"Ask Dr. Tracy"

4/26/98 Advice Column


BIG BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN LOVE WITH SMALL MINDED MAN,
HIS BUDDY'S WIFE,
PARENTS CAN ONLY SEE BLACK AND WHITE




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I sincerely hope you will answer my letter because I don't know what to do. For the past four years, I have had a long-distance relationship with a man I care for a lot. We are on opposite coasts. I am full-figured and completely comfortable with myself. I know I am a beautiful woman. However, as I have talked with this man, I have found out he does NOT like full-figured women. In fact, he detests them. We have exchanged pictures but facial only. We have NEVER MET. He is getting very impatient and wanting me to come and see him SOON. He says he loves me and I do have strong feelings for him as well, but I know that if we were to ever meet, he would be disappointed and probably quite angry and I would lose him. I have tried to tell him about myself but I'm afraid he is not listening. I don't know what to do. I know he will not wait much longer for us to meet, and I can almost hear the clock ticking. I know my time is running out. He is a very handsome man and could get another woman in a second.

Please HELP! I need your expertise.

Dear Big Beautiful Woman,

Tell Mr. Hates-Full-figured Women the truth. Tell him that you're not going to travel 3,000 miles across the country to see a man who's going to be disappointed. That should be the last thing you would do. Tell him if he wants to see you so badly, he can do the traveling. But before he comes, let him know that you are full-figured. Send him a photograph showing your entire body, not just your head.

Then prepare yourself to let him go. You can't fight a man's prejudices and there's no reason why you should. Find a man who likes full-figured women. If you don't you'll always be worried about whether the next thin woman is going to take your man away.

Find a man who loves you for your inner beauty as well as your outer self. Spending your life with a man who adores you for who you really are is so much better than being with a man who wishes you were someone else.

Four years of your life is too long to waste on a vaporware love affair. Get a real man, one who's there, not some guy who's going to be angry because you aren't his fantasy. You can't live on "maybe..., one day..., if a miracle makes me thin..., or something by next month..." kind of hopes. This affair is probably doomed, and you've already been in it too long. This isn't real, and after four years of fantasizing about each other, no reality could live up to the fantasies you've both produced. Who knows, he could be not so great in person too.

If he can't accept you and love you for who you are right now, say goodbye and find someone who will.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy




Dear Dr. Tracy,

Help!! I've found myself in a difficult situation and need some advice - I poked around in your Love Library but was unable to find something that matched my situation. Here goes.......

I have been divorced now for two years, during my divorce I became good friends, eventually best friends, with a buddy from work whom I work closely with everyday. Over the past year or so he and his wife have invited me to go along with them to several social outings and vise versa, we've taken our children on vacations together and have been out several times alone without one or the other for various reasons. Through all of this I have become good friends with both of them. Each of them have complained on occasion about the other to me but nothing real earth shattering, mainly just run of the mill types of things. Anyway his wife and I were out last week visiting a mutual friend, my buddy was unable to go, on the way back to their house she started kissing me and told me that she has been interested for quite sometime - I told her that I really couldn't do that to her husband and dropped her off. Two days later he showed up on my doorstep with bags in hand. I should also mention that they have recently met with a marriage counselor, which I was unaware of until now. My buddy thought that things were getting better but his wife did not feel the same way. I contacted the counselor to explain the situation that I was put in and inquired on the best way to handle it - I was told to ignore it and don't mention it to my friend. Through the course of the last week I have had several conversations with each of them, him in person and her only on the phone or at work - never alone. I have tried to help them in resolving things and even bought my friend a How-to book on marriage. She has told me that she does not wish to discuss her husband with me and keeps going back to what happened on the drive home. Initially I was very clear that this was not something I was interested in, however now I am finding myself questioning my decision. Does any of this make sense?!?!? Any insight you may be able to give would be greatly appreciated, frankly this type of thing has never happened to me before and I simply do not know what the best thing for me to do is...

Confused to the Max

Dear Confused to the Max,

This isn't confusing at all to me. Here's a woman whose marriage is in trouble and she sees another man who might find her attractive. Well, why not? You're a distraction, a way not to think about her marriage. Someone to compare to her husband.

And you wonder why. Surely you don't think its because you're so irresistable. Your big mistake was telling her you couldn't do it to her husband. What you should have said is that you like her as a friend but don't find her attractive and have no desire to have that kind of a relationship with her. But it's not too late. You can still tell her that, and I'd suggest that you do so right away.

If you're lucky, she won't tell your buddy what happened, but don't count on it. She could tell him that you made a pass at her, and that she turned you down.

Be smart. Stay away from her. Never ever let yourself be alone with her again. Don't give her a chance to put you in a compromising position, and if you value your buddy's friendship at all, stay out of his marital problems.

You can't win. If they stay together, and you've taken sides, then you'll have a problem. If they don't stay together, you're probably going to have to make a choice about whose friend you want to be. Don't think for a minute that you can help them work out their problems. You'll wind up the one they blame for the problems. Let their therapist do her job and stay out of it.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a twenty-year old honors student at the University of Texas at Austin. While in high school I fell in love with the most incredible guy. Our relationship began with friendship and now, five years later, he is my best friend and I want to spend the rest of my life with him. He respects my virginity and is waiting for me. Here is the problem: I am white and he is black and my parents strongly disapprove. My parents are the best parents in the world and they have been my strength and inspiration. They have guided me to be a strong, independent, educated, Christian female. Four years ago I tried to tell them about the guy I love and it was a losing cause. Since that time I have greatly matured and have discovered that this is God's plan for me. He joined the military and has been stationed overseas for the past three years. Now he is home and we are ready to begin "our" life. My parents thought the relationship was over when he left with the military. How do I run this by my parents one more time when they have been under the impression that the relationship is over?

Sincerely, Unsure

Dear Unsure,

If your parents have a very strong prejudice against black people (which doesn't sound very Christian to me), I don't see how you're going to change their minds. I doubt that they've changed their minds about who you should or shouldn't marry over the past four years. So if you are going to pursue this relationship, and it sounds like you are, then you may have to resign yourself to doing it without your parents approval and blessings.

I'd suggest that you wait until you're 21, or even until after you graduate, to marry, but you could start slowly desensitizing your parents to the idea. Say things like, "I heard from (insert name) and check out their reactions. Then tell them, "(insert name) called and we talked." Then tell them, "I saw (insert name) the other day."

Don't start out right away by saying, "Oh by the way, (insert name) is back, we're still in love, and we're going to get married. Try to break the news to your parents in stages. That may insure less of an explosive reaction when you finally tell them the whole story, but they could still prove difficult and downright mean.

The most hopeful thing I can tell you is that most parents in bi-racial relationships soften considerably when grandchildren come along. Remember, you marry the man you love, not one your parents love. So brace yourself to follow your heart, but probably without parental approval. Good luck,

Dr. Tracy





Submitting a Question to this column

Dr. Tracy regrets that it is simply impossible for her to answer all of the hundreds of questions submitted to this column each week. However, she does read every question, and tries to select the three which are of the most general interest to the visitors here.

Dr. Tracy says, "Is your question urgent? Many of the most beseeching, desperate messages I get are not answered in this column because the answer is just a couple of clicks away in my Love Library. Have you tried my Love Library? I know that nobody goes to libraries anymore, but check this one out -- it's so easily searchable that it's fun and easy to use!"

If you can't find your answer in the Library and you feel you MUST have an answer, you can get a personal answer from Dr. Tracy within 48 hours by availing yourself of her inexpensive private counseling.

You may submit your question to Dr.Tracy's column by e-mail here.






(Featured art from cover of Letting Go, by Zev Wanderer and Tracy Cabot, published by "Bitan" Publishers, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
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