Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss


A Woman is More Than Her Body
Sex Doesn't Cost That Much
Loving Her Ex

A Woman is More Than Her Body

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm 18 years old, and I know most think that I am still a child, but I have received some news that ages me a little. I recently found out that at the age of 25 I am going to have my ovaries taken out because I have severe problems with them.

When I mentioned this to my boyfriend of 2 years, he was a little concerned, but he grew distant. He started working more and eventually it got to the point that up until 2 days ago, we hadn;t spoken in months.

He contacted me 2 days ago and asked how i was doing and asked if i had a boyfriend and so forth He also said if i do have a boyfriend, if he wouldn't mind that he gave me a huge kiss and so forth. Anyway, My question is, should I get back with him or should I avoid him totally?

Dear Almost A Woman,

You're not a child anymore. You're eighteen and you're dealing with a woman's problems. It's a shame you have to face having your ovaries removed at such a young age, but there's no reason you should be treated any differently because of it.

If you haven't had all the children you want before you're twenty-five, you should talk to a medical doctor about having your eggs harvested and frozen for future use before you have your ovaries removed. Modern medicine has wonderful ways to help a woman preserve her eggs. Explore the possibility of in vitro fertilization, using your eggs or someone else's. Having your ovaries removed doesn't mean you can never have children, it just means you'll have to have them in non-traditional ways.

Your boyfriend was a dud when you needed him the most. Just when you needed him to be supportive, he left you without any discussion. He should have stuck around, given you lots of hugs, and helped you look for solutions to your problem. Instead he grew distant. That's not the kind of man you want to spend your life with. Avoid him totally. He doesn't deserve you, and you deserve better.

You need someone who will be there for you, a man who won't walk away at the first sign of a problem. It's easy for a guy to be a boyfriend as long as everything is fine and there are no difficulties. But life is full of problems. Everyone has to deal with them. If your boyfriend wasn't up to helping you with your problems -- if he couldn't even talk to you about them -- he's not worth having.

You and he were together during years when you were indeed a child. Now you're a woman and it's time to find someone who accepts you the way you are and who can deal with your problems. Look for someone new, someone who accepts you and will love you with or without ovaries. You are more than your body, and ovaries don't make a woman.

You're young. You'll find someone to be with who doesn't run away at the first sign of trouble.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Sex Doesn't Cost That Much

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 25 year old asian female who have been dating a 27 year old male of the same race about 8 months now. Because of our long distance relationship, we do not see eachother as often but we call one another every other day. At one time I mentioned to him that I would not date a man who will not commit to me within a year because I had already wasted six years with a man who couldn't commit from a previous relationship. A week later he brought up the issue and said he had been thinking and wanted to commit but I only listened to what he said and did not discussed this marriage proposal with him any further because I was unsure whether he meant it or not. I sense that sometimes he can be very knavish and a hypocrite but I try to take all precautions even though he shows he cares.

Just recently I had a serious talk with him and gave him an option to marry me by the summer or end the relationship. He gave me his answer and told me that he is ready to propose by the summer because he feels that our long distance relationship has been tough and if we dated too long we will eventually drift apart.

In our marriage culture, a man is expected to pay a dowry to the bride's parents depending on the amount that is expected. It can vary from 5 to 7 grands which also covers the wedding. My boyfriend has a decent job and makes pretty decent amount but when I asked him if he had already saved at least a couple of thousands, he said not yet. I find it hard to believe that this marriage would be possible by the summer so I prepared to leave him and move on with my life.

Finally, when he came down to see me he said that he knows he has mention of the proposal for quite sometimes now but did not have anything to prove his words are true. He then gave me a grand first and written some checks in advance for me to deposit into my own account every month until the summer since he said he would only spend the money if it is kept it in his account. By the summer, we should have the amount expected for the wedding. My problem is that I am always on guard and very suspicious that he may be pulling a prank on me. Do you think a man would put money into your hands if he were lying and could he be keeping me around just for the fun and sex until he finds someone new to replace me?

Dear Cautious,

You have done the right thing so far. You've been cautious and you've demanded a commitment. You were smart enough to learn from the last relationship and not repeat the mistakes of the past.

However, you don't want to make new mistakes by dumping a guy who is obviously serious about you. I think you should give this man a chance to do what he says he'll do. After all, he did bring up the issue of commitment, and most men avoid the topic at all costs if they're not interested.

He has also listened to your concerns seriously and discussed marriage with you in a responsible manner, saying he will be ready to propose by the summer. That's not too far away.

But what's really impressive is that he hasn't just promised. He's given you a thousand dollars and written checks to you for the rest of your dowry. I'd say you should consider yourself lucky. In the U.S., American guys don't pay for the wedding at all. The woman's parents are supposed to pay for it all.

There are lots of women who would be happy to have a man give them a commitment like that, in more than words. Your guy has put his money where his mouth is. He's got a serious investment in you, and I don't think he would do that if he was just trying to get sex and fun. He could get that elsewhere for a lot less money. If someone gives you a thousand dollars, what kind of a "prank" could that be? Give this man a chance.

It's normal to feel doubts and get scared when you suddenly have so much to lose. Don't let your fears and doubts ruin this happy time for you.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Loving Her Ex

Dear Dr. Tracy,

My ex-husband and I live together. He is 52 yrs. old, I am 47 yrs. old. We were married for seven years, have been divorced for four years. We were both married when we met, fell for each other, divorced our spouses, and were married a few years later. We both have two children . We enjoy exactly the same things- we like to cook, garden, etc., and do these things with each other every day. We are currently living in my ex-husbands home.

We lived apart for a few years after we were divorced, but talked to each other every day, spent time together, and remained faithful to each other. we regret that we are no longer husband and wife, and before we resumed living together, he talked a lot about re-marrying. For the first year of this "proposal" I was ecstatic. I wanted to resume the loving, commited relationship that made my life wonderfully fulfilling. He told me to get our wedding rings fixed, that he could hear wedding bells. When I would ask him when we were going to get married, he would say soon...

We are not yet married, and he says that the reason is that he owes 30,000 to someone, and that he doesn't want to make the mistake of getting married while in debt. (he is a buisness man who has been sucessfully self employed, this ammount of money is not that great to him) His two children work with this company, which is located at our home.

I was beginning to feel and get used to the possibility that he really did not intend to marry me. A year ago his chikdren hired their mother( my ex-husbands first wife) They were married for 23 yrs., and fought like cats and dogs. My ex-husbands children never accepted me, I have never even been to their homes, and they live next door to us. My ex is invited to his kids homes, as is his ex wife. Every day I see my ex husbands ex wife go to work here, My ex husbands children and mother meet together at the work place. I never go there, I just obserev that they are together in the same building with my ex husband. My ex husband tells me that he never talks to his ex wife, even though they have the same children and work together for the same company.

The dissapointment of my ex not wanting me to be his wife has resulted in a very heavy heart daily for over a year. I feel like crying every day, I havent not hurt for years since our divorce. His children asked my ex if their mother could move into a rental property of his which is next door to our home.

Is this man sincerely in love with me? I feel hurt and insecure with him. I always feel on the outside of this ex family. Help me see things as I should. thank you.

Dear Hurt,

Of course you're hurt. This is an outrageous, terrible situation. You are being shut out of this family, and that's not right. If your ex-husband really cared for you and was considerate of your feelings, he wouldn't let this happen.

So what are you doing about it? Waiting around for him to suddenly become Mr. Sensitive? You better talk to him immediately. Explain to him that if things don't change, there will be consequences. Tell him you want to be married, you want to have a life together, you want to be included in the family, and he must not allow this exclusion to continue another day. And if you don't want to live next door to his other ex-wife, say so.

My guess is that your ex-husband is just giving excuses to not marry you, and I don't think it's about the money. It probably has more to do with his children and his other ex-wife who keeps hanging around.

Don't just sit around and let all this happen and then be miserable about it afterwards. Now is the time to change this or it will just get worse. If he continues to allow his family to shut you out, you will suffer even more. What's going to happen to you when you're sixty? Will you still be putting up with your ex, being the odd-man-out in this weird family arrangement, lonely and with no hope that things will change?

The reason this is happening is because you allow it to happen. He's learned he can get away with all this because you stay there and put up with it. You must let him know that if things don't change, if he doesn't set a date for the wedding, you'll leave. This is going to be hard to do because you are so used to being a patsy and putting up with being shut out. But you really have to do it.

The way things stand, you have no security, no standing and no leverage. Smarten up and make some changes. If you change your passive acceptance of all this, then he'll change too. If you don't get some spine and stand up for your rights, you won't have any.

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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