Acceptance? Try to see it from the other side

 A Natal Woman's Perspective

Summer 2000 vol. 1 no. 2  Thread: the IFGE Newsletter

By M

This essay was written to me by a correspondent who is the wife of a crossdresser. It provides an interesting perspective on the issue of how things must seem from the outside. Permission has been granted for reprinting (as long as the text is not altered).

To get a true understanding of how your wife may feel, imagine a reversed situation where you would be the one embarrassed.

Say for instance, she decided after 14 years of marriage that she wanted to join a nudist colony. You didn't like it, but you figured it was just a phase, so you let her do it begrudgingly. You were sure that she'd become uncomfortable with it and stop on her own.

You refused to go with her despite all her prompting because you are not comfortable with it. But instead of it being a phase, she goes the other way and decides to do it more frequently; you begin to see an obsession forming and often you come home to find her walking around the house in the nude. This really upsets you because you are afraid the children will see her, and you don't want your kids to think of their morn in that way. She usually gets dressed ONLY when she thinks you're coming home... but on a few occasions, you've surprised her and caught her even gardening in the nude!  What will the neighbors think!  Then one night when the kids are all at a friends house, she comes home from work in the nude. Apparently she just stripped off all her clothes when she got in the car, and drove home like that. You get pretty irate about it, and she doesn't understand what the big deal is because she got dressed in the driveway before walking into the house. She says, "I don't know why you are making such a big deal about it. No one saw me." Yet you find it hard to believe that people didn't gawk at this woman driving naked.

Your imagination runs wild. What if the neighbors saw her dressing in the car! What if someone you knew had seen her! What if the kids had seen her! She dismisses your anger by telling you that there is nothing wrong with what she is doing, just because YOU see it as wrong. That you should come to one of her NAKEDNESS meetings where you could meet other couples who are comfortable with the whole thing.

Next she starts getting more daring.  She'll go to the office with no bra or panties on. You know people notice at least the bra part. But similar to your situation she just views it as "underdressing" or "under undressing" in this case. You argue a lot over it. To her it's no big deal but to you... it's not how you want your wife to be viewed by her co-workers.

One day she comes home and tells you that while working in the office on a holiday weekend, her co-worker who is the wife of your best friend and neighbor, walked in on her, and she was working in the nude! You are just beside yourself with humility. How will you ever face them again?

The relationship really starts to splinter when she slips up and leaves nude photos of herself at the nudist colony laying around and the kids discover them. You two have to tell the kids what's going on. "Kids, your mom is a nudist." But then she goes on to explain to them that there's really nothing wrong with wanting to be nude. You shouldn't be ashamed of your body. The kids seem accepting of it... and now your imagination soars. You envision your household becoming a nudist colony, and fear the damage to morals and values that you've worked so hard to instill in your children.

What if your daughter decides to become a stripper because of the example her mother has set? And now there's the added fear that the kids will tell their classmates, or teachers even? Can vou ever face these people again?

Everywhere you go, you feel that everyone is looking at you and saying, "There goes the husband of that nudie lady. He must be weird too to stay married to that."  You feel you are being judged by her actions. After all, as a married couple you two are supposed to be two halves of a whole.  You start to drift apart from her. You've been to counseling together, but you're beginning to think that divorce is the only answer. You want your normal life back. You don't want to be pointed out and laughed at any more. You are angry with her for the kids finding out. You feel that she had NO RIGHT to do that. You are really angry with her for destroying your comfort zone. Everything was so perfect before this nude thing.

You feel she must’ve known before you were married. You feel betrayed and deceived. You begin to cast blame.  You blame the nudist camp for influencing her to get deeper. You berate yourself for not having good judgment:  you should've put your foot down when she first mentioned it. But because you let her sample the waters, thinking she'd come to her senses, your life has been destroyed. At least life as you knew it. Blissful life that it was in comparison. You fight all the time now and she just cannot see things from your view, nor you from hers.

She begs you to go to the NAKEDESS meeting with her.  Finally, she convinces you to go. The meeting is held at a nudist camp type hotel on the beach. Mostly everyone is walking around nude.  You are incredibly embarrassed for them.  Even the waiters and waitresses are naked.  There are a few who are dressed, one of which is you. You feel so out of place. Your wife tries to make it comfortable and light, but the more comfortable she is... the more uncomfortable you are.

This is like Alice In Wonderland... you've fallen into another dimension where normality doesn't exist.  Your mind is stretched to the limit. "What is reality? Is this for real? How can it be with all these naked people walking around acting like they're the normal ones, and I'm the weirdo?" The meeting is very uncomfortable for you because all these other men can see your wife naked. It makes you feel very vulnerable and embarrassed. To you, in your mind, your wife and her body should be for your eyes only. Even though she's not cheating on you... you feel betrayed.

In the meeting for spouses, you learn more about what makes her want to be naked, you come out understanding what drives her.. but you are still uncomfortable. She wants you to join the colony and be nude with her.... but in your heart, you know this will never be something you can adjust to. Yet you fear losing her to those people. How long before she will be engaging in some perverse sexual act. You envision all kinds of open orgies happening. So what do you do?

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