Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss


Serious With a Pot Smoker
Too Many Obstacles To Coupling
Open Marriage Problems

Serious With a Pot Smoker

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am in my 50's, widowed with 5 grown and almost grown children. I have met a wonderful man and it is getting serious. There is one issue that we disagree on and I don't understand why it bothers me so much. He smokes pot - I have made it clear I don't like it, don't want to join in, and don't want him to do it around me. He is fine with that, but why am I getting such bad feelings about this? He is wonderful in so many other important ways - but I just can't seem to get past this issue. Thank you for your advice.

Dear Getting Serious,

If this man is so wonderful in every way, try not to get so upset over a little thing like smoking pot. A lot of men drink beer, and many like cocktails every night. Then there are the gambling addicts and men who do serious drugs. Many have anger issues and are abusive. Others are addicted to pornography, demand three-way sex, cheat, lie, can't keep a job or make a living. I hear the whole range of problems, and your man is definitely on the beer and football game end of that range.

There aren't any good men out there who are wonderful in every way. Don't let this one get away because you don't like the idea of his smoking pot. So many people smoke pot. It's not heroin or crack cocaine and doesn't cause people to do terrible things. Pot smoking doesn't make him a bad person. Most of the popular entertainers you enjoy have smoked pot, as have many people who are upstanding members of their communities -- even presidents. With so many people smoking pot in the United States and with pot becoming legalized under many circumstances, most people look the other way.

However, in some states, pot smoking is still treated as a serious crime. If that's the case where you live, he's taking a real risk and your bad feelings about his smoking are justified. If "getting serious" with him means considering marriage, then you both should have a realistic talk about what happens if he gets busted.

But the more usual situation in the U.S. is fairly lax enforcement and light penalties -- unless he's dealing (you must be certain that he's not). If he's in your age range, he's probably an experienced smoker and knows not to carry joints in the car and to only smoke privately and discreetly. So unless he gets totally loopy when he smokes, it shouldn't affect you. He's an adult and if he wants to smoke pot, it's his business and no big deal.

Basically, he sounds like a keeper. When you start dwelling on how it bothers you that he smokes pot, replace those negative thoughts with positive ones about all the things you really appreciate about him. Make two lists, one of his attributes and one of his negatives. If pot is the only negative and there are lots of positives on the other list, you'll see how minor pot smoking is in the overall picture.

Important things in a relationship are whether he respects you, supports you, loves you, makes you happy and fulfills your need for companionship. Is he responsible? Does he do what he says he'll do when he says he'll do it? Then relax and let him smoke without making an issue of it.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Too Many Obstacles To Coupling

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am about to turn 30 in less than two weeks and up until now my dating life has been almost nothing. I've dated a couple of men but nobody that seems to be my perfect match. The two guys that I have dated were married before one of them being married twice within five years and both men have children from their previous marriages. I would love to be married one day and have a family of my own but it seems like the only men that are attracted to me were married before me and have children of their own.

I am having a problem with this situation. I am still a virgin and I plan on remaining one until I am married yet every man that seems interested in me, once they find out that I am a virgin they seem more anxious to "deflower" me. Is it me who is finding the wrong men or is it the wrong men finding me? I want someone with a good job, good family background who hasn't been married and has no children but wants them someday. Is this wrong of me? I see all of my cousins married now with children and I wonder what did they do to get what they wanted out of life. I am getting sick and tired of being the alone one. I am tired of being a party of one. I am wanting my chance at love and feel like it's my time. I am not getting any younger here. So if you have time to email me back and help me, please do.

Dear Not Getting Any Younger,

This is not a matter of your finding the wrong or right men, it's a matter of your wanting unrealistic things from the men you are finding.

You want a relationship, you want to marry, you want children. But you are approaching sex like a 19-year old instead of a 30-year old. You sound really determined to remain a virgin, so it's no wonder men are reacting the way they are. Most men who want to marry a woman want to have sex with her first to find out if they get along sexually. Your not wanting to have sex before marriage is a huge obstacle to finding someone who will commit to you, especially in your age group.

The next obstacle you put up is that you don't want someone who's been married before. That's unfair to the men you meet, and self-defeating for you. So what if someone has been married before. It's not a big deal. Nor is their having children. Actually, it's an asset, because it shows that they are willing and able to make a commitment. A man being married before doesn't mean that you can't have a family of your own with him. Today, families are sometimes 2nd and 3rd or even 4th marriages, and blended families of all kinds manage to get along.

Okay, it's one thing to want someone with a good job, but your "want list" is so long that it's almost sure to keep you from finding someone who will give you marriage and children that you say you want.

Open yourself up to more relationships. Start by giving more men a chance even if they have been married before. And forget about staying a virgin until you're married. How can virgins insure sexual compatibility with a prospective marriage partner, anyway?

If you're determined to stay a virgin and stick with your "want list," you will have a hard time and may be a lot older before you find someone -- if you ever do. The trouble with waiting is that the longer you wait the more difficult your search will become.

Stop yearning for the life your cousins have and begin to make your own life.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Open Marriage Problems

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 34 year old male married to a 35 year old woman. We have no children together but each have one from a previous relationship. Here’s the problem:

Approx. 1 year ago, my wife and I decided to pursue other relationships on the side. She knows about mine, I know about hers. The agreement was we would both pick someone we knew (no one-nighters) and have a little tryst on the side. That is not the problem – in actuality, it works GREAT for our relationship. My wife and I are still married (happily) and still get to go out on our “dates”. The problem is, I have been seeing a woman I work with. We worked together for over a year and “innocent” flirting quickly led to the bedroom. This was great at first – the sex was amazing, we had a good time, got to have dinner and drinks, all was good. The co-worker knew that my wife was in agreement with this and all was well at first. The sex was originally what it was about – 3 or 4 times every time we were together, sex during lunch at work, after work – if we were alone for an extended period of time, we were having sex. And she is the type that it is “tell me your fantasy, and I will make it come true”.

Over time however, the co-worker began telling me she was in love with me. Granted, I should have paid attention to the warning signs but hey – the sex was good, everyone at work (including the main boss) knows we are intimate, so I figured what the heck. In order to keep the relationship (and my ability to have my tryst going), I said the same things to her. A phone call every now and then throughout the week became calling in the morning on the way to work, calling in the afternoon after we got off work and a couple of calls throughout the night. Being happy that we got to chat for 15 minutes became her upset we couldn’t talk for 2 hours. Excited about getting a few hours together on a Friday or Saturday night and every now and then being to stay all night, became anger that I couldn’t spend the night every time.

Now, when myself and the co-worker get time together, it is great until about 30 minutes before I have to leave. When I have to hang up, she is upset that I had to go. During all of this, I have helped her on several occasions. Getting a car, a loan until payday (she always pays me back), etc. Furthermore, she has told me that she is “dedicated” to me and now she is looking (and has) had a gentlemen take her out where she readily admits it was more than friends (and admits what happened that evening).

I don’t want to let her go even though I know I should. I genuinely care about her and love her. I cannot see myself in a relationship with her (i.e. marriage), but I don’t want to let go of what we currently have. I love my wife and she is the one I want I see myself with years from now. My wife is a good woman, let’s me have my cake and eat it too and is the epitome of what a man looks for in a wife. The co-worker however is exactly the opposite. Is that why I am so attracted to her?

Might I mention, the co-worker is amazingly beautiful. Tall, very slender (she is bulimic – she admitted), and borderline nympho. She told me the other day she made out with her Aunt (she was drunk and in the mood). What do I do? How do I let her go? Why can’t I just let her go? If I understood that, then maybe it would be easier for me to just break things off. Speaking of, I’ve tried (as recently as the night before writing this email) and the response I got from the co-worker was “is it really that easy?” She is the type that would get upset and sleep with someone else as a payback. She’s a single mother and a good worker but we are now at a crossroads. We have to work together everyday (fortunately, I am management and stay in the front office and she is on the floor so I don’t have to go see her if I don’t want) but ultimately, our paths will cross.

She has told me she wants only me – she wants me to leave my wife. Because I am such a wuss, I avoid the question (dance around it) without really telling her that just ain’t gonna happen.

None of this is an issue with my wife’s “tryst”. I know the gentlemen – we have all been friends for a long time and they don’t really talk on the phone much. My wife don’t really care what I do, as long as I have a “tryst” with someone. Her concern is she doesn’t want to be out while I am home. I feel like I am 15 years old again, with my first love and the breakup is unbearable.

Oh what a tangled web we weave, when yet we practice to conceive. – Author unknown

Dear Wuss,

Of course you don't want to leave your "on the side" relationship. You've got it all -- a wife at home who takes care of you and loves you and an outside relationship with a gorgeous woman who can't wait to be with you and wants you all the time, who gives you every sexual fantasy you could possibly desire and wants more sex all the time. It's every man's fantasy: a fabulous sex life plus a stable marriage with a wife who doesn't mind what you do on the side.

But you've run into the age-old problem women have. They just can't have good sex with a man without falling in love with him and wanting more more more all the time. It's bound to happen and now it has. She's fixated on you and will never be able to have just sex without all the rest. You're to blame for the situation because you told her you loved her and fed her desire to have a relationship that is more meaningful than just sex.

You're attracted to her because she's the opposite of everything your wife is. She's naughty and wild and that gives you something your wife won't.

It's time to 'fess up and tell her the truth. Let her know that you're not going to leave your wife. Stop allowing her to think that you will one day be only hers. Encourage her to see other men. That's the only way out at this point -- hoping she will get over you and begin to fixate on someone else.

Sure you'll be unhappy about losing your "other" woman, but you'll survive. You'll have wonderful memories and if you break up with her now, you might be able to get out of the whole thing unscathed by even bigger problems. Your other woman appears to have emotional issues, and you want to extricate yourself from this situation before it develops into a Fatal Attraction.

You'll find someone else, perhaps not the same excitement, but different. Excitement and emotional uproar are keeping you intrigued with this dangerous relationship. You really need to find another interest that will excite you and stop letting this relationship flourish. If you don't stop, it will get worse and she will become more and more demanding, more desperate, and even harder to get away from.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

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