Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

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Sheís Ruining A Perfect Relationship
A Fool for Love
Mom Wants To Arrange Her Marriage

Sheís Ruining A Perfect Relationship

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a professional 31 year old, divorced for 2 years with two children. I am in a new relationship with a wonderful, never-married, 33 year old man.

Here is my problem. I can't get over the fact that he has a past. Yes, I am feeling shallow and insecure, especially because he has accepted my situation completely.

I am obsessing over the fact that he had a five year relationship with someone who is exactly the opposite of me, both physically and emotionally. This was over two years before I met him!! Instead of enjoying the life we are building together I imagine "them" together, and the differences between myself and her. I also can't seem to get over the fact that although she treated him badly, he maintains a friendly relationship with her!

I have read your advice columns of the past, and I know what you will say. Get over it, right? I guess I just have to hear (or read) it for myself.

Dear Destructive,

You admit that you are feeling shallow and insecure and being unreasonable, yet you keep obsessing about your manís past relationship. Heís completely accepted your past, your children, your divorce. What more do you want?

You say youíve been reading my columns and you know what I will say, ďGet over it.Ē Well of course thatís the answer. But thereís more to it than that.

You should ask yourself why you are arenít acting in your best interest or in the best interest of your relationship. Is there a reason you subconsciously want to destroy this relationship? Do you have subconscious fears that you canít have a good relationship or that he will leave you, so you're looking for a reason to want out before that can happen?

Instead of worrying about his past relationship of five years with someone who is exactly the opposite of you physically and emotionally, be glad he had that experience. It made him realize he doesnít want someone who is the opposite of you, but instead wants someone who is the opposite of her -- which is you.

Be glad he maintains a friendly relationship with her. That shows that he didnít do anything so mean or destructive that he canít be friends, even if she doesnít deserve his friendship. Itís been two years since they were together. That relationship had its chance and obviously isnít going to work out.

Be grateful for the good relationship youíve found. When you have doubts, recite the following mantra over and over again: ď(insert his name) loves me. I love (insert his name). I am lovable. I deserve love.Ē Whenever the negative thoughts start, replace them with these positive thoughts.

If youíve been reading my past columns, you know how rare a good man is. Donít let your insecurities chase him away.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

A Fool for Love

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have a problem that I cannot find the answer to in any book or column. I am 23 years old and have been in love with a man since I was 13. He and I have never had the title of being "together". But he went with me to my prom, and when I was 19 I lost my virginity to him. Since this time he and I have been sleeping together on a regular basis. We still continue to date other people. He knows that I am deeply in love with him, I've asked him why I was never good enough to earn the title of his "girlfriend" and he says that he just never thought of me in that way.

It is my understanding that a relationship is based on friendship and sexual atrraction and we obviously have both, so what is the problem? He is currently in a relationship and has been for the past 7 months, but has been sleeping with me for the last 6. This has made me "the other woman". He spends more time with me than her but he still does not want to be monogamous, I know that the best thing for me to do is to stay away from him but everytime I try to do this I end up right back where I started: in his arms. Please help!

Dear Deeply in Love,

Nobody can be taken advantage of without their consent, and you are not only giving your consent, you are helping him. As long as you continue to let him have all the advantages of being your boyfriend and never giving you the title or respect of calling you his girlfriend, heíll do exactly that.

Itís a sad part of human nature, but people will take advantage of you as much as you will let them. If he didnít think that he could get away with treating you this way, he wouldnít do it.

The problem here isnít the guy, itís you. When what youíre doing isnít working, when itís not getting you what you want, then you have to change what you're doing. Change your behavior and heíll change his in reaction. If you keep doing exactly what youíve always done, youíll continue to get the results youíve always gotten.

If you want him to treat you differently, then you have to do something different than you have before. Stop letting him spend time with you and then going off to sleep with someone else. If he wants to be in that other relationship, tell him he canít have you too. Be firm. Donít give in, because if you do, youíll wind up exactly where you are now.

There are many men who donít realize that they really love a woman until theyíve lost her. If you want to get his attention and give him a wake-up call, cut him off and find someone else to date seriously. When he finds out that you're with someone else and he canít have you, heíll probably want you back. Which will be your chance to change the rules and tell him he canít come back unless heís willing to be monogamous Ė that is if you still want him.

The reason he thinks youíre not good enough is because you arenít acting like you think youíre good enough. Stop accepting crumbs and demand the real relationship you deserve.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Mom Wants To Arrange Her Marriage

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have been reading your advices and think you give very practical and unbiased advices. keep up the good work!

A little about my background. i am 24 years old lady, originally from India, i am a computer engineer and am working as an IT consultant. Looks wise i guess i am pleasant looking leaving aside a few extra pounds, but i am not too conscious about it, since it has never been an issue as such, i have always attracted men, and have had a fairly good love life.

My parents are nice people, but they are are really pressuring me for marriage. My mother is a typical Leo, with a big ego. She thinks her daughter is the best and she will look for a guy for me. Last year, she got a doctor for me to get married to and when i rejected the guy (since our frequencies didnt match), i was treated very badly by her. I was badly affected. Anyhow i was in a relationship then, I broke up 5 months ago. My father on the other hand is more practical, but is more or less like her.

Now i am in love with a very nice guy, who is an engineer and is getting settled in his career, we know each other since childhood and we get along very well.

The problem, how do u tell my mother about him, to ensure a positive response from her? i know she likes him, but if i tell her he is her future son in law she might hate him, since she didnt choose him for me. She had an arranged marriage and she thinks i shoudl have the same fate as hers. i dont know how to handle her, i get impatient casue she starts screaming, and you cant actually have a conversation with her.

please help me, to handle my parents!

Dear Impatient,

Every mother wants her daughter to marry well, preferably at least a doctor. But that doesnít mean that the mother gets to choose.

Instead of getting into a shouting match with your mother, stop discussing your love life with her. Stop looking for your motherís approval for everything you do. Sheís not going to change her mind, and neither are you, but you will always be mother and daughter. No matter who you marry, sheíll eventually get over it.

As for your new boyfriend, donít rush into things. Youíve only been dating him a few months, and who knows what the future holds? Give yourself time to really get to know him and to find out if you and he are meant to be together. Donít tell your mother heís her future son-in-law. If he is, sheíll find out soon enough.

We all want our mothers to approve of our lives. However, if your mother doesnít approve of everything you do, you donít have to fall apart. Instead simply tell her, ďI understand why you feel that way, and Iíll certainly consider what youíve said when I make my decision.Ē If she screams and hollers, use the "broken record" technique. Let her scream and when sheís done, simply repeat the above sentence. As many times as necessary, until she runs out of steam. In the meantime, you wonít be upset because you wonít have gotten emotionally involved.

Donít try to argue with her. Donít try to convince her you know better than she does. Simply acknowledge that youíve heard her and that you will consider her advice.

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.

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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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