A married man, Mark Adler, has been harbouring a big secret for most of his life. One Sunday morning, he decides to tell all to his wife and risk the consequences.
While this is a short, quick read (105 pages), it's also well written and rings true to life.
Being a life-long crossdresser, I have met many wives. And this is an exceptional one in her adaption to something strange; thrust upon her as it is done far too often by those of us with gender disparity. It is the autobiographical account of a 40ish-year-old English married couple and how the husband's out-of-the-blue confession to his wife that he is a crossdresser impacts their relationship.
It is told by the wife, based on a journal she kept as she worked through the early days of coming to terms with this revelation. It is intelligent, insightful, sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes heartwarming, and sometimes funny (darkly, ironically, or straightforwardly, depending on the episode); also brave and honest.
I was skeptical of the timeline in the book, because it usually takes wives months and often years to accept or tolerate something that goes so much against the biological grain and cultural conditioning. But, having had the opportunity to talk with Karen, her love of "Annie" and her insight into human nature helped her deal -- and yes, perhaps even enjoy -- part of this journey of discovery; a situation that she handled more tactfully and sensitively than most wives.
Outcomes vary wildly because couples are all made up of unique individuals with their own personalities, tastes, values, turn-ons and turn-offs. So this is a "best case" outcome that turned out that way because both partners worked hard to show mutual respect and support, neither focusing solely on their own wants and needs.
She has found that this new dimension of their marriage provides opportunities for growth, exploration, sharing at newer and deeper levels than before, more fun, and in some important ways a fuller, richer, relationship. But at the same time, part of her wishes it had never happened and just wasn't there because of the high cost of learning [to cope with all the pressures, confusion], roller-coaster emotions, and plain hard work that it took her to get to that place.
I would heartily recommend this book for any crossdressing husband or spouse/partner of such. It may or may not provide any concrete answers to specific dilemmas faced by similar couples, but it could stimulate a helpful discussion between them, if such a thing is possible.
I want to thank Tilda of the River City Gems for her contribution to this review and to Karen Adler for her response to my comments.
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