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Cynthia's Wife

Confused and Need Information and Support

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Cynthia's Wife

Hello -- 

 

This may be a bit long and confusing, but I'd really like some input. 

 

I'm a cis woman who's currently married (although we are going through a divorce) to a cross-dressing man who now claims he's asexual.  We're both in our 60s and have been married for 36 years. 

 

Ten years into our marriage, he had two affairs with women, both concurrently, but one lasted, unbeknownst to me, for five years.  (I say, "unbeknownst" because I knew about it initially, he came back home after one year, but continued his affair in secret for the following four years.)  I'll call this woman "Susan." 

 

It was after he came home that he retreated downstairs to "live" and we never had any physical contact again. (Yes, nothing in 25 years.) This was his choice, despite my literal begging to restart a physical relationship. 

 

Fast forward 25 years later and we're divorcing.  We have been living together, raised the kids, but had never fully knitted our relationship together. I prayed, tried, waited, etc.  And, I've always been wary of a secret life (Susan?  Someone else?  SOMETHING else?)  

 

In the last six months, he's now "admitted" to three things (which may or may not talking points in this forum, as they are unrelated):

 

1) He's learned/decided in therapy that he's asexual. 

2) He's a cross-dresser. (Yes, I found his Pinterest page and there's no denying, plus, he's admitted to it.)

3) He's never gotten over "Susan" and therefore, will not pursue another romantic relationship until he comes to some resolution. 

 

I'm so confused.  And, hurt, frankly.  Despite our impending divorce, I would have truly have preferred finding a way to heal it.  (It's why I waited 25 stinkin' years(!), seeking out individual therapy, couple's therapy, etc.)  I know, "on paper" it feels as through there are too many obstacles. 

 

The fact that he's open to future romantic relationships and what they typically imply  (and his with Susan was sexual) makes me wonder if his assignment of "asexual" is one more of convenience, i.e., "I just didn't want to have any physical relationship with YOU and therefore, I'm claiming I'm asexual." 

 

So, you've got a presumably straight man who is a cross-dresser and is (I'm guessing, here) visually excited by photographs of other cross-dressers and partners in various sexually provocative embraces/positions, but he's asexual?   But, he's also open to future romantic relationships?  

 

My head is going to explode.  

 

I will say, there's been no shaming regarding his revelations of his status (asexual/cross-dressing), but I've given him a piece of my mind about his pining away for his previous secretary and mistress, Susan.  

 

Any ideas?  Does this sound plausible?   Is he just lying?  And, yes, I know I should drop it, go off and create a new life, but I am obsessed with trying to figure this all out! 

 

Thank you. 

 

 

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Shadowstepper

That is a lot going on, that's for sure.

 

I can't comment on the crossdressing or any of that, but I can say that past sexual relationships don't necessarily impact him being asexual. I have been sexually active with 7 women, including my wife of 14 years, but I am most definitely asexual. I just didn't know such a term existed until recently.

 

Also, pornography of various sorts is a fairly common thing for asexuals to partake in.

 

Now, for the other stuff, there is a lot that could be going on that may be part of him being asexual, or could be something else entirely and he is using asexuality as a cover.

 

I wish you the best in sorting all this out. Hopefully you can come to a conclusion that is satisfactory for you.

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Yatagarasu

I might not be able to help with the other parts, but can you elaborate how you feel about him crossdressing?

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Cynthia's Wife

Hi, there -- 

 

I'm not particularly happy about the crossdressing, especially because it's been a secret since we married.  I found evidence a few times, but he brushed it aside, claiming I was imagining things.  That only put me on alert even more so.  What was he doing when I was out of the house?  Was it latent and cropped up at various times?  And, because of some of his boards on Pinterest (which I just found), it appears more than an interest in clothing, make-up, body types, and colors (as in "I'm a winter").  There are boards related to dating  and couples (cross-dressing couples and trans-couples).  He's following trans-women, as well.  I'll admit;  I was quite rattled. 

 

There's a history of him body-shaming me throughout our entire marriage and him telling me I had "quit trying" to be attractive (i.e., wearing jeans, sweaters, etc. at home when not at work).  It wasn't "feminine" enough for him.  He often requested that I wear "mini-skirts, fishnets, and stilettos" during the day.  (This was while I was raising three young children.) 

 

Moreover, he claims his crossdressing was borne out of his mother dressing him in girls' clothing and putting him on the front porch as a child.  He never said how often that happened or what age he was, but he refuses to admit that it could be hard-wired.  

 

So, as you can see, this is enmeshed in all kinds of issues. 

 

I guess the bottom line is, no. . .I'm not a fan of his crossdressing.  Perhaps some of that is so colored by his previous remarks to me and his deception. 

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Treesarepretty

@Cynthia's Wife, the only thing I can say is that this sounds fucked up. Both the cheating and the lack of intimacy. 

 

25 years... I am angry at him. 

 

What do you mean he "came home" after a year with Susan and then kept seeing her for 4 more years? Did he actually move out for that year? There has to be more to this story. Why did you stay with him after such a fucked up thing? 

 

Sorry. I can't answer your questions directly other than to wonder why you would want to fix things with this person. Have you considered slapping him for a few... days straight? Don't, because that would be assault. 

 

Like I said above, there has to be more to this story. A former roommate of mine said that wearing women's underwear, as a guy, can make you feel sexy. If that is related to his crossdressing, then it would speak against asexuality. Without more information I cannot really add anything more. 

 

Have some cake. :cake: 

I hope you feel better. 

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Treesarepretty
32 minutes ago, Cynthia's Wife said:

Hi, there -- 

 

I'm not particularly happy about the crossdressing, especially because it's been a secret since we married.  I found evidence a few times, but he brushed it aside, claiming I was imagining things.  That only put me on alert even more so.  What was he doing when I was out of the house?  Was it latent and cropped up at various times?  And, because of some of his boards on Pinterest (which I just found), it appears more than an interest in clothing, make-up, body types, and colors (as in "I'm a winter").  There are boards related to dating  and couples (cross-dressing couples and trans-couples).  He's following trans-women, as well.  I'll admit;  I was quite rattled. 

 

There's a history of him body-shaming me throughout our entire marriage and him telling me I had "quit trying" to be attractive (i.e., wearing jeans, sweaters, etc. at home when not at work).  It wasn't "feminine" enough for him.  He often requested that I wear "mini-skirts, fishnets, and stilettos" during the day.  (This was while I was raising three young children.) 

 

Moreover, he claims his crossdressing was borne out of his mother dressing him in girls' clothing and putting him on the front porch as a child.  He never said how often that happened or what age he was, but he refuses to admit that it could be hard-wired.  

 

So, as you can see, this is enmeshed in all kinds of issues. 

 

I guess the bottom line is, no. . .I'm not a fan of his crossdressing.  Perhaps some of that is so colored by his previous remarks to me and his deception. 

This did not update in my browser before I posted my previous response. All I can really do is double down on what I already wrote. I am very confused. 😕

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Cynthia's Wife

@Treesarepretty --

 

Thank you for your response.   I mean, REALLY!  Your answer gave me permission to think as you, "this is so f-cked up!!" as well as laugh, something I haven't done for the past three days.  I think my want/need to stay connected is, well, I'm not sure.  But, I wanted to check with those who might be able to give me some type of answer that might explain his behavior.  

 

And, sorry -- to clarify:  yes, he moved out for a year, then moved home again, but, continued his affair with Susan for the following four years. He had told me it was over.  But, my gut never felt that was the case and I eventually learned he was still seeing her -- at CHURCH, no less!

 

Why did I stay?  Being raised Roman Catholic was part of it.  But, he also threated me that if I divorced him, he would 1) make sure I never saw our children again, and 2) make sure I was left with nothing (i.e., financially).  

 

Now that I've seen it all written out, I see it for what it is.  I'd tell anyone else, "Get the hell out!"  Now it's time for me to take my own advice.  

 

 

 

 

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Treesarepretty
1 hour ago, Cynthia's Wife said:

And, sorry -- to clarify:  yes, he moved out for a year, then moved home again, but, continued his affair with Susan for the following four years. He had told me it was over.  But, my gut never felt that was the case and I eventually learned he was still seeing her -- at CHURCH, no less!

 

Why did I stay?  Being raised Roman Catholic was part of it.  But, he also threated me that if I divorced him, he would 1) make sure I never saw our children again, and 2) make sure I was left with nothing (i.e., financially).  

 

The way I understand it, there are no-fault divorces, which means that there also have to be divorces where one party is at fault.

 

He treated you poorly when he was there, moved in with a mistress for a year, kept seeing her for another four years, had ANOTHER mistress on the side, and kept you in line the whole time by threatening your time with your kids and ability to live indoors. I think you have a pretty good case to say that he is at fault. Good hunting. 😈

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Nidwin

I don't know but your husband's attitude sounds weird to me from an asexual point of view. This of course does not exclude the possibility of him being ace, but still.

 

I've never experienced any need or desire for partnered sex with anyone (48 Years old here) during my entire life for sexual reasons. The only reasons I've had sex was to not die as a virgin, experience it out of curiosity and because my ex jumped on me as she thought it was about time for some action, once.

 

To be honnest, because sex is actually a chore for me and I presume for other asexual men too, I would expect us the be the last ones going to look for sex somewhere else. In your case, your husband doubled it that you know of, and kept crawling on Susan for at least another 4 Years that you know about.

 

Also, why would an ace husband tell his beloved wife to be way more sexy dressed at home if he's not into sex in the first place?

 

If you had sex on a very regular base during the first 10 Years (e.g. twice a week) till the misery started, he had an x amount of affairs and he has still been sexually active (having sex somewhere else) after Susan I doubt that he qualifies as an asexual person. Asshole for sure, but not an ace one.

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Yatagarasu
15 hours ago, Cynthia's Wife said:

Hi, there -- 

 

I'm not particularly happy about the crossdressing, especially because it's been a secret since we married.  I found evidence a few times, but he brushed it aside, claiming I was imagining things.  That only put me on alert even more so.  What was he doing when I was out of the house?  Was it latent and cropped up at various times?  And, because of some of his boards on Pinterest (which I just found), it appears more than an interest in clothing, make-up, body types, and colors (as in "I'm a winter").  There are boards related to dating  and couples (cross-dressing couples and trans-couples).  He's following trans-women, as well.  I'll admit;  I was quite rattled. 

 

There's a history of him body-shaming me throughout our entire marriage and him telling me I had "quit trying" to be attractive (i.e., wearing jeans, sweaters, etc. at home when not at work).  It wasn't "feminine" enough for him.  He often requested that I wear "mini-skirts, fishnets, and stilettos" during the day.  (This was while I was raising three young children.) 

 

Moreover, he claims his crossdressing was borne out of his mother dressing him in girls' clothing and putting him on the front porch as a child.  He never said how often that happened or what age he was, but he refuses to admit that it could be hard-wired.  

 

So, as you can see, this is enmeshed in all kinds of issues. 

 

I guess the bottom line is, no. . .I'm not a fan of his crossdressing.  Perhaps some of that is so colored by his previous remarks to me and his deception. 

I'm not good at giving advice and I'm quite lost in this entire situation, but maybe that can help you a bit.
Some crossdressers look at other ones to find inspiration and/or support. Also one of reasons of crossdressing may be derived from the desire to be a woman, without necessarily giving up on his male body and/or manhood, but you know, it's not particularly easy to be the other gender when your appearance is not quite suitable, so it's only natural that the individual seeks motivational pictures. Be it other crossdressers or even trans people. Crossdressers often do not find any support from people, especially their significant others and they fear telling them about their peculiar hobby. 
Yet, I don't know your husband and I can't speak for every crossdresser.

I hope everything will eventually resolve and you'll feel better.

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Cynthia's Wife
14 hours ago, Treesarepretty said:

He treated you poorly when he was there, moved in with a mistress for a year, kept seeing her for another four years, had ANOTHER mistress on the side, and kept you in line the whole time by threatening your time with your kids and ability to live indoors. I think you have a pretty good case to say that he is at fault.

You're certainly providing me with another perspective.  You'd think by *this* time in my life, I'd have figured it out.  

 

I spent last night thinking about all of the hurtful (and abusive) things he's said to be these past many years.  Hurtful like, You-can-never-really-undo-the-damage kinds of things.  (How's "You're lucky I married you because no one else will want you.")  I'm beginning to see that the real issue isn't his proclaimed asexuality, crossdressing, or Susan, but a lifetime of control and emotional abuse.  It's going to take me a while to let this all percolate.  

 

Yeah, and in CA, no one cares about fault.  In this case, I only *wish* they did. 

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festiff

@Cynthia's Wife

i've been reading this thread and with unfortunately not much advice (a little perplexed to be honest at your husband's treatment), what i do think is that you have had a difficult relationship and not treated the way you deserve and i wish you well in whatever you decide

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Cynthia's Wife
7 hours ago, Nidwin said:

Also, why would an ace husband tell his beloved wife to be way more sexy dressed at home if he's not into sex in the first place?

 

If you had sex on a very regular base during the first 10 Years (e.g. twice a week) till the misery started, he had an x amount of affairs and he has still been sexually active (having sex somewhere else) after Susan I doubt that he qualifies as an asexual person. Asshole for sure, but not an ace one.

I have two thoughts about his wanting me to dress a certain way.  1) that he couldn't "dress" himself, and so he could experience it via me. 2) He wasn't feeling particularly masculine and so the more [traditionally] feminine I dressed, the more masculine *he* felt.  I really feel it had more to do with security in his sexuality than his asserted asexuality (something that was just "discovered!" I guess as I should also note, too, that the first time we had sex, the very first thing he said was, "Oh, good!  I guess I'm not gay."  Hmmm. . . (Oh, and before I get the question of, "Why didn't you leave then?", I did nothing.  I said nothing.  It was a topic we didn't discuss.  There were lots of sexual issues we didn't discuss.  In fact, six months ago, I asked him what caused him to have his affair with Susan, to which he replied, "Our discussion about oral sex."  Yes. He had an affair because I mentioned that, after ten flippin' years of marriage, I'd appreciate him performing oral sex on me.")  

 

I'm not entirely sure if he's been sexually active "after Susan."  I'll take your assessment regarding his being an a-hole, though!  

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Cynthia's Wife
4 hours ago, Macadamia Nut said:

I'm not good at giving advice and I'm quite lost in this entire situation, but maybe that can help you a bit.
Some crossdressers look at other ones to find inspiration and/or support. Also one of reasons of crossdressing may be derived from the desire to be a woman, without necessarily giving up on his male body and/or manhood, but you know, it's not particularly easy to be the other gender when your appearance is not quite suitable, so it's only natural that the individual seeks motivational pictures. Be it other crossdressers or even trans people. Crossdressers often do not find any support from people, especially their significant others and they fear telling them about their peculiar hobby. 
Yet, I don't know your husband and I can't speak for every crossdresser.

I hope everything will eventually resolve and you'll feel better.

I must admit, I hesitated at joining this forum because I thought, "Someone's going to think I'm a troll because this can't possibly be real."  But, I assure you, this is all true, including my Pollyanna-ish attitude and just hoping that I would find a way through the difficult times I experienced.  I'm equally lost in this entire situation, so you're in good company. 

 

As I mentioned, I have never shamed him about crossdressing (or his alleged asexuality) and he was living in CA!  It *shouldn't* have been a huge problem!  Perhaps there are other issues going on concerning his gender/sexual identity. I have no idea of his desire to be a woman, but the care of and fastidiousness to his Pinterest boards -- it appears more than just crossdressing.  But, I'm a woman and as a woman, we're socialized to know the names of clothing, material, styles, types appropriate for certain body types.  It's not simply:  Dresses!  Make-up!  They're all very detailed and related to color, and style, and pairings of bags with shoes with belts with jewelry, etc.  I, as well as others, see me as feminine, but I have one purse (from Target), wear Old Navy jeans, and wear a smidge of make-up.  The amount of time he seems to have take to curate his online wardrobe and make-up is way more than I'd ever want to spend on myself!

 

Thanks for your good wishes.  I'm already feeling better.  

 

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Cynthia's Wife
20 minutes ago, iff said:

@Cynthia's Wife

i've been reading this thread and with unfortunately not much advice (a little perplexed to be honest at your husband's treatment), what i do think is that you have had a difficult relationship and not treated the way you deserve and i wish you well in whatever you decide

Just having a place to ask questions (as a method of understanding him), but then learning I'm not completely nuts, that his behavior has been reprehensible, and that I shouldn't feel guilty about kicking him to the curb has done a world of good.  

 

Thank you very much.  Really.  I feel like a huge burden has been lifted.  

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Nidwin

You aren't nuts and it's perfectly normal to have a heap of questions after what has happened in your life and what your husband did to you.

 

I hope that from here on things are going to go in the right direction for you and wish you the best.

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Cynthia's Wife
8 hours ago, Nidwin said:

You aren't nuts and it's perfectly normal to have a heap of questions after what has happened in your life and what your husband did to you.

 

I hope that from here on things are going to go in the right direction for you and wish you the best.

Thank you, Nidwin. 

 

I tossed and turned all night, with all of this swirling in my head.  It's a jumble of feelings right now -- mostly anger, now that I've taken a break from internalizing it and blaming myself for forcing the divorce.  Now, I need to reprogram my thinking, stop blaming myself for the turn of events, and take a new direction, difficult as it may be.  

 

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