft again soft cotton panties. Some state it keeps them in a constant state of arousal while it aids some others to have better sexual activities. Many men are excited to have sex with their lovers after having done so in cross-dresses. And possibly garnished it with a lot of role play. Many crossdressers
  • ​Crossdressers Might Be Irresponsible: Simple, their partner generated had to sacrifice a lot of times. Cross Dressers come across as highly successful men, impressive wealth and possibly a beautiful woman like you. In Chapter 3 of 'The Book of Life ', titled 'Relationships; Sex' on the School of Life's website(4)the wrong opinion of many is truthfully stated that 'The concept of a man taking pleasure in putting on a pair of stockings seems laughable, pitiful – and plain sinister ...Cross-dressing seems like an admission of failure. Instead of living up to an ideal of strength, ruggedness and sheer ‘normality’, a man keen to slip on a dress is taken to be a deviant of a particularly alarming sort.' That view is wrong, as even being female is none of the many beliefs people hold, and cross-dressing is simply basking the pleasure of gender fluidity.
  • ​Cross Dressing is A Problem: Many people hold the wrong opinion cross-dressing is a disease or a psychological issue that needs medical attention or mental rehabilitation. Cross-dressing is none of these. It is not a condition that really needs such help.

​Why Did He Hide It?

​Why Did He Hide It?

​Your partner might have come out plain and told you about his kink right before you entered the relationship. You could also be giving a marriage to a crossdresser you admire a thought and contemplating spending the rest of your life with someone who you think shouldn't be the way he acts or he you just outright discovered. There are some reasons he might have hid awash, prominent among which are

He Was Scare to Lose You:

Women are known to be attracted to the major trait that distinguishes them from men, masculinity. Business Insider (5) and many other sources feed us with the truth if how women find masculinity alluring. Cross Dressers are scared to appear less attractive by a display or their feminine side. Even in very open and accommodating societies, conservatives might still put crossdressers in a discomfiture with their opinion about it. Many men, therefore, hideaway out of the fear that a discovery by their partner would put an end to their relationship. Especially when he had experienced rejections from the previous partner.

It means one thing. He loved you. Didn't want to lose you. He still loves you, but for him not to lose himself, he had to tell you.

He Tried to Put It Aside.

Many men hope their wives would never know and hope to one-day sling across their wife on the sofa, put their arms around them and tell them of how they overcame that fantasy in the past. However, for most men, if not all, it turns out that night they hope to achieve plays out in exactly the opposite way, their hands twisting and knotting in their hair with a woman crying in the discovery of a fear that had never crossed their mind.

Truth is, he could have hoped to work around it, but ended up failing because he found it hard to do away with something so part of him.

He Was Scared of Others Opinion:

​Your friends, relatives, neighbors, her parents, your children. The fear of their reaction to this aspect of him and possible denouncement could have made it hide it away from you. He must have hoped to grow out of it as you get more intimate, or he satisfied the cravings in clandestine before coming out plain, or you walked in on him scruffy.

He Wanted You to Discover:

​And you did, he might have found it hard telling you straight in the face he cross-dressed, especially when he doesn't know your opinion on it. He could have left trails leading to your discovery.

He Never Wanted You to Know:

But then you stumbled into it. The most important fact is you have known, you have reacted, but then you need to make decisions. Upon Knowing; Reaction and Response.

When you knew, you must have had a reaction. Remaining silent, smiling, laughing, jumping, making backflips, crying, screaming or running out with your head clasped tightly in your hands. Beyond the reaction, which is the impulsive feedback you give upon taking in the information.

You can, however, balance things up with your response, he would have understood your reaction to the news. There are however three responses you can give. Julie Freeman in ' A Significant Other View(6) described different levels of acceptance, writing, 'I find a wide variety of acceptable levels. Some wives are totally non-accepting. They are hostile, angry, upset, and just about ready to walk out the door! At the other end are those wives who are totally accepting. They love their husbands dearly and whatever the husband does is fine with them...And then between those extremes are the vast majority who are not hostile, but are not totally supportive either. These wives are willing to listen to both sides and seem to appreciate the advice given the most’.

If you decide to respond by being in any of the two categories, it would be a pleasant surprise for your husband. Though not everyone would fall in the second category, as only women who have natural tendencies for crossdressers would fall into that category, if you fall in there, that's a whole windfall of luck for you.

Women in the third category would, however, need to take practical steps for a peaceful coexistence.

​Coping With A Cross Dressing Husband.

​You would both have to adapt to this new discovery by taking steps to help you enjoy your marriage, rather than walk away. You could take the following steps

Try to Understand, Trust and Respect Each Other;

Is it like pulling teeth getting him to spend time with you?
The key to solving is understanding men on a much deeper emotional level. The number #1 factor that causes men to behave this way is actually relatively easy to change with a few subtle things you can say to him.

Take this quick quiz to see if he actually likes you!

​Trust and understanding come a long way in your relationship as it takes a new turn on the axis of discovery.  As stated in 'Helping Wives of Crossdressers to Understand and Cope” by Phi Epsilon Mu chapter of Tri Ess (7), the couple needs to have open, honest communications to help the relationship become stronger.

It helps to see a counselor.

You can check upon any near to you on the internet.

Set Limits and Conditions;

​You and partner might need to set certain conditions for his expression. He, for example, might be unable to cross-dress in the presence of tour children or anyone, not you. You might have to pick up the clothing items he wears, or he can cross-dress for only particular periods, like all through the night.

Think and find new ways to spice up your marriage.

It helps to join support groups for wives of Crossdressers,

​you can join those that align with your ideas on the internet. You should intently consider privacy issues. Support groups help your pour and address certain concerns and get help. Women with similar concerns and experiences will be at hand to offer practical advice.


Hopefully, this article is enriching enough to make you understand why your husband crossdresses and how you can have a fulfilling marriage with this discovery. It is understood that you would have been shaken by the knowledge, might have entertained the thought of walking away, but many women have been brave enough to go through it with willing crossdressers.

You can do it too.

We hope to read your contribution to this topic. Please, like and share with your friends and families.

Do you feel like all you think about is him, but he only thinks about himself?
This doesn't mean he doesn't like you. You have to understand how he is wired. Once you do, you'll find there is a subtle thing you can say that to him that will drastically change how he shows his emotions towards you.

Take this quick quiz that looks at whether he actually likes you or not!

Sonya Schwartz
A hopeless romantic that struggled for many years to find her Mr "Right" and made all the mistakes you could think of while dating. Known for always choosing the wrong guys or messing up relationships, Sonya was finally able to change her approach and mindset when it came to dating which helped her eventually find the man of her dreams and become happily married. You can read more about me here...

18 comments on “My Husband Is A Cross-Dresser: What Does It Mean?”

  1. My mom was a narcissist, she abandoned me when I was about 3, it really affected me the moment I realized (at 3) that my being present didn't really matter to her. So just when my also narcissist dad took me to a friends place to stay, I found a pair of stockings belonging to one of the females, then I began wearing it, I'm still a cross dresser now. Since my mom is still as useless as she always was, my cross dressing gave me a feeling of being taken care of by a woman. Not that I can't get a partner, but the ones whom I attracted were also narcissists (just like my mom), so me already having attachment issues, plus having to cater to the needs of them narcissists, I thought, why bother getting one if all I'm gonna attract are narcissists. My dad is a weak male, he also had issues with his dad, so obviously the narcissism is also present. Both parents expected me to care for them (while they didn't bother to care for me). I told them to go fuck themselves and went no contact

  2. Out of curiosity, why is it that most cross dressers are men more so than women or is just the discussions mainly geared to men cross dressers more abundant ? I have Spent countless hours reading anything and everything I can find out about cross dressing. Trying to gain a better understanding and to be able to find peace within myself concerning my husband’s cross dressing. I love him dearly. He came out to me roughly 4 years ago. We have battled up and down sideways together apart we have been through just about everything that we probably can go through concerning the cross dressing. Most of the articles that I have read have stated that the wives or significant others should be more understanding, more open minded, etc. etc. to the man’s feelings concerning the cross dresser and that we should accept it if we love them irregardless of the position it puts us in. However I am trying to be understanding, but usually the majority of the articles are written by men who cross dress who seem to be screaming at the top of their lungs concerning the men’s feelings on the subject. For some reason it always seems that the articles seem to be that the men’s feelings are more important than the woman’s and if the woman can’t cope with it or agree with it or whatever then she should move on and let him be happy. So I should not be happy? My happiness doesn’t count? my life has been turned upside down and then I’m being told that this is the same person that I’ve loved all along. I have been told that it’s just clothing wigs make up whatever that the person inside is still the same. However having a discussion with my husband, in the direction that should I dress fully in men’s clothing cut all my hair off confined my breastI have been told that it’s just clothing wigs make up whatever that the person inside is still the same. However having a discussion with my husband, in the direction that should I dress fully in men’s clothing, cut all my hair off and confined my breast would he still find Me a tractive. The answer was no. Hold on a minute, I thought it was just clothing? And that it shouldn’t make any difference. Then tell me why would it make a difference if the shoe was on the other foot?

    1. "Out of curiosity, why is it that most cross dressers are men more so than women"
      Women crossdress daily without consideration, whether it's jeans, shorts or a man's shirt, it's not considered odd or out of place, at the end of the day in my wife's words "there just clothes", the only piece of clothing specifically designed for women is the Bra, yes panties are designed for "female comfort and hygine" but i find women's full brief belly warmers far more comfortable than letting everything hang loose in a pair of mens boxers and that's the key, it's all about the individual and not anyone else's bussiness

    2. If cross dressing as a man was what you truly wanted to do your husband may be supportive of that. But I'm gathering that you don't really want to dress as a man. And he knows that which is probably why his response was no. I could never know your personal situation but I'm trying to understand where you're coming from. When my partner is dressed up it makes me feel like maybe we've switched roles. Like I'm a little more manly. It took me a little while to be ok with that. And one evening I actually slipped on a pair of silky boxers ( that I bought for him a few years before for Valentine's day) and one of his satin button up dress shirts, that I also bought for him. No I didn't flatten my chest or put on a prosthetic penis to make myself into a man. I just embraced my less femanine side while still feeling sexy. I felt surprisingly good. Not sure if my comment will help at all. I hope you find the peace your looking for. Good luck.

    3. My partner just told me about cross dressing and we have been together 13 years. I feel broken, all he keeps saying is he is still him, still same guy, but to me he is not, my once very manly man now has a complete shaved body, he now moisturize his whole body twice a day, plucks his eyebrows , polishes his nails... he has gone from looking rough and well a man, to this pristine not a hair in sight man. He has the wigs x6 , the boobs, very skimpy clothes, the sexy woman's underwear, make up.. now I dont wear make up so for me now to sit here and watch him for over an hour do his face telling me how to contour and do smokey eyes etc is very upsetting. It's just not the conversation I ever imagined I'd be having with him. When he gets dressed as her he is like a barbie doll, so girly and very princess, his whole body changes the way he moves, stands, pouts, he just turns into this very girly girl, I find myself not being able to look at him. I feel absolutely terrible for not just accepting it . I am trying really hard but it hurts! I'm only 30, been together 13 years got 3 kids.
      I feel like he has turned my world upside down. Like you say.. every where online about cross dressing is written by a cross dresser!

  3. When I found out my heterosexual boyfriend likes to wear women's clothes it was like he gave me the ultimate gift. He trusted and loved me so much that he wanted me to know. I consider myself open minded and as a woman, I know how sexy I feel when I dress up so I get it. No he's not gay, yes he loves me. And I love him... Her when dressed up. It spices things up in the bedroom too. I guess I'm a unique case in that I absolutely love that my partner can be who they are with me and not feel ashamed. I can imagine how difficult it is for some wives or girlfriends to understand. My only advice to them is, be patient. It may take time for your partner to fully open up. At least that has been my experience. Try to embrace it a little at a time. Before you know you'll be shopping for blouses together. It is like having the ultimate best friend.

    1. My partner is a cross dressing man. He told me everything before our first date so we had complete honesty from the start. I'm surprised at how much I don't mind at all. It must have been hard for him to tell me and I admire him for explaining immensely. Most of the time he is a nice male. Sometimes he dresses as a female and looks very good as a she and I compliment him/her. He kept it secret for many years and from two ex wives. Now he can be who he really is. I understand and we get on really well.

  4. My husband and I separated last weekend, and as I struggled to understand how we got to this point, I began to dig a little deeper and stumbled across photos of him in ladies underwear.
    Initially I was fuming, not putting two and two together. I thought he'd been cheating on me after discovering what appeared to be a rather young looking lady taking photos of herself in our house. On further inspection I'm absolutely certain now that they're pictures of him. It is a lot to take in, but nevertheless a massive relief that he hasn't been cheating.
    My husband has no idea that I have seen these photos yet and I have asked him to meet me today to talk. I have no idea how he is going to react and I am genuinely concerned for his mental health. He's had mental health issues and suicidal tendencies for as long as I have known him and I wonder if this has contributed. Any help with what to say would be appreciated.

    1. I just discovered a bag of his underwear, sex toys and wig. Also saw photos of him dressed up and photoshoped face. I almost threw up instantly. He still does not know I saw those photos, those images I cannot unsee. Also saw his Youtube history with MTF videos, women trying underwear, trans people going through transformation. And saw his Amazon purchase history. He spent a lot of money on toys and clothing while complaining he cannot save because of our trips etc. Confronted him and he said it is just sexual. To pleasure himself. He doesn't know I saw all of that. He just knows I found the clothes. I pushed him hard to tell me the whole truth, but he left things out. We were going to get married and build a family together. Now I feel like everything was a lie and my whole world was turned upside down. We were the ideal couple, had such a great life it felt too good to be true, we loved each other so much. But lately, there was less interest from him in our intimacy. And now it all makes sense. He said he was going to throw the clothes away and that he was happy lately and did not feel the need to do it as often, but we all know that won't last. I have no clue what to do...I am angry at the lies...How can I build a life with him after all this? Could really used someone to talk to about this. I can't tell any of my friends and family.

      1. I am so sorry to read these comments of heartbroken women. I wish I could meet each and every one of these women as I am one of them and absolutely heartbroken.
        I didn’t know about my husband’s cross dressing until we were married for over a year. We went to counseling which wasn’t helpful at the time. He told me he was fine and wouldn’t be cross dressing again, we come from an extremely religious background which complicates this situation. Long story short...we have now been married 14 years and have 3 kids. We have been through 3 counselors and 4 religious leaders trying to help us. I have major betrayal trauma and a current counselor who is constantly misunderstanding me and putting words on my mouth. The bottom line is I can handle the cross dressing but the dishonesty has ruined my trust. Besides the cross dressing he has hidden other things from me and even left my baby at home to live his fantasy. I have recently considered separating but we are currently trying to work things out again. I am constantly on edge after all the lying. It’s a complicated and painful situation being unable to heal because the betrayal keeps happening. One of the hardest things has been not knowing another woman going through what I’m going through. These comments have been helping me not feel alone.

  5. My husband is a cross dresser. I found the clothes 2 yrs ago. He promised he didnt aby more. He was always horrible to me. 33 yrs. Then i found photos of him dressed as a slut sucking a mans cock. Up until March this yr. He wants to be with me. He says he doesnt do it or want to anymore- like he said 2 yrs ago with dressing. I am a mess. Suicidal and totally lost

    1. I am so sorry you feel this way I truly feel for you. I know you are traumatized, and I want you to remember that your happiness matters too!!

  6. Maybe he just wants to wear panties? I used to.Do not be shocked.More and more men are doing so.Several reasons why.One reason...panties for example nylon feel wonderful.There is more underwear fro men that are like panties.There are some that might as well be women's panties with a pouch .Shouldn't the underwear you put on be comfortable?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Copyright © 2015 - 2022 HerNorm.com