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4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

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1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

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6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

He's An Abusive Cross-Dresser

He's An Abusive Cross-Dresser

"Courage is the power to let go of the familiar." - Raymond Lindquist

April 1, 2000

Dear Dr. Irene:

I sure do need a little help here!  I will try to make this short and sweet....well it may not be so sweet!  I have been living with my boyfriend for almost three years now. I have an 11 year old son from a previous marriage. My boyfriend has never had children and has made it very clear that anyone who wants kids is nuts...his words! Ugh. I hope your kid doesn't hear this stuff...

He is a very heavy drinker but the drinking is not the root of the problem, it sure doesn't help though. Ugh. Last August he told me that he was a cross-dresser. I thought I could handle it, so I told him to go ahead as long as my son wasn't in the house.  He has since gotten completely into the cross-dressing and has now taken to going to our bedroom at 7:30 PM and staying there dressed "en femme" until he goes to sleep. Double ugh.

In the morning, gets up at 4:00 AM, goes to our in-home office and stays there with the door locked until my son goes to school. He resents the fact that I stay up with my son until he goes to bed at 9:00.  This is of course putting me right in the middle. No. You put you in the middle. This one's a no brainer. What are you doing with this ...uh, person? Although I am a fairly accepting person, the cross-dressing is bothering me more than I tell most anyone.......heck...who am I going to tell?  It's not something I can discuss with anybody! He makes love to himself, more or less, even though it is me he is making love to......i.e.. stoking his legs (shaved of course) and his hair, his breasts....oh, you get the picture!  I have told him how this hurts me as I feel I am a very attentive lover and keep myself quite attractive. He said it shouldn't make any difference whatsoever as sex is absolutely a selfish act anyway and if I don't do it, he will take care of it himself!  Contrary to what you think, you are far too accepting! Cross-dressing per se is no problem when both partners are into it. You are clearly not into it. You are putting up with it. You are making excuses for his behavior, yet, it's clear from the tone of your letter, that you find his behavior intolerable! It's not just cross-dressing that concerns me. It's his disdain towards the family; treating you like a vibrator of sorts; that he locks himself up; his attitude towards children and your son; his drinking, which you don't seem to mind much...

He can be VERY verbally abusive!  He even boasts of his verbal prowess...even more so the more he drinks.  When he is dressed as a woman he demands that I do his hair, nails, make-up, etc.  If I don't do as he asks right away, he pouts and won't talk to me or my son. Wonderful. You are showing your kid that it is OK for men to ask for crazy stuff, are entitled to rant and rave until they get it, and that women are supposed to be treated like doormats... Why are you setting your kid up for problems?
In early December I was offered a fabulous job in another state and told him about it.  I sure wanted to pursue it but it made him crazy!  He wouldn't let us have a Christmas tree or allow me to bring any gifts into the house.  I secretly bought gifts for my son and took them to his grandfather's.  He told my son that he would "make sure there was no Christmas" unless I changed my mind!  That really upset me so I went out and sat in my car to cool off. It should upset you. Really upset you! He immediately came out and let me know that if I even wanted to take my car to the new job, I wouldn't get away with it as it was in his name for insurance savings.  The car is about all I have left as he has slowly gotten rid of almost everything I had as far as furnishings.  That was about all I could take, so I called the company and told them I would have to refuse the job offer. This made me very upset with myself and resent him for it too. 
Now they have called again and it is really time for me to go!  They are paying for all my moving expenses and even new furniture.  My problem is this....not should I go....but how and when? Yippeee! I am so afraid to tell him, he will begin to make life hell again and I just don't know if I am up to it along with the responsibilities of the move and all.  I am struggling with the option of telling him now and taking "my medicine" or just waiting until a day or two before I go and having the eruption then.  I am determined to go through with it this time but I am so afraid!  Please.....any advice will be helpful! Yes. Take a look at this page on How To Leave Your Abuser. If he is going to make life difficult for you, do not tell him. You don't owe him explanations. In your case, it wouldn't hurt for you and your son just to disappear one day, with no more contact - ever. This man has given you and your child nothing but heartache. Always remember, you owe him nothing: he is not the father of your child; you are not married.

Once you're relocated, get yourself into therapy ASAP. You will need some help. Good luck to you. Dr. Irene

Thanks a ton, Now or Never