"Ask Dr. Tracy"

2/9/97 Advice Column

Will He Change?
Discovering He's Bi,

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have been married for ten years this month. I am 29 and my husband is 30. We were married very young.

He is a very vain person and likes attention from people. He wasn't like this when we were first married. He takes steroids and has even had implants placed in his legs to make his calves look bigger. It is very difficult for me to understand him, but I try to be supportive of his decisions because I want him to be happy with himself. I believe we all should be happy and feel good with who we are.

I, on the other hand, am very content with the way I look. I could lose a few pounds, but it is not that important to me. Men still tell me I'm pretty and that's enough for me.

The thing is, that my husband cannot compliment me or ever tell me he loves me without being told first. Is that normal? I need to hear that I am loved. Reason being, is because when I am away from him I love attention from other men. I don't care if it is false or not. It's just nice and I can just melt in their hands. I used to be a really strong person and not easily influenced. I am always hearing rumors about my husband though and even have had women call my house and ask for him.

I just recently filed for a divorce in November, but he has talked me out of it once again. Crying and pleading and saying he doesn't bring his flirting and me together. I know that this is wrong, but I now justify it because I am no better than him. I have slept with atleast 4 guys outside of my marriage and I feel very guilty about it. I would have never thought I'd do such a thing. I was a virgin when I met my husband!

I think I have gone out in the world looking for the attention that wasn't at home. He doesn't communicate or talk very easily about our problems. He just begs me to stay when I'm fed up and I can't go for some reason. Am I sick?

Do you think I should get out of this marriage? The same problems have been occurring for over 9 years. He always says that the rumors I hear are lies, but why would I keep hearing them over and over again? I have been with 4 other men now and there have never been any rumors thrown up to him about me....

Please help me, I need your advice desperately!

Very Confused!

Dear Confused,

There's no question about it, not only won't your husband change, he's going to get worse. It's too late to turn him around. The die is cast. The implants are in. And you've been putting up with his bad behavior for so long that he thinks he's entitled to behave that way. Either accept that your life is going to continue exactly the way it is, or get out and mean it.

Luckily, you're young enough to start over, and old enough to know better next time. Of course the rumors you hear have some validity. And getting even with him by having your own extra-marital flings is a terrible idea -- two wrongs don't make a right, you know, they just double the odds of sexually transmitted diseases.

Get a divorce immediately, or decide to live forever with your husband's obsession about his looks, his denials about cheating, and his constant pleading for forgiveness. This relationship won't get better and neither will your husband, so get out and find someone who can say "I love you," without having to be prodded all the time.

If you stay, remember steroids do have an effect. They can make men unstable and violent. They can also cause life-threatening medical conditions.

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am having a problem with my boyfriend that was not covered in any of your letters or in the love library. My boyfriend and I are serious, and he has even asked me to marry him. Everything was going great until tonight. I glanced at his e-mail and saw something that I wish I hadn't seen. He tried to erase the e-mail before I could see it but it was too late. The letter was from my boyfriend's friend Craig. Craig is gay (which I didn't know) and said in the letter that he was attracted to my boyfriend. He said that he thought that my boyfriend would understand because he's bi. I, obviously, did not know this. Now I feel confused and hurt. I don't understand why my boyfriend would not tell me. Even though he did not technically "lie" to me, I still consider what he did "lying".

I feel that honesty and openness are two of the most important things in our relationship. I am a very understanding girlfriend, or at least I try to be, and I don't see any reason that my boyfriend should hide ANYTHING from me. The thing that upsets me the most is that he claims that if I had never seen that letter he would have never told me. It upsets me that we could have been married and I would not have known his secret. I love my boyfriend, Dr. Tracy. I don't want to leave him but I don't know if I can trust him again.

Should I stay with my boyfriend? Was he right to not tell me?


Dear Discovered he's bi,

Finding out your boyfriend's bi isn't the kind of discovery you should overlook. Also, his not telling you is a lie, a lie of omission and a very important one. Your trust has been violated and you're right to feel betrayed.

Rethink your commitment and don't rush into marriage until you're sure you can live with the new revelations about your boyfriend's bisexuality. In the meantime, stop having unprotected sex with him immediately. If he's bi, he obviously can't be monogamous, so use condoms until you've both had HIV tests and you're positive he has left his bi lifestyle behind. In any case, please read "Qualifying Someone" in my Library.

Dear Dr. Tracy,

Hi, I think I have problem and I can't find too much info on it. It's sexual addiction. I just can't seem to get enough, my wife and I have a great relationship, the sex is great and she trys to accomodate me as much as possible. When we don't have sex I masturbate alot, its all I think about really other than this I'm a healthy 30 year old. Any ideas?

Dear Sexual addict,

It sounds like your whole identity is tied up with your sexuality. Your ego is based on how often you reach orgasm, and your satisfaction in life comes from a purely physical act. That may or may not be a problem, depending on what you want out of life.

Personally, I'd advise you to "get a life" outside of sex! Find something else you can do that will provide excitement or give you pleasure. Create something. Contribute to the world in some way.

You don't want to look back on your life when you're old and only be able to say, "Well, I didn't do much, but I had a lot of sex."

Or do you? If so, then you don't have a problem.

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