"Ask Dr. Tracy"

2/25/96 Advice Column

Enraged over infidelity, The elusive Cyberlover, Choosing and breaking up

Dear Dr. Tracy,

My wife of 13 years has dealt me the worst blow a person can receve. I found out the day after Christmas that she has been having sex with my brother for the past three years. My question is, Why can't I get over her? I miss her terribly and would almost be willing to work things out and at the same time I am filled with rage!!!! What do I do?

Dear Filled With Rage,

You should be angry. You deserve to be angry. However, I advise you to seek out a therapy group immediately to help you deal with your anger in a safe environment.

Normally, I'm all for trying to repair and restore relationships, but in this case it sounds pretty hopeless. Still, even if you have no desire to resume the relationship, after it was part of your life for 13 years you're going to miss it. That's normal. If you haven't done so already, I suggest you read "When He/She's Left You -- Coping" in my Library. Also, even if new romance is the last thing on your mind, start dating. You have a void in your life that needs to be filled. Join a dating service and go out often with lots of women.

Finally, to speed your recovery, you might want to read "Letting Go, A Twelve-Week Personal Program To Overcome a Broken Heart," by Wanderer and Cabot, which is widely available and inexpensive in paperback.

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I've been dating this guy (who initiated this relationship) for about 3 months. During this time, he has either called or e-mailed me almost every day. Can you tell me what this may signify, as at this point, it seems that even though he does call, he gets diverted when it comes to actually spending time together. I'm having a hard time figuring him out.


Dear Kathy,

There are guys who give great phone, and guys who give great e-mail, but when it comes to in-person intimacy, they fall apart. If he doesn't want to get together, he may be one of these types.

I remember one I knew. On the phone he was charming and delightful. I finally insisted that we get together. It took about a half hour for me to realize he was much more attractive on the phone. In person he was difficult, argumentative, and downright nasty.

I suggest you find a guy who wants to actually meet, and enjoy this one for what he's able to give. Guys who only give little amounts often get off on trying to get women to beg for more. Don't play that game. Instead, check out "Summary Guide for Finding Someone" in my Library for some ideas on finding someone with whom you can have a real relationship.

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am in a bit of an odd situation. After three years in an relationship, I was dumped. The woman that left me (I'll call her suzie) was straight out of my dreams, sweet, adoring, nurturing, engaging, wild and rambuncious. She left me after I returned from military service in Cuba, it seemed in the two months I was gone she had found her "soul mate". The breakup was ulike any that I ever went through. It was filled with pain and remorse on both sides. Both Suzie and I realized there were still feelings between us, but she felt it imperative to move on.

Suzie moved away, and I began to date other women. I maintained some contact with her and spent some time with her close friends she left behind when she moved. After a year apart, I became involved with Amy, one of her closest friends.

Suzie wasn't upset at first, and then later she became jealous. She also has come to the realization that I am the man for her. She wants me to leave her now ex-best friend and come back to her. Amy resents Suzie for not being supportive. Neither Amy or I felt Suzie would react so quickly and strongly, (although we both knew it was a possibility).

Dr. Tracy, I have to admit that I still feel strongly about Suzie, and I always imagined that her and I would eventually find common ground. I feel I would like to start seeing Suzie again because I know that the relationship I have with Amy is not promising.

I feel guilty for harboring affections for Suzie and I and worried about breaking up with Amy. I am unsure if I can break up with Amy and get back together with Suzie and still respect myself.

My freinds say I should leave both in the dust (it's the only safe thing to do, they say) but I hate burning bridges and I am enamored with Suzie, she remains important to me. What would you suggest I do?

Dear Heartbreaker,

My friend The Old Seducer just stopped by, and when I saw him smiling at your question, I asked why.

"His friends are dead right," he chuckled. "But he's going back to Suzie no matter what you tell him -- 'cause if he doesn't, he'll never forgive himself."

I agree with my friend on this one, especially if you don't see any future in your relationship with Amy. And you can break up with Amy and still respect yourself if you handle the breakup with honor and empathy. I urge you to read "Ending It" in my Library for specific advice on how to do this.

Questions may be submitted to Dr. Tracy's column by e-mail. Dr. Tracy selects 3 questions of the most general interest per week to answer in this column, since it is not possible for her to answer all questions submitted.

(Featured art from cover of Letting Go, by Zev Wanderer and Tracy Cabot, published by "Bitan" Publishers, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
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