"Ask Dr. Tracy"

5/9/99 Advice Column

Nine and a Half Months
She's Hot, He's Not
Wedding Bell Blues

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm nine and a half months pregnant from a rather casual relationship. He started to cheat on me, so I told him forget it. Then of course he was all over me wheneve he'd see me to the point where I was avoiding him. He hasn't bought anything for the baby and now he wants to be at the birth. He says I'm interferring with his paternal rights. I don't want to be the evil person who comes between him and his child, but does he have the right to be on the birth cirtificate if he cheats and doesn't buy anything for the baby?

Dear Mom,

No matter how big a jerk Daddy is, he's still Daddy and he still should be given a chance to bond with his child. That means you should let him attend the birth and be on the birth certificate.

That doesn't mean he gets to do what he wants, and you should let him know there are rules, like he has to call first and make a date if he wants to see either you or the baby, he has to participate financially, and he has to be faithful if he ever hopes to renew the relationship with you.

Having his name on the birth certificate will be good for your child in the future. No child wants to see "No Name" in the Daddy space on their birth certificate. Nor do you want to be the evil person who denies a child and father a relationship.

You're right it's not fair that he should have all the good parts and none of the responsibility. New fathers, however, aren't always exactly sure of what they're supposed to do. So tell him exactly what you want him to do.

If you need to give him a wakeup call about child support, do it with legal help.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

Hi. I am a 19 year old female who started dating this guy seven months ago. I am very much in love with him, being that we've been best friends all our lives. He is bisexual, this dosen't bother me in the least. However, we've started to go into conversations about marriage and he says he dosen't want to get married until he's 45 and he dosen't want to have sex until marriage. He will not do anything in the least bit sexual, and even if I put my hand too far over on his leg, he moves it and says it's too sexual. Why is he like this? Is he not attracted to me? He swears that he's not gay. I think if he were gay he would have told me by now because my heart is too far into this to be ripped apart. This hurts me so bad, even thinking that the man I love is not sexually attracted to me. I've tried talking to him about it but he changes the subject. I need desperate help. Please help me if you can. I'd like to stay with him forever and hold onto him and he swears that he'll never leave me. What should I do?

Dear Desperate,

This relationship is doomed. He has told you no sex, no affection, and he likes guys. What part of "no" don't you understand?

Of course he's not sexually attracted to you in a let's-get-it-on heterosexual way, or he would be willing to have sex with you or at least to give you a hug once in a while. Don't be a fool. You can't be that much in love that you'd be willing to sacrifice sex and affection for the next twenty-five years.

I suspect that your non-sexual, non-affectionate relationship is a way for both of you to avoid a real relationship. You are too young and have too much of the rest of your life to live without sex.

The worst part of being with and loving someone who refuses to have sex with you is that you will blame yourself for their lack of interest - you'll begin telling yourself that you're not thin enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not sexy enough. You'll feel bad about yourself and get depressed. Your self-esteem will go into the toilet and your entire life will be affected.

So dump Mr. No Sex, no matter what his sexual orientation is. The only sure thing about him is that he's bad for your self esteem.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

My girlfriend and I have discussed marriage for quite a while now, and have been talking about how some day we will get married. Well come this July we are moving south togather, and have talked about eloping, and getting married the day we arrive at our new house. I'm all for it, and she said she is excited for it, but my question is this...

Will she regret it in the future? I've asked her this, and she doesn't really have a sure answer. I know alot of girls dream of their big beutiful wedding, and having all their family and friends there. I don't want her to miss out on this if we do alope. Another thing is her parents, I don't want them to feel offended that they weren't included in the wedding if we do decide to elope. Although alot of problems could be fixed by just having a large reception later down the road, when we announce that we got married. I just don't want her to miss out on a big wedding that most women dream of.

Dear Future Groom,

With the average wedding costing more than $10,000, I don't blame you for considering eloping. But there are some things you should think about before you run off.

Every young girl fantasizes that one day she'll be a bride, dress in a long white dress and walk down the aisle to marry the man of her dreams. Even if she one day elopes, the fantasy doesn't go away. So yes, your girlfriend may one day regret eloping. And yes, her family might feel left out.

Why have a wedding? Well, to give her a special day that she'll always remember, but mostly because having a big wedding with family and friends attending is making a statement. It's saying, "We're so serious about making a life-long commitment to each other that we're willing to affirm our wedding vows in front of the people who mean the most to us."

It's a chance for a daughter to announce her separation from her family, moving on to start her own family. It's a chance for a son to announce that he now has his own family. It's a chance for families to bond, and to commemorate the occasion.

Hopefully you'll only get married once, so you might as well do it up. You could elope, and have a wedding too. That way everyone could be happy. Somehow saying your vows is more meaningful when all your friends and family are there.

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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