The Cross Dresser’s Wife: Our Secret Lives
Dee A. Levy and B. Sheffield Hunt
In the Cross Dresser’s Wife: Our Secret Lives, Dee A. Levy and B. Sheffield Hunt share the stories of women who were married to or in relationships with men who enjoy wearing women’s clothing. While there is great controversy and prejudice associated with this type of behavior, this book—which manifested from the stories told in the forum on www.crossdresserswife.com –is about so much more than men who wear women’s lingerie. The stories in this book speak to the consuming devastation of emotional abuse, the absolute necessity that women perceive themselves as whole in and outside of a relationship, and the damage a family can endure when one person’s obsession becomes so huge that it consumes everything in its path.
“The Queen of Denial” is the first story in the book and compared to the other four, it is the mildest. After ending a twenty year marriage to a philanderer, the story teller (only the writers’ forum names are provided) remarries and in the early months of her relationship discovers that her new husband secretly dresses in women’s clothing. This essay opens the door for the more outrageous stories that follow.
“The Golden Nugget” introduces the reader to the damage that cross dressing can inflict on a long term marriage. In this piece, the wife is first exposed to her husband’s fetish by way of his affinity for satin sheets which soon turns into a request to wear her underwear. This essay is a perfect example of how the women in this book sacrifice their own needs to accommodate their husbands. That sacrifice takes on the form of physical and emotional abuse in “Gaslighting.” It is the longest story in the book and the most painful to read. The author of this story nearly loses her sanity and her health to the mental and physical trauma caused by her husband’s cross dressing and sexual habits.
The men in each of the essays expresses to his partner that cross dressing doesn’t hurt anyone. As Levy’s own story reveals (“Mr. Wonderful”), cross dressing consumes the man’s focus. The harm begins even before the man opens up about his desire to wear women’s clothing or uses his wife as a prop in his sexual fantasies. These men hurt the women in their lives when they made the decision not to reveal their true selves in the very beginning of their relationships.
The Cross Dresser’s Wife is an honest look into the lives of women who have loved men with an unusual fascination with women’s clothing. The stories in the book report on the abuse that can occur in this type of relationship. Fortunately, the essays also share how woman can free themselves from abuse. While this is a difficult book to read, it is also a source of hope. I highly recommend it.
Melissa Brown Levine
Independent Professional Book Reviewers