"Ask Dr. Tracy"

3/31/96 Advice Column

A problem With Porn, Choosing to be childless?, Escaping an abuser

Dear Dr. Tracy,

Me and my boyfriend have been together for two years now and we are engaged. When I was pregnant I caught him looking at porn magazines. It really upset me. Everyone whom I haved talked to says it's normal for guys to do that sort of thing. I feel as if he would rather look at those than me. I'm very insecure about the way I look as it is. I get looks from lots of guys but none from him. How should I go about my feeling of him looking at them? I don't know why it upsets me. Please help.

Problem With Porn

Dear Problem with Porn,

There's nothing wrong with a guy looking at dirty pictures. Instead of being upset, join in. Tell him you're interested. Don't let him sneak or hide his interest.

You may find that when you make it okay for him to look, he won't want to look so often. Also, many couples find sharing pornography is exciting and adds to their sex life.

Don't feel as if you have to compete with the women in the pictures. You don't. After all, he is engaged to you.

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am 20, and I have been with "John", who is 23, for two and a half years now, and we are very much in love with eachother. We want to get married, but there is one big problem. He doesn't want children - ever - mostly because of the big financial responsibility. I don't want any now, but sometimes I think I might want them someday. He has made it clear that he has no intention of changing his mind and almost had a vasectomy, but I asked him not to. I don't know what to do - I've tried looking at it from the point of view that I wouldn't love him any less if we couldn't have children, but we can. I feel like the only thing standing in the way is money. Any advice?

Dear Pitter patter of little feet,

Don't marry John without making it clear that you want the right to have at least one child before you're 30. If you don't, you could be very sorry.

The urge to have children only gets stronger the older you get. This isn't about money. It certainly goes deeper than that. Take John to premarital counseling if you can't come to an agreement on this issue. The problem won't go away.

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm 29 yr old women who has only been with three sexual partners. I married my high school sweetheart when I was 18 and then married for ten years. Luckily we never had any children together to debut about. After the divorced, I got involved with a man who taught me a new meaning of sex, love, and happiness. The years with my husband was very emotional. The reason I divorced him was he admitted cheating the whole marriage with 20 some women. He was the only man I ever slept with and loved. I was brought up to the fairytell that when you fall in love, it was to be happily ever after. Boy, was I wrong.

The new man in my life, Jeff was so wonderful. It was my "prince charming", I used to call him. About six months in the relationship, I found out he was extremly involved in drugs. He hid this from me and I can't tell you how he did it. As he got deeper into drugs, he started to beat me and emotionally tear me apart. All my friends left me the most in time in need.

Even though Jeff had threatened my closest friend of six years. I learned he had a abusive past with other women. He made me think that I deserve the beatings or whatever the abuse was. He axually had me believing he was a type of god and had powers and special gifts. I loved him even more.

Its been a year now. I'm seven months pregnant and he left me about three months ago. He still is into drugs I hear. He took everything from me. I was told I was a scam so he could make a profit off me. I was finacially well off but he either thrashed my things, sold my valuables, and stole all I had left. The way I left him was while he was napping. I just left the house and ran and ran. No money, no coat, no idea what I was doing. My out of state realatives got me on the next plane and I left the state. That was the last time I saw him.

Now that I'm back in my local town, Im loney and miss him so much. Ive been hoping he'll change and stop drugs and violence. Should I wait? He hasn't shown any feeling towards the baby. I'm so sad and still love him so. How can I be so stupid? But I can't get rid of the emotions for him. And what about the baby? Could he change? Did he ever really love me?

I hope you'll respond and thank you for listening to my problems..............


Dear Confused,

It's natural for you to yearn for family and completion during the emotional rollercoaster of pregnancy. Of course you wish Jeff would change, but he won't.

An abuser who is heavily into drugs needs years of therapy and a willing heart to change, and Jeff isn't close to either. I'm afraid you sound exactly like the typical abused woman who believes the abuse was caused by her and that if she's just good enough it'll stop. It won't.

If it makes you feel better to think that he really loved you, fine. The point is, so what if he did? If he loved you and abused you or if he didn't love you and abused you, so what? The point is he's an abuser, and they don't just stop, and your yearning for him is a classic case of "crazy love."

Stay away from Jeff, for your sake and for the sake of your unborn child. A man like that could hurt you both even more than you've already been hurt. Believe me, if you were unlucky enough to get him back, he'll do drugs and abuse you again.

I recommend you begin getting over him right now by reading "Summary Guide for Letting Go" in my Library, and follow every link. Take heart from the stories of other women who were in "crazy love" relationships and got over them, and read about coping and letting go. For more info on getting over him, you might want to get my book, "Letting Go, a Personal Action Program to Overcome a Broken Heart," because you certainly have one. The book will help you get over the emotions you still have for Jeff. You'll learn to put the feelings away so they don't hurt you, to use "thought stopping," and to get on with your life.

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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