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I told him I want him to be happy, whatever that means. That is why I offered my support in the first place, talked openly about it, weekly chats on how he feels and if there is something I can help him with to understand what is going on.

 

He shuts off and smiles, continuing whatever he was doing.

 

The only thing he asked me was to go to the supermarket to get new makeup because he didn't want to buy it himself. He said: "I'm not ready to buy it by myself."

 

Well....I think the writing is on the wall. His ongoing refusal to talk about it is the selfish part. He wants you all to cruise in ignorance until he is ready to move on or dive into whatever he wants and what you are seeing is a steady march in that direction. He might be short on words, but his actions speak loud and clear.

 

You are about as open and understanding as you can be under the circumstances, however, I think you need to quietly consult with an attorney and prepare for the end of your marriage. At the very least, know your rights and options and be sure you don't get hit broadside by anything. Know where the money is, get control of some things, etc. Shore up some financial security measures so you don't get blindsided.

 

Btw, if you hit the "reply to quote" button when responding to posters, it will help a lot to know who you are talking to.

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I know, when he asked me to join me to the mani-pedi I was happy we would finally do something adventurous, but he stood me up and said he had a business meeting. He says he still is into me, but he doesn't even hold my hand anymore, kisses? On the cheek -very polite-

 

When I asked about it, the first thing he said was: "I'm not gay, I wouldn't do that to you, you know?"

 

I don't know what to think about his comment your know?

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Well, let me just say that you sound awesome. And so, honestly, does he. Whether you guys can still be awesome together—well, that's the million dollar question at the moment, isn't it?

 

I can't help but get the feeling that he barely understands this moment. Which is understandable. He's exploring...something within him. Whatever this something is, it is clearly at odds with other things—namely, his conservative streak. It makes sense, in other words, that your brother has triggered discomfort in him, since your brother is someone who has fully stepped into a hard truth that has some shades of the hard truth your husband has struggled to step into in himself.

 

No, I'm not saying your husband is gay. This isn't the moment for labels, and personally I believe all the labels around sexuality and gender still don't address the truths between the cracks, the truths he is exploring and reckoning with right now. Something that has been suppressed is surfacing, and the really tricky thing here is that he is unwilling (or, more accurately, unable) to acknowledge it clearly.

 

Were he a single dude at 25—fine, flail around, wear some makeup, see where the chips land. Were he a married, childless man of 31—fine, ditto, with some patience and openness it could be navigated with grace. But you guys have kids, kids generally see about a million more things than we give them credit for, and while your mom sense is signaling to you that the center can't hold his dad sense has been somewhat snuffed out by his exploration.

 

Would it be so bad if he noticed you started going to therapy? Would it be so bad if you told him it was because you loved him, loved yourself, loved your family, and need help navigating this chapter since you feel he's not able to offer that help?

 

If he does not clearly see how this is affecting you, and your/his family, it's going to be hard for him to see that his exploring is coming with costs that may lead to him feeling more lost than found on the search.

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I can't go to therapy without him noticing, he has access to all the credit cards and medical bills at home, so If I go, he would know and will go defensive or ask why I'm doing that.

I need to be financially independent first.

 

Disgust is not what I feel, more like sad and confused. 25 years of marriage are a lot.

 

You don't need to be financially independent first. You need to consult with a good divorce attorney and learn your rights and what you are entitled to. If he was the sole provider while you were staying home raising the kids, then you might be surprised just how much he owes you. Raising children is a job as far as the law is concerned and quantifiable in divorce court.

 

As for him asking why or getting defensive - why can't you be honest with him? What he is doing will affect people and come with consequences. He isn't a child, he knows this. If you need help and support, you are entitled. What he isn't entitled to is standing in your way or guilt tripping you about it. Sounds like there are other serious issues in your relationship in addition to his cross dressing. An imbalance of power.

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It wasn't me who caught him on tape, my teenagers were trying to spot the newly adopted cat (we have three dogs), and they saw him fully dressed and ready to rock 'n roll. They gasped, my first reaction was thinking one of the dogs ate the cat or something like that, but no, it was their father walking around the house.

When we got back he was in his business attire as usual.

Therapy sounds great.

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Every time I make a comment about therapy, he gets on the defensive side, saying that therapists are a rip-off and no way he would spend a dime on them.

One of my daughters was diagnosed with ADHD, and he says is not true that the doctors made it up to charge for medicines and extra stuff.

 

I got into a huge argument and fight him to pay for the new insurance, I am not willing to go thru that again, so I'm looking for a job instead to be financially independent.

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Would it be so bad if he noticed you started going to therapy? Would it be so bad if you told him it was because you loved him, loved yourself, loved your family, and need help navigating this chapter since you feel he's not able to offer that help?

 

If he does not clearly see how this is affecting you, and your/his family, it's going to be hard for him to see that his exploring is coming with costs that may lead to him feeling more lost than found on the search.

 

I will try that approach because I do need help navigating the next chapter.

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I will try that approach because I do need help navigating the next chapter.

 

Exactly.

 

He, right now, is doing what he wants, what he feels he needs. You can't stop that. You can try to discuss it, be patient, whatever, but he is going to do what he is going to do. Telling someone who is incapable of being honest with themselves, because they don't yet know how to articulate themselves honestly, to be honest with themselves is like banging your head against a wall in hopes that it becomes a swimming pool.

 

Maybe he gets a grip on this in a week, maybe a year, maybe never. You kind of have to accept that, and do what you need to keep a grip on things.

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I can't go to therapy without him noticing, he has access to all the credit cards and medical bills at home, so If I go, he would know and will go defensive or ask why I'm doing that.

 

So he can wear nail polish and stilettos but you're not allowed to go to therapy?

 

When he asks you why, point to his eyeshadow.

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No, you need to go a therapist and he will pay for it. You want him to change...not going to happen. He's fine cross-dressing and he's got the dependent fearful compliant housewife. So he doesn't "have to" do anything, you do. He fine with everything. You're unhappy.

-he needs to be honest to himself.

-he needs to understand what he wants and realize he is affecting the kids

-he has to go find professional help.

-He refuses to see a therapist.

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Eh, I'll just be blunt as usual.

 

If my wife wanted to start playing the role of a dude I'd tell her to take a hike. I'm not down with dating dudes, or women who act like dudes. Marriage or not that's no go zone for me.

 

I'd simply tell her (him in your case) it's me or the nail polish you decide. I mean yeah nail polish isn't that big a deal by itself... But this train is likely headed downhill fast.

 

Edit.... Read the rest. Dresses, makeup, etc. Yeah train is runaway with no brakes.

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I would absolutely go to therapy. Who cares if he knows. your health insurance could even cover it.

 

Maybe he doesn't want you in therapy because he is afraid of being talked about, and also maybe wants to be in control -- afraid that the therapist will validate your concerns. Its one thing to do things in private or as a couple to get your kicks on if that is what floats your boat, but because the kids know about this, it is in different territory. i would be grossed out if my SISTER (germs!) was borrowing my eyeshadow and mascara let alone my dad. You need to put the kabosh on him taking things from your teenagers. That crosses a really big line, in my books.

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Maybe he doesn't want you in therapy because he is afraid of being talked about, and also maybe wants to be in control -- afraid that the therapist will validate your concerns.

 

I agree with you; he is afraid to go to therapy and find out all that he has been repressing for so many years, not only cross-dressing but who knows what else is inside his mind, right?

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I agree with you; he is afraid to go to therapy and find out all that he has been repressing for so many years, not only cross-dressing but who knows what else is inside his mind, right?

 

That's not what i meant === he is afraid of YOU going to therapy by yourself because that means people are talking about him, and that he can't control what the therapist tells you (ie, tells you to leave, tells you to stay and set strong boundaries for your well-being, etc or just simply listens and validates you).

 

btw, if he knows there is a nanny cam, did he *want* your kids and you to find out?? Even if he did this, how dare he expose the kids to this instead of having discussions with you about it

 

Did he not want to meet your brother because he's afraid your brother has subconcious radar and would have figured him out?

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My brother is gay, and I've been by his side since he came out 30 years ago, so yes, I'm educated on that topic.

 

I do understand that exploring doesn't mean transitioning, and that is why I talked about it with him in the first place, I offered my support to understand what is going on inside his mind, to help him, but I am confused. I mean if he never approved of my brother, then why he wants to explore his feminine side?

 

It's contradictory, don't you think so?

 

If he feels shame and guilt or insecure (this is probably the reason he hides) then this will manifest as self righteousness and judgment of others who are comfortable expressing themselves. My guess (only a guess) is that deep down inside your husband is envious of your brother being out and proud about who he is.

 

Contradictory? Yes. Surprising? Not at all given how long he has been trying to hide who he is. Depending on his beliefs this may be a continuous struggle until he accepts himself for who he is.

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McMurphy1973

 

First I wanted to say how sorry I am to hear you and your family are dealing with this. I know you mentioned divorce and feeling lost, but there are options for the both of you. If you are in a major city, you can look up a PFLAG chapter and go to their social support meeting. It might help you to connect to other spouses with partners who decided to explore their gender. It might help your husband talk to others asking the same thing.

 

I suspect he still loves you very much and he struggled with this for his entire life. I suspect her carried guilt and self hate for having those feelings. Please dont add to the pain of the relationship by seeking an immediate divorce. This might be an opportunity to further explore your relationship and develop a deeper love.

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