"Ask Dr. Tracy"

5/24/98 Advice Column


Dear Dr. Tracy,

Maybe you can give me some advice. I have been divorced for 4 years. My ex is remarried but we still talk to each other almost every day. And we get together sexually. I know I am in over my head. Do you have some advice for me?

Dear In Over Your Head,

You sure are in over your head. Get a life. Dump the ex. After all, now he has you and her too. And what are you now, the mistress, the "other woman," his "girlfriend"?

It's time to start over, and you'll never get someone new as long as you're leaning on your ex like an old crutch. You're cheating yourself out of a chance for real happiness and a whole relationship by accepting crumbs.

Stop talking to him every day. Stop talking to him if you don't absolutely have to for an emergency that involves a family member. Stop having sex with him. Get out and meet new men. Advertise. Join a dating service.

Stop settling for your old-shoe-ex because he's comfortable and because you're afraid of the unknown. You've already lost the last four years fooling around with your ex; don't waste the next four.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

My best friend just discovered that her husband has been having an affair with one of her friends for more than eight years. She also found out that he has also had an affair with their next door neighbor. I have suspected his cheating for more than 10 years, but never dared say anything to my best friend about it. Now that everything is out in the open, she (in huge denial) insists that his admission to the two known affairs is all the wrong he's done. I don't for one minute believe that but I'm not sure what my role is, here.

I want to support any decision she makes, but I can't believe how stupid she's being!!! What is the best friend's role here?

Your advice would be most helpful.

Dear Best Friend,

Just as always, the best friend's role is to sympathize, by saying, "Oh you poor thing." Don't get into talking about his other affairs or insisting he's done her dirty oh so many times before. She'll only get angry with you. Just as in the old days, when a messenger bought bad news to the king, the king often got angry and said, "Shoot the messenger." Today people still want to shoot the messenger when someone gives them bad news. So, let her deny. Eventually someone else will tell her. It doesn't have to be you, although it is so tempting to let it all out.

Avoid the temptation of badmouthing the cad. After all, they could make up and then where would you be? It would be so embarrassing for your friend to know that you really think he's the jerk he is. Also, she could very well tell him what you said about him.

Believe me, he'll show his colors again. You don't have to help him, he'll dig his own hole and bury himself with his lies and cheating.

Just give your friend lots of hugs, take her to lunch, take her shopping. Be there, but keep your mouth shut. You'll be glad you did.

Here's to friendship,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I would like to thank you immensely for the advice you gave me. I am the Big Beautiful Woman who didn't know what to do about the small minded man. Since I have talked to you, I have learned a lot more about this man through his mother. She tells me he is not the guy he says he is. He lives with her, and according to her women do not fall at his feet as he proclaims. Everything he told me to build himself up as a "drop dead gorgeous" man is not true at all (the photo he gave me proved that further). I myself never proclaimed to be beautiful, just average. I made sure I never gave him anything to fantasize about that was not true. And now I know why his women have to be "perfect": It will make him look better to society.

Thank you again, Dr. Tracy for answering me.

Sincerely, Big Beautiful Woman

Dear BBW,

Don't let people make you question your self-worth just because you're overweight. Most people's major problems are hidden, and they hide even more on the internet. There's a lot worse things than being overweight. Lying. Cheating. Stealing. Hurting, etc. In the overall scheme of things, a few pounds is minor.

Everyone has something wrong with them. I don't know anybody who's perfect. So be proud of what's great about yourself, and figure people just have to accept the rest.

Besides, anybody who proclaims himself to be drop dead gorgeous and have women falling at his feet is suspect to begin with.

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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