"Ask Dr. Tracy"

7/6/97 Advice Column


Dear Dr. Tracy,

My wife and I have recently separated and I am very hurt and confused by the recent choices she has made in her friends and by the way she talks to me. We were together for 8 years, I am 37 and she is 32. Our relationship has (in my opinion) always been lacking good communication. She has always told me she loved me but has never really "showed" me (i.e., love notes, breakfast in bed, etc.).

Two months ago she left me to go live at her sisters house (15 miles away) and told me at that time that she doesn't love me anymore,can't stand the way I am, can't stand having sex with me, etc. There was a time in the not so distant past when she said the opposite!,yet she will still accept dates with me.

At the begining of the year, she started an intro-computer course at a local school and began hanging around with a 21 year old woman (jenny) who's husband just told her to leave because he caught her having several intimate phone conversations with a guy who is also in this class with my wife.This guy "joe" turns out to be more interested in my wife than his own girlfriend or Jenny. Jenny has wasted no time in finding someone else to "have fun with", and he just happens to be an instructor at her gym. My wife recently joined this same co-ed gym after telling me in the past that she hated co-ed gyms because she doesn't like the men staring at her while she works out.

Last year I bought my wife a 3 year membership at a local woman-only gym that she used to like going to. When I asked her why she joined the co-ed gym she told me jenny asked her to. Lately, my wife spends all her free time going out with jenny, joe, and the instructor, yet she tells me she isn't "doing anything" with them. There have been a couple of times when she told me she was going to be at her sisters house but in fact she had spent the night on the beach with a bunch of these "kids" and lots of beer.

I have asked my wife to go back to counseling together and she just says "fine, I'll go but it won't change the way I feel and who's going to make me love you again?". She has always insisted that all of our problems are because of me, she's not one who believes in "it takes two to tango".

I could explain several other things that have taken place but I don't wan't to go on anymore, I am just very torn up inside because I need to know if our marriage is worth saving or if she's just "getting back" at me.

Why does she want to hang out with a bunch of twenty-one year olds who have nothing better to do than to go out, drink, and get laid? Why does she lie about her whereabouts? How can she just walk out of a marriage and start double-dating a week later? It seems that she doesn't even have any second thoughts about what she is doing. Can you make any sense out of her actions because I don't know if I am just "stupid in love" or what? Please, please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S.- We have 3 kids:6,10 & 12 years old

Dear "stupid in love,"

Yes, you are still stupid in love with someone who doesn't love you back. She's told you she wants out. She's left. She's living another life and you no longer have any say over who she wants to spend her time with. Even as her husband, you never really had control of her, and I think that's what you still want.

Let her go. You really have no choice. It's hard for you and your children, and that's too bad. But the longer you keep trying to get her back, the longer you and your children will suffer.

Forget dating her. Forget worrying about who she hangs out with or what gym she goes to. You're obsessing about her, and that's only hurting you.

I can't understand why you'd want to save this marriage anyway, a marriage in which you didn't communicate and never really and truly felt loved. Just because you love someone doesn't mean they're worthy of your love, or even want it. Don't be stupid in love. Read When To Get Out in my Love Library. Find someone who really loves you and makes you feel loved.

Wishing you smart love,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am 33 I have been seeing a great guy -- he is 37 -- for about a month now. Saturday night dates and some phone calls. We have a good time together, and share things in common. He recently got out of a long relationship.

He has not even tried to kiss me. I guess my question is... he says he likes me but what gives? I am being patient, and understanding, and I don't want to rush either. I know you can't be in his mind but what do you think is going on. He has even told me he is more attracted to me each time he sees me... help!!!

Dear lonely lips,

A guy who dates you for a month and never kisses you has something strange going on in his mind. Why don't you break the ice and kiss him? If he pulls away, you can ask him what's wrong, doesn't he like to kiss?

Don't put up with the no kiss routine too long without finding out what's going on. The longer you overlook his lack of physical affection, the more you give him the message that it's perfectly okay with you not to kiss. Since it's not okay, let him know that you expect kisses with your dates.

If he's stingy with his kisses, imagine getting real love and affection from him on a regular basis. On the other hand, he could be a slow starter and just need someone to give him a jump-start and let him know a kiss would be okay. In any case, you don't want a guy who's a lousy kisser. Better find out.

Bottom line? If you're not getting what you want, and you haven't asked for it, you've got no one to blame but yourself.

Wishing you a happy kissy-face relationship,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm finding it very hard to get over the sudden death of my relationship with a man whom I truly loved and believed loved me too. It happened less than two weeks ago. I have read the Letting Go section, but each day I wake up depressed and each night I dream of him in some form or another. To make matters worse, each day that I come to work is full of reminders of him, as his apartment building faces my window at work (I don't have blinds) and the neighbourhood where I work is where he lives and thus where we spent most of our time.

The abruptness of this breakup has shocked me and made me curious for answers, yet I know that I cannot call him or contact him. It's easy to say 'move on', but at 29 years old, and having invested 2 years into this relationship with whom I thought was my lifetime partner, it's difficult. My friends seem to be uninterested in listening to me anymore, and my family just feels bad and I don't want to upset them. Furthermore, I have a week's vacation next week, and two more in August, where my ex- and I were supposed to go away, and now I'm afraid I may just end up sitting around my apartment thinking of him and how cheated I feel. If I saw this break-up coming, surely I'd be able to justify things, but I didn't and can't. The "well, he just wasn't right for you" justification doesn't make me feel any better either. This sounds pathetic, I know, but losing him has put a large hole in my self-esteem, motivation and general happiness. Any advice beyond, "you'll get over it?". Please answer if you can.

Dear Cheated,

There's nothing worse than a relationship gone bad when you really thought it was good. The hardest part is that you just never know what made a man suddenly move on (except that in my experience it's usually another woman, which only makes you feel worse).

No matter what caused it, though, you need a break. You should get away. Take that week's vacation. Do something daring. Go to a spa and nurture yourself with masssages and exercise. Take a vacation at a wild singles resort like Hedonism. Now that you don't care whether you live or die -- take a class in something truly dangerous like sky diving or deep sea diving or bungee jumping. Only a real shock will get you over this quickly -- or a new love affair.

Don't sit around and suffer. Read "How Stella Got Her Groove Back," on the plane to some exotic destination. And when you get there, do something so exciting that you forget all about him at least for a few minutes. Go swimming nude in the ocean at night in Negril; swim with the dolphins in the Bahamas; spend a whole day at a beauty salon getting a head-to-toe do; throw yourself a party. Just don't stay in the apartment and moan. It'll only get worse that way. Consider moving and getting another job.

Remember it's his loss.

Wishing you a better love,

Dr. Tracy

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