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Thread: He wants to experiment with his feminine side

  1. #1
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    He wants to experiment with his feminine side

    25 yr marriage, 2 teenagers and out of the blue he starts painting his toe nails, then wearing make up and when I asked what is going on, he just says he is experimenting with his feminine side, next thing he is wearing women underwear. I freaked out of course, he tries to calm me down assuring me that is just a phase, that he is doing it for fun. At this point I’m just thinking about divorce, my kids are starting to notice and are making snarky comments, and making up excuses for not to be in the same room with their dad, is obvious that all his “phase” is affecting us.
    I am a stay at home mom, graduate student and about to reach my 50th birthday, trying to get a job is so hard, what other options I have? I’m feeling lost and of course I can’t talk about this with any of my friends or relatives, sigh, is really affecting me

  2. #2
    Platinum Member bluecastle's Avatar
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    Prior to this “phase” had he ever discussed interests like these? Did you ever get any kind of gut read that something like this would be of interest to him? Were you guys still close intimately? Have you ever questioned his sexuality?

    I’m curious to hear some answers to those questions. That said, I would try to treat this like any other issue that comes up in a relationship that triggers unrest. Rather than “freaking out,” tell him you need to talk with him—a calm, firm, mature, and loving talk in which you let him know that you are confused about this turn of events, as are the kids, and that you need to understand him better.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Is he wearing the makeup and polish out in public? If not, why does his current 'fetish' upset you so much? Can you articulate why you are so disturbed by it?

    Was the relationship prior to letting you know of his fetish a good one or were you teetering on resenting him generally?

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    Is he getting into your stuff?

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  6. #5
    Silver Member Camber 2019's Avatar
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    I suppose I would freak out a bit if this happened out of the blue. But I think the thing that is most serious is that it seems to be affecting your children (as well as yourself - obviously). That causes me to view this behavior as rather selfish...

  7. #6
    Platinum Member maew's Avatar
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    OP people don't just out of the blue start exploring their feminine / masculine sides... it's likely that he has had this desire for many years, if not most of his life, and is now ready to be more open about who he is.

    Exploring our other "side" doesn't automatically mean we become gay, trans, bi, etc... of course it might mean that, but there are so many layers.

    Personal experience... I went through a phase after my divorce where I thought I might be bi-sexual, turns out it was more about allowing myself to be sexually free after being repressed and shut down for so much of my life. Also turns out that while I find women physically attractive and appreciate the female form, I know in my heart that I am "straight".

    While I can understand this coming as a shock, don't look at it as him doing something to you... it's not about you at all, nor is it necessarily selfish on his part, something deeper inside him is driving this behavior. If you choose to continue a relationship with him, you may want to educate yourself about LGTBQ and what it means.

  8. #7
    Gold Member Gary Snyder's Avatar
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    Wow, just wow. Can't he find a clean hobby?!

    Joking aside, I can understand her concern. Women want a manly-man, it's romantic. What he's doing is a huge turnoff.

  9. #8
    Platinum Member Rose Mosse's Avatar
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    I'd quell any urge to react badly. It just doesn't help you or your family in the long run especially if the kids see mum reacting with spite or anger towards dad. They should love each of you as their parents. Don't let them get caught in this and don't perpetuate any form of spite or anger towards your spouse via your children. Even if you disagree and feel betrayed his actions (he's clearly not behaving in the usual way and this doesn't sound like what you signed up for), don't allow your kids to be collateral. It creates lost love, lost time, resentment over time and a lot of pain. Continue to foster respect, openness and let them know that disrespect in the house is not tolerated.

    Finish your graduate studies and repair your marriage and any misunderstandings. You may have to accept your husband the way he is and see where this takes the both of you. You do have an opinion that matters and it takes two in a marriage/relationship. However he should be free to be as he needs to be. You are free to do as you please. Do not limit yourself to a partner whom you've outgrown over time and continue your studies and focus on finding a job to support yourself if what you really want is financial freedom. It doesn't sound like this would be such a hit if you had some financial independence - the dependency is skewed here and I'm sensing you feel very helpless. Work on continuing to change that.

  10. #9
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    My guess is, he's been doing this for a very long time but just now decided to come out to you about it. Caitlyn Jenner said that she used to sneak into her sister's closet at 6 years of age, and that she (he then) became so amazing at running, as she was running away from herself.

    This is absolutely not to say that your husband will fully transition a la Caitlyn Jenner, but to point out the ability to keep that side hidden for so long.

    No judgment here, as people are who they are, but this is most definitely perplexing and distressing to you, as this is turning out to be a very different marriage than you thought it was.

    I'd seek a therapist for yourself, just someone to talk about all of this. You say you don't want to share this with people you know, which I get, but you need to vent and get advice from someone.

    You may move through this with him and live a happy, long life, or this may be something you find unappealing and from which you need to move away. Only you can decide this. You do have my empathy, as this would be a very difficult situation for me too.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Get to therapy...alone. Personally and confidentially. Do not tell him about it or ask that he go at this point. Inform yourself on sexuality variations, fetishes, etc and what it means to you. Friends and family are not the people to talk to about this. A qualified therapist is. If this fetish, phase, behavior, whatever turns you off and effects your marriage and/or is a deal breaker then you need to make some decisions. Have you been thinking of divorce anyway? You sound disgusted by him in general.
    Originally Posted by McMurphy1973
    At this point I’m just thinking about divorce, my kids are starting to notice and are making snarky comments, and making up excuses for not to be in the same room with their dad, is obvious that all his “phase” is affecting us.

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