Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

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In Love With A Best Friend
Baby vs. Husband
Bad Marriage Is In The Way

In Love With A Best Friend

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am an 18 year old guy and I am a Junior at a boarding high school. I have a best friend who I have been best friends with for a year. She is the same age as me but she is a Senior. The entire time we have been friends she has been dating this one guy who she is in love with. I have been in love with her however, for almost 8 months. We are so close and we have such a close connection. I know everything about her and she knows everything about me. Since we both go to the same boarding school we see each other 24/7. I am madly in love with her and her boyfriend has always been jealous of me. Everyone in the school thinks that I like her but I have always denied it.

Recently, her boyfriend broke up with her. She is still in love with him but she is slowly getting over it. I have been there for her throughout the entire process. I have always been there for her. He was not a good boyfriend for her and I could treat her so much better. I have been there to help out in every fight they get in. But it is always so hard for me because I put her love for him before my love for her. I always try to fix things for her and I just want her to be happy.

Now that they have broken up, however, we have been spending even more time together and my feelings just get stronger and stronger. She graduates soon and I donít know what to do. I love her so much and I want to tell her how I feel but I am so afraid of the reaction that I will get and I donít know if it is the right time because she is still upset about her ex-boyfriend.

Dear In Love,

You want to change friendship to love and think that it's easy. It's not. The reason you're a friend and not a lover probably has to do with chemistry. She has the hots for the other guy and not for you.

You think that all you have to do is tell her you are in love with her and that will make it okay -- that she'll see the light and think, "Oh yes, I can be in love with you too." That's not how it works. Love isn't a matter of just saying the words, or even having the feelings. It's a matter of the other person being turned on physically as well.

You may wonder why she stayed with the guy who treated her badly all this time. There could be many reasons. One is because he wasn't always easy to have, like you are. Women don't want a guy who's too easy. That makes them think he's not really worthwhile. They also like a guy who isn't always a "yes" man. One who gives a challenge. Don't be afraid to say no to her, to contradict her or to let her see that you're not always there like a faithful old dog. She'll appreciate you more.

Perhaps the most important reason she stayed with the old boyfriend was because he was the one who made her tingle when she kissed him, who sent her into spasms of joy just thinking about being with him. Even if he wasn't good to her all the time, she loved the times when they were intimate. You may not want to admit that even though you have emotional intimacy, you don't have physical intimacy, and that's the key.

In order to turn friendship to love, you have to become romantic and physically intimate. All the talking in the world won't help if you can't kiss her and make her want you. So instead of telling her about your feelings, which she probably already suspects, get her into a romantic situation and find out if she responds to you.

Think about a candlelight dinner, or a walk on the beach by moonlight, or a romantic chick flick. Consider acts of intimacy like feeding her little tidbits from your plate at dinner. Try holding her hand. If she doesn't pull away, then take the next step. Put your arm around her. If she still doesn't indicate that she isn't interested, then go further. Take it a step at a time and be ready to back off at the first clue that she's turned off by your advances. If you don't get any negative signs, then you could caress her face and kiss her.

You need to get the physical signs that she's interested before you tell her about your feelings. That will give you a clue that she's over her old boyfriend and ready to have a new one, maybe even you.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Baby vs. Husband

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am 38 years old and have been with my husband for 11 years. I love him very dearly and and we have so many things in common. He loves me and is a wonderful husband. Despite all the good things, we have been dealing with a very big issue for about 4 years now.

I want to have children, and have always wanted to ever since I could remember. My husband has always known how much I want to be a mother. We really started trying to have a baby about 4 years ago. At that time, my husband informed me that he really didn't want to have children. His excuse is that we can't afford it, which I disagree with. We both have great jobs, and are very financially secure. I honestly believe that he has never wanted children and is using the financial situation as an excuse. This came as a very big shock to me mostly because he has always known how much I want to be a mother.

Do I stay with the man I love, and accept the fact that he doesn't want children? Or should I leave him and try to find someone else who I could be happy with and start a family?

My only concern with my second option is that I am close to approaching 40, and I keep thinking there is not a man out there who will want a 40 year old woman who wants to have children. Dating now days is tough, and I am so very scared.

Dr. Tracy - what should I do?

Sincerely and gratefully.

Dear Wanna Be Mom,

The urge to have children is primal and very strong, and if you've had this desire your whole life, believe me, it won't go away. If you don't have the children you want, you will regret it forever. You and your husband have to get this situation resolved and the sooner the better. After all, your fertile years don't go on forever and he may be trying to out wait your fertility cycle.

Let him know that the question of having children is a deal-breaker. Tell him you love him and want to be together but that you don't want to be childless. Don't let him push you around on this issue. You will be sorry if you do.

When you get older, you'll realize how much you've missed by not being a mother. You will miss having someone to love unconditionally and you will be without the connection to the next generation and the future that having children gives you. You will also be envious of those women who do have children and wonder why they were so blessed and you were not. And when you are old, you will wonder who is going to take care of you in your dotage and why you didn't have children and grandchildren to be with.

It would be one thing if you couldn't have children. But that's not the case and even then, you could adopt. Your husband is being selfish and unreasonable. He can't possibly understand how much having children can mean to a woman. If necessary, get him to a sympathetic counselor who will help explain the importance having children can have in a woman's life.

Don't stay with a man who is going to deny you this basic right. Let him know that if he absolutely refuses to have children, your marriage is in extreme danger. Don't put this off another day. You can't expect him to agree to have children unless you're willing to confront the issue and leave if necessary.

I suspect that given the choice of having children and saving his marriage, or refusing and having you leave him, he will come around. But you have to be strong and demanding, not afraid. Giving up a lifelong dream of being a mother is too big a sacrifice to make for love. Yes, there are men out there who will want to have children with you, and if you really want to be a mother, there's no reason you can't be a mother without a husband.

See if you can resolve this issue with your husband. If not, get out and have the children you want. Sure dating is tough, but not nearly as difficult as you might think. There are websites like match.com and eharmony.com and many others where you can look for men who really want to be fathers. Being childless when you don't want to be is much harder than dating. Don't let your fear of dating keep you from motherhood and family.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Bad Marriage Is In The Way

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm a 33 year old single mom. I've been separated from my son's father for a year now. My separation was hard, I left him after being involved for 8 years. Now my life is better. I have full custody of my child and I'm able to live on my own without any support. I left him cause we were fighting all the time...I did not want my son to see his parents fight like this. I did not loved my ex, realized it and I left....

Almost two years ago....while I was in the process of separating, one of my oldest male friend (we know each other for 15 years) contacted me and we decided to meet for a drink. He was not aware I was going through a separation. We dated for a while a long time ago, I was 18 he was 21, but he was not looking for anything serious at that time. We kept in touch over the years and today he is unhappily married and has two wonderful kids.

We started to see each other again, once a week. We even made fun activites with our kids and we get along so well. Since the night we met for a drink (two years ago)...he's been calling me everyday day...and sometimes, we can talk to each other four times a day. I know it's love, in fact, I'm convince that he's my soulmate. And the physical attraction is so strong....it's been like that for the past 15 years and now it's getting worst...we cannot get enough of each other. We keep saying that it's funny how excited we get when we know that we're about to see each other.....the butterflies...we still have them even after 15 years.

But the thing is, I never told him I love him. I know he will leave his bad marriage, someday, but, I think that he should be able to make that decision for himself, not for me. I want him to be living on his own....I told him that if he ever needs me, I will always be there but I could never ask him to leave his wife for me.....I think it's something you can never ask someone to do for you. Once, he told me that he's afraid to lose his kids, he loves them so much and he's the one taking care of them everyday. His wife already told him that she will go back to Mexico with the kids if they separate.

My "friend" has always been honest with me, he never promised me anything, he never lied to me and I never asked him for anything. But now I realized that we really care for each other. He told me that he likes me alot and cares for me. When I'm exhausted, he's the first one to offer to take care of my son so I can rest. We basically think about each other everyday and make sure that everything is ok for both of us. And doing that feels so natural...

But he's not ok. He doesn't say anything....but I can feel that he's going through a bad time at home. He recently lost his Dad. I was really sad for him. For the first time, I wished I would have been there to support him. I'm the only one who knows how much he loved his Dad, not even his wife is aware of this.

Today, I'm 100% sure that we will be in each other's lifes forever but, sometimes I think that maybe I'm crazy and that this is a one way situation...that I'm just being naive....maybe he's not my soulmate.....but it really feels like he is.

We have mutual friends and they all said the same thing....we belong together, we're a perfect match.

After a bad separation, I cannot go through a heartbreak.....should I completely stop seeing him or should I just be there, go with my feelings and eventually see what will happen?

I already went on dates, met new man and even had a new lover for a while but, nothing worked, I keep looking for someone.....and my friend is aware of all my dates, he doesn't like it but, he knows that he cannot ask me to stop dating since he's the one married.....this is really getting complicated now....I need your advice a.s.a.p.

Thank you...

Dear Soulmate,

Dating a married man is always a one-way situation, even if you have known him forever. No matter how much time passes, he's still married and you're not. You've been dancing a dangerous dance with him. The only thing that can happen is pain for both of you.

Let's say you keep going the way you are. This could go on for another 10 or 20 years. By then you're old and tired and you've wasted your life with someone who's still with his wife. You are way too young for such an outcome. Don't think that it won't happen, because I hear from women like you all the time, waiting for a man to leave his wife, and most of the time he never does.

You don't want to tell him that you love him or push him into leaving his wife, and that's admirable. But it also means he's not going to do anything. Right now he has the best of all worlds. He gets to keep his wife and family and he has you too.

Or let's say that he does leave his wife. She takes his children and goes to Mexico. And now you're stuck feeling guilty and with a man who is yearning for the family he lost. This is another bad outcome and sure to cause a lot of pain for you both, for his children and even for his wife, who's feelings apparently aren't being considered here at all.

The best thing you can do is stop seeing him totally. Cold turkey. It will be hard for you, but it's the only way for him to make the decision about his marriage. As long as he has you both, there is nothing motivating him to change. The other advantage to you if you stop seeing him is that you will give yourself a chance to meet someone else without having Mr. Wonderful waiting and competing on the sidelines. It's so easy for him to slip into being a great guy, helping you out when you need it, doing whatever he can to insinuate himself in your life, and escaping working on the problems in his marriage. But in reality his presence is keeping you stuck.

You will never find someone else if you're still hanging around waiting for this guy to leave his wife. It's worrisome that you're willing to just be there forever for a man who really isn't showing any signs that he is going to leave his wife. What on earth makes you think that he'll get out of his marriage? Most men who are having affairs don't leave their wives, and he probably won't either.

Get out while you can. Don't let this affair destroy your life and don't be responsible for destroying another woman's life.

It's sad but often true: just because you love someone and think they're your soulmate, doesn't mean that you can be together, especially if he's married to someone else.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Submitting a Question to this column

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(Featured art from cover of Letting Go, by Zev Wanderer and Tracy Cabot, published by "Bitan" Publishers, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
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