"Ask Dr. Tracy"

1/25/98 Advice Column


Dear Dr. Tracy,

My boyfriend and I have been together now for almost two years, we are talking about mariage and I know this is going to be the one, however I have one LARGE nagging problem!

When we met He was my boss (of sorts) and we became friends. I recieved a promotion to an equal position as him and moved to another store in the company. We missed each other and started to get together after work, and later dating. We both realized quickly that we had a great thing and spent all the time and effort needed to nurture our "thing" into a perfect loving relationship. Great right? The relationship is not the problem.

At first he (Josh) seemed to understand that I didn't have a lot of money. When I began working with him I only made 11,000 a year and had to work two other part time jobs to make enough to live on. But with my promotion I was doing much better, had doubled my income, and was even able to buy a fairly nice car. We each lived in our own small simple overpriced apartments and I guess he assumed our income was similar. This is not true. We are paid on a sales related bonus plan, not a commision, nothing I can control, just overall sales. Well, to get to the point, he works in the second highest grossing store, I work in one of the lowest. What this means is that his own income more than doubles mine, to this day.

At the start he always paid for the expensive meals, weekend get-a-ways, frivolous things. We paid our own bills, rent, personal belongings, and split the less extravagent fun costs. One weekend he took me to a nearby resort for the weekend we had didcussed it and decied to go but I assumed he was picking up the tab. NO! after the weekend he handed me the bill and asked when he was going to get the check for my half. I felt awful, and stuck. I wrote him the check.

It gets worse, we decieded (6 months ago) that it was time to get serious. We moved in to a huge beautiful apartment, bought all the furiture and fixens' together and made a home. The problem is, now he always expects half of everything. In a way, this is fair, I eat half the food, use half the eletricity, watch half the cable etc. But I feel constantly forced into some expenses. He cannot see that although my car payment is the same as his, its twice as much money for me. Same for everthing. I feel that its fair to ask half, but I also feel that when I am constantly worried about bouncing checks and he has thousands in both his checking and banking accounts that it is not really a good balance.

I suggested es each putting 3/4 of our money into an account together to use for bills in common an keeping the rest as personal money, but he said no. 50/50 in everything is best. Now we are talking about getting married, he knows my income, as I do his, but I am worried about the finances. How can I, (if I should even) make this fair? Sorry for the long note.


Dear Broke,

When two people love each other and decide to share their lives together, it works better if they decide to share their assets as well. Their spirit of sharing should reflect their commitment to the relationship. Grade-School arithmetic is no replacement for grownup common sense and loving generosity.

I've known couples who tried to divide everything in half and it always wound up being a problem. They'd go out to eat and try to split the bill down the middle, but of course that never worked, because his steak would cost more than her salad. Then they'd try to figure out who owed what, because her cocktail was more than his beer. Eventually no one would go out to dinner with them. Each of these couples split up from trying to split everything.

If you can't decide to share everything, then you don't belong in a marriage. Individual checking accounts are fine, but most of a couple's money should be held jointly. Large expenditures, say over $300, or whatever each couple decides is large, should be discussed and jointly agreed upon. Couples should also have savings plans and investments held jointly. It seems that you guys may have missed a step or two in "The Steps to Commitment" in my Library.

Tell him how you feel about the expenses and being constantly worried about bouncing checks. You're not just becoming roommates who need to divide things up, you're becoming life partners. And you're not feeling good about his strict 50-50 deal. Just tell him that the current situation won't work.

This is not about arithmetic; it's about loving each other enough to want to help each other and share your money as well as your bed.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

In you Nov 23rd and April 20th column the discussion of men in various articles of womens clothing came up... I wear panties and various other nylon articles of "womens clothing". My question is where can I possibly find information regarding statistics. I am SURE there are PLENTY of men wearing panties daily as I do.. but I am curious what the statistics are. How many are married, how many wives know and support, how many are straight or gay. Can you help me in my search..?


Dear Pantie Wearer,

Although I don't have any scientific statistics for you on how many men like to wear women's panties, I can assure you that you're not alone. I've been getting letters from men like you who wear women's panties in secret for many years. Most of them are straight and married and most of them have told their wives. Lots of them are very macho truck driver, blue collar type guys who you would never suspect are wearing women's panties under their Levis. Some of the wives go so far as to buy the panties for their husbands.

There are also men who wear panties and dress in women's clothes in secret, never telling the women in their lives.

Have fun,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

My husband will not have sex with me. We are both 23 and have only been married a year and a half. He will only have sex with me at the most once a month, and that is only because of my persistance. He insists that sex is not an important part of marriage. He rejects me and makes me feel cheap every time I try to get intimate with him. I try to explain that I need the intimacy, not only the sex.

I have tried talking with him about this, but it only leads to fights. The thing that really bothers me is his attraction to other women instead of me. He continues to look at pornography and flirt with other women on the internet, he has even had phone sex on 900 lines. He says that it is only a curiosity, but I can't help but to feel betrayed, angered, and undesireable and I have told his this. I sometimes wonder if he is having an affair, but he hasn't given me any other reason not to trust him. I am afraid that our marriage is in danger. Please help.

Thank you.

Dear Betrayed,

Of course you feel betrayed. You're only 23 and you're saddled with an unfeeling cur who has spurned you for other women -- on the internet or in real life, it still hurts. Not only is your marriage in danger, it's in big trouble.

You have a husband who shows all the signs of cheating. He refuses to talk to you about problems and starts fights when you try. He refuses to have sex.

If there's nothing physically wrong with him, and he was previously highly sexed, that's even more reason to be suspicious. In the long run, however, what's important is that you get him into counseling immediately. Problems like yours don't get better on their own.

If he refuses to go for counseling, go by yourself. You deserve to be happy. Don't risk spending the next 50 years with an unfeeling man who refuses to listen to you.

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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