Wife hates husband’s secret habit
Dear Amy: I have been married almost 15 years to a man I first knew in high school. I first became aware of his problem several years ago, when I found a bra hanging in our laundry room that was not my size. Finally, my husband confessed he’d bought it for himself. He said it was a one-time occurrence.
After he returned from a business trip, I found more women’s lingerie. He assured me this would not occur again. Then, I found a white gown and panties in his backpack in the trunk of his car. Yes, I was snooping, because I remained suspicious.
He wrote me an email telling me he was fascinated with female lingerie. I decided that he had a fetish, and sought marital counselling. He attended, but he didn’t think it helped. I told him then that if he had to make these purchases I did not want to ever know about them, and I’d better not ever find evidence.
Last week I discovered two emails on his phone (yes, I was snooping again) where he has ordered almost $1,000 of lingerie AND women’s clothing.
He also has a secret post office box where these shipments are delivered.
I sent him a letter to the P.O. box asking him WHY he has it, and WHY he was buying women’s clothing.
So far, he hasn’t acknowledged the letter.
Our relationship has suffered because I feel betrayed. I do not feel loved, respected or cared for.
I think I still love him, but this behaviour disgusts me (maybe it shouldn’t). Your advice? — CONFUSED WIFE
Dear Wife: Cross-dressing (or perhaps only purchasing women’s clothing) is obviously a very important part of your husband’s life. It is shocking to me that your therapist didn’t help you to talk about this during your sessions. The way you two communicate — via email and now postal letter — is passive and one-sided. You both seem to basically throw down and then run away.
Instead of insisting that your husband stop doing something that he won’t stop doing, you might seek to understand it by discussing it with him, suspending your disgust and judgment until you feel you understand this impulse.
You say you feel unloved and betrayed, but I can imagine that your husband might feel this way, too.