Honesty

Recently I’ve been thinking about honesty. In my day to day existence I like to think I’m honest but the more I think about it that’s not strictly true. Maybe that’s normal. I realise we can’t all let our unabridged innermost thoughts loose so there has to be subtle levels to this.

As I’ve discussed elsewhere I have become a bit more open about my cross-dressing in recent years. Friends mainly – the only family that knows is my wife. Even then I have not been entirely honest with her about it. Telling her the basics was difficult enough but I chose to omit certain bits of information as I thought it’d be too much to take in in one go. Those two pieces of information were that I had a name for my alter-ego and that I had to varying degrees maintained an online presence for a number of years. I lied about the name thing because I thought that she would worry it was something more than an odd hobby. Almost like having a name would make Anna far more real and an actual separate personality. Stupid I know as it would have been easy to explain – Anna’s not separate. I’m very much a cocktail of masculine and feminine and can feel either at any given time though it has to  be said that my masculine side is the dominant one. It probably seems stupid but I dumbed it down to spare her feelings. We have young children you see and I think that my wife has other things to worry about like them.

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The online thing wasn’t mentioned because it wasn’t relevant at the time. When I opened up to her I had just relapsed after my last purge so I had ditched the MySpace page (which was obsolete anyway, like Betamax and Mini-Discs). It has of course became relevant again as I have been writing this blog for over a year and a half now. Part of me wants to tell her about it but I know if I told her, odds are that she would want to see it. Which brings me to the most recent development – the fact that Anna has crossed the threshold. For walks and a night out. The primary reason the blog has not been alluded to as it details all these things and more.

What I’d really like to know is am I being supremely foolish in keeping things from her?

I’ve not held them back never intending on sharing them ever but it’s hard. I love her very much and have known her for a long time, almost half my life, and am sure that she will understand to an extent at least. For a few years I’ve been pondering writing my wife a letter in which to completely come clean. I’m better when writing things down as I know that when speaking, especially about a serious subject like emotions, I become really nervous and tangential. Last week I started putting pen to paper but I started to doubt if I should be so open. I do feel I owe her my total honesty but being a decidedly indecisive person I’m seeing it from both sides. Probably the best thing for me to do is to finish writing then decide.

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12 thoughts on “Honesty

  1. Kit

    This is hard, because nobody can tell you the best way to navigate your relationship. It sounds like the bits of secrecy that you maintain are causing you a little distress, though. You might want to tell her, but I imagine it isn’t going to be easy. The name thing seems pretty basic and easy. The online presence, maybe less so?

    I think that it is OK to maintain a private safe space away from your wife where you can express yourself without feeling like you are being monitored or watched … but I think she might want to know that it exists and that you’d prefer for it to remain a private safe space. In general I’m a fan of being open about such things because if they are misunderstood they can cause far bigger problems should they be accidentally found out or revealed down the road.

    Reply
    1. Anna Secret-Poet Post author

      Thank you Kit, eloquent and wise! I do admit to slight feelings of distress and I reckon it’s mainly because I can’t talk about certain things – whole avenues of conversation possibilities blocked off. Hope you have a pleasant evening wherever you are and thank you again!

      Reply
  2. michellen1960

    My first question is: How did Mrs A react to your initial opening up? And my second is have you both discussed it since or has it been simply a case of out of sight out of mind.? My Third is: Does she allow you room to be Anna? The issue about revealing your femme name should really not be that big a deal as I really would doubt that she would expect you to continue to call youself by your ‘Bob’ name. Did she ask you questions at the time such as do you go out in public, do you want gender reassignment etc etc? I personally think your idea of a well and sensitivly constructed letter is a very good one. Set out your stall but re assure her also. I should make it very clear however that I am not speaking from experience. I do not know if Mrs M knows about Michelle or not or should I say suspects but I have been considering exactly what you are thinking about and that is to put it all down on paper and lay my heart on the line. I am just too afraid. Too afraid of disappointing her.

    I wish you good luck should you decide to open up further.

    Reply
    1. Anna Secret-Poet Post author

      Thank you Michelle! My wife was initially shocked and amazed I managed to hide it so long. We do talk but mainly about clothes and very occasionally it goes deeper. It was the Caitlyn Jenner story that recently opened discussions again and made me consider opening up more. I must say though she does allow room for Anna. She is very supportive though understandably weary of some desire to transition etc, yes that does come up occasionally too but I fervently deny it (which isn’t a lie).

      The letter idea is one of my wife’s, a few times over the years she has written me one. Detailed, frank and honest ones. She swears by it and I don’t think I’ve ever done one for her. I’ve never been as upset with her as she has been with me (which was the main impetus behind them).

      Thank you again for you good wishes, it means a lot! I wish you the same in return. Even if you write a letter too and decide ultimately not to show her it must be good for the mind in some way right? Thinking it through and such. And if you think really ‘nail it’ it would be a crime not to share it. Hope you have a pleasant evening 🙂

      Reply
      1. michellen1960

        Because you and Mrs A can discuss matters even if just scratching the surface is so positive. I do not feel that to open up fully will cause any major issues for you both. All I can say is that you are a lucky lady to have such an understanding wife.
        I have used the letter idea once before (not to out myself but for other issues) and I think it is a very good tool. Thank you for suggesting it and I may very well head down that route. I do not know where it may ultimatly take me but I am sure our relationship will not suffer as a result. Like you I simply wish to be honest and I do not mind if it results in the reaction of “so long as I don’t see it”. That I am perfectly happy with. My problem? I am too scared.

  3. burnseleanor21

    I could understand her fear of you wanting to transition, but clearly this is not an issue. Perhaps if you were to have a long talk about the gender spectrum and the fact that even many trans people choose not to actually transition. There must be plenty of good sources out there that are becoming more well known since Caitlyn Jenner came out.

    Reply
    1. Anna Secret-Poet Post author

      Thank you, I will indeed be discussing that side of things as confidently as I can muster. I’m pretty sure it’ll be alright in the end, I need to remember to reassure.

      Hope you have a lovely day where you are! 🙂

      Reply
  4. daniellaargento

    FWIW (and obviously each case is unique) when I told my wife, she said that she objected more to the secrecy than the crossdressing. It would have been better to tell her sooner… I told her everything (or as near to everything as I could recall at the time). This seems to have been a good decision, but I suppose it all depends on what the ‘everything’ encompasses as well as the person. Good luck and remember, free advice is worth what you pay for! 🙂

    Reply
    1. Anna Secret-Poet Post author

      Thank you Daniella, I’m attempting another draft today. Indeed it’s the secrecy that’s killing me and I know it’s probably going to be the same for her. Hope you have a lovely day where you are X

      Reply
  5. Kirsty H

    I suppose there are a few key questions. What is your objective in telling her? Is it just alleviation of your own guilt or is there more? Do you hope that she will do things with you/Anna? And in her place, would you want to be told? Do you think she will be happier or less happy as a result of your disclosure? For whose benefit are you telling her?
    I would be very cautious. If you are planning on escalating your female life to a point which would be impossible to do behind her back, then certainly she needs to told. But if the plan is to carry on as you are now, what will she gain?
    I can’t answer those questions for you. Mrs Kirsty does know all about my female existence, sometimes it’s a blessing, sometimes it’s a curse, but my female identity could not possibly have developed to the point it’s at now without her complicity. And she has told me she would rather know than not know. Plus when she smells perfume on me, she knows it’s my own perfume and not another woman’s. But my case is slightly different in that I have always told my wife what I am doing in advance of doing it so I’ve never had to have the “Here’s what I’ve been doing behind your back” conversation.
    Ultimately, you should be very clear in your own mind what you want to achieve with this disclosure, and make sure the potential upside outweighs the potential downside.
    The very best of luck to you

    Reply
    1. Anna Secret-Poet Post author

      These are good sobering questions indeed! I don’t plan to escalate my feminine endeavours as I am happy as they are but I’m tired of keeping secrets – it’s mentally exhausting. I believe we have a strong enough relationship to weather these (possibly rather tame) revelations. We’ve been together 15 years but these are fairly new developments so they haven’t been secrets for that long really.

      I’ve written it all down and it’s in an envelope and in the mean time I shall sit on it but not for long. Thank you and hope you have a lovely day where you are 🙂

      Reply

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