"Ask Dr. Tracy"

2/6/2000 Advice Column


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In Love With Her Sister's Man
My Lover's Kid Is Driving Me Nuts
Sex Before Marriage




Dear Dr. Tracy,

My problem is that I am in love with my sister's man. And I've already slept with him. What's worse is I know that I'll jump into bed with him again the instant the opportunity presents itself with no hesitation whatsoever. The ironic thing is that he was after me originally but I rejected him because - this sounds shallow and stupid - he was physically not my type. He was a bit thicker than I liked in my men. I told him that I only saw him as a friend. He agreed and let me be.

Some days later, he met my sister on a bus - he mistook her for me because we look alike and they started talking and she gave him her number - and they started going out. At first I was happy for them and we used to all hang out together with my boyfriend. I don't know what made me start noticing him but all I can say about him is that he's funny, adventurous, intelligent, caring, romantic and simply just amazing! He treats my sister like a princess - he's too strong-minded for her to walk all over him though - and she's completely crazy about him as well. I realized I was in love with him when a few months ago I suddenly found myself thinking about him 24/7 and getting totally jealous when I saw him with my sister. It got so bad my boyfriend was ill and I actually chose to watch a movie with this guy than spend time with my man. That was the night we slept together. My sister had gone home - they'd had a fight and she'd walked out - and we were watching a movie in his apartment when I just couldn't resist it anymore and I kissed him, and things went from there. It was literally the most fantastic sex I've ever had. He took me in every single way you can imagine. I was completely helpless and practically screaming from the moment he laid his hands on me. I was actually crying at the end of it all and completely worn out. Yet I know if he had just touched me I would have been ready to go again. Yes, I'm totally serious, he was that good.

But in the morning, he sat me down and told me that what happened was a mistake and that we should probably keep away from each other because he was in love with my sister. All I could do was cry when he told me this. This was just before Thanksgiving, and I'm with a new boyfriend but I can't keep this guy off my mind or out of my heart. He's still with my sister and their relationship just seems to be growing stronger. Being around them is just pure torture and I'm completely miserable when I see him smile at her. What's even worse is that just hearing his voice turns me on - the hairs on the back of my neck stand and I get soaked, if you know what I mean.

Can you to tell me how I can get rid of this love - how I can get over him? I know it'll be wrong of me to disrespect my sister - I already have and I'm not so sure I want to avoid it happening again - but right now I can't imagine him not being in my life. I feel as if he was meant for me and she stole him! It's that bad. Help me, please?

Dear Sister,

You didn't want this guy when you had the chance. This is another story of a woman who thinks a man isn't sexually attractive until she sees him with someone else. (Are you listening, guys? There's nothing so sexy as a man who another woman thinks is hot.)

So now he belongs to your sister and you can't have him, and now you want him. That's so typical. It's typical of men and women, relationships and life in general. We have trouble appreciating anyone or anything until it's gone. And often don't want someone until someone else has him or her.

I hope you learn a good lesson here about rejecting a man for such superficial reasons - that he's a little too thick! Really! In the future, reject a man because he's mean-spirited or emotionally withdrawn or abusive, not because he doesn't fit your exact physical specifications.

Now that you see how wonderful this guy is with your sister, you keep imagining that you could have that wonderfulness. Well, you seduced him once, and betrayed your sister. If you're smart, you'll forget the whole thing, find a man of your own, and pray that your sister never finds out about what you've done. You really do deserve the torture of seeing them together and suffering your jealousy and yearning. You deserve to be miserable when he smiles at her. You deserve a lot worse for such a betrayal.

Sisters are blood, and men come and go. Remember that. Also, I suspect that he was doing a little getting even with you for rejecting him in the beginning by showing you what you missed. Get over it. He's hers. You tried to steal him from her; she didn't steal him from you. I feel sorry for your sister, but not you.

All the moaning and groaning and tears and wet whatever's won't change the fact that you blew it big time. First by rejecting him, and then by betraying your sister. Try being nice to the guy you have for a change, before some other women appreciates him and snatches him up too.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a forty-five year old male. I have been married one time and it lasted seven years. My ex was a severe verbal abuser and borderline personality. I spent about sixteen months working on me and getting my self esteem back and learning boundaries and so forth. About a year ago I started dating a lady that I have known for many years. She is a 180 of my ex. She is very kind and pleasant and fun to be around and always in a good mood like myself but here is the one big problem. She has a son who is twenty-nine years old that still lives at home. Add to that the fact that he doesn't turn his hand around the house and doesn't even have a job. I have worked from the time I was ten and at fifteen started doing my own laundry and ironing.

This lady is so wonderful in so many ways and when I think that maybe I need to move on I don't want it to come across as choose him or me. I also hate the thought of leaving someone who in every other way is such a great catch. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

Thank You, Bewildered.

Dear Bewildered,

This twenty-nine year old man is her son, but he's no kid. He's an adult who's learned to live off his mom, and sadly, the situation sounds stable. If the woman you love has gone along with this for all these years, there are reasons.

He probably thinks he's got a good thing going. He doesn't have to work. He doesn't have to do anything but hang around, and she puts up with it. The reason she puts up with it is because she gets something out of it too.

Perhaps she gets a man around the house with no romantic or sexual responsibility. Perhaps she gets to keep you and any other man at arm's length. Perhaps she's insecure about her old age and wants to be sure he'll be around to take care of her. Perhaps she gets to hold on to her role as a mother because she hasn't found any other role that will fill her needs.

In any case, they've had this relationship much longer than you've had yours with her. He has 29 years of seniority there. He's not going to leave and she's not going to kick him out. Not now, probably not ever.

Maybe part of the reason she is so wonderful is because she's too kind to be unpleasant and make scenes. She won't put her foot down to insist that her ne'er-do-well son get a job, and she won't kick him out. In the same way, she probably never will insist that you do anything that will make you unhappy either.

If you want her, you'll have to take him too. Don't ask her to choose between him and you because you'll lose out. He's there 24/7, like a faithful old dog. No really nice woman will kick out an old faithful dog, even if he's lazy. So either get used to the idea that he'll be there, or find some other woman to love.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I need help. My girlfriend and I have been dating for several months now and we both said we wanted to wait to have sex until marriage. Later on, eventually we both fell in love and had sex several times. I'm afraid that at her age (under 20), I could possibly ruin her life by continuing to have sex with her. We use protection and everything, but there's still a chance that she could get pregnant. So what happened was, I told her that I wanted to not have sex anymore because I wanted her to have the safest and most successful future possible. I didn't want her to have to drop out of school to take care of a baby. Unfortunately, she got very angry with me and said I was "playing with her emotions". This is a girl I want to spend the rest of my life with if possible.

What should I do?

Dear Decision-maker,

Once you've had sex, you can't take it back. It's like trying to put the genie back in the bottle. Neither of you are virgins anymore, and going back to not having sex won't bring back your virginal state.

If you're going to have sex and then take it back, of course she's going to be angry and upset. You're playing with her emotions and being a very controlling man. She's given you her all and now feels that you're rejecting her. You can't take that much from a woman and then say you don't want it anymore without her getting angry. You also can't give something to someone and then stop giving. It's like turning on the electric and refusing to pay the bills when they come.

You've done it and there's no turning back. At 20, she's not a child. How can you decide what's best for her? You're not in charge of her life. If you're so worried, you shouldn't have had sex to begin with. But you did, so now act responsibly. Instead of making a unilateral decision to withhold sex, talk to her about your fears. Make sure that she's using birth control pills and that you're careful and use condoms as well. That way you won't be spreading any sexually transmitted diseases and you won't get her pregnant.

If you want to spend the rest of your life with this woman, remember, she's not a girl and you're not in charge. You don't get to make decisions by yourself for the both of you. You are supposed to talk through problems and make a mutual decision that you can both live with.

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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