Men Who Canít Decide
Dear Dr. Tracy,
This is my first time trying to seek advice online. I know the abundance of letters you must receive but I have questions in my mind that mostly leave me at a loss.
Trying to make this short and sweet, but I believe you will understand the idea.
I have been divorced for 9 years. I am a attractive woman and no problems getting dates. I have been very selective in finding a new mate. I thought I came across the best man for me. Here is my dilemma.
I have been seeing a man for 5 months he was separated for two yrs on and off from his x wife but yet they had to try to reconcile twice within that time lasting for only two weeks at a time. The divorce became final a month before I started to see him. He initially wanted to just date me but continued to visit me every night for months and even had trouble leaving me in the evenings. The relationship is very compatible and comfortable, not one issue ever came up, we enjoyed each, had fun, laughed a lot together, had respect for one another, etc. Passion was even intense and very affectionate.
I did notice that when we were becoming closer he backed off claiming he would never ever remarry again. I understood that he was being cautious. He was married twice before, scared him.
The confusion on my part... Said that I was a woman that he has always wanted, I have much better qualities then both of his x wife's, treated him better then they both did. But he is confused and wants to try to get back with his X wife. If they had so much trouble in their marriage, why would a man want to return to that and give up something he always wanted?
Hope you can help me. I feel like I should hold on. Am I wrong to wait? He did ask for space but has been honest with me..and does a past problem marriage usually work out? Would appreciate anything you can tell me.. in understanding the big WHY question..
Everyone has a different strategy for making a big life decision. Some people make those decisions by asking their friends and family what they think. Seeking the opinions of others helps them form their own decisions. Other people make decisions by weighing the pros and cons, which is what you seem to be doing. Then there are people like your guy who seems to make decisions by comparison.
Heís currently comparing you with her and heís also comparing the way he feels when heís with you and when heís with her. He could be one of those men who can never decide, so donít wait for him to make up his mind.
Heís been trying to leave this marriage for years, and he and his ex-wife have been having these problems for a long time. Now that his divorce is final, he is probably feeling that he lost something and wants it backóhis marriage.
What heís really lost is the painful situation and heís so used to being in that painful relationship that he feels lost without the pain. He must have spent years wallowing in that situation and trying to work out that relationship. Now without that to take up his consciousness, he misses it.
Even when a situation is terrible, some people find that the terrible situation they know is better than an unknown and scary future. Thatís what keeps them from moving on to something better.
Reading between the lines, whether he wants this other woman or not, I donít think heís ever going to become decisive enough to give you what you want. Heís told you that he never ever wants to marry again. Obviously, you want marriage. If so, youíd really be wasting your time waiting for him to come around.
He could spend years of your life coming and going, getting close and then pulling away. Even if his past marriage doesnít get revitalized, and I doubt that it will, he isnít showing signs of wanting to be a permanent part or your life.
Whenever someone says they need space, I recommend giving them plenty. I also recommend filling the space they leave in your life as quickly as possible.
Sex and Fantasizing
Dear Dr. Tracy,
I'm a 34 year old male. I have been married for the last eleven years to a great woman and the mother of our four children. My wife was the girl next door, literally. I moved next door to her when she was nine and I was thirteen. We became best friends and when she turned eighteen we got married. I love her more today than the day I married her. This is why I'm writing you.
All my life, as far back as I can remember, I have always fantasized about sex of all kinds. From childhood I would masturbate to magazines and videos, always placing myself as a participant in the action, in my mind. When my wife and I became sexually active, prior to marriage, it didn't take long for me to start visualizing videos; I had seen in the past, while having sex with her. Seldom, if ever, will we have sex where I do not fantasize about something, be it threesomes, her with other men, me with other women or on occasion me with other men. It has always been the thoughts that have kept me sexually active, two to three times a week.
Over the past few years I have desired to make love to my wife. When I say make love I think of real one on one passion between her and myself, without my fantasies. Making love to her in my mind as well as with my body. But it would seem lovemaking in that way is an unachievable goal for me. I try to caress and hold her, to make love to her in the way I know I love her. But as I do the lust plays out over and over in my mind. During intercourse I will push the thoughts away and concentrate on her alone but as I do my erection begins to drop. It is only when I begin to fantasize it returns.
I try blaming it on the fact that as a child, from the age of six to ten, a family friend was molesting me. During this time I was also being abused and neglected by alcoholic parents. So the only person showing me any attention was the person molesting me. All this just started the ball rolling.
After that time, till now, I turned to masturbation and fantasies. That is all I have ever known but it is not what I would like any more!
I would like to learn what it is like to make love with the person I love so dearly. I would like to break this cycle of fantasy sex with my wife. After 34 years I want a health love life with the love of my life, my wife. Is there any hope?
Sincerely, a lost lover.
Dear Lost Lover,
First of all, thereís nothing wrong with fantasizing during sex, whether itís fantasizing about your mate or someone else, or about your wildest imagination of sexual adventure.
You have a Hollywood lovemaking ideal. In the real world, fantasies are a normal part of lovemaking. If they weren't, the rate of sex activity worldwide would drop dramatically. Sure, lovemaking is sharing each other and pleasuring each other, but no one truly knows what's going on in the privacy of another person's mind. Your wife could very well have a whole secret fantasy sex life herself.
If you can control your erection with your fantasies, youíre the envy of millions of men who are popping Viagra. There are lots of men who would love that ability.
Your fantasizing is more likely caused by your fertile and active imagination than by your childhood neglect and abuse. But if you feel that you are still being negatively effected by what happened then, see a counselor to work on this problem.
In any case, stop beating yourself up because your lovemaking isn't pure and free of fantasies. You have a healthy love life, whether you know it or not.
As youíve discovered, stopping a fantasy is a major undertaking. It takes so much concentration that you lose your focus during lovemaking. Fantasies become habits and usually what turns you on doesnít change.
Iíd suggest you just relax and enjoy your sex with fantasies.
His Female Friend
Dear Dr. Tracy,
I am a 33-year-old, never married woman. My 38-year-old boyfriend of eight
months separated from his wife of 12 years several months before we began seeing
each other. His divorce is very nearly final. He also has two kids with whom
I have a great relationship. The four of us are very close and spend a great
deal of time together, basically functioning as a family (but not living
The problem is that he has a female friend that he's known for several years.
Before we became exclusive, he said they would have a date about once every
three months. He has told me that she makes it clear she wants more from him
than just friendship. Until just recently, he refused to take any of her phone
calls in front of me. Finally, I told him how it bothered me, so one night when
she called, he talked to her for about 20 minutes with me present. During the
conversation, he made reference to his "girlfriend" a couple of times, once
saying, "she's awesome," so I know this woman knows he is taken. The following
weekend, she attempted to call him shortly after 11 p.m. on a Saturday night.
He didn't answer her call. The very next afternoon, coincidentally when we
were in bed snuggling after having sex, his phone rang and it was her. Again, he
wouldn't take her call. (He's said that he calls her back when he has time and
that it's often a day or two later.)
I told him how much it bothers me that she calls him so often and that I
worry that she's going to lure him away. I asked him what he would do if she asked
him out. He said it would depend on the situation -- If she just needed to
talk to him about a problem in her life, he would meet her for lunch or
breakfast. I told him that would be a date in my view. He said I don't have anything
to worry about and that he had questioned whether they could have a future
together at one point, but decided they couldn't. This seemed strange when he had
previously said they were just good friends, so I asked him if he had ever
slept with her, and he said yes, but claimed it was just once about a year ago.
I've told him I'd like to meet her, but he says he can't imagine there ever
being a situation in which all three of us would be present.
I am terribly upset that this former lover keeps calling him and that he
admitted he would see her if she asked to meet in order to talk. I've written him
a letter in which I say I'm not asking him to end their friendship, but that
I'm asking him to consider how he would feel if the tables were turned and I
was meeting a former lover for lunch, breakfast or whatever. I don't feel
comfortable giving him an ultimatum, but I don't think I should have to put up with
him seeing a former lover (or even talking to her at length), even as friends.
Ease up. Relax. Stop trying to control your boyfriend totally. Youíve only been together a short time and your relationship is going great. Donít screw it up by making an issue of this old friend.
Let him have breakfast or lunch with her. You really donít have to worry. She had her chance and he had his chance to have her. He chose you. Youíve got him and she doesnít. You can afford to be generous and gracious, especially since youíre not actually being threatened.
If you donít let him go, youíll make him think about her more than if you do. If you let him go, heíll come back reinforced about why he didnít want to be with her. Let him see her and all her quirks up close.
Old lovers and old friends are a part of our history when we reach a certain age. Nobody wants to completely cut their connection to their past just because they have a new present.
Itís a good idea for you to continue to suggest that the three of you be friends, even if it never happens. That way you show that youíre not threatened and you donít want to push his friends away.
You donít want him to think youíre insecure and clingy and worry about whether heís making a mistake getting involved with you. Youíll get him thinking, ďHmm, if sheís this clingy and controlling after only eight months, whatíll she be like if weíre married?Ē No man wants a jailor for a wife.