Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

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Wife To Share
Is He For Real Or Is She Being Led On?

Wife To Share

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm a married man in his early 40's with a fantasy of sharing my wife with another man, perhaps a friend, or if she goes for the idea, a guy of her choosing. I don't know how to present the idea to my wife without her perhaps thinking I'm way too perverse or looking at me as if I'm not satisfied with her sexually. Basically, I don't want to run the risk of hurting her feelings if she isn't interested. We've had very few discussions of fantasies and when we do, I don't know if she's afraid of my response if she doesn't say the fantasy involves me or if she just has fantasies involving me. But why waste a fantasy with me?

Anyway, it would be great if my fears were groundless and she got hot at the idea, but I guess I'm scared about bringing it up unless I have an easy way out if I sense disapproval. I've given it some thought and we could and maybe should establish ground rules, such as no penetration if she's scared, and if she wants to stop, we stop, we both approve of the choice, whatever. What I'd really appreciate would be some good advice on the best time and type of situation to bring up the subject. I'm sure me suggesting bringing another woman to bed wouldn't fly, at least at first test, so I can't think of any better way to bring up a little alternative sexual behavior than one where she should be the object of satisfaction. Of course, I'm seeing it as a man sees it, how about a woman's point of view?

Dear Scared,

Yup, you should be scared. You may have the fantasy of sharing your wife with another man, but unless she has the same fantasy, you're going to get her upset to say the least. Asking your wife to have sex with another man is fraught with danger.

She will think, from a woman's point of view, that you don't value her very much if you're so willing to share her. She'll wonder why you want to share her. She may think that you will be vicariously having sex with another man through her. Very few women are willing to share or be shared, and you have little chance of broaching this idea without raising these questions in her mind and seriously hurting her feelings.

Even if she's one of the very few women who's interested in something like this, you are risking the possibility that she could enjoy sex with the other man (or woman) more than she enjoys it with you. And you think you can make ground rules such as no penetration. Good grief, what do you think you're talking about here - heavy petting?

If you have any doubts about your wife's interest in having sex with a friend or stranger or anyone besides you, then you should forget the whole idea. Getting your wife to do something she really doesn't want to do just to please you will only make her angry and resentful afterwards and is sure to ruin the experience.

If, despite all these warnings, you feel you must bring the subject up with your wife, the best way is to ask her about other people doing something like having sex with a third person, or a menage a trois, and see how she responds. If she says it's a disgusting, perverse and stupid idea, you'll know to stop there. If she thinks it's just great, then you can talk further about other people. It's always easiest to start by talking about someone else.

Be prepared though. Even if she says, yes, that's a dandy idea, which I doubt, you'll still have lots of problems to solve. First, it's not that easy to find a third person for sex that you both like and feel comfortable with. Secondly, a menage a trois doesn't always work out exactly like your fantasy. When the heat gets turned up, it's often hard to keep to exactly what you expected with regard to who does what to whom.

Some fantasies are best if they're kept in the fantasy realm and not acted out. Reality is rarely as good as your fantasy.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Is He For Real Or Is She Being Led On?

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am 35 years old and have been divorced for four years. I have two children eleven and five. I have been in a serious monogomous relationship for two years. My boyfried is 45 and has been divorced for five years and has a sone who is twelve. Things have only gotten better through the days, weeks, months, and now two years. Our children get along great and his family is wonderful to me. We have a great friendship,great times, and most importantly we listen and communicate with eachother (except one thing, our future).

He shows me and my kids how much he cares and loves us in so many ways (and I don't mean in material ways), but I'm not sure if I'm being led on. We have our kids on the same weekends. He comes over and stays at my place twice a week and we spend every weekend together with or without kids. He is always talking about our future together and how he wants to retire early, but feels bad because I will still be working, but says he will have dinner ready. So he assumes we will grow old together. I have conducted your survey of a committed relationship and pretty much all apply to him and us with a couple of exceptions which are: living together and acquiring property. Everything else pretty applies.

However, he has never mentioned the word "marriage" to me. He says he wants to get married but we have never talked about "us" getting married. We vacation every year, go to every outing, every social gathering, we are are almost always together. We are even going on a cruise with his family where we will be celebrating his parent's 50th wedding anniversary. I do not want to bring up the "M" word (marriage) because I don't want to put any pressure, but lately, I have told myself that if by now he hasn't brought up the idea of marriage, I better end things before they go too far. Now, I feel as though I'm playing house and I don't like the feeling. When ever we're together with friends, someone always tends to ask me or him or us, "So when are you guys getting married?" It's come to the point that I now feel like a joke in front of our friends. He just smile and grins. He on the other hand tells me how he wants to be with me everynight and how we are going to be together for life and how I am so good for him and his son. He praises me on my hard work and says what a wonderful of a mother I am.

I have been telling him (or at least hinting) recently that I'm not sure we will be together much longer. He then says, "Yes we will. I know things you don't). To the average person, this may seem that he would propose soon, but he has been saying that for the last six months. He must say this almost every other day, on the phone or in person. I feel that I must let him go now before I hurt more. Is he just leading me on? Do you think there is any hope? How long should I wait?

Desparately seeking answers

Dear Desperately Seeking Answers,

You've been together for two years. Your children get along great, his family is good to you, he's loving and caring and wants to grow old with you. You communicate well (or so you think) and he talks about growing old together.

Yet, even though you say you communicate well, you are afraid to bring up the "M" word. Now you're talking about breaking up with him just because he hasn't asked.

Grow up. Get a grip. You don't just break up with someone when the relationship is fabulous except for one thing - you're not married and he hasn't asked. Instead, you ask for what you want - demand it, if need be. Not every man asks without pressure. Most don't. If you want to marry him, let him know.

So stop hinting that you're not sure you'll be together much longer. How coy and evasive is that?

Wait until after the holidays. Many men propose over Christmas or New Years. If he doesn't, let him know you want to be engaged by Valentine's Day and you want to set a wedding date.

Wait until sometime when you've had a great time together. Then touch him, and say three or four nice things. Then let him know how you feel. Be straightforward, and don't take no for an answer. If need be, throw a fit. Let him know this is really important to you.

I have a three year limit on how long a couple should be together without getting engaged or married. You've passed the two year point, going into your third. Definitely this is the year you should make a stand.

Then if for some reason he won't agree to get engaged (and this does not mean a big diamond ring, it means setting a wedding date and telling your friends and relatives), then you have a reason to leave him. Some men need to be left before they see the light, but I think yours will come around if you just apply a little pressure and refuse to take no for an answer.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

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