Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss

6/17/2001

Can't Trust
Lousy Live-In
Guilt Ridden



Can't Trust

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I married for the first time at age thirty. It was my bride's second. Nine months into the marriage she had a "secret" abortion closed out our savings account and left.

My next prospective bride was chased off by a fatal attraction. Next I married a women twenty years my junior when I was forty two. During the marriage she "secretly" used our joint account to pay off her bills , build a separate household and deserted me.

At age fifty now my new girl friend has three kids in grade school. She often remarks how hard it is to raise three kids. She pushes hard for me to move in. I just don't trust her motives or any other women for that matter.

I would like to get married some time but don't see the point since women my peer group are too old to have kids, younger women think I'm too old to marry and I don't trust anyone.

how do I get "over it?"

Dear Untrusting,

You have found several women who have "done you wrong." Two ran off, one was chased off, another deserted you. All of the women took money from you.

There is one more consistent factor here besides the fact that the women were untrustworthy, and that's you. You are the one who chose these women. You are the one who was always taken. Before you worry about trusting anyone again, you have to ask yourself why this keeps happening.

The likely answer is that you have chosen women based on qualities that don't have to do with integrity. Perhaps you are choosing women based on their looks. Or maybe you are choosing women based on whether you could control them and be the big shot by giving out goodies. And certainly, any man who marries a woman twenty years younger than he is is asking for trouble, especially if he has chosen her for other than her good character and trustworthiness.

Men often choose women who need them because it makes them feel superior. It also means they get to be the boss. Now you have a new girlfriend with three kids in grade school. I wonder how old she is. And you act surprised that she's needy and talking about how hard it is to raise three kids. What do you expect her to do? Tell you raising three kids alone is a snap and she doesn't need help? Of course you don't trust her motives. She's too needy -- and you are too. Apparently, you need someone who needs you, and that keeps getting you in trouble over and over again.

I could be wrong about you and all of these women. It's possible that you've just had an incredible run of bad luck. But it doesn't really matter. Either way, the answer is the same: the best way to find someone to trust is to choose someone your own age who doesn't need you financially. Then you'll be sure that she wants you for yourself and not what you have to give. That may be hard for you, because you'll have to give up being in charge and being in power. But the reward will be knowing that you are wanted for yourself and not your money.

Marriage is not just for having kids. You could marry a woman who would be a companion for the rest of your life, who you could cherish and trust. You could marry a woman your own age who already has children.

A younger woman who wants children is going to be attracted to someone near her own age, not someone old enough to be her father. Having children at your age means you're going to be 65 with teenagers. Just because you're capable of having children until you're ancient doesn't mean you should.

Find someone who doesn't want anything from you and you'll be able to trust her.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy



Lousy Live-In

Dear Dr. Tracy,

hello, i'm 38 yrs. old and have been married once for 10 yrs. (two boys 9 and 14 from the marriage) am now divorced . i was without a partner for five years.

I've now been living with a man for two yrs. according to all the reading i've done on your website along with many books from my local library, its seems, sadly, that my boyfriend and i made every possible mistake right from the beginning. but i didn't have much reason to study our situation until he, one year into our relationship, began leaking out truths to his real feelings about "us".

he admitted he felt i'd put-out for him much too soon, agreed to move in with him too soon, and our "i love you's" were verbalized to soon. Then some other cruel comments on my antomy were made. referring to the bit of gray showing up in my hair, to my not so snug love-box as i call it , and the larger breasts i don't have anymore, (like the ones seen of me in old pictures taken in my youth )

After he confirmed he still loved me and wanted to be together (even with all of my faults), I spent weeks talking to doctors around the country about cost of plastic surgery, re: face-lift, breast augmentation, labia reduction, and episiotomy repair , because the keagles aren't doing enough . well, I can't afford surgery and neither can he. i've always worked-out, even have my own fitness room and meditational safe-place .i keep on a religious schedule and have been in this healthy habit long before we began dating. But now whenever i go to my mental safe-place, my meditational waterfall, he shows up ! -giving me this "you're not good enough for me" look on his face. Or i'll be working out and he'll walk in from work or from the television and give me this "why bother look". As if to imply, it's not going to make my breasts bigger, it's not going to take away the wrinkles, or the gray hairs, or tighten up my over-sized love-box. I do love him, but i'm having a hard time keeping my chin up. and i'm now imagining two chins in the mirror.

I've tried to explain to him that a persons' anatomy changes with age, childbirth, genetic inheritance and that i can only be the best i can be. and that saying things like this is terribly painful. but everytime we get into an argument, he'll make some comment or give me look that just tears me up, because its' always to do with my appearance.

I look a lot like Heather Locklear and apparently he prefers the Carmen Elektra or Sandra Bullock type. I've never been very aware of the media scene until i met him but after taking a good look at these starlets i see they are are both beautiful women. but I look silly as a red-head or a brunette(because i tried it for him) i'm a natural blonde and no matter what i do, i fade right back up to that light-haired girl i've always been.

i've always been quite attractive to the opposite sex but have never been self-centered or stuck in the mirror. I never thought of myself as special in the looks department just lucky to have inherited great bones from my beautiful daddy. I never took for granted my physical self, just to maintain it. i've seen a lot of sickness in my family, and have seen many deformaties, witnessed many ailments, and deaths, i'm so happy just to be able to walk and breath and nurture my children and boyfriend, and to love the people who'll let me. but i've never been made to feel so unattractive or undesirable, in a manner of speaking , not by someone who says they love me.

According to biology men look for attractive females for reasons of procreation, and women choose men for security for the sake of their offspring as well as their own survival. well we've been out of the jungle quite a long time, and i know we all have these primitive instincts, i admit to feeling like an animal most of the time myself, with sexually passions and other appetites and preditorial tendancies when it comes to protecting my own. But i also know with recent studies between the brains of male and female, we know women are just as capable of being fantasy- oriented as men, just as men are as capable of being more right-mind- oriented as women. it just takes practice, and acceptance ,learning and unlearning. i can respect any persons choice of living, and any sea one chooses to sail. But if my man wants to remain in the cave, why didn't he choose for himself a cave women, instead of me?

Dear Confused,

The man you're living with is destroying your self-esteem. Get rid of him before you're totally without any self-respect at all. He's critical and downright mean.

Stop trying to explain to him why he should love you the way you are. Of course he should. That's obvious. Don't let him make derogatory remarks about your hair, your breasts or any other part of your anatomy. Every time you let him get away with those kinds of remarks, you invite more. You are teaching him that it's okay to put you down, and instead of throwing him out on his ear, you'll put up with it.

Stop trying to look like Sandra Bullock or anybody else. Stop thinking about getting plastic surgery to make him happy. He's the kind of guy who won't be happy no matter what you do for him. He's making himself feel better by making you feel worse.

He's the kind of guy who will never be satisfied. He has low self-esteem and can't believe that anyone worthwhile will care about him. So since you love him, he decides you're not pretty enough, you put out too soon, said I love you too soon - all things you really can't change, so stop trying.

The real problem is that you're not his fantasy. If his fantasy is a brunette and you're a blonde, that's too bad. Don't waste your time trying to become something you're not. A man who will love you more if your hair is a different color or your breasts are a different size isn't worth having.

Find someone whose fantasy you fit. Find a man who adores you just the way you are and get rid of the man who doesn't. Stop trying to make him love you.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy



Guilt Ridden

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm a 23 year old female student, and I have been in a steady relationship since I was 17 years old. I met my boyfriend in school and I never thought I would be having this problem - but here it goes.

I have no idea why I did it, but a couple of months ago, I cheated on my boyfriend with another man. When I woke the following morning I was ashamed and disgusted with myself. We had safe sex, and I know that this other man would never tell my boyfriend. My boyfriend was the only guy I ever had sex with, and I must admit I had wondered (every now and then) if I would have been better off not going into a serious relationship having only been with one man (but now I know I'm wrong).

My boyfriend and I have been best friends and lovers since we met and I thought (and still think) that I love him more than anything else in this world - which is why I have no idea why I did what I did. Our relationship was like something from a fairy-tale, and I never thought I'd be faced with having done what I did.

I decided not to tell him (or anybody else) about what happened because not only would it cause us to split up (which I know I would never recover from) but also it would cause my boyfriend (without a doubt) a lot of pain.

Sometimes I wish that he would do the same back to me ... just so that he might find it easier to understand that I never meant to hurt him in any way . I feel sick to my stomach when I think about it, and constantly find myself in tears. Do you think it would be better if I told him (even though I'm not sure I'd be able to)? I want to do what would be best for him though!! All I can think about since it happened is how I want to make it up to my boyfriend, and make sure that he has the happiest life possible ... and I know I should (and probably will) suffer for my actions for the rest of my life.

Please give me some advice on this matter ... I have no one to turn to -as I feel if I told someone about it - it would make what I did even more deceitful. I wait in anticipation for a reply ....

Heart-broken, guilt-ridden

Dear Guilty,

Cheating on your boyfriend was a terrible thing to do and you are suffering for it. But telling him about it to make yourself feel better would be adding more pain to what is already a painful situation.

Don't make him suffer for your sin. You say you love your boyfriend and your relationship was like a fairy tale before you had sex with the other man. Well, fairy tales aren't real, and eventually every fairy tale relationship has to deal with some painful reality. However, since your boyfriend didn't do anything wrong, he doesn't deserve to have his romantic bubble burst.

Instead, vow to never do such a thing again and to do everything you can to make your boyfriend happy. Don't destroy your relationship with a confession.

Of course you'll suffer for what you did. Consider it a lesson learned, forgive yourself, and get on with your life. Keep your mouth shut and hope the man you cheated with does the same.

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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