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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1165
Experience:  Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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Hi Let me start by saying, my wife and I

Customer Question

Hi
Let me start by saying, my wife and I love each other very deeply but she feels we can longer stay together all the same.
I know that I have caused a large part of the problem and I bitterly regret it, but I cannot stop what I do. I have had a thing about wearing girlie underwear, slips, nighties and so on since I was in my early teens. At different stages I have had it under control or stopped altogether or felt free to wear what I like when I like often choosing with complete freedom not to.
I was 38 when I met my wife, she was 44. That would be seven years ago now. At that time I had just moved back to the town I grew up in and sold a house in Plymouth in which I had lived alone for four years. In that time I had been free to take my crossdressing as far as I wanted and still never felt the desire to explore any further. It is what it is and I don't think after 30 odd years my needs are going to change with regard to the extent of my crossdressing. I have been reckless over the years and if I had wanted to go further, believe me, I would have done so.
I have been through the massive guilt and shame stages and so on until I eventually arrived at the opinion that if it doesn't hurt anyone whats the problem. There is no problem. But it has hurt someone. It has hurt the women I love more than anything else in the world.
For my wife it has eaten away at her since the first time she found out. She found a pair of stockings in the car and thought I'd had an affair. I knew she'd be devastated either way but couldn't let her think that. So for the first time in my life I had to tell someone. A previous girlfriend had caught me but thats history now. I sometimes think it may have been better to let my wife think I'd had an affair and in all honesty, though not truthful it may now at least seem to have been a kinder option. At least then she could have called me all the names under the sun, walked away and got on with her life. As it is she has had to suffer making the decision to leave someone she loves very much.
All the thinking led to my wife getting depressed, a diagnosis confirmed by her doctor after she had to give up her job in october last year. Her job was pretty stressful and she had been unhappy in it for some time. I gave her all the support I couldand backed her decision without any hesitation. At the time I really thought it was just the job that was responsible. I have no doubt that there are many factors that have brought on my wifes ultimate decision to leave. Her daughter, 22 now has left home a few years ago but a year or so moved back to Birmingham near the rest of my wifes family and as a man who has never had any desire for children of my own I cannot even to begin to imagine what a hole this has left in her life. To add to that I work an evening shift two weeks out of three and so my wife has spent along time alone and likely felling lonely.
I know that approaching 50 is not an easy time of life for any woman and I am certain that all these factors play their part. The fact is though her husband is not the man she thought he was. I know that I exactly the same man, this is not a new thing.
I know that the not telling her before we were in to deep was the biggest mistake of my life but even my wife can see how near impossible that would be. It is a big secret, and the risk of loosing someone when you are both so very happy is so great.
my wife went to the doctor and explain all. A diagnosis of depression was given and she was reffered to a councellor. The councellor said it was not really their field and reffered her to another councellor in late January.
My wife had not spoken to me about the crossdressing and I was still under the impresssion that the councellor she was seeing was going to try to help her find the route of the problem.
She kept her appointment in late January and I have since found out that her councillor basically ridiculed my problem and her problem and in one way or another sent her home on a mission to tear the home apart until she found something. She did. Ironically something I had not been anywear near for weeks if not months.
That was the end really. She went to Brum early for a visit that was planned anyway and when she came home announced that she had to leave.
While she was away I went to see my doctor who reffered me to relate as there was little she could offer on the crossdressing front and the state of my relationship seemed the primary concern. Several calls to and messages to relate and no call back.
I went back to see the doctor when my wife came home, Ineeded to understand why if I had gone to her teling her I was a woman trapped in a mans body then the full weight and rescources of the NHS would swing into action ut there was nobody who could help my wife and I
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Relationship
Expert:  askcounselor replied 2 years ago.

askcounselor :

It sounds as though you might benefit from seeing a sexologist who wouldl probably indicate that your feelings are o.k. to have. However, honesty and trust in a relationship keeps the relationship alive, and you may have hurt your wife by not telling her of your cross-dressing. You will have to regain her trust in order for your relationship to flourish.

Customer:

I understand what you say about trust issues. I accept that I have done possibly more damage in allowing the lie. My wife tells me she understands how difficult that would have been for me. She says she truly believes that I have been true to her in all other things without question and I believe her, she has after all nothing to gain by not being honest with me and she is a truthful, trustworthy person in any case.

Customer:

Sorry pressed the wrong button. Our problem lies in my not being able to stop cross dressing and in her inability to accept it. What I really need is to know if it is possible to stop this . whether I can in all honesty seek help and be able to tell her it will never happen again. If I can't then I must accept for her future happiness that this is the way it is.

Customer:

Also I want to find out if it is ever possible for a woman to learn to accept this in her husband. It is a big ask I know and we are all individuals. But as I have said we both love eachother very much and if there is any hope for both of us we need to find out all we can. What is a sexologist and where on earth do I find one. Thanks for your help!

Expert:  Dr. L replied 2 years ago.

Good Morning,

I would like to provide more information for you. I am going to paste into this chat an excellent article from WebMD on this subject.

There is treatment available for cross-dressing so I would like you to have hope that you can repair your relationship with your wife!

 

Give me a second and I will paste the article. It will take me several postings to get the entire article copied.

 

 

Expert:  Dr. L replied 2 years ago.

Paraphilias

Paraphilias are problems with controlling impulses that are characterized by recurrent and intense sexual fantasies, urges, and behaviors involving unusual objects, activities, or situations not considered sexually arousing to others. In addition, these objects, activities, or situations often are necessary for the person's sexual functioning. With a paraphilia, the individual's urges and behaviors cause significant distress and/or personal, social, or occupational dysfunction. Someone with a paraphilia may be referred to as "kinky" or "perverted," and these behaviors may have serious social and legal consequences.

What Behaviors Are Considered Paraphilias?

Exhibitionism ("Flashing")

Exhibitionism is characterized by intense, sexually arousing fantasies, urges, or behaviors involving exposure of the individual's genitals to an unsuspecting stranger. The individual with this problem, sometimes called a "flasher," feels a need to surprise, shock, or impress his victims. The condition usually is limited to the exposure, with no other harmful advances made, although "indecent exposure" is illegal. Actual sexual contact with the victim is rare. However, the person may masturbate while exposing himself or while fantasizing about exposing himself.

Fetishism

People with this problem have sexual urges associated with non-living objects. The person becomes sexually aroused by wearing or touching the object. For example, the object of a fetish could be an article of clothing, such as underwear, rubber clothing, women's shoes, women's underwear, or lingerie. The fetish may replace sexual activity with a partner or may be integrated into sexual activity with a willing partner. When the fetish becomes the sole object of sexual desire, sexual relationships often are avoided. A related disorder, called partialism, involves becoming sexually aroused by a body part, such as the feet, breasts, or buttocks.

Frotteurism

With this problem, the focus of the person's sexual urges is related to touching or rubbing his genitals against the body of a non-consenting, unfamiliar person. In most cases of frotteurism, a male rubs his genital area against a female, often in a crowded public location. This disorder also is a problem because the contact made with the other person is illegal.

Pedophilia

People with pedophilia have fantasies, urges, or behaviors that involve illegal sexual activity with a prepubescent child or children (generally age 13 years or younger). Pedophilic behavior includes undressing the child, encouraging the child to watch the abuser masturbate, touching or fondling the child's genitals, and forcefully performing sexual acts on the child. Some pedophiles are sexually attracted to children only (exclusive pedophiles) and are not attracted to adults at all. Some pedophiles limit their activity to their own children or close relatives (incest), while others victimize other children. Predatory pedophiles may use force or threaten their victims if they disclose the abuse. Health care providers are legally bound to report such abuse of minors.

This activity constitutes rape and is a felony offense punishable by imprisonment.

Expert:  Dr. L replied 2 years ago.

Sexual Masochism

Individuals with this disorder use sexual fantasies, urges, or behaviors involving the act (real, not simulated) of being humiliated, beaten, or otherwise made to suffer in order to achieve sexual excitement and climax. These acts may be limited to verbal humiliation, or may involve being beaten, bound, or otherwise abused. Masochists may act out their fantasies on themselves -- such as cutting or piercing their skin, or burning themselves -- or may seek out a partner who enjoys inflicting pain or humiliation on others (sadist). Activities with a partner include bondage, spanking, and simulated rape.

Sadomasochistic fantasies and activities are not uncommon among consenting adults. In most of these cases, however, the humiliation and abuse are acted out in fantasy. The participants are aware that the behavior is a "game," and actual pain and injury is avoided.

A potentially dangerous, sometimes fatal, masochistic activity is autoerotic partial asphyxiation, in which a person uses ropes, nooses, or plastic bags to induce a state of asphyxia (interruption of breathing) at the point of orgasm. This is done to enhance orgasm, but accidental deaths sometimes occur.

Sexual Sadism

Individuals with this disorder have persistent fantasies in which sexual excitement results from inflicting psychological or physical suffering (including humiliation and terror) on a sexual partner. This disorder is different from minor acts of aggression in normal sexual activity; for example, rough sex. In some cases, sexual sadists are able to find willing partners to participate in the sadistic activities.

At its most extreme, sexual sadism involves illegal activities such as rape, torture, and even murder, in which case the death of the victim produces sexual excitement. It should be noted that while rape may be an expression of sexual sadism, the infliction of suffering is not the motive for most rapists, and the victim's pain generally does not increase the rapist's sexual excitement. Rather, rape involves a combination of sex and gaining power over the victim. These individuals need intensive psychiatric treatment and may be jailed for these activities.

Transvestism

Transvestism, or transvestic fetishism, refers to the practice by heterosexual males of dressing in female clothes to produce or enhance sexual arousal. The sexual arousal usually does not involve a real partner, but includes the fantasy that the individual is the female partner, as well. Some men wear only one special piece of female clothing, such as underwear, while others fully dress as female, including hair style and make-up. Cross-dressing as a transvestite is not a problem, unless it is necessary for the individual to become sexually aroused or experience sexual climax.

Voyeurism ("Peeping Tom")

This disorder involves achieving sexual arousal by observing an unsuspecting and non-consenting person who is undressing or unclothed, and/or engaged in sexual activity. This behavior may conclude with masturbation by the voyeur. The voyeur does not seek sexual contact with the person they are observing. Other names for this behavior are "peeping" or "peeping Tom."

Expert:  Dr. L replied 2 years ago.

Most paraphilias are rare, and are more common among males than among females (about 20 to 1 of males to females). However, the reason for this disparity is not clearly understood. While several of these disorders are associated with aggressive behavior, others are not aggressive or harmful. Some paraphilias -- such as pedophilia, exhibitionism, voyeurism, sadism, and frotteurism -- are criminal offenses.

Having paraphilic fantasies or behavior, however, does not always mean the person has a mental illness. The fantasies and behaviors can exist in less severe forms that are not dysfunctional in any way, do not impede the development of healthy relationships, do not harm the individual or others, and do not entail criminal offenses. They may be limited to fantasy during masturbation or intercourse with a partner.

What Causes Paraphilia?

It is not known for certain what causes paraphilia. Some experts believe it is caused by a childhood trauma, such as sexual abuse. Others suggest that objects or situations can become sexually arousing if they are frequently and repeatedly associated with a pleasurable sexual activity. In most cases, the individual with a paraphilia has difficulty developing personal and sexual relationships with others.

Many paraphilias begin during adolescence and continue into adulthood. The intensity and occurrence of the fantasies associated with paraphilia vary with the individual, and may decrease as the person ages.

How Is Paraphilia Treated?

Most cases of paraphilia are treated with counseling and therapy to help these people modify their behavior. Medications may help to decrease the compulsiveness associated with paraphilia, and reduce the number of deviant sexual fantasies and behaviors. In some cases, hormones are prescribed for individuals who experience frequent occurrences of abnormal or dangerous sexual behavior. Many of these drugs work by reducing the individual's sex drive.

How Successful Is Treatment for Paraphilia?

To be most effective, treatment for a paraphilia must be provided on a long-term basis. Unwillingness to comply with treatment can hinder its success. It is imperative that people with paraphilias of an illegal nature receive professional help before they harm others or create legal problems for themselves.

Expert:  Dr. L replied 2 years ago.

Knowledge is power! I think it would be important for you - and your wife - to understand what cross dressing is about. That way you can tackle the issue armed with correct information.

 

There is hope for your marriage. Certainly it is true that trust has been broken. But if both of you approach this with the intend of understanding what drives your cross dressing, a willingness to seek treatment, and a resolve to heal ... then the possibility for a wonderful marriage is still possible.

 

I would be willing to chat more if you would like.

 

Dr. Levang

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks very much for your help.

This is a pproblem I have come to the conclusion I have to beat regardless of whether my wife and I stay together.

What I am doing may at first appear harmless but, pataently it is not, either to others or to myself. Keeping secrets, feelings of guilt and shame and so on cannot be a healthy way to live a life.

I know that you do not know my wife, but i would value your opinion based on your learning and expierience as to whether she may accept that this is beatable and that it could be something her husband once did or whether that is a very remote and unlikley possibility.

Would you say that my croossdressing could be considered an addiction of some kind?

Expert:  Dr. L replied 2 years ago.

HI,

I am sorry that I did not write earlier. I had been "locked out" of your question and had to have JustAnswer unlock it so that I could respond to you.

 

Cross-dressing is considered a sexual disorder or dysfunction...not an addiction.

 

Yes...I understand that it causes you to feel guilt, shame, and to be involved in keeping secrets.

 

However, you seem committed to changing this as you realize this is unhealthy for you and for your wife.

 

Yes..there is hope that you can "beat" this.

 

If you are able to show your wife genuine sadness, vulnerability, and a desire to change this behavior...and acknowledge any pain you have caused her - certainly there is a strong possibility that she can come to see that you do not want to live like this any longer.

 

Love can overcome all kinds of terrible, traumatic, and disturbing incidents in a married couple's life. Couples triumph over addictions, over affairs, over job loss...and all kinds of unbelievably painful circumstances. It will be up to her how she wants to proceed.

 

The more you are honest and open with her the better this will be. And..that means not only what you say, but what you do. There must be congruence here.

 

Have you investigated treatment options? That would seem to be a first step in showing your wife that you are committed to heal and take responsibility for this dysfunctional aspect of your life.

 

I would be glad to chat more.

 

Thanks for allowing me to be of help.

 

 

 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Sorry I keep hitting all thwrong buttons, it was probably me that locked you out, not intentional! you're help is more valuable than I can say.

I have begun assimilating as much information as I can from the internet. My doctor seems unable to help unless I want to actually be a women. All I want is help to give up womens underwear and that seems trivial.

Can you explain to me what sort of treatments might be possible and any reading, or websites you might think appropriate.

At present I'm finding lots of sites that tell me I'll never give up and I ought to embrace who I am and not be ashamed. Thats great if you don't acknowledge the hurt this causes to oneself and those we love.

Thanks very much. Unless you can think of anything else that might help thats probably it now.

Thanks again Doc!

Expert:  Dr. L replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

Let me do some more searching. I know there are treatment programs and material available.

I'm sorry that you are not getting the kind of support and help you want and need.

I wonder why your doctor is only offering a sex change?! That is weird.

 

I am glad that I could be of help to you.

 

I will get back to you with more information.

 

Don't worry about the lock-out - I think it was some automatic process.

 

Take care...

 

Expert:  Dr. L replied 2 years ago.

www.sexaddicthelp.com

 

Hi,

I'd like you to take a look at this site. It has the best information of all the sites I have looked at. There are lots of links - and I encourage you to look at some of these. It does list various treatment programs across the country.

 

Now...sex addict may not be the term you would apply to crossdressing...but from what I have read...this is the "umbrella" under which cross-dressing can be found.

 

I would encourage you to go through this site, locate those that you want further information from, and then call or email.

 

There are a lot of worthless sites on the Internet to be sure. So...stick with the ones that are more clinical in nature. A lot of the initial sites I found by looking under "cross-dressing" were unhelpful and frustrating. So...don't google or search using that term.

 

I will continue to do more checking. But...as I said...this site seemed the best. One of the biggest names in this field is Patrick Carnes. You will see his contact information on this site. Take a look at what his center offers. It might not be what you are looking for exactly...but it will give you a sense of what is available.

 

Dr. Levang

 

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thanks for all your help doc. I assume I can click the "accept answer" button at this stage. If you do come up with any thing else I'd obviously appreciate it.

Thanks again, you have been a great help.

Expert:  Dr. L replied 2 years ago.

Hi,

You are very welcome!

 

Yes...I will let you know if I come up with further information for you!

 

Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Relationship
Satisfied Customers: 1165
Experience: Licensed as a Psychologist and Marriage & Family Therapist.
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