"Ask Dr. Tracy"

8/4/96 Advice Column

The Heel Repents,
Good In Bed vs. Love,
Is It Over or Not?

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am desperatly in need of some advise. This is my situation: I have been dating a woman for 6 months. During that time we became very close - we spent most of our free time together. We never had any disagreements except for one reccuring problem - I have always had many close female friends. My girlfriend (we will call her Susie) would get when one particular female friend (lets call her Rachel) would call me or ask me to meet her and her friends out for a drink. Susie would never verbally tell me that she had a problem with Rachel, but by her actions I would know. Susie would become very distant for a day or so, then she would be fine. Well, over a period of 5 months, we had 4 or 5 problems with this situation. I feel that because Susie's first husband cheated on her with a friend of his, that I am being blamed for his mistake. There is nothing between Rachel and myself - I have even asked Susie to go with me to meet Rachel and her friends out - but Susie always refused. She said that she would feel uncomfortable.

Well, Susie just lost it one day - the day before my Birthday - I met Rachel and her two friends out for a drink - they wanted to celibrate my birthday with me. Susie broke up with me - it has been about 6 weeks - I still talk with Susie, but she says she was hurt to a point that she does not want to deal with it. Am I wrong not to want to give up a close friend because my girlfriend can't handle it? Rachel and I have talked about this problem - she said that she understands how Susie feels and said that if we can't hang out together she understands. Susie tells me that she needs "time". I love Susie very much - I feel that if I give her "time" I will loose her for good. What should I do? I feel that this whole situation is so stupid - I feel that Susie is throwing away a very good relationship because of her insecurity. I feel that I am partly to blame because I fed her insecurity be continuing to see Rachel. I told Susie that if she wanted me to I would stop seeing Rachel. She told me that she does not want to come between me and my friends. I know that she has an insecurity problem - but, at this point what can I do to help her - to bring us back together. Please help!!

Dear Sorry Now,

Susie's asking for "time," but I'll bet she's looking for someone who will be more sensitive to her insecurity.

You're right that it should be OK to have friends who are female. In theory. In practice, by insisting on that prerogative, you really screwed up with Susie. Fair or not, you started to remind her of her ex, and there's no magic cloak I can wrap you in that will erase that connection.

I bet you knew you were doing the wrong thing to keep seeing Rachel when you knew it made Susie upset. Maybe you even got a little thrill out of it when she got jealous. You were flattered to have two women after you all the time, even if one was just "a friend."

Now that you've lost Susie you suddenly realize how much she meant to you and you're willing to stop seeing Rachel -- if Susie wants you to. Who are you kidding? You know she wants you to, but she doesn't want to twist your arm and stomp on your head and be the enforcer.

You sound indignant about "not wanting to give up a close friend because my girlfriend can't handle it." Come on, get real. You didn't have to "give Rachel up;" you just maybe shouldn't have hung out in bars with her so much. Now, of course, it's too late for halfway measures. If you really want Susie back, you're going to have to voluntarily stop seeing Rachel and then crawl across a mile of broken glass bearing flowers, candy, perfume, jewelry and lots of promises before you get taken back.

If Rachel means as much to you as you say she does, then you and Susie can make new friends as a couple with Rachel -- assuming Susie takes you back. Maybe after you've proved to Susie that you won't always keep her insecure, she'll be willing to be friends with Rachel, but don't bet on it.

You and Rachel sound pretty tight, by the way, and even kind of compatible. Have you ever thought about her for a girlfriend? Maybe she'd be secure enough to handle you having women drinking buddies. Most women aren't. If you want the benefits of a lasting, loving relationship, you're probably going to have to give up some of your bachelor freedoms.

Dear Dr. Tracy,

My question is, how do you keep a man in love with you forever(?) and out of other women's beds, especially if they have a very active libido? I keep up with him...but men find it easier to separate sex and love...so do you keep them in love with you while they cheat on you? .

Dear Lover,

If this guy's cheating on you, why would you want to keep him forever? Some men are incurable philanderers. You can be the wildest, the most imaginative and the most satisfying partner in bed, and it doesn't matter. A philanderer will leave your place and, within a block, make an illegal U-turn in front of a Mack truck to chase a new conquest he sees driving in the opposite direction.

I had one of these types once. One night we had a great love-making session, and the next thing I knew, he'd backed his car over my new puppy in the driveway, sneaking out to see another woman.

Sometimes womanizers grow up and grow out of it, but it can take years. Sometimes they're still hobbling after nurses in old folks' homes.

On the other hand, if your relationship is based more on lust than love, enjoy! I'm worried about you because I think you may be confusing GIB (good in bed) with love. Lots of guys are GIB and that means they get and give lots of sex, but not necessarily love.

Women tend to confuse having a great orgasm with being in love. Because we want to be "good girls" we think we have to be in love with every guy that we have strong desires for. Is there something you really love about this guy, or are you romanticizing a sexual relationship. It's easy to do, but can only lead to trouble. Some relationships are only good for one thing -- great sex! Try to get more out of them, and they dry up like stale bread.

Dear Dr. Tracy,

i need help. i am a 22 year old guy who has been with my girlfriend for 7 months and we moved in together about 4 months ago. everything was terrific when we met, we had alot of laughs and serious times too. i fell in love with her from the start and i know she loved me. she was someone who i had always dreamed of being with. i have had alot of really bad relationships before and i though that this one would be different.

well now to get to my problem!!! for the last month or so things started to change. she doesn't want to do anything, we don't really talk to each other, all we do is fight and she says everything is just great-- i'm confused--i wish i know a way to help my situation and get thing back to the way they used to be so i can be happy once again. i am know starting to think we might have jump the gun alittle to soon, but i was in love and i thought she was going to be the one i would marry. is there some way i could get that spark back.

Dear Confused,

Relationships are like business deals, they either get better or they get worse. They rarely stay the same. Unfortunately once a relationship gets in a downward spiral it's very difficult to turn it around.

I suggest you think about what you used to do when everything was perfect. Where did you go? What was so good then that's missing now? Try to recreate those happy times by going back.

One problem, you sound as if you're changing too. That's what happens. One person changes and the other changes in reaction. Are you as loving as you once were?

Fighting is destructive to almost every relationship. Read "Avoiding Fights" in my Library, and remember, it takes two people to fight and what the fight is usually about is that one person doesn't feel loved enough. What have you done lately to make her feel loved? Anything?

I suggest you find out everything that is bothering her and see if you can straighten out the problems. Honesty and communication is called for here. Don't argue back. Don't defend yourself. Just keep saying, "And what else is wrong?" Eventually you'll have the whole story. If you find this difficult to initiate, remember, you don't have to be married to go for couples' counseling.

If you do all these things and still don't "get that spark back," then the relationship is over. These things happen.

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