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Not sure how to process my husband’s secret

Nocturne92E
Community Member
My husband and I have been together for 14 years and married for 9 years. It was my birthday earlier this month and I was sneaky and snooped in his emails to see what I would be getting for my birthday. I found some emails of purchase confirmations for some foundation and makeup and was mildly surprised that he would want to get me that. Anyhow, I received no makeup for my birthday… and so tonight I decided to investigate further, and found multiple purchases that were being sent to a parcel locker. The only place where he knows I wouldnt usually get to was his car so while he was in the shower I checked and found some high heels hidden in his boot. My mind was just totally scattered… was he cheating? But then I went back and checked the shoeboxes and they were in his size… my mind is blown and I just can’t seem to gather my thoughts. Our marriage is fairly sexless and we’ve spoken on and off about seeing someone about this as I do feel like it is affecting me mentally (particularly as we keep saying we want to try for another child…). I don’t know what this means… is he gay? If I say something will it ruin our marriage? I was totally wrong to snoop but I’m also angry that he’s kept something from me… but I don’t know if I want to face whatever comes next if I confront him…but I don’t know how to move on as if I know nothing… and if I say nothing I’m worried I’ll eventually kill my love for him…. What do I do???
15 Replies 15

geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Nocturne, thanks for posting your comment.

This would be a concern and definitely be a question you'd like an answer to, especially as your marriage is now sexless.

Some marriages can continue on when the spouse knows of this happening, but depends on each arrangement.

You have a good excuse if you want another baby, so you are entitled to bring this topic up for discussion and could start by saying you were cleaning out his cupboard because you thought you saw something moving around and found these high heels in his size, so is there anything you want to tell you.

With these high heels is there anywhere else he could be hiding any clothes, in his shed maybe or in a suitcase, but the more you are curious the more this will dominate your thinking.

Another option is to send something to his parcel locker saying that we need to have a talk because now, things are becoming very unusual and you would like to have some answers to what you see may be hapening.

If you don't confront him then eventually, more evidence may appear as well as his behaviour may change dramatically.

This isn't to stop you from loving him but understand that his direction has changed because of different circumstances.

Please get back to us.

Geoff.

Juliet_84
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Nocturne92E,

Firstly I’m so sorry, I understand how gut-wrenching it must have been to find those items. It must have felt like the carpet had been pulled out from under you and everything you thought to be turned on it’s head. I’m guessing that your fairly confident that the items belong to your husband and that his shoe size is a fair bit larger than a females? If you think you have sufficient evidence to confront him, then that is the way to go. But be prepared that he is probably going to try and deny it so I would make sure you have enough evidence that he cannot deny it/explain it away so that you can at least get to the bottom of what’s going on. You have to understand, there is going to obviously be a lot of shame on his part so he will find it very hard to confess. But just because he likes to cross-dress does not make him gay. It is just a fantasy/fetish like most others. It might be helpful to read up on it so you have more of an understanding of what he’s feeling. The sexless side of your marriage also needs addressing and a meeting with a couples counsellor is recommended to help you navigate all of these issues once you have spoken to your husband.

jtjt_4862
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Nocturne92E

Sorry to hear you've had a hard time with your recent discoveries about your husband. It sounds like he may have an interest that he is shy to share to you about; afraid of what you will think of him and what will happen next as well. Perhaps by confronting him about the findings, it may help you both get a better understanding of each other, and come to a solution that will help alleviate stress from each other. When doing so, tread things with curiosity rather than being judgmental, as your aim is to understand why are those things in his possession, and that you're concerned about him and the sexless relationship that the two of you have been having.

I agree with Juliet_84, it is possible that he is into cross-dressing, but that doesn't mean he's gay. It is an interest/hobby that he has, and is probably ashamed/shy to tell you about. Only by confronting him, and seeking to understand him, will you know what your discovery is all about.

Jt

tranzcrybe
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
In the pursuit of seeking a preview to your birthday present, you stumbled upon an alter ego that, without passing judgement, is an interest your husband feels attracted to... and perhaps unsure/fearful of how this will affect your perception of conventionality, marriage, and the bond you have formed over the past 14 years. Some secrets are formed to protect rather than evade, and individual escapism also has its benefits in harmonious relationships.
Regardless, you are now in possession of privileged information (as it was not your aim to snoop beyond immediate needs).

The bigger issue is to what extent this characteristic manifests itself in the broader community - curiosity, tête-à-tête, affair, or simply another form of self expression - an outlet, if you will, no different to taking up painting, or drama classes. Being a cross dresser doesn't infer homosexuality.

Confrontation, with respect to previous posts, may not be your best approach as your husband is obviously not ready to come forward over this, but you would be wise to stay vigilant to behaviour/activity as you formulate the circumstances and, using your acquired knowledge, try not to see this as betrayal before ascertaining the facts.
If possible, and somewhat conversely, being empathetic and supportive of your husband during this time might promote more open discussions in due course (as opposed to sparking reactive and defensive conflict).

Once you remove any personal inference, you may even find this side to your husband could enhance your marriage - how do you feel about wearing men's clothes??

Tranzcrybe,

Firstly, I wanted to say that I really enjoyed reading your advice. But while I agree about your sentiments an open and accepting environment, don’t you think it’s necessary to sit down and discuss this with her husband? “Confront” was probably the wrong word to use on my part as it suggests some element of aggression, whereas this is a sensitive matter and should be discussed using a calm and empathetic approach. But I don’t know whether this is something that you could keep to yourself and wait for him to one day hopefully discuss it with you. I know that I would certainly have trouble acting as if nothing as happened and going about my day as usual, it would feel as though my life is a lie. And the reality is that her husband likely may never choose to bring this up with her because it’s not an easy thing to admit, even to yourself. Which then runs the risk that she does it during an argument or something which would be profoundly more damaging. My intention is not to critique your advice but for rather for us to have a healthy discussion about the relative merits of each approach.

Nocturne92E
Community Member

Hi All,

Following my post last night, my husband could sense that something was off with me, and we once again (as this seems to happen in cycles) confronted the issue about our marriage missing the sexual intimacy. During this discussion (it was not a fight, but i did convey my frustration), I made it clear to him that he could tell me anything, and that the one thing that I hate most of all is to be lied to (he has hidden his on and off smoking habit in the past and when i've found out, I have always told him that i was more upset about him lying to my face than the act of smoking itself. His response has always been that he was afraid that he'd disappointed me). He expressed that he felt ashamed that he seemed to have a low libido, and i took that opportunity to try to delve deeper and show that i was open to anything he might be interested in relating to fetishes etc. I gave him many opportunities in as safe a space as possible to share this with me, but he didn't. We left the conversation with me feeling less upset because during this conversation, he assured me that he knows for sure that he was heterosexual, and that he wanted to work on our relationship because he didn't want to lose me. This morning though, I have woken up just very upset and confused again - I don't want to confront him because I understand that I was the one who breached his personal space and snooped on him. I understand that this would be very hard for him to not be able to share with anyone, and the last thing i want to do is make him feel worse.. .but at the same time, I just can't seem to regulate my emotions - i am just so so upset and I don't know why and I don't feel like i can talk to anyone i know because i know he wouldn't want anyone to know. I am so torn up inside and feel horrible

Croix
Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Nocturne92E~

I'm not sure if I am on the right track or if this is simply an unworkable idea.

Some people have suggested you confront him about the possibility of wishing to dress as a female, and confrontation is a pretty negative and stressful way to go about things. As far as I can see it is the sort of situation that can encourage denials.

At the moment you are confused and miserable and strongly suspect your husband is not telling you the truth.

I would imagine he feels shame at his fantasy, and about lying to you.

Let's leave fertility, children and intimacy to one side for a moment. True, that needs to be sorted, but possibly things may make that easier in a while. Also leave to one side privacy matters and past possible untruths.

So instead of confrontation why not by him a gift that is consistent with his fantasy and see what happens? Yes, a difficult leap for you however it would show acceptance and a willingness to understand on your part and possibly make it easier for him to be straightforward.

Once the pair of you have the truth before you it may be easier to work out what to do next, ideally thinking it though together, maybe with a councilor who has the correct experience.

Do you think this is too silly for words?

Croix

Hi Nocturne92E

I’m really sorry to learn of what you’re going through right now. I’ve been married over 30 years and know that if I was in your shoes I’d be quite rattled. I’d have a lot of questions.

I don’t think it’s going to be possible to continue the marriage in your usual way pretending that you don’t know. It will eat at you. And every day that passes where he isn’t honest and doesn’t confide in you will compound the hurt.

One way or another it’s bound to come out and I’d suggest some measure of control on your part over how this is managed is best.

But I think the way you approach it depends on how you really feel about his cross dressing. Croix’s idea of a gift is great if “acceptance” and “understanding” is how you really feel. But if you feel angry, confused, disappointed, shocked or the like it would be really hard to pull off. And however you feel it’s okay. We are here to support you, there is no judgment.

You will need to be in a strong frame of mind. Once you start this discussion there is no turning back. And you need to be prepared to listen even though you may not really want to hear.

When you are ready, you just sit down and talk. Quiet, comfortable space, alone with minimal distractions. Explain to him how you innocently stumbled across it. (I think it’s understandable and it’s not the real issue.) Then give him a chance to respond.

He may feel blindsided and may not initially react in a way you’d like. Let it go. Try again when you’re both ready.

Hugs and kind thoughts to you


geoff
Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Nocturne, there has been much comment about cross dressing and as open as you may be, I wouldn't dress up as a female and be with my mates at the pub and I certainly wouldn't have sent anything to a parcel locker without my spouse from knowing.

I understand that cross dressing does happen in ads and in movies and there are famous films we all know where this happens, but if you keep lying to your spouse how can trust and respect be given now and in the future.

My best.

Geoff. x