The Suppression of Crossdressing Guilt

I periodically peruse the forums at and a number of other sites, as well as reading crossdressing blogs and the discussions/comments on interesting posts.

One thing that has impressed me is that the guilt and shame do not go away.  Men feel guilty about their crossdressing and it is a constant battle to suppress that guilt.  Sometimes the guilt explodes in a purge of the female clothing.  Sometimes the guilt causes the crossdresser to post a new forum comment or a new blog post in which he talks about his guilt and how he feels like quitting.  (From my amateur and perhaps faulty observations, it seems there are a few people doing this in an average week on as well as other places).

The answers given by crossdressers are always the same – “You shouldn’t feel guilt and you shouldn’t feel shame.”  “You just feel that way because of how people in society look down on us and don’t understand us.”  Basically the advice given is that the urge will never go away, and so the best thing to do is to plow through the feelings of guilt and shame, accept who you are as a crossdresser, and continue crossdressing.

Shouldn’t these repeated posts tell us something?  Can you really suppress all this guilt and shame?  If you are doing something that continues to cause you such pain, anguish, guilt, and shame in your heart, might the better solution be to work hard at no longer doing this activity, to heal from the guilt and shame so that you no longer have to feel it?

I used to feel guilty about something that I shouldn’t have felt guilty about.  Growing up I thought it was sinful to drink alcohol and that it always leads to drunkenness.  But someone corrected my view of Scripture on this issue, gave me a brief education out alcohol, and then I tried drinking.  And I felt fine about it right away.  The guilt has never come back even though I drink.  So my conclusion is that since Scripture and my conscience both do not give me guilt about this issue, it is not morally wrong and I should continue to drink.

But crossdressing is not like this, not for me, and clearly not for most crossdressers out there.  They keep trying to persevere in crossdressing through the guilt and shame, but no matter how much they try to suppress the guilt and shame, it just keeps coming back.  If the crossdressers were right that crossdressing should not produce guilt and shame, then why do the people keep coming back even 40 years into crossdressing, still feeling the same feelings of guilt and shame?!

I say in love to the crossdressing community, please stop trying to suppress the guilt, but rather deal with it in a healthy way.   Maybe your guilt is telling you that you are doing something that is wrong and not good for you, even if it feels good in the moment.  Once I gave up crossdressing, the guilt and shame in my life over that issue disappeared and I’ve been living in peace and happiness ever since, never once regretting the decision I made.

Please also read this other post I wrote about guilt which gives several other related ideas – Guilt is an Achievement!

Link – Accepting a trans identity only makes dysphoria worse

Here is an interesting link at a blog called – “Third Way Trans.”  The author doesn’t have my same standpoint on crossdressing and transgender issues, and he appears to more neutral on the issues.  He is not saying that transitioning to live as the opposite sex is always wrong, but he is also willing to question it and caution people that it might not be the best solution to their gender dysphoria.  I appreciate his insights.

In this blog post he discusses how once a person accepts that they are “transgender” and make it a part of their identity, they become less contented with their life and with the world, not more contented as might be expected.  Their gender dysphoria, hurt, and pain increases, and since there is ultimately no possible way to change our sex/gender, even with our advanced medical technology, the person may end up feeling more pain and dissatisfaction in life, than if they had instead tried to be content living as a man.  Those who are considering such a drastic change in their lives, whether Christian or not, should pay attention to this author’s cautions.

The serenity prayer which he quotes is a great one for all of us, whether we are struggling with gender dysphoria, or a more sexualized crossdressing addiction:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The courage to change the things I can,
And the wisdom to know the difference.”

We would do well to memorize this prayer and focus on contentment rather than fantasizing about things that we cannot actually change.
The Apostle Paul says –

Philippians 4:10-13

10 I rejoiced greatly in the Lord that at last you renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you were concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. 11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.

Necessity of a Mirror

There have been so many times in the past that I rationalized my addiction to crossdressing through such simple thoughts like –

But they are just clothes.”
I’m just being myself, allowing the feminine part of my personality out.”
This is not sexual, it’s about my identity.”
This isn’t narcissistic, it’s self-expression.”
It’s just that these clothes are more comfortable.”
I’m only doing this as a hobby, and for relaxation.”

These thoughts are such stupid false rationalizations.  And one reality clearly blows them all out of the water by itself, aside from the tons of other arguments I’ve made that show these statements to be false.  That is the necessity of a mirror.  At least in my own experience the mirror was necessary.  When I crossdressed, I might have told myself such things, but I would still spend all of my time in front of a mirror, or at least just sitting and looking at myself.

When my wife expresses herself through choosing her clothing, she doesn’t spend hours in front of a mirror.  If she did, I would think her very vain. So how could I delude myself to think that those rationalizations were true?

There are two options.  Either A.  I was being very vain and narcissistic.
Or B.  I was using myself as a replacement woman to be lusting after.

Of course for me, crossdressing was sexual,  otherwise why could I only ever enjoy crossdressing when ogling myself or looking at myself in the mirror?

My crossdressing brothers out there,  I plead with you, not out of hate, but out of love for you, please wake up to the reality of what crossdressing is.  If you are going to do it, at least face the reality of it honestly.  Don’t give yourself false rationalizations.  Look at the reality of the mirror in your crossdressing life.  Some may argue that they don’t need the mirror (but then are you getting your thrills instead through people looking at you, as you “pass” as a woman?).  That is still either sexual or focused on self or both.

Giving Pastoral care to a crossdresser or transgendered person

I know many pastors and Christian counselors and wives of crossdressers are finding my blog, probably in hopes of finding help in ministering to crossdressers, transsexuals, or people struggling with gender dysphoria.  I can tell this by looking at the search terms people use when they find my blog.  I know that I’ve written a lot on my blog and it can be daunting trying to figure out where to start.  So I thought I’d make a one stop shop, one big post for those pastors or wives or caring friends, people who don’t struggle with crossdressing themselves, but are trying to help someone else with one or both of these conditions.  Feel free to comment below with suggestions, comments, or questions in case you are still confused or unsure about something after reading this post.


First, what is crossdressing?  What is transgenderism?  What does “transsexual” mean?  What is gender dysphoria?

Definition of Terms

I’ll let this great link from Parakeleo answer these basic questions for me:  FAQ’s.  Their FAQ page is extremely helpful and will give you all the main facts that you need to know.  The only thing I would add to the definitions is that in many people there is great overlap between the many issues involved: sexual orientation, sexual/gender identity and dysphoria, transgenderism, and crossdressing as sexual addiction.  Most people don’t fit cleanly into the categories.  It takes many crossdressers years just to figure themselves out, and for many of us, we have both the sexual aspect of crossdressing as well as some gender dysphoria.  In others still, it could begin as a sexual fetish (being attracted to the fake woman in the mirror), but over time become less sexual and turn into desire for a complete sex reassignment surgery.

We don’t really know what causes these addictions or cases of gender confusion.  Part of my work on this blog has been to wrestle with others trying to figure out what caused us to be the way we are.  We have a lot of interesting ideas and theories, but little certainty.  Some of the triggers could be biological, some could be the environment and family setting, some could be the person not fitting into gender stereotypes of the culture, some could be personality, and some could be certain key experiences of crossdressing during puberty which misplaced our sexual desires for girls onto ourselves instead.  We really don’t know.  But even if we knew the cause, this would not necessarily change our response and form of treatment.

The rest of this post will talk about your response and about types of “treatment.”  If you are looking for an academic treatise about treatment for crossdressers, you could begin with a site like – this.  While I believe certain types of psychological conditioning or medication could be helpful to some crossdressers, I don’t see them as a necessity for someone to quit crossdressing and find healing in his heart and mind.  In addition, oftentimes medication only helps to reduce temptations and symptoms, but doesn’t get to the root psychological and spiritual causes of the problem.  I am not an expert, not in the least, about the medications involved to treat a crossdressing addiction or gender dysphoria.  So the rest of this post will focus on the other aspects of your response.  In my case, I did not find healing from my addiction through secular therapies or techniques, nor through medication.  In the rest of this post, I will focus on what I believe are the most important ways for you to help crossdressers or transgendered individuals.  The power of the truth of God’s Word, the grace we receive in Christ, and the presence of the Holy Spirit in us, together are more than enough to deal with this painful issue.


Scary Strange Topic?

Hopefully some of your feelings of fear or strangeness about this issue has worn off now that you have read all that good information from Parakeleo.  Please remember that the man (or in less frequent cases, the woman) you are trying to help likely did not choose to have these feelings in any way.  Remember that Jesus responded to sexual sinners with love and compassion and forgiveness.  Remember also your own sins that you don’t feel like telling anyone about, and think of the great courage it took for this man to share his struggle with you.  Or if his secret was accidentally found out, imagine the shame and fear he must be feeling.  Try to put yourself in his place.  Be a good listener.  As with other issues like homosexuality, the Church needs to be careful in its response to this issue.  See this post next to get yourself in the right frame of mind – Church’s Response to homosexuality, crossdressing, transsexualism.  If we don’t respond well, we can contribute to the shame, isolation, and persecution of crossdressers and transsexuals.  This is a serious issue given the high suicide rate of transsexuals – Suicide prevalence among transsexuals and crossdressers.

For wives, if you are feeling betrayed and no longer trust your husband, or are feeling like the marriage is at an end, please hold on.  Keep up your hope.  Keep trusting in the Lord.  I will address wives directly and the difficult of such feelings in a special section for you at the end of this post.

Now that you’re ready to listen well and give empathy, also be firm to stand on the truth of God’s Word.  Don’t judge the morality of this complicated issue of crossdressing based on your own feelings or the culture’s view.  Look at it objectively.  See the destruction this addiction or confusion has caused in the man’s life before you.  Crossdressing may have always seemed harmless to you, but now you know it isn’t that simple.  See this post to understand why crossdressing is far from harmless – Summary of why crossdressing is sinful/harmful.


How can you help?

Be a good listener and be patient.  It might take some good time for the crossdresser to figure out his own feelings, and his own beliefs on the subject.  He has to want to get help, he has to want to stop, and he has to want healing from this condition.  You cannot force him.  So be patient, keep listening, and point him to good resources.

First of all, you can point him to my blog’s page of all my blog posts – Full Blog Post List. He will have hours and hours to read about this topic if he wants to.  And you can point him to my blog’s page of helpful links of many different organizations, recovery tools, articles, and other blogs – Links, Resources, and Testimonies.  And you can invite him to join our prayer and accountability group, of about 50 other men (though some have come and gone as they beat their addiction), who are together quitting crossdressing, resisting transgenderism, and trying to be content with who we are, and recover from our brokenness caused by these addictions and confusions.  Email Prayer Group

It is good for you on the one hand to think of crossdressing as an addiction like alcoholism.  So the way you would help an alcoholic as a pastor might be very similar to how you could help someone struggling with crossdressing. You should expect several failures before abstinence.  You should expect a family intervention might be necessary in some cases.   You should understand the need for accountability, prayer, and encouragement.  You should understand how important it is for you and the family members to repeatedly give encouragement and forgiveness, as the man goes through the process of quitting.  You should realize that getting out of crossdressing and masturbatory addiction is as tough as getting out of a drug addiction in many ways.

Set goals with him that are achievable.  If he can go cold turkey, great.  This is certainly possible and probably the best approach.  Otherwise set increasingly better goals until he quits completely.  Celebrate the successes.  When failures come, help him deal with failure in a healthy way so that he doesn’t wallow in despair and shame, but finds new motivation to have self control because of God’s grace and forgiveness in his life.  Encourage him to work hard to quit.  Perhaps he can memorize Scripture that will help him during times of temptation, or journal when tempted so he can write down and describe his feelings.  See this post for more practical things he can do – No more half measures.

Much of your ministry will actually be focused on caring and supporting and listening to the pain of the spouse.  In addition, you will be in a position to help them work through the complications this causes in their marriage.  Here are some of the most important issues you will be in a position to help with as a pastor: forgiveness, confession, repentance, rebuilding trust, going to God in our pain and suffering, setting boundaries, accountability, understanding the crossdressing or gender dysphoria from a theological perspective, help for reducing temptations, help in fighting temptations, etc.

However, when gender dysphoria is put into the picture, the treatment and the way you can help such a person gets a bit more complicated.  You will have to help him sort out identity issues, what it means to be a man or woman, the biblical importance of our bodies, and learning how to be content with being a man.  Remember that some people may struggle with both crossdressing as sexual addiction and gender dysphoria, or they might not even be sure how to describe their struggle until they read more.  As I list helpful resources, blog posts, and articles below, I divided them into two categories.  Some of the articles talk about both issues, but I’ve only put them under one of the headings.  You may want to look through both lists for this reason.

Here are some of the posts and articles I recommend you and he both read if he struggles with crossdressing as a sexual addiction.

12 Steps to stop crossdressing

Can God deliver me from crossdressing?

How sexual addictions destroy our lives

Healing doesn’t mean no more temptations

Progress Report 1-30-13 – How I successfully fought temptation, but then failed.

Crossdressing is like pornography

I quit crossdressing and I am happy!

Becoming the woman my wife is not

Guilt is an achievement!

How do we know what is true? Is crossdressing sinful?

They are just clothes right?

Deeper reasons for crossdressing

You have a choice

Your Brain on Porn


Other articles not written by me:

The Transvestic Career Path – Interesting article about how one develops into a transvestite or crossdresser.  Talks a lot about the internal marriage that is created where the crossdresser functions as both husband and wife.  Very helpful for understanding what crossdressing and transvestism are really all about.

Randall Wayne’s testimony  about overcoming crossdressing

My Un-ordinary life – Blog written by a wife of a crossdresser sharing her painful experiences

RAIN approach – Simple and effective tool to resist urges and temptations when they come.


Here are some of the posts and articles I recommend you and he both read if he struggles with gender dysphoria and transgenderism.

But I was born with these desires

Gender Sameness and Difference

The myth of “Choosing to be yourself”

Transabled and Transgender

Race and Transgender Issues

Don’t follow your heart

Good Resource – “In Search of Unification”

Crossdressing without sexual component

The Inconsistency of Transsexuals

Intersexual Conditions – There is still a binary

Our bodies Matter – Good article

No such thing as transgender

Detransitioning and Regret

Helpful link explaining transsexual types


Articles not written by me:

The Transgender Triumph – Long informative article about transgenderism’s history in the US.

Understanding the Transgender Phenomenon – Analyzing transgenderism from a Christian perspective.

Bruce or Caitlyn? He or She? Should Christians accomodate transgender naming?

The Psychpathology of “sex reassignment” surgery – Assessing Its Medical, Psychological, and Ethical Appropriateness.  By Richard P. Fitzgibbons, M.D., Philip M. Sutton, and Dale O’Leary. This is a interesting and convincing academic article about why doing such surgeries is unethical and is actually mutilation.

The Transgender Con?  Many “Transgender” People Regret Switch – Helpful article talking about people who have detransitioned and why, and it dismantles some transgender ideology.


For many more articles, testimonies, organizations, and resources see this page – Links, Resources, and Testimonies.



Helpful Bible Verses

One of the best and main things you can do as a pastor is to focus on the Word of God together.  And you can do this even if you are still struggling to understand crossdressing and transgenderism!  God’s Word can bring wonderful transformation to anyone regardless of what kind of psychological or spiritual issue they face.  The man you are helping will likely find a lot of resources on the internet and from counselors about crossdressing and transgenderism.  Likely he knows more than you already and if not, will certainly know more than you soon.  Honestly, he will probably learn so much about the science, sociology, and ramifications of crossdressing and transgenderism that soon he will be talking about stuff that is over your head and out of your expertise.  So stick to what you know, that is God’s Word, and help him to see and understand the theological side of the issues.  Here are blog posts of mine that reflect on how God’s Word relates to these issues.  You could meditate together on several of them each time you meet.  And pray pray pray, when together, and pray for him regularly on your own.  I cannot emphasize the importance of regular prayer and Scripture reading enough.

Deuteronomy 22:5

1 Corinthians 11:2-16 Prohibits Crossdressing

Psalm 119 – God’s Commands Bring Freedom

Put the “cross” into “crossdressing”

Living in our Resurrection Hope

1 Corinthians 16:13-14

Crossdressing can become idolatry

How Satan tempts us to crossdress

Helpful Bible verses 1

Helpful Bible verses 2

Helpful Bible verses 3

Helpful Bible verses 4

Helpful Bible verses 5

Helpful Bible verses 6

Helpful Bible verses 7

Helpful Bible verses 8

Helpful Bible verses 9

Helpful Bible verses 10

Helpful Bible verses 11

Helpful Bible verses 12

Helpful Bible verses 13

Helpful Bible verses 14


Other articles not written by Me:

Body Modification – Article/sermon about body modification in general and how Christians should view their bodies.  Connects various issues together under one theme – transgenderism, crossdressing, tatooing, transableism, anorexia, etc.

Spiritual Warfare – Sermon by Tim Keller, helpful ideas for resisting Satan’s schemes to accuse us and tempt us to sin.


Consequences:  Divorce and Church discipline

I do believe that crossdressing or trying to change our bodies to appear as the opposite sex are both sinful activities.  That means that if someone persists in these activities there will be consequences.

While I believe divorce should be a last ditch effort after all other possible solutions have been tried, I do think divorce is permissible in these cases.  If a woman is married to a man who is persisting in trying to become a woman, this is marital unfaithfulness to a very perverted and distorted degree.  It is abandonment of the marriage.  The woman did not agree to marry another woman.  And if the man is persisting in crossdressing as sexual sin, this is sexual sin no less than adultery or pornography.  He is lusting after the false woman he made of himself.  It is marital unfaithfulness.  If a husband regularly failed from time to time, but always repented and always kept working on quitting, I would not consider this grounds for divorce.  Divorce should be avoided at all costs, and it is important to do all possible to counsel the wife and help her to forgive the husband and rebuild trust.  There is sin and brokenness in every marriage.  A wife’s first gut impulse might be fear, rage, disgust, and so she may start thinking about divorce immediately.  Help her to be patient, to forgive, and to do all that is possible to work on the marriage and help the husband repent and change, before even thinking about a divorce.  If a divorce becomes necessary because the husband persists in sin, with no repentance, for example if he starts living full-time as a woman, then the wife should be counseled that she is not doing wrong in getting a divorce and should not be mired down in guilt.  But even in these cases, continue to work with the couple and pray for change, for the husband may come to senses after being apart from his wife for a brief time, and there may be a possibility for reconciliation.

Besides the issue of divorce, there is the issue of church discipline.  This is something that most churches in the US have simply stopped doing in general, although many churches around the world still continue to do loving, gentle, and effective church discipline.  I’m not going to give a whole treatise on how to do church discipline.  But church discipline is a long process of calling people to repent and step out of sin.  Excommunication is only the very last ditch step after all other efforts of discipline and discipleship have failed.   And church discipline is not to be undertaken when someone sins, but only for the sin of unrepentance.  If someone repeatedly sins but they do not repent and do not try to stop, even after repeated confrontations by church members and church leadership, then this can and should lead to church discipline and even excommunication.  Just as I would put someone under church discipline who refused to repent of adultery or pornography addiction, I would put someone under church discipline who refused to repent and quit crossdressing.  But even if this last terrible step happens, the idea is still for the person to realize their sin, come back to the church, receive assurance of grace, and the whole church can celebrate together that they’ve been restored.


For you wives

You are in a terribly difficult position if you are a wife of a crossdresser.  All people are sinful, all people are broken, and so therefore all marriages have some degree of brokenness.  But I feel more pity for you than for the average spouse in painful marriages.  The reason is that this issue is so little understood, so strange, and yet our culture is so accepting of it.  Instead of celebrating husbands who repent of their crossdressing and reconcile with their wives, our culture celebrates those husbands who get sex-changes and then remain married to their wives as “women.”  It is a sad state of affairs we find ourselves in.

But please, don’t despair, don’t give up hope.  There are resources out there to help you.  First of all, you may feel free to vent, to get advice, and to ask for prayer on this page – Wives of crossdressers chat.

You have a difficult road ahead of you.  Jesus promised that if we followed him as his disciples that we would suffer.  That is the reality of our lives, and often the more Christ-like we are, the more we will suffer.  Sticking with your husband and continuing to love will cost you.  But the good news is that Jesus is with us through the presence of the Holy Spirit!  He comforts us with his Word.  He gives us strength and power to persevere.  He gives us his love and compassion and mercy!  And we know that we have a sure and wonderful hope of eternal life with our Lord God, forever and ever, with no more pain, tears, or suffering.  And we know that our God is powerful enough to even use suffering to achieve something good in his plan! (Romans 8:28).  So we continue to do what is right, even when it is hard, knowing that God is shaping our character, and accomplishing good things in our lives and in this world in his sovereign plan.

You will also need to struggle to identify and repent of your own sins.  As you hate the sin in your husband, be sure to look at the sins in your own life (Matthew 7:1-6).  He didn’t choose what he would struggle with, and neither did you.  And don’t forget pride is a sin God hates just as much if not more than sexual sin.  God is quick to forgive, but those with proud hearts are far from God.  The Pharisees lived rightly but were far from God in their hearts and were slow to forgive sexual sinners.  Jesus warned them of judgment.

Yet in the end, it is true that what your husbands are doing is sinful and they chose to do it, even if they did not choose to have the original desire to do it.  They have hurt you.  They have betrayed you.  They have broken your trust.  They have disgusted you.  They have caused you great pain.  They have sinned.  Remember that even more than sinning against you, they have sinned against God (Psalm 51:4).  They have rebelled against the design of their Creator which is far more serious than what they did against you.  They are guilty, and you don’t need to beat about the bush when talking to them.  They did wrong.  Although you must avoid a prideful attitude, and must avoid judgment without mercy as I talked about in the above paragraph, you still must be able to state clearly that what your husband did was wrong.

If he argues with you and says that it is not wrong to crossdress or live as a woman, then there is little you can do besides pray and point him to resources and books like my blog.  Have him read my arguments for why crossdressing is sinful and harmful.  And express to him that even if crossdressing is not essentially wrong (which I believe it clearly is), it is still hurting the marriage and therefore still a betrayal of trust and harm to you.

Whether or not your husband repents, your main job is to work on your own heart.  Whether or not your husband repents, God calls us to forgive.  And it is no light matter. I will be blunt.  Jesus says if you don’t forgive others, like your husband, for their sins, God won’t forgive you.  This is something repeated over and over by Jesus in many statements and different parables.  Someone that has truly experienced God’s forgiveness for their own sins will be someone who forgives others for their sins.  The debt we have to God is infinitely bigger than any debt people owe to us.  If we are not willing to forgive, than we are not people who have been transformed by God’s grace in Jesus Christ, we are not people who will be forgiven.  What is forgiveness?  It is not making excuses for your husband, it is not making yourself forget what your husband did, and it is not pretending that your husband didn’t do wrong.  Forgiveness means moving forward, continuing to love your husband, wishing well for him, and leaving the judgment for his sin up to God.  Forgiveness is about your heart giving up your bitterness.  It is still possible to forgive but have consequences remain in a marriage.  It can take a while to rebuild trust even when there is forgiveness.  (Another example of a consequence: A wife who was abused by a husband can truly forgive but still not go back to living with her husband in danger).  Forgiveness is not always instantaneous, sometimes it’s a process, but your first priority with God is to work on forgiving your husband.

I think you will need a support system.  You probably don’t want to go around telling everyone about your husband’s secret struggle, and I’m sure your husband doesn’t want you to either.  But get permission from your husband to tell one friend, and your  pastor (or counselor).  You have to have people you can talk about this openly to, people who can give you advice, walk through this suffering with you, and pray for you.  Many wives that have talked to me told me that their husbands did not want them telling even a pastor or friend, and in some cases threatened them angrily.  Each situation is different, but I really think you need the support.  In cases where the husband is continuing in sin and not repenting, I think the wife should talk to someone even against the husband’s wishes.  Use your wisdom.  You could do this in secret, or you could say to your husband, “you are continuing in sin, and being unfaithful in our marriage, I cannot live like this and I need to get counsel and support and wisdom from other people, so you should know I am going to tell the pastor.”  I say use your wisdom because you don’t want to put yourself in danger, but if possible you should give your husband a chance to hear that you are planning to tell someone and maybe he will change his mind and talk to the pastor together with you.

You will have to have an honest and clear discussion with your husband about the breach of trust and betrayal that you feel.  You will have to discuss how that trust can be rebuilt, and give him hope that it can be rebuilt.  Discuss together how you are going to move forward, both in marriage, and also how your husband will move forward in fighting the addiction, getting help, and healing from this struggle.  You’ll have to set some standards of improvement that you want to see.  Discuss these together.  Don’t give him ultimatums.  That is not a healthy process for recovery.  Together discuss your action plan of how you will move forward in faith and hope.  Together discuss boundaries, ideas, how the sexual relationship might change, accountability issues, how you will spend time in prayer and Scripture reading together to rebuild the marriage, etc.   Have hope.  Have optimism.  Although it’s hard to find such stories on the internet, lots of men have recovered from crossdressing addiction and marriages restored.  In fact, going through such a struggle like this together can actually build up your marriage so that it is stronger than most other marriages around.  I speak from experience that mutual suffering in marriage, being real to each other about our darkest secrets and struggles, and moving forward in faith trusting in God, can do a lot to build a firm foundation in a marriage.

You CAN recover from this.  Your heart CAN heal.  Keep going to God.  Rely on him for strength.  Keep reading his Word.  Keep praying.  Keep spending time with Jesus.  Keep loving your husband and encouraging him.  You can heal.  The marriage can heal.  Transformation can come.  At the end, you’ll be thankful you stuck it out and you’ll see the power of God’s amazing grace and love in your marriage and your own life and your husband’s life.

What can you do or not do to help your husband recover from this addiction and confusion?
I will give my ideas, but they are only my opinions.  It’s good for you to talk to your friends, your pastor, and talk to God and read his Word yourself, in order to have good guidance for what is best for you to do.

Here is a post I wrote about an article that talks about a wife’s role in her husband’s recovery from sexual addiction – Article – The Role of a wife in your recovery.  It’s important to figure out how much you need to know the details about his struggle and what details are best left unshared.  See the post for a fuller explanation.

  • Pray together with your husband regularly that God would help him overcome this addiction.  But pray about other regular life stuff too.
  • Read God’s Word together with your husband.  Grow together in faith and knowledge of God.  Be transformed by God’s Word together.
  • Especially in the beginning of your husbands attempt to quit this addiction, help him to reduce the amount of time he spends alone.  This will greatly reduce the amount of temptation he will experience until he gets through his sort of “detox” stage.  Once his body is used to going without crossdressing for a while, it may start to become easier and he might have more self control during alone times.
  • Affirm your husband’s manhood verbally.  Be creative in how you do this.  Make him feel good about being a man.  Help him remember that he is a man.
  • Affirm your attraction to your husband as a man, including your sexual attraction to him.  If necessary, remind him that you are totally turned off and disgusted at the thought of him crossdressed, just like he would be if you crossdressed.
  • Encourage him to be a good father and to set a good example for your children.
  • Encourage him to grow a beard.  It’s very hard to convincingly crossdress with a beard.  And it will help your husband to feel more manly especially if he knows that it is attractive to you.
  • Buy nice clothes for your husband or with your husband to help him enjoy looking good as a man.
  • Be a good listener as your husband reads this blog and comes to understand himself better.
  • Encourage him regularly.
  • Do not constantly ask him if he has been crossdressing.  Limit yourself to once a week at most.  It helps to have one time set aside regularly every week where you both know you will pray for the marriage and talk about any issues in the marriage.  This way you don’t talk about hard things every day which can destroy all the peace and happiness in a marriage.
  • Be conscious of your clothing.  Don’t leave it lying around.  When the clothing is on you, he will not focus so much on the clothing but be attracted to you.  But when he sees your clothing by itself he may turn to crossdressing thoughts.  Don’t leave underwear or skirts lying around.  Have a good plan together about the laundry bin.  Keep your drawers and closet closed.
  • Be mindful about things that specifically trigger your husband to temptation.  It’s different for each man, and some of the things might make no sense to you, but try to be helpful anyway.  For me when my wife wants me to wear an apron when cooking, that is something that can lead me down a path to sin in my mind, and crossdressing in real life the next day.  But to her she cannot understand why this would be an issue.  For some men it might be you being playful with him putting hair ties in his hair, or other feminine things.  To other men, it might be you as a wife wearing high heeled shoes that are a trigger.  Do you care about your husband enough to alter your wardrobe?  You should.
  • Avoid movies and television shows that have even 5 seconds of crossdressing in them.  If you have some movies, like comedies about crossdressing, even if they are your favorites, get rid of them immediately.
  • Assure your husband regularly that he is forgiven in Christ.  Assure him regularly of your forgiveness and continued love as well.
  • Don’t become your husband’s accountability partner.  This is a dirty task.  Your husband needs someone he can give all the detailed shit to, and this should not be you as the knowledge would only harm you and the marriage.  If you told your husband every nasty sinful thought you’ve ever had would it help him?  No.  You each need an accountability and support partner who is not the other person.  An outside person can tell your husband, “you need to love your wife in this way and this way” which is more powerful than you being the only one to tell him.
  • Challenge your husband to grow in holiness.  If we are true Christians, we must be growing in our sanctification.  It is the evidence that we have been truly saved.  If your husband has been stuck in a cycle of crossdressing, repentance, abstinence, crossdressing, repentance, abstinence for a long time, challenge him to take some new steps to get out of the rut and get rid of crossdressing for good.  He can read my blog for new ideas.
  • Encourage your husband to read my blog.  Encourage your husband to join our email prayer group through this blog.
  • You don’t want your husband to foolishly think that he is the only sinful person.  You as a wife are messed up too.  It’s easy for your husband to wallow in shame and guilt thinking he is the worst person in the world.  It helps him to remember that you are sinful and saved by grace too.  Confess your sins to him too even if they are not sexual sins.
  • Continue to have sex with your husband.  It helps to realize that rejection of him can fuel his desire to go to the other woman (himself).  Furthermore, having sex with you is the best way for him to recondition his body to desire a real woman instead of the fake woman of himself.  This suggestion might seem like a lot to ask of you in your painful situation, but if you are going to try to save the marriage, this is one of the most helpful things you can do to help him change.
  • Help him to see that he is not really a woman, no matter how he might look.  Help him to recognize the self-delusion.   Help him to realize that there is more to being a woman than wearing make up and a dress.  How dare he think that is what it means to be a woman.  He doesn’t have the body of a woman.  He did not grow up being treated like a woman.  He doesn’t know the pressures a woman faces.  He doesn’t know the pains and joys of menstruation and pregnancy.
  • Focus not on the crossdressing but on the good things in your lives.  The more you spend all your time focusing on the problems, the more miserable you will be.
  • Find good ways for you both to spend your time, so you are thinking about other good things, and so your husband has good purposeful things to do with his time.  Then he can focus on those things instead of desiring crossdressing.  He can have good meaning in his life and less time to waste on sin.  Get new hobbies, have fun together.  Volunteer together to help the poor.  Minister in church together.  Join Bible studies together.  Join community groups.
  • Have hope.  Encourage.  Be optimistic.  Celebrate changes.  Be thankful for small graces that God gives.  Be thankful for every good change you see.  Rejoice in the hope of the New Creation, of eternal life when God will COMPLETELY HEAL our brokenness and remove every stain of our sin.  Be patient.  Jesus will come again.  Persevere as you wait.


That is the end of this long post.  Please feel free to comment with suggestions, criticisms, comments, or questions.  May God help you and use you as you minister to his children.

Being rejected by women

How much of our crossdressing desire is related to having been rejected by girls when we were younger?  Or for some of us, how much of our ongoing crossdressing failures are related to smaller rejections by our girlfriends or wives today?

So many of you men that I’ve talked to have similar stories to me in that when we were younger, we were either directly rejected by girls if we had the courage to ask them out, or we were indirectly rejected by girls through our shyness or lack of interaction with them, or in my case, both.  It seems to me that at least one of the many reasons our crossdressing desires developed in the first place, is that our crossdressed self became a replacement for real women.  It was an easy substitute.  There is much less pressure and much less anxiety.  You don’t have to know how to act, you don’t have to fumble with what to say, you just dress up and wow, there is a woman there with you, dressed in whatever sexy clothes you want!

I’m realizing more and more that in the pain of my very imperfect marriage, so much of the time I’ve gone to crossdressing when rejected by my wife, whether she is rejecting sex or rejecting my touch or verbal affection.  But this is just retreating further into pain and rejection.  It’s retreating further away from what God wants for me and my wife.  It’s retreating further away from myself.  It’s adding pain to pain.  It’s adding shame to pain.  And after crossdressing, whether she would see me or not, I would be even much more LESS CONFIDENT with her.  I would feel much less like a man with her.  Which in turn would make me expect rejection even more and thus probably get rejected even more because women don’t like weak emasculated men.

This is a dangerous spiral of destruction that I think has been in my life since I was in middle school.  Now that I recognize this so clearly, I’m not going to let the rejections in my marriage keep creating temptations for me to masturbate or crossdress.  The fact that this happened in my life so many times in the past gives me righteous anger.  But I act differently now.  I’m not going to shame myself with perverted crossdressing just because I get rejected.  I am stronger than that.  I am going to be myself, and just go without love or without sexual pleasure, rather than to shame myself in confused addiction.  When I face rejection, I shouldn’t rail at my wife with anger, I shouldn’t retreat into immorality, I should go to my God who has completely and amazingly and fully loved me, accepted me, and is with me, and will never leave me.  He is the one who gives me strength to resist sin, he is the one who gives me comfort and perseverance to make it through suffering.  He is the one who gives me self-control.  Thank you Lord Jesus that you will never ever ever reject me.  You have accepted me once and forever.


Transabled and Transgender

I’ve talked before about the parallels between those with transgender feelings and those with “transabled” feelings.  These are the feelings of people who desire to have a body part amputated to be able to feel themselves and feel at peace.  I wrote about that in this post – Desperately longing to be disabled.

Because of all the transgender issues in the media lately, the transabled phenomenon is getting more attention.  Here are some recent articles about it that I thought were interesting, and as we read these articles and think about transabled people and their struggles, it can shed new light on our own struggles with gender, and give us some ideas to ponder.

Becoming Disabled by Choice, Not Chance: ‘Transabled’ people feel like impostors in their fully working bodies

“The person could want to become deaf, blind, amputee, paraplegic. It’s a really, really strong desire.”

I find it interesting that the article says most of them are men (at least most of the people that have been interviewed about this), which we also know is the case with transgender, that there are more men than women.  Why are so many of us men uncomfortable in our own bodies?

Yes, these people really exist and they have real pain and real struggles, just like those of us with gender dysphoria.  But why is it okay to say that they these people need counseling rather than surgery, but we cannot say that about those with gender dysphoria?  I think it is incredibly inconsistent.

As a Christian, I believe that we are more than just souls trapped in bodies.  Our bodies are part of who we are!  So a Christian cannot say, “I am truly such and such in my soul, but unfortunately trapped in this body that does not represent me.”  Also, as a Christian, clearly a healthy body that works how it is supposed to is what God wants for us and what we should want for ourselves.  For anyone to want to damage their body, whether through smoking, clogging our arteries, amputating our limbs, or going through sex reassignment surgery, we are doing something that is not honoring to God and displeasing to him.

The Gospel Coalition – The Diabolic Logic of Transableism

This article makes some very powerful points which I will paste below.

Transableism is classified as a mental disorder while transgenderism is not — The problem with this claim is that it’s simply not true. Body integrity disorder is not classified as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V)—but gender dysphoria is. None of that really matters, though, since there is no objective standard for determining when body dysphoria should be construed as a mental disorder. Disorders in the DSM are literally whatever gets voted for inclusion by the American Psychiatric Association. Whatever one’s position on the issue, it can’t be resolved by an appeal to psychiatric consensus, even if one existed.

Genital reassignment surgery is an accepted medical practice while amputation for transableism is not — What constitutes an “accepted” practice? That depends almost entirely on a particular doctor or medical community. Many physicians would reject both as unacceptable. Yet both types of amputations of healthy organs have been performed.

The article also makes a link to anorexia which I think is important for all of us to consider.  It’s much clearer to everyone that anorexia is damaging and deadly, much more damaging than gender dysphoria, at least to our physical health.  But we need to grapple with the connections between anorexia and transgenderism.  They are both a disconnect between one’s idea of himself or herself, and one’s body.

The article rightly criticizes Christians for being too tolerant and accepting of deviant practices like these.

No, I place the blame on those self-professed Christians who endorse these forms of self-harm and make self-mutilation a plausible and palatable “solution” for the vulnerable. They cloak their support in the language of “compassion” and “tolerance” while encouraging people to engage in grave evil.

If you felt an urge to surgically remove your sexual organs or induce vomiting until your ribs showed through your skin, would you assume it was the will of God? No, of course not—at least not if you are in a right state of mind. So why do we pretend that it is God’s will for other people to mutilate themselves?  

Who is the Caitlyn Jenner of the Transabled

Another article explaining the hypocrisy in our culture right now, the inconsistency between the two issues.

We social conservatives have an annoying habit of pointing out where the radical individualism driving the same-sex marriage movement is taking society. People find it offensive when we tell them that the same logic they are using to justify SSM can and will be used to justify polygamy. Give it another generation. My guess is that transableism is just far too disgusting and weird ever to find mainstream legitimacy, but if you accept the logic of transgenderism — that people have a right to “be who they really are” — then it’s hard to see where you might find the solid ground to object to transableism. After all, they aren’t hurting anybody, are they?

Body Modification

This is an older article, but I found it while looking at other articles about transableism, and I felt it was extremely helpful.  It’s almost a sermon.  It talks about body modification in general, such as tatooing and piercing, and gets into what the Bible says about our bodies.  There are so many good points I could not post them all.  Just read the article.  Later in the article, the author shows the connection between issues like sex/gender reassignment surgery, anorexia, and transableism.  As old as the article is (14 years old), it’s quite prophetic about what our culture is going through now!  The author talks a lot about body modification in general and its pagan roots.

Read this paragraph from the article, and it’s hard not to think how much this sounds like the kind of stuff transgendered and transabled people are saying today:
There’s even a group that calls itself the Church of Body Modification. It’s officially recognized by the government as a religion. It has no doctrine of a Creator God. Instead, it teaches that we create a world of our own choosing. The mission statement of the Church of Body Modification declares, “Each of us is wise in our reasons. Each of us is powerful in authority over ourselves. Our bodies are the physical structure, our temple; the encasement of our own very personal dreams and experiences, our beliefs and our hopes. We stand absolutely firm on our birthright of ownership of our individual bodies… Together now we share a New World of our own creation.”

More good points:

From an early age, most of us are not content with our body and would like to change it. If little children have blue eyes, they wish they had brown eyes. If they’re born with red hair, they wish it was black. Some boys wish they were girls, or vice versa. Some kids wish they’d been born of a different race or had a different name. This childish dissatisfaction with our own body was always considered something to grow out of and get over.

But nowadays, rather than growing beyond childish fantasies, adults indulge those fantasies. They get contacts lenses that change their eye color, dyes that change their hair color, tattoos that make them look more like a billboard than a human, piercings that make them look like their favorite famous pagans, plastic surgery to rearrange their face and shape. Men wear earrings as only women did a few years ago, women choose hairstyles and clothing to resemble men, cross—dressing pop stars are adored by millions, and some people get sex change operations to alter their gender entirely.

Part of mature wisdom is accepting the body God gave you, learning to live with it, and honoring God with it. But the spirit of rebellion says, “I am the master of my fate. I can modify my body as I see fit.“ Does this bring joy and freedom? No, it brings pain, slavery, chaos, and death. In the Bible God’s wisdom calls out and says, “Whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord. But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death“ (Proverbs 8:35—36).

Many good articles on transgenderism and Jenner

As we all know, the Jenner controversy has been all over the news, and people are discussing anything and everything to do with transgenderism.  Much of what is being discussed I have already discussed on my blog, and so I’m not going to spend a long time repeating myself.  Instead, I thought I would link to some of the more interesting and thought provoking articles that I’ve read lately.  I’ll give just a couple comments about each one.

Before I link the articles, I just wanted to make a comment about the whole Olympic medal controversy.  Jenner has said he always knew he was really a woman.  So some say he should have his medal taken away because he was not supposed to be competing with the men if he really is a woman.  The Olympic committee has said they are not going to take his medal away, as he was not on hormones at the time, so it is not a problem.  Personally, I think the people protesting have a good point, and this whole medal issue makes something clear:  No one actually believes that Jenner is a real woman.  We all know that he has XY chromosomes and scientifically is a male.  But because of political correctness and tolerance gone a muck, most people still want to go along with the delusion that Jenner is a female.  I think this is a kind of hypocrisy.  It’s not really fair that while most people do not believe that people can really change their sex, the ones who actually admit they believe this are ridiculed and called bigots.


Christians, Be Careful What You Say on Facebook

Helpful corrective to ensure we don’t speak with hypocrisy or arrogance when all of us struggle with our own baggage.  We need to love and pray for Jenner.


Desiring GodHow Should We Respond to Caitlyn Jenner

This article does a nice job at proclaiming the clear biblical truth about transgenderism, but also wrestles with the pain and real struggle of Jenner’s story.  The author advocates strongly for compassion.  Jenner’s personhood, being made in the image of God, is emphasized.


Desiring GodIs it Okay to Be a Christian and Be Transgendered?


Calling Bruce Jenner a Woman is an Insult to Women

This article is pretty harsh but makes a lot of great points worth reflecting on, notably Jenner’s way of talking about himself with two personas, and how transgenderism relates to feminism.  The author clearly articulates how Jenner is not really a woman, no matter how much makeup he is wearing to make himself appear like one.  Harshness aside, this article makes great points I hope people will consider.


Bruce Jenner is Not a Hero

This article explores the notion of claiming that you can have a female soul, but a male body, a proposition which doesn’t make sense, because if you believe in God, God would not make such a mistake, and if you don’t believe in God, why believe that people have souls?


Bruce Jenner is Not a Woman, He is a Sick and Delusional Man

This article is a bit harsh, but makes good points.  I appreciated the comparison to anorexia, imagining people celebrating an anorexic woman’s delusions of being overweight.


I Was a Transgender Woman

Moving story of a man who went through sex reassignment surgery but regretted it as it did not fix his unhappiness.


Gospel Coalition – Caitlyn Jenner and Love in the Future Tense

Good article about the importance of biblical truth on this subject, and yet the need to speak about it in love.


The Transgender Triumph

Very long and informative article, with much about the history of transgenderism in the USA.

“Bailey, who has devoted his academic career to outré forms of human sexuality, argued that transgenderism (the new, politically correct word for what was called “transsexualism” a decade ago) isn’t a matter of a mismatch between one’s body and one’s innate identity, as transgender activists and their numerous allies have been arguing. Instead, it’s a matter of sexual desire and romantic yearning. “Those who love men become women to attract them,” Bailey wrote. “Those who love women become the women they love.””


The Cult of Caitlyn confirms that there is nothing progressive in transgender politics

Interesting article looking at all the religiosity and even worship surrounding this whole Jenner saga.  The article also gets into the scary truth that transgender activists want us to rewrite history.


The Real Christian Debate on Transgender Identity

Examines the various Christian responses to the Jenner saga.


Celebrating Confusion: The Crisis of Bruce (Not Caitlyn) Jenner


The Price of Caitlyn Jenner’s Heroism


How to Preach about Bruce Jenner

Some helpful points in here, thoughtful discussion, and some points about Ray Blanchard’s theories about transgenderism.