Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

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Can He Be Trusted?
Terrorizing Ex
Old Lovers Never Die

Can He Be Trusted?

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am 30 yrs old female & my boyfriend is 27. We have never been married, but I have been engaged 2x. He has five kids and I have 1. I am so confused about this long distance relationship. We met in '98, but started our relationship just 6 months ago. We had a one-night stand and I was okay with that, but he pursued me. There is 700 miles between me and the man I could possibly love.

There are so many unanswered questions about him that are driving me crazy. I want to trust him and take his word, but I can't. He attended the same high school with my aunt who is 29. The weekend in April that we re-kindled our relationship, my aunt and him happened to meet up and exchange numbers, but he didn't know she was my aunt. The following week I called my aunt to get the 411 on him. My aunt only stated that he was a good person but he seemed to be sneaky. Well, when I spoke with him the next day, I mentioned that my aunt told me she saw him, etc.

Well, that is when he proceeded to tell me that he saw her at the local Shopping Center, they exchanged phone numbers and also met up later that evening and went for a ride. My aunt also called him several times after that even though she knew we are involved. My aunt to this day has never mentioned any of this to me. Now on the phone he is telling me that he also has called her, but doesn't anymore.

When I discovered that he had 5 kids, I wanted to say this can't work, but I want to try & make this work. Why I don't know, something is telling me that I can't trust him. I have been completely faithful to him and it hurts me to think that I have taken a chance on someone that is not worthy. I lost my fiancÚ in '96, have not been in a serious relationship since. I chose to give him this chance, but each day I am doubting this.

He use to call everyday, then every other day, now it is down to maybe a call once a week. I only have his cell number because he says he stays with his aunt. I don't know what to do; should I stay or just let things go. WE have talked about marriage & him relocating. This is one of the main reasons why I have stayed away from relationships, because I have no control over the outcome.

Dear Confused,

Your boyfriend has 5 kids and he's only 27 years old? That alone would make me suspicious. How does a man who's never been married wind up with five kids before he's 30? Probably by being unconcerned about the lives he's affecting, by being selfish, by not using birth control, and by having lots of one-night-stands with women like you.

You say that there is 700 miles between you and the man you could possibly love. I'm glad that you say possibly and not probably. You really don't trust this man, and that's to be expected. He tells you things you find hard to believe. He exchanges numbers with your aunt, and even she says he seems to be sneaky.

So now you have your own inner voice telling you he can't be trusted, your aunt telling you he seems sneaky, and five kids he's fathered. There are too many red flags and danger signals with this man. And to top it off, he won't give you his home phone number. Because he stays with his "aunt"? Is he serious? If he was on the level, he'd give you his home phone number in a minute, without worrying about you talking to his aunt if she answered. The most likely story is that he's staying with a woman to whom he is also lying and who has made the sorry mistake of trusting him.

Stop trying to make excuses for him and stop giving him chances; he doesn't deserve them. He's already had too many women give him too many chances -- probably because he dangles the prospect of marriage and relocating with them. Holding out the hope of marriage is a nasty way to get a woman to believe his other lies - she will because she wants to so badly.

This is the last man in the world you should think about marrying. You do have control over relationships -- you can just dump this jerk. If you're worried about the outcome of relationships, start the next one with a man you can trust and trust your own inner voices about whether a man is truthful. Certainly you should never, ever get involved with a man who has five children and has never married. Past behavior is the best indicator of a man's future behavior, and this guy's past stinks.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Terrorizing Ex

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 22 year old female that has never been maried. I am not even sure I know what love is yet. However, I met the most enchanting, caring guy whom I really enjoy being with. We both just recently ended 2-4 year relationships and started our own about 3 months ago.

The problem is that his ex-girlfriend won't leave him alone and she has been spreading horrible rumors about me. I have only known this man for a little while and he's not sure if he can trust me. I have told him the absolute truth about everything and he says he believes me. We still want to be together, but what about this awful woman (his ex-girlfriend) that won't leave me alone? Should I stick with him and hope she sees that he likes me and doesn't care what she says OR should I leave him and his excess luggage before she completely ruins my reputation?

Dear Enchanted,

If you've found a wonderful guy, don't let his ex scare you away. Whenever you find a great man, you can be sure that there are other women who have found him too. And if you were his ex, you'd probably do whatever you could to fight for him -- although maybe not like she's doing. She apparently has no scruples about doing anything she can to run you off.

Don't let her destroy the relationship you're enjoying. If she says nasty things about you, just ignore them. If anybody says anything to you about what she said, simply answer, "Oh, that's too bad. I feel sorry for her. She's lost this great guy and is trying desperately to get him back."

Eventually, she'll realize that he's not going to come back and that she's lost him, but in the meantime, you'll have to be strong enough to overcome the rumors. If you really like this guy, then take this opportunity to show him how much better you are than she is. Stick with him, but tell him how you feel --maybe something like, "It bothers me that she's spreading lies about me, but you're worth it." If he's the great guy you believe he is, he'll appreciate what you're going through to stay with him, and he'll be supportive of you.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Old Lovers Never Die

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have an very weird question to ask you and I cannot afford to pay the bill. I hope you still answer my question...When I turned 18 my high school sweetheart and I got married, actually we eloped. Months later our parents found out and they went balistic. Months after our marriage things were really bad. I was working full time and going to College while my husband worked a part time job and did not attend school. We had fights about finances and I keep asking him to go find a full time job. He would apologize and then he would get applications, but he never filled them out...Months past by and I could barely stand him, he came possesive. A year passed by and we separated. We are now divorced.

I am currently moving on with my life, but he hasn't. I ran into him yesterday and he told me that he still loves me. A part of me still wants to be with him but I am also in love with another man, my current fiance...he is wonderful. He's supportive and caring and I love him, but a part of me still loves my ex...I don't know what to do. Please help me.

Dear Divorced,

Old lovers never die, they just fade away, but the emotions you felt still live in your memory. Now that your ex-husband has come back, he's reminded you of the way you once loved him.

The funny thing is that when we remember our old loves, we forget the pain they caused us and tend to just remember the loving feelings we had. That's nature's way of protecting us from feeling all the old hurts all the time.

Once you have loved someone, there is always a part of your heart that has a soft spot for that person, no matter what a jerk he turned out to be or how badly he treated you. It's also very seductive when someone says they still love you after all that time. But don't be fooled.

You have a great new fiance and you should continue to move on with your life. Don't go back to your ex. He belongs to another part of your life - the past. You'll only wind up with the same old problems again.

Sure, a part of you still loves your ex, but that doesn't mean you and he should be together again. You might think of him years from now and still have memories of the love the two of you shared, but that doesn't mean you were right for each other.

Stick with the new man. You have a better chance for a happy future with him.

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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