Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

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Bad Men or Ö
In Love With Two Men
Can He Be Trusted?

Bad Men or Ö

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 33 year old divorced woman with four kids. I was married for 12 years and I have been divorced for approx. 3 years. I met my now boyfriend during my divorce. We hit it off and basically have been together every since. He is a 44 year old divorced man. When I met him he had been divorced for 2 years. Well, I met his ex-wife and she seemed to be an okay person. What I found about 3 months into my relationship with him was that he was fooling around with his ex-wife again who also at this time had a boyfriend of her own. I figured that since I did not have a committed relationship with him and did not know where our relationship was going at the time that I had no place to say anything. The problem is it continued farther into our relationship up to the point where when I found out I was pregnant I wanted to end our relationship because I had found out that they had made plans to attend his family reunion together with her son and his mother. Of course before all of this, I drove by his house one night and saw her car parked outside his home and the excuse I got after all of this was that they were considering getting back together, and I thought it was very funny that as soon as she met me that she found interest in him again.

I guess my issue is the fact that now at this point I am still in this relationship I have brought a child into this nonsense and I hate the fact that he keeps in contact with her. My boyfriend has taken on the responsibility of her son from a previous relationship and his excuse for them having so much contact is because of that boy. I know this is not true but I have no real proof otherwise. I have also dealt with him taking women to hotels and my gut tells me it was her, but he swears it was not her.

I have tried to get over all the cheating and the fact that he seems to have this need to keep in close contact with her. I know that she is very close to his family and I also know that his family does not particularly care for me because I stand up for myself and have done so with regards to them on a few occasions, which has led me to not have my son be too involved with them. I guess the bottom line is with knowing how much contact his ex-wife has with him and his family and the fact that he knows that I cannot stand her. Is it safe to say that I am in a weird relationship with a man thatt wants to have his cake and eat it too? Or am I being paranoid and need to trust in the fact that when he says he does not want her that he means it. I have never had so much animosity towards two people in my life. I do love this man, but I feel like I have put myself back in an unhealthy relationship with a man that is trying to get over on me.

To be totally honest now that I have his child I even hate the fact that he does for her son. She never has to ask for anything regarding that boy, but I have to constantly remind him when our son needs something. He does it for the other boy without thinking, but my son is a second thought even after I have said look at your son he is in dire need. I was married to a cheating man and hooked up with another cheating man and I wonder if itís just my bad choices in men.

Dear Bad Chooser,

You're right. You're the common denominator in these relationships. We all have patterns in relationships. It's important to recognize the patterns, especially if they're destructive ones. For instance, if you always wind up with a cheat, you have a pattern of picking men who are cheaters.

Ask yourself why you put up with it. You say you're a woman who stands up for herself, and yet you're not doing that. I usually recommend being friends with an ex, but your boyfriend is taking it way too far. It's time for you to stand up for yourself and stop this silly relationship.

He's going to keep in contact with her and he's not going to be faithful to you or anyone else. Of course they're sleeping together. You'd be a fool to believe otherwise. So you have only one choice - tell him that as long as he's seeing her, you won't be spending time with him.

You're not going to get what you want from him - a loving mate. You're only going to wind up with a lifetime of aggravation and heartache. Get him out of your life, as much as possible. Sure you'll have to see him once in a while because you have a child together, but you don't have to have sex with him or be involved with him personally at all.

Find a new man, one who has never cheated, who wouldn't think of cheating and who values integrity and trust. My Library will tell you how. Your self-esteem will never survive the kind of relationship you have with your boyfriend. If you want to feel good about yourself, find a man who treats you like you're valuable.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

In Love With Two Men

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have a HUGE problem that is keeping me awake at night. The man I thought was the love of my life "Tom" (man #1) dumped me about a year ago and I met a wonderful man shortly thereafter "Joe" (man#2) and we dated for almost a year until we had a falling out. Well, Tom recently came back into my life and I thought everything was going well until I ran into Joe again. I feel like a horrible person because I honestly think I love them both!

Tom cheated on me throughout our entire relationship first time around. However, this time around he is wonderful! VERY affectionate, attentive, etc. But I have also discovered he's not too bright, but he thinks he is. He also gets upset if I go do something with a friend and wants me to spend every waking moment w/him. On the plus side, our sex life is great and I am very drawn to him in that way.

But then there is Joe. He was not very affectionate at all and we rarely had sex, however, he is great w/my children and they love him. Their father passed 6 yrs ago so thats important to me. He has fessed up to his mistakes and wants me to give me to him another chance. He was a BLAST to hang out with and my kids got along with his and we always had fun. Plus, hes very driven, makes good money, and is going to be making more. However, I do not have the passion for him that I do for Tom, plus he doesn't seem to like or want sex that often. I know part of that is his job, with the long hours and stress.

Tom has been talking about moving in with me and my children lately. He is going to be losing his source of income come September and then there is the issue of his child... I am ashamed to say, I can hardly stand to be around him. I know Tom truely loves me, but I don't think I could stand supporting a man (he IS in school though) and I do not know that I can handle being around his child every other weekend. I have tried to talk to him about disciplining his child. But his response is always "well your kids are not perfect either."

I hate that I am even writing this, I would completely lose respect for a friend if she called me and said she loved two men! I never thought it was possible! Please help and do not use my email address please, I live in a VERY small town and someone will probably figure it out.

Thank you

Dear In Love,

Being in love with two men at once isn't at all impossible or even that unusual. You might wonder how you'll know if it's really love. If you ask yourself, "is this the kind of love that can last a lifetime?" you'll be able to easily figure out which man would be right.

In your case, neither of these men is right. Mr. Sexy Tom has a history of cheating, and has even cheated on you. He'd have to do years of proving he's not a cheat before you should even consider being with him for life.

He's demanding, and that could become a drag after a while. You can't spend every waking moment with him, and you really don't respect his mind enough to put your future in his hands. He can't even hold a job, and you can't stand to be around his kid. But he'll be good for sex and affection which you're not getting from the other guy.

Mr. Nice Guy with no sex drive won't do either. You can't spend your life with a man who doesn't find you irresistibly attractive. You're a sexy woman who wants affection, and if you don't get it you'll soon start to feel as if there's something wrong with you.

So for now, you really need both of these guys. One for stability who can afford to take you out and have fun, and one for sex and that other kind of excitement. Neither one of these guys is right for a live-in mate right now. If Mr. Stability starts getting sexy, then reconsider.

In the meantime, don't feel bad about loving both. There's no rule that says you can't have lots of men for different things. One who's handy and can fix things around the house, one who's sexy, one who's affectionate, one to go out with for a good time, one your kids like, and one who's generous. But it's time for you to start looking for a man who has all (or most) of those qualities in one.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Can He Be Trusted?

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have been in a relationship for almost two years with my boyfriend. About six months into the relationship, I walked into our bedroom and caught him masturbating. I must say this really traumatized me. I cried for days after this incident. I asked him to dispose of all the movies he had. He told me that there were only 2 or 3, and that he threw the movies in the garbage. Well, after a few weeks I decide to see for myself whether or not there were any more. I went through all his things, and I found about 300 movies. Of course, I disposed of these movies for him. The content of these movies ranged from she-males to teeny porno. Also, accidentally I found credit card receipts where he had been calling 900 numbers.

I have been reading on pornography and relationships for almost six months now. I have thought about going into therapy to see if this type of behavior is normal. All I seem to think about is whether or not he is still doing this. Of course, I recently found a few more pornos. These were of really young girls. I watched it for a few seconds, and the girls were very young. The thing that really bothers me is that he has a teenage daughter with his ex-wife. She stays with him occasionally, and she invites her friends over to his house to swim. I wonder if this is an indication that maybe he has become attracted to his daughter's friends. I also have a daughter who is 9 years old from a previous marriage. I wonder if I should worry whether he would ever touch my daughter.

He has been married 7 times. I have asked him many times if the porno was the reason that he has been married and divorced so many times. Of course, he denies this. Also, he likes to wear women's pantyhose and paint his toenails. I heard this rumor from a previous wife, and he denied this too. My question to you is whether or not my boyfriend can ever be trusted or even be helped with this type of behavior?

Dear Seeking "Normal,"

If you're really seeking a "normal" relationship, you should understand that "normal" is different for different people. For your boyfriend, I'd say normal means looking at pornography, masturbating and maybe cross-dressing. If you want him, that's probably what you're going to get along with him.

There's a reason he's been married seven times. For some reason, women stay with him in spite of his porn habit. You've been with him for almost two years and found the pornography six months in. There must be something he does really well, like sex. Or you and these other women wouldn't stay around.

Of course you should be worried about your daughter's safety. Don't leave your daughter alone with him or any other man. If you're that suspicious of this man's behavior with young girls, why are you still in a relationship with him? I'm not saying he's a molester, but you should be careful and teach your daughter to tell you if any man tries to do anything out of line with her.

If you want to know why he was divorced so many times, ask his ex wives, not him. I'm sure you'll hear lots from them that he'll also deny. He lied about how many porn videos he has, and who knows what other lies he's told. Frankly, of all the weird things for an ex-wife to tell you, that he likes to wear women's panties and paint his nails is too bizarre to be made up.

Can your boyfriend ever be trusted? Trust has to be earned, and someone has to prove they can be trusted. So far, there's no proof at all from him. Can he be helped with his porn habit? If he really wants to change and if he goes for therapy to get help, it's possible, but not likely. Sex fetishes are hard to erase from a person's psyche.

If you don't trust him now, chances are you're not going to trust him any more in the future.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Submitting a Question to this column

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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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