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Advice Column

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Current (5/17/98) Column --


Dear Dr. Tracy,

I was wondering if you would be able to shead some light on a situation that has been driving me crazy! My boyfriend and I are both 20 years old, and have been together for almost two years. The problem is the girl he went out with before me - she needs a therapist. It has been almost 3 years since they broke up, and he was really mean to her- it seemed to be the only way to make her realize that he really didn't want to be with her. I have managed to stay out of this whole situation because at first, it really wasn't my business. What happend with the two of them when they were together is their business. I know the details from him, but I have not commented to her. While him and I were in the process of forming a friendship, she asked him to please stop being my friend, which he refused to do. She has showed up crying at his house, parked him in, and after being kicked out of his room, sat outside crying to his mom. (I know this because I had to go spring him from his own house) She has said that I am the only thing that is standing between her and her eternal happiness, and that if it wasn't for me, they would still be together. That is just not true. They were over way before I was even in the picture. The thing that annoys me is that she is still calling his house, after several unsuccessful attempts at getting his new phone number. She talks with his mom, and goes through the whole thing that he was her first love and that it takes a long time to get over, and that if he wanted her back she would be there right away, and that she doesn't think that we are right together. (She doesn't even know me!) She has lost friends over this, because she won't stop talking about how much they belong together and how big of a mistake him and I are.

I would like to just politely email her and tell her that I really think that she needs to talk to someone. I would love to just break it down for her and tell her how it is, but for his sake, I have been just ignoring it. I told him of my plan to email her and tell her this, and he said not too, to just leave her alone, and that he wants us as far away from her as possible. I don't know what to do. I would really love to just email her, for some reason, he and his family feel the need to tolerate and entertain her behavior, which I really fell is borderline obsessive. Should I email her anyway- I know she would run and tell him or what? Enough of this is enough.

thanks, running out of patience

Dear Running Out of Patience,

You have him and she doesn't, so you might as well be compassionate and simply say, "Oh, poor thing. I feel so sorry for her." And leave it at that.

There's nothing for you to gain by talking with her or writing to her. She'll only think you're trying to get her out of the picture so that you can have Mr. Wonderful all to yourself. Besides, if she needs a therapist, you can't fill that role. I agree with your boyfriend that you should leave her alone and stay as far away from her as possible. Besides, if you do it now, after he said not to, you'd be risking getting him angry with you -- which gives her a win.

So be gracious, be big of heart, and show your generous side. Ignore her as much as possible. Let her act crazy and obsessive; it only makes you look better.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I don't know if you use names on here so i'll just call my self confused. I've never been able to figure out women. And i love and admire them greatly. I would really like to know how i can tell if a woman likes me and if not how i can get her to like me by acting different or anything cause i'm not an ugly guy by no means just confused. I'm 33 male native floridian tan 6'1 185 lbs black hair brown eyes and a nice car and my own apartment. I'm recently seperated from my wife that i been trying to get back together with. We've known each other for about 13 years and lived together for 5 years before we got married and have a 5 year old together. I do wish i could figure out why she never seems interested in even talking about sex even when we were married i could never figure her out in that way. Could you please give me some pointers on how i could go about getting her to be interested in me sexually as well as a soul mate again? I know this is very vague but i really need some help on how to talk to women and approach them the right way. Well i hope you can help me Dr. Tracy Thanks for trying to understand all this i know its not easy but anything you could do would be a great help. Thank You very much.......Confused

Dear Confused,

You're confused because you're trying to get water out of a dry spout. You've always wanted your ex-wife to be sexier, but she isn't. Well, guess what? Some women are sexy and some are not. If a woman is not a sexy woman, chances of her becoming one are almost nil.

There's no way she's going to change and suddenly desire you sexually after living with you and not wanting you for 13 years. If she's hot, she's hot, and if she's not she's not. I don't know why that's so hard for men to understand. Sexy women must have sex. They talk about it, they think about it, they do it. She's just not a sexy woman.

It's also obvious she doesn't want you. When a woman is attracted to you, you'll know because she'll want to be with you all the time.

What's really sad here is that you're a nice, attractive, tall, sexy guy who is trying to get a woman to love you who has no interest in you. What a waste! And as long as you're mooning over your ex, no intelligent woman would take a chance on getting involved with you, so you're defeating yourself in several ways here.

Make as clean a separation as you can from your ex. Stop looking to her to give you love and emotional fulfillment. Find a woman who wants to be with you, and stop chasing one who obviously has had you and decided she doesn't want you anymore. It's easier to start fresh with a new relationship than to try to fix an old one that's as damaged as yours is.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a married 45 year old woman who is attracted to a 26 year old man that I met in class. He's not physically attractive, he's very immature, he doesn't work, he's insecure, he's narrow-minded, he doesn't know how to communicate, he doesn't know how to relate to a woman (even as a friend) and he's afraid of relationships -- to name a few. With all these cons, I don't understand what's the attraction...the only thing I can think of is chemistry. It bothers and confuses me that I'm so focused on him (he's always on my mind). I don't understand what's going on. How do I resolve this? I've never had this happen before...I don't know how to deal with it. I'm going crazy thinking about it and trying to figure it out. Any advice?

Dear Going Crazy,

I'll say you're going crazy. You must have an emotional deathwish to be so drawn toward someone who's so obviously unworthy. You'd be semi-safe if you were just obsessing about him, but what are you doing, talking to this oaf about relationships? Some part of you obviously realizes how totally destructive it would be to your marriage and your life if you encourage him any further.

Since you don't have anything good at all to say about him, you're most likely suffering from an escape obsession. In other words, you're obsessing about him to avoid thinking about and facing a real problem in your life.

Is there an important decision you need to make that you're torn about? Are there other family problems you don't want to deal with? Is there some unhappiness in your life that is so terrible you'd like to erase it? Or perhaps your life is just so boring that you'd do anything to make it more interesting including getting involved with Godzilla?

Stop. Do not pursue this. If you get rejected by Mr. Totally Unworthy, you'd really feel bad about yourself. If you don't get rejected, you'll probably regret the affair for the rest of your life. Instead, find another way to put some excitement in your life. Take up exciting hobby like sky diving or scuba diving. Get your thrills elsewhere. You don't need this kind of destructive emotional uproar in your life.

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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