Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

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Worried About Her Boyfriend's Ex
Putting Up With Flaky Guys
Little Brother From Hell

Worried About Her Boyfriend's Ex

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm in a relationship of 3years now. My boyfriend and I are having troubles over his daughter's mother and the daughter. My boyfriend still is friendly to the daughter's mother. He thinks that spending time at a campground that the mother belongs to, to see his daughter is okay and that there is nothing wrong with that because he's there to see his daughter and that nothing is going on with the daughter's mother and him. I believe there's not but I'm uncomfortable with the situation. My boyfriend is just starting to get to know his daughter after 10years and I think that he should spend time along with her and me and not around the ex-girlfriend " mother." He says his daughter wants us to do things together and it seems like what ever the daughter wants the daughter is getting. I feel that the two relationships should be kept separate.

Am I just overreacting or do I have a legitimate reason to be concerned? My boyfriend is an adopted child and feels there's nothing wrong with co-habiting with the daughter's mother because I am included in things and if both of her parents can be civil to each other and are friendly then his daughter should get both parents in her life, since he didn't have his real parents in his life. Help, my relationship is on the line and I don't want to lose him.

Sincerely, Desperate

Dear Desperate,

Are you overreacting? Probably. You're certainly fighting a losing battle if you think you're going to convince your boyfriend that he shouldn't spend time with his ex and his daughter. Since you seem to believe him that there is nothing going on between him and his ex, why not be gracious and generous in spirit about his spending time with his daughter?

The way to win this battle is by making alliances with his daughter ad her mother. Don't fight them; join them. Become an integral part of the family that includes his daughter and her mother. Make sure you're there when your boyfriend is. Learn to enjoy the campground and make friends with his ex. Instead of trying to separate the daughter and the mother and get the daughter alone with you and your boyfriend, join the group.

If you don't want to lose your boyfriend, you have no choice in the matter. He chose to be a father, and he made that choice long before he met you. You have to accept him and the family that he previously had. There is no way you can separate the daughter from the mother. As the daughter grows, she will naturally begin to spend more time away from her mother. But her mother will remain in the background, a part of your boyfriend's life, for many, many years to come.

This is the time for you to show what a grownup you are. Remember, your boyfriend and his ex had their chance together and they couldn't make it work. Chances of them reconciling and pushing you out are slim, unless you show that you can't be a member of the "family."

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Putting Up With Flaky Guys

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am an Indian girl who came to t he US for work and have been here since the last 3 years. I am 25 years old. As soon as I came here I got into a problem relationship with a guy who was 30 years and would say he loved me one day and that he did not the next day.This continued for a year with 3 break ups in between until a year ago I finally called it up.Your advice columns hepled a lot and I am very happy with the decision I made.

A few months ago I met a new guy through a friend who is 23 years.Soon he started calling me up everyday ..talking to me on the phone for hours.

He is a wonderful person but keeps doing similar things by saying he loves me and wants to get into a relationship with me one day and something quite a opposite a few days later.

This trend has gone on for the last few months when once he even told me he wanted to marry me and backed off a few days later and we are not even going steady yet. He is a good friend and I want to keep the friendship on but dont know what to do..I like him but am quite unsure how to handle this. He says he is confused and yet keeps sending me cards etc. I think he likes having me around but does not want to invest more.

Please help.

Dear Confused,

You've been pushed one way and then the other by these guys. Why does this happen? Because you let them.

When a guy says he loves you too quickly, don't listen to him. Tell him he's going too quickly if he's telling you he loves you after just a couple of months. Don't be so eager to hear the "love words" that you forget to use common sense. Guys who fall in love quickly usually fall out of love just as quickly.

In any case, the first time a guy tells you he no longer loves you, tell him to take a walk. Give him a piece of your mind. Tell him off. Yell and holler. Don't be so understanding, and whatever you do, don't take him back. That just gives him the message that it's perfectly okay to tell you he loves you one day and he doesn't the next, and that no matter what he does you'll take him back over and over again.

Since you know you have a pattern of attracting guys who pull this stunt, be extra vigilant the next time a guy shows signs of running hot and cold. As soon as you get an inkling that something like that is happening, be smart. Instead of trying to get him back or being understanding, or being extra nice, make yourself scarce. Back away from him even further than he's backing away from you.

Tell the latest waffler that you're not putting up with this. Don't try to be friends. That's what gets you in trouble. Tell him to stop sending cards, and if he does, send them back unopened. Don't just hang around him because he likes having you around. Let him know that you're moving on and find someone else.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Little Brother From Hell

Dear Dr. Tracy,

Age: 23, marital status: never been married

My boyfriend and I have been dating for 2 and a half years. We've had alot of fights but always manage to stay together. Lately it's been great. His mother and sister didn't like me at first, but now it's okay.

His little brother is 12 years old. He's immature for his age and cries easily. They've scolded him for calling his older brother a jerk and even got mad at him for ruining their trip to the lakehouse because he got sick. (small things like that)

We were at their family's lakehouse one weekend and his little brother slaps me on the face for giggling at him playing a video game. His father and my boyfriend did nothing. My boyfriend even laughed. The brother was only scolded (30 min. later) after I made a huge deal about the situation. Did I overreact by getting in a huge fight with my boyfriend and breaking up???

Dear Giggler,

You absolutely, positively did the right thing by breaking up with your boyfriend over this. I can't imagine why you would want to be a part of this family anyway after the way they treated you.

I don't think I would have been as nice about this as you were. The thing I would have done differently is I would have slapped the little brat so hard that his teeth would rattle. Then I would have left.

Your boyfriend even laughed at this. What he would do if his little brother really hurt you, roll on the floor in hysterics? Don't give this family another chance. The whole gang needs therapy and you will too if you hang around them.

Find a new boyfriend who respects you and won't allow anyone, brother or not, to abuse you either verbally or physically.

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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