"Ask Dr. Tracy"

7/19/98 Advice Column


Dear Dr. Tracy,

Well, it's been almost 6 months since me and my ex-boyfriend broke it off. It all started when I found the pass code to his voice mail messages and I started listening to them everyday to find that this same female would keep leaving messages. My boyfriend at the time was in training to be a Police Officer so he was away during the week for a whole month and she would leave messages like 'I miss you' and 'When you get back in town call me and we can do something together'. Now of course I'm going crazy out of my mind thinking who the hell is this person to him. I had never thought that he would do anything to hurt me, I was almost sure of it. I had started to get really upset and it seemed since he had been away we had gotten really distant from each other and it seemed when he came home on the weekends he wanted to go out with his friends (something he rarely did).

He didn't have a clue that I was checking his messages, but I did throw little hints so he would just come out and tell me who this girl was and what was going on between them, if anything. I finally broke down one day after hearing a message she left thanking him for giving her some money to get her hair done. So that meant he had to see her and where did he tell me he was going at the time. I was busy during the week myself because I had classes three nights a week, so he had all the opportunity to do his dirt during that time. I called her and she told me what was going on. She told me that he said he didn't have a girlfriend and she had been over his house and everything.

I went to his house that same night and got my key to my car back and raised hell in the front yard of his house. Not thinking if his mother was home or not. So we broke up and now I want him back. He still does for me if I need something and we talk occassionally, but it's nothing like how it used to be. He said things would never be the same between us again. I don't believe that because things can actually be better the second time around, can't they? I would like to know if I should just forget about him or keep on trying? His only concern I believe is that his mother was home that night and she's lost all respect for me (and yes I did apologize to her).

Sincerely, Hopelessly lost without my ex

Dear Hopelessly Lost,

This guy is a good one to get rid of. He told you he doesn't want to have a relationship with you any more. He's effectively out of your life, and you should be glad.

Things happened that forever changed your relationship. You can't put the genie back in the bottle and pretend they didn't happen.

But most of all, you should start looking at how you acted -- crazy. Anytime a man drives you to do something that crazy -- it's a danger sign. He's a crazy-maker and you should stay as far away from him as you can.

He's already lied to you. And he lied to the other girl too. I'd say let him drive some other woman crazy and save yourself from this kind of emotional uproar. Stop trying to get him back. Even if you managed to put this relationship back together, and I doubt that you can, it'll never be the same. You'll always be worried that there will be a little surprise on his answering machine or some other sign that he's sneaking around with someone else.

Trust is the most important element in a relationship, and he's betrayed your trust. You can't live with someone who's always going to be driving you crazy. Read my "Guide for Letting Go" and follow the links to the related articles in my library. They will help you recover from feeling hopelessly lost.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm a 45 year old divorced mother of two and find myself being courted by a 32 year old man. Is it crazy for me to get involved in a relationship with him? He is the nicest person I've ever known and I am attracted to him. My concern is that after I fall for him he may be attracted to a younger women one day. I must be insecure.

Dear Insecure,

Why shouldn't you, as a a 45-year-old woman, enjoy the attentions of a 32-year-old man? If it was the othe way around, nobody would blink at it. So be proud, stand tall, and enjoy this younger man.

There's nothing crazy about your going out with a younger man, you just have to not let it make you crazy. Fight the thoughts about "Is it crazy? Will he leave me for a younger woman one day? etc." After all, you're not even involved with him yet and you're scaring yourself with thoughts of future tragedy. Why not have thoughts of future happiness which could be just as valid? Why not tell yourself, "We could live happily ever after," Or, "Lots of young men are attracted to older women." And they are.

Young men say older women are more down to earth, more comfortable with their sexuality, and they play fewer games. Lots of younger men find that an older woman's wisdom and experience more than makes up for a younger woman's attractions. So if you can control your insecure thoughts and not let them ruin the fun, go for it. What have you got to lose?

But don't expect a relationship with a younger man to be like the ones you've had with older guys. The younger man may have different values and different expectations than a man who's older. He may want to go out more often, play different music and have younger friends. None of that should make a difference, though, if he's kind and treats you well.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

Mine is probably a common enough story, but there are a few extra wrinkles in it that may merit your consideration. I am a married man (for the moment) who is in love with a young girl, mother of a two yr, old, who I've known since she was 13. We share a wide variety of common interests, and are very attracted to each other.

My marriage to my wife has become a matter of convenience for the past 6 years of 16, and during the last year I even thought I might be impotent. My wife and I are quite different in temperment, likes and dislikes. She is an introvert, I, an extrovert. She has never approved of any of my friends, from a broad cross section of life, is given to selfishness, and pettiness. She wants me hoem straight after work, to sit on the couch with her and watch TV. I like things a bit more intellectually rewarding, but must choose interests at home, and even then have to endure her self-centeredness.

The young girl and I have a blossoming romance. So much so, that I am not now living at home. My wife knows about all this, and is, of course vindictive and hurt by me, and from the beginning has made demands of me I have been unalble to fulfill regarding the firing of this girl from where we both work. (I can't, she doesn't work for me!) My wife says I can come back to her only when this girl leaves our place of employment. I have broken off the relationship twice with the girl and returned home once 2 months ago for a week to try and get back together with my wife. In this last instance, my wife told me to get out again after 1 week when I didn't perform for her sexually, and I was honest to her in admitting I still had feelings for the young girl. My wife now says I still can't come home until this girl no longer works here, and I'm not sure I want to come home anymore. My wife is also dating, and maintains that she is going to continue dating, but if I want to come home (at some future point in time) I must stop seeing the girl. I am at a place where I'm beginning to see that my wife is perhaps just stringing me along, and maybe doesn't want me to come home. Did I mention that I'm still paying all the bills and mortgage on our house $1900./mo., while she pays me $600./mo. We both work. I feel like she's thrown up an impossible roadblock to my coming back. She also had an affair I didn't find out about until I left home, 10 yrs ago. It lasted 2 years for her, and only stopped when the guy she was seeing left town.

Am I beating a dead horse here? Should I try to get back to my house which I miss strongly, with my wife, who I don't miss much? I am fully aware that the May/Sept. romance I've got with the girl may end at any time.

Dear In Love With a Younger Woman,

I'm not against May/Sept. romances if both partners are free, but you're not.

Have you thought about the cost of pursuing this romance? My guess is you're heading toward a nasty divorce. If your wife seems vindictive now, wait until she talks to an attorney. You can expect to pay your wife a ton of money and lose the house you love. And you're right: your romance with the girl may end at any time.

If you're asking is the marriage a dead horse, it may be worse than that. Your situation is an object lesson in why a couple shouldn't let marriage problems fester. A few years back, you and your wife might have worked things out, with some counseling and real effort. Or if not, you would have had a chance for a sad but calm divorce. Now your choices are: (a) try to get this girl fired from her job and return to a unhappy marriage; or (b) face the full fury of your wife with your pants down. I'm afraid you're about to find out that there's nothing worse than a woman scorned, unless she's been scorned for a younger woman.

I don't see Mr. September riding off happily into the sunset here (but I hope I'm wrong).

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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