Love’s Higher Law

| Sep 8, 2008
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closesept.jpgIt is a well-established tendency that men expect their wives to be physical loyal to them while wives expect emotional fidelity of their husbands. Obviously, the degree of demand imposed by individual wives varies immensely and there are husbands who jealously demand the unwavering attention of their spouse. But on the whole, again as a general rule, women’s demands for their husbands’ emotional loyalty imposes a higher demand, one compounded exponentially for the transgendered/ambigendered/crossdressing male.

This double standard isn’t hard to see. Men expect their wives to refrain from sex and foreplay with others; and that’s not a terribly high hurdle to clear. But the demand of emotional fidelity can be almost impossible to satisfy. This demand is behind a part of the problem that couples face when the husband visually notices attractive women; unless he’s discreet, he’ll get called on it by his wife. As an ambigendered male, I like to notice what women wear, how they move, their gestures, etc. I’m doing homework to hone my own feminine presentation; but in so doing I’m risking censure for mentally straying from the path imposed by the demands of emotional fidelity.

Actually crossdressing only heightens this sense among some wives of their husband straying mentally. There are many components to this. Part is the sense that we’re deriving more pleasure from our feminine sides than from our relationship with our wives. Another is the fear that our crossdressing will escalate to unknown levels that will crowd out our attachment to our wives. There are probably many others but the bottom line is that, again for some wives, their husband’s crossdressing/cross-gendered expression is a sign that our wives are not fulfilling to us. And they feel, as a result, insecure and threatened since they don’t understand and they often feel that they can’t compete with our transgender interest. Indeed, I suspect that many of us TG/AG/CD husbands have heard—as have I—“this is like you being involved with another woman.” And for some wives, those feelings of insecurity trump years of monogamy and fidelity on their spouses’ part.

Accusations/insinuations of infidelity are tough to hear and still tougher for us to understand. For many of us (though not all—and I am not casting stones against those who have not), we’ve been totally loyal to our wives and plan on staying that way. But we’re defining loyalty by our male standard and that is that we’re not going to have sex or even foreplay with anyone else, female or male. But that isn’t sufficient for a lot of women. Our challenge is that we’re not only dealing with our wives acceptance of societal taboos against male femininity but also with their need for a type of security—emotional—that we often are scarcely aware even exists. Years of commitment and fidelity go up in smoke—even if we’ve been open about our crossdressing and TG/AG natures—when we want to move out of the closet.

It is a double standard and patently unfair for wives to expect their husbands to love them so unconditionally and completely that their every thought is directed towards their wives. Thankfully, most women aren’t that unrealistic, but a large proportion do seem to feel that crossdressing somehow automatically diminishes our emotional loyalty to them. They take it as a sign that we don’t love them fully—which, of course, is often not the case at all and it creates a very inaccurate and ironic situation. In many of these cases, the CD/TG/AG husband is as emotionally committed to his spouse as any male could possibly be and only wants his/her spouse to accept or at least tolerate that part of his nature is indeed feminine. Indeed, here is the true irony—the wife expects total and unconditional love from her husband and may well receive it. Yet in return she is not willing to give that same degree of total love, acceptance and unconditional love because her spouse has a feminine component. Often times the TG/AG/CD spouse is unconditionally committed; yet the female isn’t. I mean, we love our wives completely even if they aren’t, in our minds, perfect (i.e. they aren’t enamored of our feminine aspect); yet, they only love the part of us that fits their preconceptions (i.e. and reject the feminine component of our identity). That’s why the attitude of so many of the wives of crossdressing husbands involves such an unfair double standard.

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Category: Transgender Opinion

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Comments (5)

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  1. says:

    Well, not that anyone is actually going to read a follow up comment by the author, but here goes… My point was that, based on the current research, women demand a higher commitment from men than men do from women. That’s generic and well-established there, Dr. Phil and Judgemental Judy, and individual opinions don’t erode such a position. Throw in a devoted husband who happens to crossdresseing/be ambi/transgendered and things escalate exponentially. Simplistic answers don’t fit; but it’s a certainty that the difficulty factor increases. The point of this post was to suggest just those factors in the hopes of providing CD/TG husbands with a realistic assessment of their difficult positons. This wasn’t just an effort to garner sympathy for me, though I do hope that Tasi Zuriack and spouse felt a twinge of unmerited superiority for a brief and shining moment–however unmerited it might have been.

  2. says:

    It’s not a personal observation that women expect emotional fidelity; it’s a fairly well established fact based on psychological and sociological research. And as I noted, there are exceptions to that general rule. Of course, for a lot of people their own view trumps anyone else’s automatically, and “deal with it” is used as a verbal substitute for putting one’s fingers into one’s ears so they can’t hear another’s noise.

  3. tasidevil tasidevil says:

    Well, I had my wife read the article and her first response was “what a whinney baby” If the wife knows about the crossdressing before marriage, then she signs up for the duration. But most often the CDing comes out years into the marriage. She didn’t sign up for it. She expected a man fulltime, not part time. And unconditional love is for small children, not adults. We earn the respect and love of our partners everyday. That many wives accept our feminine side is a blessing to be appreciated because I doubt that many men would so accepting if the reverse were true. Your wife tells you she has this overwhelming desire to dress like a man, wear a mustache, stuff her pants and her wardrobe looks like the outdoorsman. You can become best buddies and slop the beer down at the local bar and watch her belch and fart. Yea right! How many of you would let that eye wander to other ladies, not to the clothes and her movements, but to something else.

    Of course our women want emotional commitment. This is how they are made. Deal with it. I don’t see a double standard here. Some of them have fears and yes, infidility can be in the mind as much as in the body. And yes we are faced with societal taboos and emotional insecurity because anything that upsets the normal male/female dynamic can effect the maritial relationship. Now bear in mind that this crossdressing is a compulsion. How many of you could give it up for your marriage. I think we all know the answer to that. So patently unfair, yes, but to whom.
    Tasi Zuriack

  4. says:

    This is the first I’ve ever heard of woman demanding a standard of emotional commitment. Maybe it’s been there all along but I’ve never noticed. I’ve been married 25+ years and my wife has known of my crossdressing since before our wedding.

    Maybe my wife has a different take on it all. She’s not exactly thrilled with my feminine side and has commented that if “Linda” went away and never came back she’d be very happy. However, at the same time she knows that I’m looking at other women to view their clothes, makeup or hairstyles. She’s even gone as far as giving me the better seat in the restaurant so that I can see all the other women.

    Lastly, my wife told me years ago that the day I “Stop” looking is the day she knows I’m buying somewhere else. I’ve never forgotten that and try to always live by it.

    Linda E. Woodworth

  5. says:

    I think it is very true that women as a whole cannot accept that a transgendered male is committed to them unconditionally when he has the compulsion to crossdress and especially if he wants to go public.

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