Hi Dr. Darcy.
When I was about 10 yrs old, I tried on my mother’s stockings and skirt. I would have thoughts about wearing stockings, a skirt and pumps. I never acted on the thoughts.
When I turned 26, I tried on my wife's leather skirt and it made me feel great. I progressed slowly and started to cross dress more. When I told my wife about my cross dressing at age 36, I purchased pumps and I dressed fully.
It started out with a sexual component but I now stay fully dressed for several hours. It makes me feel relaxed, helps with stress and makes me feel complete. I enjoy being a woman temporarily. My wife has agreed that I have feminine qualities but I am masculine in appearance.
I tried to fight the urge but it keeps coming back. I am tried of fighting this feeling. My wife feels that it is a hormone imbalance, it can be "cured" with anxiety medication and or therapy. I have researched this to death and it seems that there are all different theories as to how this occurs.
Is this a disorder? Can it be cured? Do I just accept this part of me? Please let me know.
I don’t have enough information to confirm or rule out whether you have an actual disorder. If you have concerns about this being the result of a hormone imbalance, you should absolutely visit an endocrinologist and have blood work done. That would be my first suggestion. If it turns out you don’t have a hormone imbalance and you’d like to explore whether an anti-anxiety medication will help dispel the urge to cross dress, you should visit a psychiatrist.
With that said, I don’t hear anything that would cause me to send you running for a cure. You’re not hurting yourself or anyone else. People have a myriad of coping mechanisms for stress and an even greater number sexual proclivities. My point is, if you’re looking for pathology, you’ll find pathology. But if you choose to see this as just another part of who you are without over-analyzing it, you should feel free to accept it without labeling it as wrong.
Now if it’s negatively impacting your relationship with your wife, I would encourage you both to get into couple’s counseling. Specifically, Imago Therapy (linked to here). If you explore this together, you will ultimately bond and come out stronger for having had the experience.
Writer's Stats: Male, Straight.