Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss

3/24/09

To Marry or Not?
Too Much Sex
Relatives or Relationship



To Marry or Not?

Dear Dr. Tracy,

Thank you for taking some time to read my email. I will try to keep it short and I hope you can provide me advice before I take the plunge.

I am getting married in December 2009. However, I still have doubts whether I will be happy for the rest of my life. There are issues that crop up that made me confused. I am 27 years old. I knew this girl for two years back in my hometown. We just got engaged last December. This is a long distance relationship, so within these two years, i've been flying back to my hometown to see her vice versa. We talk on the phone everyday.

The issues that I am currently facing:

1. She doesn't like me to join my buddies, even for a cup of coffee. She insisted I get home at 10.30pm. When I was single, I normally hung out with my buddies watching football and having coffee until 12am and this has been going on for years. I don't like to ditch my friends because they are the ones that keeping me happy, listening to my problems.

2. She likes to do things her way and loves to nag. If I don't adhere to it, she'll keep quiet and become angry. I did nothing wrong and was treated like a dog at times. I am not as free as before.

3. She's rude at times towards me. She gets irritated easily, for example I bought a new pair of shoes, she got angry at me because I did not tell her i bought them. It became an issue and she took out our engagement ring and kept it. It's just a small matter.

3. I got engaged with her because I thought that will change her attitude and also due to a job offer at her workplace. When we got engaged, she decided to ditch the opportunity. I felt it was like a trap.

4. She doesn't respect her mum and talks to her rudely. She does that to me as well.

5. When I have lunch with my office colleagues, she wants pictures taken and sent to her. She forbids me to join my office activities, company dinner, sports, tea time, etc, afraid that I will mingle with ladies. I'm not that kind of person. Since then I stopped doing outdoor activities (basket ball, running, driving to the mountains to relax, rock climbing, with my friends). I do this to avoid any issues pertaining to jealousy. Self sacrifice.

6. She got all my email accounts, msn etc. She checks always. Good thing is i'm an honest person and a man of God, I don't have issues cheating. I didn't check hers because I want her to keep her privacy. I gave her mine just for her peace of mind.

7. When surfing the internet, or chatting, she doesn't want me to read other things but sports and news. I felt that I have the right to read whatever I want, even watch youtube (I was banned due to an incident whereby I posted a comment on a lady dancing saying that she's hot). My gf found out and she was furious. I may be wrong or right, but that was just a comment.

8. I cannot buy the things i want anymore. For example, I want to buy a new pair of oakley sunglass. She doens't look happy and she said she wants exactly what I have. Same goes to laptop, watch, shoe etc. She doensn't care about the money I have. So what i do is i don't buy the things that I desire.

9. For the wedding, my family is sponsoring everything. But she always wants her way. From the flower girl selection, card selection etc, has been her choice. I just agree even though i have my own opinion. Coz i know my opinion will not be considered anyway.

These are the few things that confuse my mind now. I don't really love her as much as the first year, and currently i'm trying to love again. This is due to all the arguments we gone through and it scarred my heart. I forgive her and hope she will change. Should I proceed?

Thank you in advance,

Dear Doubtful,

No wonder you are worried about whether to marry or not. This is a big problem. You should never marry someone if you're not sure you know what you're doing and that you want to do it.

You say you love her less than you used to love her. You should love her more, not less. That's the only reason to marry.

There are so many potential problems here that I don't know where to start. They're not all with her; you appear to have some unrealistic expectations about marriage. For example, staying out with your buddies until midnight every night when you have a wife at home. Come on! And buying whatever you want. In a good marriage, major expenditures are discussed and agreed upon in advance. If those are really serious issues with you, you may not be ready to get married to anyone.

But the biggest alarm bells are in your descriptions of your fiancée. She is jealous and controlling because she's insecure and because you are letting her get away with it. It's hard to pull back now on the concessions you've been making. Unless you put your foot down now and say, no, you can't dictate what I can do, she'll be telling you what to do for the rest of your life.

If she's rude to you now, she's not going to be less rude because you are married. Whatever annoys you before you're married will annoy you about ten times as much after your married because then you'll be thinking "What have I done? This is going to go on for the rest of my life? I'm trapped!"

If you and she can't readily compromise on these issues, you'll never be able to compromise on the really big problems which every marriage encounters. You should have gotten this relationship on the right foot before you got engaged. Don't think you'll fix it afterwards.

You got engaged for the wrong reasons -- a potential job is not a good reason to become engaged. Now you're going to get married to someone who will never make you happy. You will never be able to make her happy either. No matter how many things you agree to do to try to give her peace of mind, you can't give that to someone. It comes from within.

Cancel this wedding and be grateful that you got out even if it disappoints her and your family. Getting married is a big step. Even people who get married without any doubts often wind up breaking up. If you have doubts -- especially this many -- even before you marry, you are doomed to divorce and a lot of unhappiness. It's better to break up now before you have financial obligations and children to think of. Be smart. Find someone who is easier to get along with. She won't get better, she'll only get worse.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy



Too Much Sex

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm a 45 yr old women who was in a physically and mentally abusive relationship with my boyfriend of 10 years. I started having an affair with his best friend (Sam - who is 53) about 9 months ago (I've known him for 10 years also). He was married for 20 years to a women whom according to him disliked him and had him sleep on in another room for the last ten years.

Long story short, 6 months ago we got caught. Sam's wife kicked him out and I finally kicked out my boyfriend. As you may have guessed Sam moved in. It's been a good 6 months but I have a question. He wants sex almost every night - sometimes twice a day. He never pressures me for it - rather just makes it clear he would like to have sex. On the few occasions I've been too tired or not in the mood he hasn't had a problem with that. My question is this - do some men his age really want sex that often at his age or do you think it's because now he's "gettin some"? The sex is great and I'm not complaining but I'm not sure I can keep up with him! And here lately I find myself having sex even though I really didn't want to - I think because I don't want him looking elsewhere as it's obvious he was/is a cheater. Just wondering.

Dear Wondering,

You have a history of being abused so you have to be sure you're not just having sex because you don't want to make a scene or start an argument. But if you're enjoying it and it's not too much, then why not? After all, when you do tell him you're tired or not in the mood, he's willing to back off.

Of course, part of the reason he wants it so often is because he has a lot of pent-up desire from sleeping on the couch for all those years. On the other hand, maybe he drove his wife nuts with sexual demands and that's why she wanted him on the couch instead of in bed with her.

But do men of 59 want lots of sex? You bet! He's not that old and could have another ten years of sex in him before he starts to lose it. Some men never do, and you hear about 70 and 80 year olds still going strong. I just hope that when you're 55 and he's pushing 70, he can keep up with you.

You're having "great sex," so why not enjoy it? Don't worry too much about whether he's doing it because he's been without or because he finds you oh so sexy. Just be sure you're not having sex with him when you don't want to. After all, you have every right to say no. You're probably worried because he cheated on his wife with you, so you think he might do the same thing to you. That's a reasonable concern. So don't rush into any long term commitments with him until you're sure he can be faithful whether he's getting it twice a day or once a week.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy



Relatives or Relationship

Dear Dr. Tracy,

not quite sure why I am writing and asking for advice but I am very confused at my situation. I am divorced for 14 years. I currently live with my youngest daughter's father as roommates for financial reasons. I have 3 children, 1 by him. We were together on and off for over 13 years and I have let him go in so many ways. I started dating outside the home, my personal life. I met a man 8 months ago and we became best friends and more and now we're in a relationship. We both are in love and we want to be with another and he has proposed to me. Although I never gave him an answer, I'm delighted and would consider.

The thing that is stopping me from making a complete commitment is the fact that everyone in my family is totally against our relationship and never gave him a chance. For some reason they despise him and he has never done anything wrong to give my family a reason for them to behave like this. I'm just wondering if I should follow my heart and be happy or listen to family members and be miserable? Any advice would be appreciated.

Dear Confused,

You are confused because you are trying to make everyone happy. Unfortunately, it doesn't work and only winds up making you unhappy.

You're old enough and have had enough life experience to make up your own mind about this relationship. What worries me is why your family "despises" him. You must find out if they know something about him that you don't. If not, they're just being selfish. They're probably comfortable with the status quo, which is now threatened by your new man. It's in their interest for you not to marry someone else. They want you there for them, not off with some new guy.

Reassure them that you still love them and will be there for them, then tell them that your happiness has to be considered too. Let them know that they won't lose you. You may not get their enthusiastic support right away, but eventually they could learn to accept your new man.

Choose happiness and go for the commitment. The living situation you're in now sounds terrible for you. You deserve a new life with a new man. The old one hasn't worked out and never will. You've moved on legally, spiritually and emotionally. Now it's time to move on physically.

Say yes to the man you love. Move in together and be happy. Get your ex out of your life. Don't let yourself be miserable because you're listening to your family. If they don't have any specific reason to disapprove of your new man, tell them to back off; it's your turn to be happy. They don't have to approve or even like him. Apparently, he's done nothing to make them dislike him except make them feel threatened. With time, they'll get over it. Don't let them be in charge of your life. Get out and be with the man you love. Follow your heart.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy



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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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