This is more for my records (and sanity) rather than anything else, so bear with me. Yesterday Tilly was 'joking' around in increasingly nasty commentary about what I was doing. I pointed this out. Initially she got shirty and angry about me attacking her, how it was all just a joke and how I was no judge of what counted as nasty or not. Then she tried to say it was hard to adjust from me being depressed and attacking myself. Finally, about three hours after the event, she apologised for being out of order.
Tonight, as I was searching for needle and thread (fruitlessly it turns out) I happened across a DVD, The Prestige. No idea where it's form, nor why it was crushed between screws and such emptied out from an old cupboard back in 2014 or 2015. Anyway, in the course of the back and forth on the DVD and where it came from, Tilly announced that my reaction was the same as with "that parcel" and explained that this is why she finds it hard to trust me, as I could be hiding anything and there was no way of knowing. I quibbled and she changed her statement (whilst not admitting that was what she was doing) to why she sometimes found it hard to trust me.
I pushed on this door. We got into cross-dressing. She has been loving me not dressing (oops, I stopped not doing it with my last entry, she wasn't given a memo) because it stops her hating me. She shared that simply knowing I was dressing at any point was enough to make her hate me, viscerally, and there was nothing that could be done about it apart from me obviously never doing it again. She could cope with me being a cross-dresser provided that I wasn't actually cross-dressing.
I pointed out that she had said, a lot, in the past that this was her issue and not mine, but that she was framing it very carefully about my decisions and my choices. Initially she refuted it, but slowly and grudgingly acknowledged that I could be allowed to feel that if I wanted. I note now and noted then the careful phrasing.
Again I pushed. I said we needed to talk over it again then. She expressed frustration, I would only be repeating myself and this was a primal reaction, an irrational one, and there was no unpacking it. Well, I countered, we need to train this part of her to not fear it so much through repetition or else end it all. Those are our options as I see them, and if we're trying to get better then we have to face it.
Tilly very reluctantly accepted this. She wasn't up for any conversation now though. I carefully pointed out that this would always be the case. The children could hear, she protested. They will be fine, I pointed out, like I was with my Grandpa's homosexuality.
Ah, she said, but that was fine because homosexuality is fine and she is fine with homosexuality. I gave a look. Okay, she accepted, fine.
We had the conversation. The ins and outs are not that relevant. The main issues are this:
1. She maintains that she never knew about my cross-dressing and that finding out about it felt like a betrayal.
2. She does not like my gender expression. Why can't I be binary like everyone else? Okay, other people can be non-binary, but not the man she married, he has to wear man clothes (her emphasis). Simply thinking about me cross-dressing is enough to make her violently hate me and this has diminished since I'd said I'd stopped doing it. (No, I did not reveal my, ahem, gigantic 'fuck you' to her controlling demands).
3. I told her what was in "that parcel". She was unsurprised, "I don't see what else it could have been." I said that was an interesting response, she said she wasn't prepared to talk any further on that. "Fair enough," said I.
4. Her bisexuality ended when we married, she had a wobble (did I know that? - uh, yes, it was kind of a big deal, Tilly - and I repeated my position on it to her again. For reference: she can be attracted to women, do anything she likes with women and the only boundary is the one she sets for 'cheating'; I would respect her boundary and not judge) and then it was done. Why can't I do the same with my cross-dressing?
On point 4, I pointed out that the parallel was unfair. Her 'bisexuality' and 'monogamy' had been a little conflated there. She was still bisexual (she agreed) but married. Her sexuality was unchanged (she agreed). So she was talking about not cheating, my cross-dressing was not cheating. This caused the final epiphany of the evening for Tilly: it was to her. She would need to think this over and mull on it before I could offer anything. I accepted this, pointed out that I felt it was an unfair comparison to make but respected the fact that anything I said right now would just be noise.
We finished with a long hug, then she went to bed.