Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss

5/11/2003

Is He Cheating?
Excitement Junky in Love
Rejected by His Daughter



Is He Cheating?

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have been married 5 yrs., together 9. The past year I have felt my husband has been cheating. Number one feeling is intuition, which I have been told not to ignore. The other signs include new friends that I know little about, out at night numerous times a week and returning sometimes at 4am. He is a shorts and tshirt typoe of guy, and within the last couple of months has gone out and bought clothes twice. He becomes defensive when I ask him his whereabouts, and becomes upset when i tell him he better be home before 2am as he is now a father, he needs to be responsible. He thinks I am now imposing a curfew! I am so insecure now because of this, every woman he associates with I believe is the one(if there is one).

He says I have erroneous accusations, I am paranoid, psycho, etc. There is one girl presently who he talks with quite frequently. Here is my issue. This girls number is on my husbands cell phone bill with him attempting and her attempting contact over 100 times in a one month period. (not necessarily making contact. ) it includes phone calls at 3am, and other numerous middle of the night phone calls. On the nights he is out late, her number is the last one called and there is no activity on his bill after that. Am I being paranoid, and how appropriate is it for a married man (happy or not) to associate with another female as often as he does. What would other women do if they caught there husband conversing with another this often?

Dear Suspicious,

The old saying, “If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck,” applies to your husband. If all those signs point to his cheating, he probably is.

Men who change their habits and the way they dress, who stay out late with no reasonable explanation, and have unexplained expenses are most likely cheating. Your husband’s no different. He’s trying to throw you off balance by calling you paranoid or psycho.

The most important signal is your intuition. When husbands are cheating, their wives almost always can sense it, even if they’re not ready to admit it to themselves or to others. You don’t want to believe your husband is cheating and so you try to overlook the signals, but in your case, the signals are telling you loud and clear that your husband is having an affair. In your heart, you know the truth.

What would other women do? They certainly wouldn’t put up with a husband staying out until the wee hours of the morning, making hundreds of calls to another woman.

What can you do? First of all, make copies of all your legal documents – tax returns, bank accounts, assets, etc. -- just in case you have to prove your rights. Have an initial (probably free) meeting with a good divorce attorney to find out what your rights are.

If you decide you really want to keep this liar and can possibly ever trust him again, confirm what’s going on and put a stop to it immediately. The 100 calls on his phone in one month point directly to the woman involved. Call this woman yourself. Let her know you know what’s going on and that you’re not going to put up with it. Tell her you’re going to take action to protect your marriage, and she will regret ever knowing your husband. If she continues to see him, call her employer. Call her family. Call her church. Go door to door and talk to her neighbors.

Meanwhile, tell Mr. Night Owl that if he wants to stay married, he’d better start behaving like a faithful husband, starting immediately. Don’t give him a 2 am curfew. That’s ridiculous. He should be home after work each and every day. Not even "a drink with the guys" after work until he's thoroughly proven himself to you. Insist on protection during sex for several months, and then have tests to make sure that neither of you has picked up a sexually transmitted disease from his infidelities.

You’re not being paranoid; you're being a patsy. You know what’s going on; now do something about it.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy



Excitement Junky in Love

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 41 year old widow. My husband passed away 4 years ago because I fell in love (had a one week affair) with another man (too long a story, it was shortlived and now irrelevant...I never cheated on my hubby for the 15 years of our marriage).

I met a man 3 years ago (he's nearly 2 years younger than I) online but we met within a month (we live close) and hit it off. After 6 weeks dating solidly he went quiet for 10 days (I found the reason for that much later was because he was also interested/involved with a 20 year old)....so I gave him an out...saying it was clear he wasnt that interested (although he used to get the shakes and act as if he was in love with me beforehand). He seemed cut up (on the phone) to the point of tears....and said "thats the usual way things end".

He has a twin sister he hates because she used to get him beaten up at school and had a bad relationship with his father who was 10 years ago by a drug addict. He looks after his mother now (but lives in a friends granny flat) who is always breaking bones and demanding his attention.

I know there are heaps of red flags (he said he worked in prison as a warden but also stated that he WAS in prison 8 times for assault). I dont think wardens can be that if they have served time. He wont let me meet his friends/family...because he says he only has business acquaintances and he'd never let someone he's not in love with meet folks. He's a musician and does weed and is of average looks to most but to me he looks like Vin Diesel with sugar on top.

The problem is this.....we are both nuts. He's a weed freak (every day to soothe his bad back..yeah right) and I drink too much (a couple of times a week). We say things when we are angry to drive each other away. We keep challenging each other and trying to make each other jealous. It works...we give each other the flick and then keep wanting each other back every few months. Its happened 5-8 times...I honestly cant keep count anymore. He bites his nails and cuts himself (which turns me on in some dark way).

I have tried on our OFF times to date...but every guy looks like a trogladite and is soo utterly boring....even the best celebrity couldnt hold my interest now. No-one holds my interest but Gary. Gary wont say "I love you". He says that he doesnt want to "give me the wrong impression"...urghhh. So I dumped him for the next time. But we are rubberbanding again.

The thing is....we are like a mirror image. Same upbringing...UK vs Celt vs Aussie...same age.....he looks like a godlike version of my dad and calls me princess and I am so attached its not funny. G has buddhist leanings and is into nonattachment...and does gigs every week. I asked him to marry me to stop the on/off thing. He said he could never give me that much time as he has a life project to complete. I hate couch potatoes and men without a life...so I would like the fact he will be only climbing into bed with me every night.

How stupid am I (I have two older children and am financially secure) and he has very little but he's thrifty, noncompliant taxwise and works his beautiful butt off.....and I am so in love with him.

I know I should move on but how can I? How can I get interested in an average man (which I KNOW I should) when he's there to tantalise me. I couldnt be faithful if he contacted me again. He's not great in bed as the "love" slow stuff is missing but he's bloody good.

How can I call a halt to it....when he is the one that my kids like and he makes me light up like a floodlit kaleidascope? Tell me how...because part of me wants peace and an exciting marriage again. I also have this feeling that I avoid others because they may want to be joined at the hip again (like my deceased husband wanted to be). I have an independant life now...and I like it...but I also want love/affection and regular sex with someone I adore.

I'd appreciate your opinion or direction.....because quite frankly I'm lost as to what I should do...if anything.

Dear Red Flag Waver,

You know about the red flags of danger with this man. He’s been in jail eight times. He’s a pothead, he’s financially irresposible and doesn’t pay taxes. He won’t say he loves you and says he’ll never marry you. He tells lies about his past. He won’t introduce you to his family.

So what are you getting from him? Cheap thrills. You’re addicted to the excitement you get with this crazy. This man will eat up your life. He’ll come and go and you’ll simply get older waiting for him to come back. He’ll eat up your assets and eventually move on, leaving you old and alone and still unmarried.

You need to find something exciting to do in your life so you won’t need to get all your excitement from him. Take up sky diving or hang gliding. You’ll be safer in the long run.

It's time for you to realize that just because you love someone and just because he excites you, doesn’t mean that you can spend your life with him. You could never trust this guy with your checkbook. You’ll never be able to count on him to be there for you when you need him and he’s already told you he’s not interested in marriage.

The excitement you feel with Mr. Red Flag will eventually wear thin, and you’ll never be first in his life – his “life project” will always call out to him louder than you do. You know you can’t have it both ways – love and affection and regular sex with someone you can count on, and crazy Gary. You’ll have to choose. You know the smart choice is to find a nice guy to love, but first, you'll have to end your addiction to Gary. As with most addictions, the only way is cold turkey -- don't see him, don't take a phone call from him, stop all contact.

Where do you get the strength to do that? By realizing that your craziness is also a choice, and it's not in your own best interest. It gives you an excuse to waste your life with Gary, and it will scare off any nice guy. Look at it this way. You've had the experience. You've been crazy, you've had lots of booze and lots of excitement. The crazy life is not going to get any better and will probably get worse. It's time to think about your future, let your sane self take control, and move on.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy



Rejected by His Daughter

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 38 yr-old woman, twice divorced, with 3 kids ages 12, 15, and 20. I have a great job and am at a very good place in my life right now. Besides my divorces, I have had two other significant relationships that have ended badly. The last one was verbally abusive and very painful. I left him over a year ago and it was the best thing I ever did for myself.

I am now seeing a wonderful man named Jay He is the most sweet, loving man I have every known. I have never been so happy in a relationship. He knows all about my past and we talk about everything. He was widowed about 10 years ago, remarried about 5 after that.(He is 49). That relationship ended 2 years later (bad experience all the way around).

My question is about Jay's daughter, Annie, who is almost 17. We have been dating for 10 months, and Annie is still reluctant to meet me. I have talked to her on the phone and thru email, and have gotten to know her thru her dad. The problem is, I would like to know her better. I understand her hesitation. She lost her mother and a very young age, and her relationship with her former step-mom was anything but supportive. She is not resistant of me and her father dating; I think she is hestiant of liking me, then she probably thinks I would leave.

I have tried to approach this subject with Jay as gently as possible. I don't want to come off as pushy to her. Jay and I have a very good relationship and are very much in love. We talk every day on the phone and he always makes time for me and is there for me. He is everything I have always wanted and never had. I guess the main question I have is if this is normal with regards to his daughter? He has met and gets along well with my kids. I have also meet his sons, who are older.

Dear Rejected,

Although you have a good relationship with Jay, it's not unusual that his seventeen year old daughter isn’t welcoming you with open arms. She may never really be happy to share her father’s love with you. That’s the way daughters often are, especially those who have lost their mother.

Since your relationship with Jay is fairly new, give Annie time to decide she wants to get to know you better. Don’t push. Let it happen when the time is right. It could take years, not months, for her to accept you and decide she wants to be friends with you.

Don’t let her reluctance to meet you be a problem for you or for Jay. Continue to enjoy the relationship you’re having and build on what you have together that’s wonderful. Emphasize the parts of your relationship that work, not the ones that don’t.

Instead of making Annie a problem that you and Jay have to deal with, act as if everything is fine. It will be in time.

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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