Last but not least to be sure came this comment from Connie on our Cyrsti's Condo post "Beauty and the Generic Spouse" :
"Without going into my whole story (nobody really has asked me to write it, anyway), I can tell you that, after 46 years (42 of them in marriage), my "wife" and I are still together. Our relationship has changed considerably in the last six years, so that we are now BFFs (always have been) but now without "benefits". She never wanted to see me cross dressed at all, and so I was always careful to keep it hidden from her. It wasn't until she finally understood that it was so much more than cross dressing that she agreed to let me be myself around her. Had I kept up with the guise of a cross dresser, which is all I ever thought I'd be able to do for the rest of my life, we would not be together now. The seemingly simpler concept of cross dressing was much more difficult for her to understand and accept than the complexity involved with me being transsexual has been. The main thing is that cross dressing is something that one "does", while the other is "who you are". She used to ask, in despair, "why are you doing this to ME?" When she finally realized that I was only doing it (cross dressing) as a means of survival, and that it was only but an outward expression of who I am inside, she also realized that I would never, could never stop "doing it". During a couple's counseling session once, the doctor suggested that we negotiate a specific amount of time each week for me to "express myself", and he even used the analogy of an avid golfer agreeing to playing just 18 holes only on Sunday afternoons. Well, that was a stupid thing for him to say, but it did help in that I was better able to explain to my wife the difference between myself and an avid golfer (I would be happy to lose a couple balls, but the golfer wouldn't - KIDDING).
Anyway, I believe that there are so many variables that each case will be different, even if most of it could be the same. In other words, my story may be atypical; your results may vary."
I too Connie went through the "hobby" aspect of cross dressing, years ago-but not so much with the balls-yet.
Seeing as how I have used several "sweeping generalizations" in this post-we all know what a basic selfish pursuit playing with gender is all about. And, I think those of us who have encountered any number of women who have accepted any matter of what we are. It's the true measure of the gender we are becoming a part of or expressing the gender we have always been.
The tough/cruel part of this is (as Connie wrote) we are just trying to survive and in most cases don't actually have much control of the process. Must be why we try to kill ourselves in record numbers?
Personally, I find it interesting the number of people I am running into who think somehow my deceased wife was at fault for only accepting me as a cross dresser. A topic for another post.