Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss


Wants Him Back
Almost Single
Singing A Sour Note

Wants Him Back

Dear Dr. Tracy,

My question is simple but I think the answer is going to be hard which is why I am writing to you because I can't answer it.

I am 25 and still single and yet I can not find a man that I am attracted to. 1 year ago, I was seeing a guy (my Romeo)and we were in a sexual relationship but we never labeled ourselves as boyfriend and girlfriend even though we were. 6 months ago he got back together with his girlfriend because he felt that they broke up for wrong reasons and they wanted to give it another try. During that time thru now I realize that I love him and I do want him back. The bad part is that we are still in contact by Instant messaging and emailing and I can tell that he really still likes me but I won't put any hints out there about the way I feel because he is in a relationship, even though I know he knows how I feel. What I want to know is, is there any tricks woman have under there sleeve that can make this star-crossed lover of mine come back to me?

Thank you so much,

Dear Star-Crossed Lover,

There are certain sure things about men. One is that if the sex was good, they'll be back. That doesn't mean that your guy will be back to be your "boyfriend." But he'll probably be back for more sex without commitment, just like he had before.

The good news for you in this situation is that most relationship don't work out, and his with his girlfriend probably won't work out either. They've already had a chance together and couldn't make it work. Chances are pretty good that they won't be able to make it work out this time either. People get back together and think things will be different. The problem is that they're the same people they were before, haven't changed their ways, and will have the same problems they had before.

That's good and bad for you. It means that his relationship with his old girlfriend probably won't work out because they'll break up for the same wrong reasons they broke up before. Unfortunately for you, it means that if you and he get back together, chances are you'll have the same problem you had before - that he's just around for sex, but not to be your boyfriend. Turning a just-for-sex relationship into a boyfriend/girlfriend love relationship is really hard.

You don't need a trick to make him come back. You need a new boyfriend, one who is really a boyfriend and not just a sex partner. It would be easier for you to start over with someone new. Next time, trying doing things together besides having sex -- other activities that are fun. If sex is all you ever do with a guy, then it's inevitable that he'll think of you as his "just for sex" woman. If you can't think of anything else to do with a man besides sex, or he isn't willing to spend time with you outside of the bedroom, then he's not boyfriend material.

There's nothing wrong with having a man "just for sex," if you both understand that that's the relationship. However, if you want more than sex, find a man who wants to be with you because he enjoys your company, not just because he wants to get laid.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Almost Single

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am 26 year old male that should be divorced by the end of June. My wife and I have been separated for close to two years now. Only seeing each other once, when she came to pick up our daughter of 11 months then (she is know 2). I recently met someone that got my interest. Now, here is were it gets a little complicated.

First, she is currently seeing someone. Now, I am not one to advocate a breakup for my own self serving needs and wants. But, she was asking me about her current relationship. Her current boyfriend shows no emotion to her. they have not gone out on a date, had a passionate kiss, or done any other types of adult activities for the past six months. I told her that he wants out and she should get out. Then asked her if she would like to go out just to have fun, that I would like to take her out for a night. She did ask for my phone number.

Secondly, Even though I am still married, is it alright to go out on a date? I don't mean any hanky panky (even though I would not refuse it). I mean a date. To be able to go out with something new and different. This is not a situation of where I say I am going to be divorced and not. I have the papers to be signed. If my soon to be ex's lawyer would get the terms of the divorce correct, I would of been divorced in Oct of last year. But is there anything wrong with me going out on a simple little date? If not with her, but somebody else.

Dear Nearly Divorced,

Since you and your wife have been separated for 2 years and are almost divorced, I see nothing wrong with your going out, as long as you're upfront with the woman you're dating. You need to make your situation -- legally separated but not yet divorced - very clear.

As long as you're upfront and honest about your situation with the woman you want to date, then as long as she's willing, you are certainly entitled to go out with her.

As for the woman who is in an unsatisfactory relationship with her boyfriend, well, all's fair in love and war. And as long as she's not wearing an engagement ring or dating your best friend, there's no reason why you shouldn't compete in any way possible for her attention.

That includes telling her that her boyfriend is not treating her the way she deserves to be treated, and insinuating that, given the chance, you would treat her better. It's fine that she asked for your phone number, but don't wait for her to call you. Call her and find out if she's really ready to date or not. She may only want a sympathetic ear or a shoulder to cry on about her boyfriend problems. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to pick fruit before it's ripe. If she's not ready to date, move onto someone else.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Singing A Sour Note

Dear Dr. Tracy,

Please help me! I am a 46 yr. old woman who is married to a 29 year old man. We have both been married before. I was, however, widowed four years ago, and had been hurt in two subequent relationships after my late husband passed. He says his first wife (who was also much older than he) had cheated on him and broke his heart. I know I wanted love and companionship, and someone to lean on. I wanted to try to go on with life as I had promised my late husband (who was 5 years younger than I, although the marriage continued almost 14 years at the time of his death).

I was frequenting a club in L.A. as a regular patron. I enjoyed the "old school" music played by the D.J., but out on the back patio, there was a live group singing old school as well. It was there that I met my current husband. He was a singer with that group. And as time evolved, we got to know each other, though I was really not sure I was interested. He was younger, but I did not know how much then, and he was more of the "street" type persona, while I came from a strong middle class family of preachers and teachers. He was the "little bit of country" and I was the "rock and roll." He befriended me and was a good friend and a strong shoulder when the last of the previously-referenced bad relationships was dissolving. I would never let him go past holding my hand or rubbing my tired feet, but enjoyed having someone to talk to. I really thought he was a talented vocalist, and my sons were nuts about him. But my 22-yr old daughter did not like him immediately when she came home to visit on her spring break last year, and said he cared more about his music than me, and that when he got what he wanted with his career, he would leave me. (He may still be in this house, but there is definitely a case of "constructive desertion" here.)

Before long, only a couple months, we had begun dating seriously, as he kept on trying to convince me that he cared really deeply for me. He would come here to my home and cook dinner, clean up, help the kids, I mean he was truly unbelievable. I admired the way he could take charge, and all the things he could do. Especially cook! It was not much longer thereafter that he left the woman he was with to be with me, and I made the emotional commitment to a serious relationship, in spite of the age difference. I decided that I wanted to help him further his career, as he wanted to make it big in the music world, and he has the talent to do it, too!

In about 6 more weeks, he told me he wanted to marry me, and he was really pressed to do it as soon as possible, since he had ended up living here (after a nasty altercation with his father), and he said he wanted to do things the right way, especially because of the children. He quoted the Bible often, and made me believe that although he wanted to be big in the music world, he wanted me there with him, and he wanted to be a family with me and my boys. I agreed to marry him, since the boys seems to impressed and he really seemed to care for them, too, and I do not doubt that to this day. We married in December 1999 after having been seriously involved only 4 months of the almost year we knew each other.

The honeymoon was over in 6 months. My new husband had not been working when we married, because of the altercation with his father, whom he had been working for. Because of the altercation, his father called the police and subsequently, my husband ended up with a misdemeanor on his record, making it hard for him to secure any gainful full-time work. I am sure that was somewhat frustrating, but I never thought he tried hard enough to find a good job. I felt he was comfortable living here with me doing all the financial stuff. However, during this time, he still had the yearning to go further with his music. By this time, I had run out of money to do all the things I was trying to do, so I was forced to go back to work, leaving him alone all day. He would pout and sulk when I left for work. All the wonderful things he did when we first got together became less. Finally none.

He did secure a job, but it lasted only a few months before he was let go. Then he decided to leave and take a performing Job in Japan which lasted three to four months, but he lied about how he got the job. That lasted three months, then he was sent home, very downhearted about having to come home then. (He had sent for the boys and me to come over to Japan, which we did the week before he came home from Japan. He seemed happy enough there -- it was his third time there -- and would have stayed longer if the club manager had not terminated their tour early.) Anyway, several months lapsed, and he secured another job, only to quit it two months before he was scheduled to go on some promotional cross-country tour to promote his music with a group of other independen musicians. It turned out to be a scam, and he never got paid, and I had no income support from him. That tour cost me the repossession of the car I had signed for for him, which he was supposed to have been paying for, and yet another mark on my credit. In fact, it has been pretty slim that I get any help from him financially now. And it seems like he really does not care too much about how his failures are ruining me. He only seems to care about his music projects.

Well, he decided that he wanted to take his career into his own hands, and slowly began to shut me out of the things related to his music. We used to go everywhere together, and dress alike, too. Now we would go nowhere, because he never wanted me to go (for fear I would say something inappropriate as he would see it). I only try to protect him by using my training in the legal field. We no longer dressed alike. Anything I would try to do for him would go relatively unacknowleged and unappreciated. I would not get the credit due me for the things I would do -- even when I gave him a suprise birthday party at a place he was singing for the first time. I did so much work, but that evening he spent partying at the event with the father who caused him to have a criminal record. I was left to watch from the sidelines as though I was not even there.

It has gotten no better over this past year. My husband is more commited than ever to make it big in the music industry. Now he has converted my office to a quasi-studio, where he lets all kinds of people come in to record demo CD's or work on a project he is in the midst of. But he never tells me what is going on. I wait up for him at night, but he stays downstairs working on music by himself or with others, until all hours in the morning, sometimes until the sun comes up. When the phone rings, he will talk for hours (running up a tremendous bill whenever he makes the call), but rarely talks with me. Things I would like him to do, or say to me, never happen. But when it has to do with the music thing, he is on the phone for hours. Since he still is not bringing in much income, he runs up the bills, and when he can't pay for them, I have to.

But as far as our marriage, there is none. There is little to no affection anymore. Whenever he does come to bed, his back is to me. The only thing that really seems to get him interested, is his music buddies. He can share his life with them and tell them things, but I am left to listen in at doors if I want to know anything about what he is doing. I am the one left to try to handle all his bills while I cannot pay my own. He has run up my cell phone to the point it was cut off, the same with my land phone. He has ruined my credit chasing his dreams instead of trying to get the kind of job that will pay him the money he needs to pay for his bills that are in my name. After two years of this, and my credit being so poor I can do nothing for myself anymore, I feel that it is time to call this a day.

If he would only talk to me and reassure me of his love, perhaps this would not be so bad. But to have to support a man who is not able to provide for himself right now, and at the same time being shut out like I am, treated like I am a real burden when I am the one that provides for him while I have nothing and can do nothing, I feel it is really stupid to continue. Even now, when he says something big is about to break. But I don't care about that so much. I care about how he treats me and it is not so good anymore. Even the kids see it.

I have asked him repeatedly to decide what he wants in his life and let me know. It seems he will sacrifice this marriage he fought so hard to get, all for his music. And if the "promise" fails, and they often do, leaving me to hold the financial bag, what will he have to hold on to? But he will not talk rationally with me. Most of the time I try to communicate with him, he remains mute and does not even acknowledge me. I find myself crying alone at night often (he's often sleeping in the den, now), wanting him near me, but feeling like a fool because he shows his music friends more time and attention than me. I feel like I do not belong with him.

I really want to let hin go, but I know I would not be able to go to some club and find him there performing, in the company of another woman.. Even though I know I was probably fed a lot of "bull" in the beginning. I am behind him with the music thing, but I just want some kind of reassurance that I matter. I do not get that at all. Please help me. Is this man worth keeping? Should I just ride this out and hope that he will soon see what he is doing? That he will recognize what the true priorities in life are when you have a wife and kids? I am really at a breaking point now, and I need your help. What do I do! How much more can I give, getting nothing at all in return? I would really appreciate it if you would answer this letter. There is no one else to ask!


Dear Frustrated,

You're totally out of your mind if you don't dump this guy imediately. No, he's not worth keeping, even if he did talk to you and reassure you that he loves you.

People who make it in the music business usually make it long before his age. This would-be rocker is just looking for a free ride, and you're being sucker enough to give it to him. Even if by some miracle, and I do mean miracle, he did make it in the music business, he'd ditch you without a backward glance and never give you credit for helping him.

It's obvious that he's only around for what he can get from you. He's going to drain you of everything -- your self-esteem, your money, your love and all your possessions. Then, when there's nothing left for him to get, he'll leave. Don't be a fool. Stop supporting this ungrateful leech.

You're dreaming if you think he's going to change. His priorities in life are doing exactly what he wants to do, when he wants to do it, without a thought for you or anyone else.

You're setting a terrible example for your kids. They are learning that relationships are one-sided and that somebody is allowed to take advantage of the one they're supposed to love. Dump him and don't look back. If you worry about seeing him with someone else in a club, don't go to the clubs.

Salvage what you can. See a lawyer right away and start divorce proceedings. You deserve a man who talks to you, who sleeps in your bed, and who appreciates what you do for him. Stop listening to his sad songs. This ingrate has got to go.

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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