Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

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Love Without Marriage or Children
The Wrong Way to Get A Man
His Girlfriend's Best Friend

Love Without Marriage or Children

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a SWM, 37. Is it possible to find love without promising marriage and children? I do not wish to ever be married or start a family and I have never met a woman who has felt the same. What can I do? Thanks

Dear Dreamer,

You can't be awake and thinking about finding a woman who will give you real love and devotion and never want to get married or have children. You must be dreaming.

Maybe, if you're thinking of finding a much older woman who has been married and divorced, who already has children, and who has her own reasons for never wanting to be married again, you could find what you're looking for. But if you're looking for a woman in her late 20's, 30's or early 40's, you'll have to think about looking on another planet.

You can't fight biology, and you can't expect a woman to not want marriage and children, especially a woman who is still in her child-bearing years. Having children is what women want and most want to be married to do that. Even women who don't want children want to be married. And even women who don't want to be married want children.

Marriage gives a relationship stability. It assures the woman that you're serious about your commitment to her. Marriage is important in our society, and societies throughout the world are built around married committed couples. Even gay couples marry and have children.

So what can you do? You can find an older woman who can't marry because she'll lose her alimony, independence, or inheritance. Or who has been soured on marriage because of past disappointments. You can find a woman who has no maternal instincts whatsoever -- but remember, it's a woman's right to change her mind, and a woman who says she doesn't want marriage or children today may later decides she does.

All in all, I'd say you have an impossible quest, like Don Quixote tilting at windmills. It would be much easier if you would get over your problem with marriage and children. Why don't you look in your heart and figure out why you are sabotaging your chances of finding love by this unreasonable stance?

Remember, the best predictor of the future is the past. If you have never found a woman who doesn't want marriage or children, that should tell you something.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

The Wrong Way to Get A Man

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I became involved with a man who was married and recently divorced in May of this year. However, I met him while he was married in March of 98. At the time, he worked at my job in a different dept. We saw each other the first six months at work all the time and after work, never on weekends. In June of 98 I became pregnant and I had an abortion because I didn't want any children and afterall, he was still living at home with his wife and 2 children. In September of 98 we became even closer. Our lust for each other was very strong and we couldn't tear away from one another as hard as we tried. In January of 99, I told him that if he loved me and he was sure he didn't love his wife anymore then he should make arrangements to talk with her and finalize their marriage. In July of 99 his wife moved out of the house and moved around the corner with her two children. She knew of me and evidently was very angry with him because he had me over his house, the home that they purchased together in May of 99. The wife took him to court for child support and he in turn went to court for visitation rights because she put up a hard fight when he wanted to see his children, whom he was very close with.

It was a lot of drama involved with him and her. Each time they had a confrontation about something, she would dangle the kids in his face and he would call it off with me. I would beg him back and after a couple days he would give in. I started being around him more and helping him out financially (i.e., mortgage payments, food, spending money, buying clothes for his children). I was a very supportive girlfriend. My boyfriend was a salesperson and struggling at making ends meet because of the drama in his life he couldn't concentrate on his job. I stood by his side until 4/11/01. He sold his house, started divorce proceedings, all of which I help him paid his attorney fees and also help put together his petition for child custody/visitation to present to his attorney. I was his counselor, advisor and lover. The intimacy was great. It then became an emotional strange on me and we started bickering alot because I felt he never stood up for me when his wife would threaten him not to see the children. He started blaming me and acting indecisive.

After calling off the relationship on numerous occasions and getting back together after a couple days each time, he finalized it on 4/11/01. I've been trying ever since to reunite with him. I love him dearly and I have been very supportive of him. Why can't he see that. Now he is going after another woman and calling her all the time. He is still struggling financially. He said he doesn't want my help. But then he comes back and asks me for money and I give it to him because I love him and I want him back. He gets angry with me when I call him but its okay for him to call me. Then he tells me to leave him alone and stop coming at him. We had intimacy on 6/24/01, 7/25/01 and 7/30/01. Now he says he wants nothing to do with me. But he would accept my phone calls and he would never ask me out - I always asks him out.

I want him back. However, I have sent numerous e-mails, letters and made a lot of telephone calls and no results. My last deed was that I sent him flowers last week, a dozen of white roses because I didn't want to scare him. He says that I 'm crazy. I'm not I just put so much time and energy into him and I desperately wanted this relationship to work.

I haven't tried one other method and that is not calling. If I don't call him what will happen. Will he draw close to this other woman. I'm afraid of really losing him. I know he loved me because he left his family and he would never depart from his children and that is killing him more than anything right now along with the financial strain. Do I have an opprtunity of winning him back? Will he recognized all the good things that I've done for him and his children and know that my love was real?

I'm in counseling because I can't handle it anymore. I know morally I was wrong and I asked God for forgiveness. But I want to have a life with him. I waited long enough.

Dear Involved,

You found a man who was married to someone else, you had an affair with him, and convinced him to leave his wife and children, and now you can't understand why you can't have him. Well, one reason is that you don't deserve to. There is such a thing as karma that doesn't wait until the next life to visit you. Figure that you're simply getting your just desserts for what you did.

Besides taking a man away from his wife and children, what did you do wrong in the relationship? You did too much for him. You can't take over a man's life and decide to change it, lend him money, pay his bills, buy things for his kids, and in general try to control him. Even if he lets you do it, he will eventually begin to resent you.

When he looks at you, he sees all the pain and suffering he's gone through since he met you and he doesn't want to see you anymore. Sure, you've been able to seduce him into sexual encounters from time to time, but he's weak, we already know that. And you're strong. So he gives in to his basest desires, and then afterwards, he hates you for bringing them out.

When you try to do everything for someone, to fulfill their every need, it's a way of controlling that person. It's as if you're saying, "If I do everything for you, if I give you everything, then you'll have to love me." And that's just not the way it works.

Just because you have an investment of time, money and energy in this relationship doesn't mean you should continue to try to make it work. Even if he recognizes all the good things you've done for him and his children, he'll know in his heart that you did those things for selfish reasons - because you wanted him to be yours. And whenever he remembers the good things you've done, he'll remember the pain of being separated from his children.

You're fighting a losing battle here, and maybe you never deserved to win it anyway. There comes a time to cut your losses. Stop sending roses. Stop phoning him. Yes, if you don't call him, he may call you, and he might come over for sex again, but you'd be a fool to continue this relationship. It's been mucked up and will never be right.

You should move on to another relationship and this time not try to control the man. Find a guy who's truly available and who doesn't have all these bad memories attached to you.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

His Girlfriend's Best Friend

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 25-year old single man who has never been married. I have been in a relationship with a great lady for over three years. This past year was the most challenging in that I changed careers and moved 800 miles away from her. We have had a lot of miscommunication and misunderstandings since I moved and this has affected our plans to get married and start a family.

Recently, I flew up to visit her while her best friend (whom I've known about for years) was also visiting her on vacation. The three of us hung out and had a lot of fun. Her best friend and I got along great and you could sense that their was a little innocent flirting going on, but nothing blatant. I hoped that my girlfriend didn't noticed, but she did and appeared okay about it. I acknowledged that her best friend was fun and very attractive, but that's it.

The following weekend, they drove down to visit me for a few days. My girlfriend informed me that she was curious about having a threesome and she felt that myself and her best friend would be the perfect participants. They stayed with me at my apartment and we went out and had a great time. The last night they were in town, we all got a little intoxicated and the three of us ended up in bed togther. This is the ultimate fantasy for me-- however, somewhere in the midst of the intercourse, her best friend and I stop having sex and began making love to each other while my girlfriend just watched. Afterwards, everyone was cool and they left with the understanding that it was an experience-- no more and no less.

It's been almost a month now and I have communicated with her best friend everyday since they left. She has confided in me that she has fallen in love with me and I reciprocated the feelings. My girlfriend and I are having major commitment issues (I'm having commitment-phobia); however, I don't have the phobia when it comes to her best friend. The best friend and I have planned trips to see each other (she's over 2,300 miles away) in the coming months and have danced around the thought of marriage and starting a new life together after dealing with the pain we would cause my girlfriend.

Is this just intense infatuation and emotional displacement? I am ready to throw caution to the wind and do what feels right, but is it truly right? Please advise.

Confused in Atlanta

Dear Confused,

You have violated the first rule of swinging - you're not supposed to get emotionally involved with the person who is outside of your core relationship. Your girlfriend was generous (or stupid) enough to let you have your ultimate fantasy of being in bed with her and her best friend, and you blew it.

You were supposed to make sure your girlfriend didn't feel left out of things. You were also supposed to keep your emotions under wraps. Obviously you are not sexually sophisticated enough to play in the menage a trois arena.

Now you think you're in love with your girlfriend's best friend on the basis of one sexual encounter. Intense infatuation and emotional displacement? It's been less than a month, and you announce that your commitment-phobia is gone? Give me a break. You're just letting your little head think for the big one.

You know in your heart that it's wrong, wrong, wrong, to betray your girlfriend, but the deed is done. At this point the only right thing to do is to stop sneaking around and tell your girlfriend what happened and what's been going on since. Be ethical and be straight with her. That's the least she deserves. After all, you're ruining her friendship with her best friend and you're being unfaithful all at once.

I predict that you'll wind up with neither of these women. I hope you don't ruin their friendship, and that once you've blown it with both of them, they'll be able to get together over a drink and discuss how lucky they both are to have you out of their lives. I also hope that you handle your next relationship with a lot more maturity.

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 two business days by availing yourself of her inexpensive private counseling.

You may submit your question to Dr.Tracy's column by e-mail here. (Tips: to increase your chances of having your question chosen, state your age and your marital history, and remember to use paragraph breaks so that your question isn't just one big, hard-to-read clump of words. Also, questions in all caps won't be answered.)

(Featured art from cover of Letting Go, by Zev Wanderer and Tracy Cabot, published by "Bitan" Publishers, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
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