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A husband loves to cross-dress, and a wife wonders why

Jayne and Rick had a love their friends thought of as the kind made in fairytales. But when Jayne found a box of women's lingerie hidden away in their closet, she realized there was much she didn't know about her husband. This is the fourth installment of Jayne Doxtater's serialized memoir "The Box in the Closet."

by Jayne Doxtater
I confronted Rick again about his cross dressing habit one weekend while my children were visiting their father. I felt this was the right time to bring it up because I did not want the children to know the truth about their stepfather.

I sat beside him on the couch in front of the stove, staring blankly into the flames. The flames danced and flickered before us. Burnt amber kissed with hues of blue and green flickered inside the wood burning stove.

My mind drifted to the conversation I had with my mother several weeks before. I confided in her that Rick liked to cross dress and that it was having a toll on our relationship. It was a difficult conversation to have, yet I felt I needed to talk to someone about it.

The awkward silence hung in the air between Rick and me. This is my husband - I shouldn’t feel so uncomfortable, I thought.

“I feel so insecure when you look better than I do in garters and stockings," I finally blurted.
Rick turned to me looking confused, “What do you mean? Your body looks better than mine in those things!”

I felt so exasperated. “That is not true.”

"You are very beautiful, I love the way you look. You know that I can never look as good as you because you are actually a woman,” he explained.

"If I am so beautiful then tell me why you dress up in women's clothing. Do I not satisfy you?" I said, not wanting to face the reality of how this has challenged my own sexuality.

"You still don't believe how much I care for you. And I am starting to feel you never will,” he said sounding defeated. 

"I've lost trust in us!" I shouted, feeling frustrated and alone. I walked away, feeling the numbness in my heart for Rick.

I knew then the cross dressing wouldn’t go away. The box has been opened.

*
Rick’s cross dressing was something I shamefully carried with me. I was scared to tell anyone for fear they would judge me or Rick.

I could not even tell Michele, who I considered more a life coach then a friend. For the past several years Michele had been helping me come up with a plan to expand my spa business. After 23 years it was becoming apparent I had to make some big changes if I wanted to stay in the game. So, once a month Michele and I would speak on the phone about how we could take the spa to the next level.

I am not sure why, but I couldn’t bring myself to tell her about Rick. For some reason it was just easier to distract myself by talking about something else. Talking about future plans for the business helped me focus on something that made me feel hopeful and inspired.

There was always a point in the conversation with Michele that I thought I would tell her about Rick. I tried to tell myself that if I told her she may be able to help me. It wasn’t healthy to keep something like this bottled up for so long. However, the words would never leave my lips. They would stick in a ball in my throat. Ultimately, the fear of what she would think stopped me every time.

*
In Rick’s younger days he had been a member of the Canadian National Ski Team. The town of Rossland became home for him in the early 1970s. As an accomplished skier, it was a natural place for him to call home. The mountains surrounding Rossland had a reputation of being steep and deep. Rick’s desire for perfection led him to become a master of all sports he pursued.

Rick became an expert at everything he tried, which made me want to open a business with him. Rossland seemed like the perfect setting for a destination spa resort because of the beauty that was everywhere. We lived on a beautiful 20-acre property surrounded by lush forest, complete with a river flowing through it. Our horse, Ishtar, would graze lazily though the large field behind the house.

I knew that a spa business would thrive in Rossland because the tourists would be drawn to the rich history. In the 1800s, Rossland had a booming gold rush after gold was discovered in the mountains surrounding it. Many years after the rush for riches was over, the mountain became a ski hill named Red Mountain.

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