Hi Nikki, you just described the last 20-25 years of my 40-year marriage. I am also ADD (ADHD now) and I am almost certain I am on the high end of the Autsim spectrum. I’ve been putting on women’s clothes for the last 6 decades, off and on. Breaks for several years in-between, but never losing the thought that I was living someone else’s life.
I voted that I think you may be a transwoman; the main reason is if you read my bio you will see I finally realized I would never be content with life as I was living it and started HRT. My wife had no clue as to what was haunting me so this has been particularly hard for her.
I don’t plan major surgeries (yet) due to my age and the recovery time versus perceived benefit, but hopefully my dysphoria will allow it. I sometimes wonder if I am insane for transitioning, or was for not. I just know that the I can’t go back. I’m not saying anything about you or your relationship, just some advice from my marriage. The ONLY thing that has allowed us to make progress is honesty – many times brutal and painful – but if you don’t both know where you stand, you’ll always be troubled and there will be no trust.
Every person falls on the gender spectrum somewhere they are comfortable. Not everyone who crossdresses needs to dress a certain way or go through full transition with surgeries. Maybe since your wife doesn’t prefer intercourse, she wants other things she doesn’t feel safe sharing with you.
You didn’t say if you have a marriage therapist, but one experienced with gender and crossdressing clients might be able to help. We are doing that, plus my wife has individual counseling and I see a gender therapist. Just remember a marriage therapist’s duty is to save the marriage first, then help the spouses adapt. An individual therapist’s first duty is to the patient/client even at the expense of the marriage (if they felt it was best for you to end the marriage or transition – which could end it as well – then they would recommend that for your best mental and emotional health.
We don’t navigate this well on our own. Years of hiding who we beileve we are, keep us from opening up easily. Our spouses have fears and questions they may be too afraid to discuss, also. Go slow and keep the dialogue going. Find out what she needs and let her know what you need. Wants can wait until the needs are addressed, I think?