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Until you test the boundaries of your desires, you’ll be perpetually dissatisfied, says Mariella Frostrup

The dilemma I am a man in my late 50s. I am youthful and go to concerts, festivals and art exhibitions. I have been married for 34 years. My wife and I get along quite well. We share a sense of humour, talk often and holiday together. But there has been no sex between us for 15 years. I have always been a sensitive and feminine man. I like emotional movies, poetry, women’s clothes and so on. I like being surrounded by women and feel uncomfortable among men. Lately I have secretly been buying women’s clothes from online stores and have started using makeup when I am alone. This happens often, because I live in my employer’s apartment in another city during the week. I am almost always alone when I am not with my wife. I have no friends any more. I closed all my social media accounts years ago during a period of depression. I am confused about who I am. In which direction should I go? What about my marriage situation? I know I am getting older day by day and that time is running out.

Mariella replies You’re hopefully aware that it’s a pretty sad missive you’ve just dispatched to me. You’re at a terrifying but conversely pretty exciting crossroads and it will require a mammoth degree of forbearance if you take one path and enormous courage for the other. I’m no expert on the specifics when it comes to transvestite lifestyles, cross-dressing or issues of gender realignment, but I can tell a life half-lived when I see one. Everything you are describing sounds like an alternative way of living is not just beckoning but building to a reality that you need to explore for your own peace of mind.

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