Staying Together


“I’m not sure further sessions will be of much use to either of you. After seeing both of you twice of week for two months, neither of you is any closer to resolving your concerns than we were when you first came to me.”

Dr. Nelson was good. She had the ability to examine a problem, bound it, and then dissect it into smaller pieces. She’d done that with both Rick and Emily after their first session in therapy with her. Yet in spite of her bests efforts, this problem was one neither she nor any other therapist could fix.

“Let me recap starting with you, Emily. You came to me because you wanted to know if something was wrong with you. My answer to that is a resounding ‘no’ if you mean physically. Everything checks out. All of your hormone levels are well within the normal range. Physiologically, everything works as it should and intercourse is pain free. However, you say you have no desire for sex and your desire was to find out why. We’ve established the issue isn’t having sex with Rick as this issue existed in your first marriage, as well. And now, in spite of your hopes and best efforts, nothing has changed. You’ve read books, watched videos, and added therapy to the list. Still, your level of interest in sex is zero. Am I pretty close to correct, Emily?”

Emily sighed. “Unfortunately, you’re exactly right except that you left out the feelings of guilt I have for not being able to meet my husband’s needs. He’s such a good man and he deserves better. I love him dearly but no matter how I approach this, I have no interest in intimacy of any kind, let alone sex. Granted, this ‘hobby’ thing of his doesn’t make this any easier, but it is most definitely not the reason I don’t want to have sex with him. It just makes something that’s very difficult for me under the best of circumstances…impossible. I honestly don’t care that he does it, I just don’t want to participate in it.”

“Rick? You also came here asking me the same question. ‘Is there something wrong with me?’ As with Emily, there is nothing physically or physiologically wrong with you. You have a deep and abiding interest in something that is, in my professional opinion, neither wrong nor right. It simply is. We still don’t know very much about what it is that causes a man to want to wear women’s clothing but not actually become a woman. We understand transsexualism a LOT better than crossdressing. There are many theories about where and how it begins but precious few answers.”

Dr. Nelson turned to both of them. “As I see it, neither of you has a problem, per se. The issue is when the other person perceives there to be a problem and if so, how deep is the problem? Can it be mitigated or somehow reconciled in some way other than divorce? Both of you have told me repeatedly you still care for one another and neither of you wants a divorce and both of you have told me your Roman Catholic faith plays a very large role in that. Is that still true?”

Both patients nodded in agreement. Her strict Roman Catholic upbringing meant divorce was out of the question. Rick was only nominally Catholic but the church’s influence in his life was still very strong. He only attended mass maybe twice a year at Easter and Christmas while Emily was there at least once every week. Even so, his faith had consider influence on his decision to stay in a very difficult marriage. Divorce just wasn’t a viable option for either one of them. But unless they could find a way ahead, it might be the only possible resolution to this exasperating impasse. Could God expect a man to live in a sexless marriage? That seemed like too much to ask of any man who wasn’t a priest. It seemed…downright cruel. Emily had prayed for help thousands of times and yet nothing had changed. In fact, it had only gotten worse over time.

“Then it appears we have a genuine dilemma. Many situations are erroneously called dilemmas when they’re not because the solution is simple. It may be hard to implement, but it isn’t complex. Take being overweight where no physical problem exists. The answer is easy: eat less and/or exercise more. It may be hard to do, but the solution is quite simple. In this case, divorce would normally be the easy answer after having come to a dead end at every turn in the road. Staying together presents us with a difficult problem. Here’s how I see it: Rick wants and needs sex. Emily has no interest in that aspect of a marriage. Emily doesn’t particularly like Rick’s crossdressing but doesn’t consider it what some call a ‘deal breaker.’ The question for the two of you is how do you get what you both want from this relationship without compromising who you are? That is, as they say, the sixty-four thousand dollar question and I can’t answer it for you. Emily is absolutely unwilling to continue having sex pretending to enjoy it, and Rick is unwilling to give up crossdressing after years of, in his words, hiding it from Emily and himself. So we are at an impasse at least as far as therapy is concerned. Ümraniye Olgun Escort You have many common interests and say you rarely ever disagree outside of these two areas. I’d like to ask each of you what you see as possible options since it is the two of you who will have to live with your decisions. This is the question you must answer and I’m assigning it as homework before our next session which, by the way, will be our last regardless of what you decide.” Dr. Nelson paused then added, “That will be the case even should you choose to continue to do nothing. Either way, there just isn’t anything left that I can offer the two of you. My best advice was and still is a divorce—something I have rarely ever suggested to any couple not plagued by violence or substance abuse. So the ball is, as they say, in your court.”

Dr. Nelson stood and as always, extended her hand to both Rick and Emily and wished them well.

Neither said a word on the ride home. After all these hours spent in therapy, there just wasn’t anything left to say. They were right back where they started on day one. In fact, they might actually be worse off in that Emily had taken a stand by saying she just wasn’t going to keep doing something she had no interest in doing, while Rick had decided he was not going to give up crossdressing even it meant losing his marriage. The only good news was that they didn’t have children who would be affected as a result of their separation should they eventually go down that road.

For the thousandth time, Rick mulled over the facts. He loved his wife. He thought she was incredibly attractive. He had no interest in divorcing, dating, and starting over. They got along in every other area of their relationship except for one. Sex. But that one area was huge! It was always there like the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the room. It typically sat there quietly minding its own business, but it was always there—lurking.

Emily learned of his crossdressing about a year after they married. It was the one and only time she’d ever seen him dressed as a woman. She’d come home from her parents’ a day early to surprise him but she was the one who got the surprise. Rick had quit crossdressing after he proposed to Emily. He’d tried to quit 3-4 times before but the urge always came back. This time, it stayed away for an entire year, the longest break he’d ever had from it. Like so many other men, he’d hoped getting married would cure him. But within six months of saying “I do” he once again found himself doing—it.

He’d spent almost two hours primping and getting ready for an evening alone as Kelli, his female name for himself. Over the years, he’d become very skilled at makeup application and hairstyling. He’d squirreled away enough money to buy a human hair wig which he kept, along with his other female clothes and makeup, in a storage locker a few blocks from their home. Also working in his favor was his slight build. At 5′ 7″ and 135 pounds, Rick, who’d been a distance runner since junior high school, was roughly the size of an average woman and with the help of some specially designed computer-assisted padding he’d bought via the internet, he had the hips, ass, and an hourglass-like figure like one. Together with some top-of-the-line, C-cup silicone breast forms, Kelli had a very nice body.

But by far, her best features were on her face. She had high cheekbones and the kind of Bradley Cooper-eyes and eyelashes both men and women found very sexy. As a kid, it bothered Rick whenever an older woman would say something about his eyes. “Oh, look at him! He looks like a little doll!” That used to embarrass the hell out of him. Now he was grateful for a trait he’d been born with; one that made his already very androgynous face look very feminine with the help of makeup that was properly applied. He was also fortunate in that he had a very light beard and his facial hair had a kind of blond color to it rather than the heavy, dark tint most men had.

He was a very nice-looking guy who made an incredibly attractive woman, but men just didn’t look like women without makeup no matter how they looked. Kelli’s look had gradually improved over the years until she’d gotten to the point where she honestly thought she could definitely pass as a woman in public—as long as she didn’t have to speak. Her voice was most definitely masculine, but she was aware of that and had done a fair amount of work on it each time she made an appearance. With the help of some internet videos, she’d gone from horrible to not bad at all in terms of a more feminine-sounding voice.

This night was by far the best Kelli had ever looked! Rick didn’t consider himself to be “her” until he carefully placed the styled wig on his head after getting dressed and fully applying his makeup. It was that crowing act that always brought on that…feeling. It was indescribable. It was—heavenly. It was—delicious. It was especially so as he gently placed the Ümraniye Sarışın Escort crown of the wig on his head then gently moved the long hair to the side and back. Even before combing it out smoothly, he was dumbstruck by what he saw. He instantly became…her.

“Oh, my God! I really do look like a woman,” she thought to herself. “You are beautiful, Kelli!” she said out loud. And the truth was, she did look beautiful.

After a couple of minutes of smoothing the hair he’d had up in rollers, Rick—Kelli—was utterly stunned at what she saw. Long, wavy, dark hair cascaded onto Kelli’s shoulders showcasing a heart-shaped face that was perfectly made up from the eyebrows drawn on using a custom-designed template to the long false eyelashes and perfectly blended colors of eye shadow to the dark red lips and perfectly blended foundation, beard cover, and blush. Long silver earrings dangled from her ears. They perfectly matched the silver necklace with the pendant she wore around her neck. Her size C silicone breast forms perfectly filled out the sheer white bra she wore underneath the beautiful long-sleeved white sweater dress she adored so much. A shimmery but otherwise nude pair of pantyhose made her thin legs look great all the way into the white, three-inch open-toed heels she was wearing. The heels gave her calves that certain ‘pop’ she needed and loved looking at. A silver watch and faux diamond ring on her left ring finger looked amazing in contrast to the nails painted the same deep shade of red as her lipstick. Both were glossy and shiny and Kelli felt like she might pass out from being overwhelmed by it all.

The last couple of times she was allowed to visit, Kelli had found herself looking on line. Okay, that wasn’t all that unusual. She loved to shop for pretty clothes, shoes, or jewelry, but these last two times her browsing had taken a different turn. Although it was completely new to her, she wasn’t overly concerned about it. After all, she was a woman, right? And didn’t women find handsome men attractive? Rick loved his wife and he still enjoyed checking out any woman he saw who caught his attention. Sure, he was checking out her clothes, hair, and makeup, but he definitely found cute women to be attractive to him. He knew from the research he’d done that most male crossdressers were strictly heterosexual, but it was beginning to become rather obvious that Kelli preferred men. She hadn’t given much thought to the possibility of being with other women, but that wasn’t nearly as appealing. Kelli was very aware this newly discovered interest in handsome men was growing and growing fast—almost as fast as the thing between her legs which reminded her she was only a part-time girl.

For the next two hours she reveled in being Kelli. It felt so good, so right, to spend time in her female persona. Rick liked being a man but he wanted…no, he needed, time to be Kelli every few days or so. Waiting weeks at a time for Emily to leave was more than he could stand, but he didn’t have the courage to tell Emily about—her. So she came to visit whenever Emily was away.

Tonight, Kelli was enjoying a glass of white wine and scrolling through the profiles of the many good-looking men on her favorite dating site. She’d gotten up the nerve to take some photos of herself using a tripod and a timer and several were definitely good enough to use on a site like this. Kelli did have a conscience and she had to admit it was wrong to claim to be female when she only looked female. But the large number of responses that awaited her every time she logged on sent that same familiar feeling through every time she saw the list of new emails. This time, there were over 70 of them and at least 20 or so were from guys she found to be extremely good looking. Another 25-30 were nice-looking guys while the rest were from men she found unattractive. Kelli always had an equally strong but negative feeling wash over her when she realized she couldn’t respond to any of them. But a girl could dream, couldn’t she?

She was sifting through the new emails and having an exceptionally enjoyable evening until she heard the front door open a few minutes past 7 o’clock. At first, the sound didn’t register. She knew it couldn’t be Emily. She never came home early. And yet…

“Rick? Honey? I’m home. Mom and Dad had to change their vacation by a day so they left for Las Vegas this morning and I headed back. Honey? You here?”

Kelli had panicked. She couldn’t possibly get upstairs because the stairs where between the study where she was and the entrance Emily just came through. She could wait for Emily to go upstairs and then leave the house but there was no way she could get all the makeup off. Even if she could, Rick would have to come home naked like Walter White in his so-called fugue state on Breaking Bad. There was really no choice but to face the music. She decided to make the most of it so she walked out to the living room, Ümraniye Şişman Escort sat down, and crossed her legs. She picked up a magazine and was thumbing through it when Emily walked in.

“Rick? Where in the hell are you? Your car is in the garage and this house isn’t that big. You’re not upstairs, you weren’t in the kitchen, so that leaves the living room and the stud…” Emily screamed. “Who are you and how did you get into my house?” She stopped then said, “Are you fucking my husband? You BITCH! Who are you? I should have known!”

Just then, Kelli put down the magazine and said in Rick’s voice, “Hi, honey.” Her eyes opened wide as he added, “Surprise?”

“Oh, Jesus! Rick? What in the world? Why are you…What are you…Oh, my God! What is wrong with you? Why are you doing…this?”

Kelli/Rick started to answer when Emily threw up her hands and said, “Never mind. I don’t want to hear it. Just get out of that…ridiculous…costume…and…and I don’t know what else. Just go change. My God! What is wrong with you?”

Emily glared as Kelli walked by. She was also staring. She would later confess she was still unable to process that her husband could look like—that. He really did look like a woman and even after he spoke, it took Emily a couple of seconds to process what was going on. She could now see this ‘woman’ was her husband, but as much as she hated to admit it, that ‘woman’ was actually very pretty and worst of all—she looked so much like a real woman that Emily couldn’t initially tell. Had she seen this version of Rick in public she honestly wouldn’t have known it was a man. She’d only see two other crossdressers in her life, and both of them had looked like men in dresses. She even remembered feeling kind of sorry for them. But Rick looked…amazing.

Thirty minutes later he came back downstairs and found Emily having what looked like a second glass of wine. Without looking up she asked, “How long has that been going on?”

He was 30 and she was 28. Rick said, “For nearly all of my life.”

“Does anyone else know? Does anyone we know know about this, this thing you do?”

“No. No one else knows,” Rick said quietly.

“Why do you do it?” she asked.

“I can’t really explain why. It’s just something I find enjoyable. I have since the first time I tried it.”

“Did your mom know?” Emily asked as she finally turned to look at him.

“Yes,” Rick told her honestly. “At least I’m pretty sure she did. In fact, I can’t imagine how she couldn’t have known. I mean, I could never put her things back exactly the way I found them, and women tend to notice that kind of thing. So she had to know, but she never once mentioned as long as she was alive.”

“Knowing about this isn’t going to make things any easier for me,” she said ruefully. “It’s already a battle royal every time you want to…you know.” Emily had a hard time even saying ‘make love’ let along something like ‘sex’ or God forbid, ‘fuck.’

Rick had asked once if she’d ever been molested as a little girl and Emily got extremely defensive and said unequivocally, “NO! Never. And don’t you ever ask me that again!” So he hadn’t. But if that were true, what could possibly account for a young, healthy, attractive woman having no interest in sex? Dr. Nelson’s best answer came in the form of an analogy. “Rick? You enjoy distance running and you told me you run 5-10 miles four or five day a week. Emily? You shared with me how you have no interest in any kind of exercise. So my question is this: Do either of you think the other is odd, strange, weird, or abnormal because of how they feel about exercise? One wants it 4-5 days a week while the other wants none.” Both patients admitted their was nothing unusual about either one’s level of interest in exercise. “So why then, would it be ‘abnormal’ for someone not to want to have sex?” was the real question. Rick had to admit she had a valid point. He didn’t like admitting it, but it was true nonetheless. It also didn’t help knowing Emily was far from being the only patient Dr. Nelson had seen over the years who felt that way. While it was a small percentage, there were many women (and a very tiny number of men) just had no interest in sex whatsoever.

The tension created by the huge disparity in sexual desire had led them to finally see a therapist in hopes they might mind some way to find a little bit of relief. Rick from the relentless build-up of sexual pressure and Emily from what seemed to her to be his endless need for it. So they went and here they were no better off than they were before they entered counseling.

The following morning, Rick went out for a 15-mile run. He didn’t usually run more than ten, but this was the only means available to him to break through the stress at home. He kept a sub-7:30 pace for the entire run and the rush of endorphins was amazing. It would last for several hours and give him some much-needed relief from the endless stress and tension in the house.

Rick showered and came down to make something to eat. They still hadn’t said a word to each other since they left therapy when Emily suddenly said, “Can we talk?”

“Yeah, sure. Do you mind if I make something to eat while we talk? I can fix you something, too, if you’d like.”