Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

Cartoon Kiss


Do All Men Cheat?
Her Husband Hates Sex
Answering Personals

Do All Men Cheat?

Dear Dr. Tracy,

Do all men cheat? Yes, or no.

Dear Black and White,

You want a yes or no answer, and although there are no absolutes, I can tell you that in this case, the answer is absolutely no. All men do not cheat.

Some men are faithful to one woman for their whole lives. They adore the woman they're with and would no more think of cheating on her than robbing a bank. For them, commitment is serious and they enjoy being with one woman. They are trusted and they value that trust and would never betray it.

Even men who have cheated in the past don't necessarily continue to cheat for the rest of their lives. Some men will learn after cheating once how destructive that cheating can be and they stop. Other men will cheat several times before learning that they're cheating themselves as well. How many marriages or relationships does a cheater go through before he learns that cheating doesn't pay? Depends on how smart he is. Also, depends on his self-esteem.

Men who can't be faithful usually have such low self-esteem that they have to keep proving over and over again that they're attractive. They think they're cheating because they're such great studs, but the truth is they're too week to resist temptation and need the reassurance they get from new conquests. Others cheat because they crave the excitement of sneaking and lying. But eventually that gets old, and the smart ones learn that a woman of value won't put up with that kind of behavior.

There is a great book, "Men Who Can't Be Faithful," written by Carole Botwin. Any woman who is interested in learning more about unfaithful men would find it very enlightening.

There are always signs that a man is being unfaithful, but often the woman he's cheating on ignores those signs because she doesn't want to face the truth about her unfaithful mate. Some of the signs are lots of late-night meetings, unexplained absences, sudden interest in new clothes or working out, lots of stories that aren't believable about where he was or what he was doing.

If you are a woman who always gets cheated on, you should look at the men you've been choosing and explore why you chose those particular men. Smart women make it clear that they won't put up with a man who is unfaithful and at the first sign of such behavior, they leave.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Her Husband Hates Sex

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am really hurting and don't know what to do. My husband and I have no money for counseling.

We are both in our 30's and this is NOT a first marriage for either of us. My husband HATES sex. Detests it. Thinks it is worthless, gross, disgusting, etc. He obviously did not tell me this prior to our marriage. We have been married for 2 and a half years, and it has been like this from the beginning. In fact, we have only made love maybe 10 times, and none at all in the last 7 months. I cannot have children, so we don't fight over wanting kids or not. I have an 11 year old from a previous marriage, and he loves my husband dearly, which is probably why I stay.

Anyway, my self-esteem is at an all time low. I have gained 70 pounds because I started to feel ugly and worthless. He never tells me I am ugly or worthless...it was just my feelings from having my husband be disgusted by the idea of touching me.

I do know, for a fact, that he is NOT having an affair. He is also very much a loner....no friends and no close contact with his family. I also can tell you that he does not seem to like himself much.

Physically, he is ok....no low testosterone or anything.

I am hanging on by a thread, and I don't know what to do.

Dear Wanna-be Bride,

You are suffering from living with a man who has rejected you physically. No woman can maintain her self-esteem when the man she is married to hates being intimate with her. I'm not surprised at all that you have gained 70 pounds.

You could buy one of Herville Hendrix' books for couples and work through the exercises for intimacy with your husband - if he'd be willing, which I doubt. There are places where you and your husband could go for free counseling, such as church or free clinics; however, I suspect your husband won't go even if it's free. So the answer for you is to take the situation in hand and fix what you can fix, yourself.

If you don't take care of yourself, nobody else will. Gaining 70 pounds only makes everything worse. You feel even more unattractive and undesirable. Go immediately to Weight Watchers or TOPS or whatever weight loss group you can afford. Joining a group will give you support and friends. You need to begin to value yourself again, and losing weight is the first step.

Step two is to stop accepting whatever your husband says. If he thinks sex is worthless, gross and disgusting, he's got serious problems. Don't just accept his opinion without challenging him. Let him know you're not happy with the status quo and that if he doesn't do something to change, he's endangering your marriage.

Don't stay in this unhappy marriage because your 11-year-old loves your husband. If you continue to gain weight, you'll be endangering your health, and a sick mom won't be good for your 11-year-old either.

Your husband sounds like a person who has been unable to be intimate with anyone, not friends or family. This is not your fault, although you may find that hard to believe. Perhaps he dislikes himself so much that he can't believe anyone else would like him. You can't help him, but you can help yourself. Start today by changing your body and your mind.

Remember though, only 1% of a person is what you see. The other 99% is invisible. You have wonderful qualities. Make a list of the things that are lovable about you and refer to it often. Replace your negative thoughts with positive ones. Instead of thinking, "I'm too fat to be lovable," think, "I'm lovable because I'm kind and generous and giving."

You might be thinking it's your weight that's keeping your husband away from you, but it's not. Don't blame yourself. Lots of overweight women have wonderful sex lives. When you begin to value yourself, you won't put up with his rejection anymore.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Answering Personals

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm 32, divorced with 2 children. I read your book "Marrying older, marrying smarter" and decided to try placing a singles ad. So far I have received 2 written reponses, 1 with a photo, 1 without, and neither response interests me at all.

My question is, should I answer or acknowledge these letters with a polite "no thanks," or should I just not answer at all? I thought it would be best not to answer at all, because that approach seems to work best with the internet ad I placed on the internet at "oneandonly.com".

However, now I'm hesitating because the newspaper I placed my ad with sent me a note saying I should quickly respond to each and every letter I receive, thanking the person for taking the time to write.

What do you suggest? Answer or not (when the person CLEARLY doesn't interest me or meet my criteria)?

Dear Uninterested,

Congratulations on placing your singles ad. It's a big step and a very positive one. Most of the people who respond won't be the man of your dreams, but that doesn't mean that they don't deserve an answer.

Of course you should answer these men, even if it's simply a polite, "Thanks for writing. We're not on the same wavelength, but you seem like a nice person and I'm sure you'll find someone perfect for you."

After all, these men have taken the time to write to you, the least you can do is respond. Think of it as an RSVP to an invitation.

Even on the Internet, the nice thing to do is to reply, if just to say, "No thanks."

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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