"Ask Dr. Tracy"

11/9/97 Advice Column


Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm a 30 year old female who is married. When I go out with my girlfriends dancing I get asked to dance quite often. My question is, am i obligated to tell whoever wants to dance/talk/buy me a drink, that I'm married? Can I just accept the invitation or am I wasting the guy's time in any way? I want to go out and I enjoy myself, but I don't want to be deceiving or unfair to anyone. Thanks.

Dear Married Dancer,

Yes, for your protection and for the sake of your marriage. Get it out up front. Mention your husband. Wear a wedding ring. Let a guy know that you're not just married, but that you're happily married. That way you get to dance without being accused of teasing or deceiving anybody -- and you can dance, talk, have a drink without guilt or worries about having to explain later when it would look bad that you aren't really available.

I do think it's acceptable to accept an invitation to dance, but during the first dance, say, "You're a great dancer. I wish my husband could dance, but he's terrific anyway." If a guy just wants to talk, tell him as soon as possible and if you can, let a guy know you're married even before he buys you a drink.

Be careful though, some guys don't care if you're married -- they see it as a challenge. Flirting, drinking, dancing and talking can be dangerous to your marriage, so try to give out the right message. Keep in mind how you'd look if your husband were to show up.

Have fun,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

My wife is having an on-line affair and I love it! It started out as a casual friendship with occasional cybering, and blossomed into a true love affair. She loves the way he treats her...he’s gentle, caring and shares his personal emotions unselfishly.

Our marriage is strong - stronger than ever since this happened - and I encourage her to continue her affair. She has no less love for me, but has found in her heart an extra store of love and emotion...to share with her on-line lover.

I enjoy our openness about her affair. I feel that I know him nearly as well as my wife. Before the openness, I was suspicious, mildly jealous and unsupportive of what seemed to be a marital threat. With that behind us I am comfortable with her situation. We have both have agreed that our on-line relationships would never progress beyond the keyboard - no phone, no meetings. The trust in our marriage and our devotion to each other will enable us to live up to those restrictions.

Now the interesting part of my story...most people have sexual fantasies, and most never become reality. My wife and I have discussed our fantasies with each other numerous times. We are very open with each other about most everything, including our sexual fantasies. Mine include, top of the list, my wife with another man. And now in cyberspace that has become a reality! We now talk, - at times for hours - about her time with him, her deep feelings for him. And the sexual arousal that I feel during our talks reach a level of intensity, a warmth within, that is overwhelming! Sex after one of these discussions peaks at a level never before achieved! She thinks that my reaction is “cool” and is very comfortable with it. In fact, she, at my request, will fuel it during lovemaking by describing one of her intimate encounters with her cyber lover! The guilt that she was experiencing about her affair is no longer apparent due to my acceptance of her feelings for him. So she can give him the uninhibited attention he deserves without guilt, knowing the positive effect her affair has on me! And our sexual encounters with each other have become much more frequent - and intense! We’re not exactly sure why that transpired, but are both enjoying it to the fullest!

Our marriage is unique...most couples could not easily survive a scenario such as ours. Yet the feelings flow between each other stronger than ever!

Question...Are there dangers and pitfalls ahead? If so, how do we prepare for them?

Thank You

Dear Cyber Swinger,

You're the first "open marriage" on the internet that I've heard of, but there are probably others. I don't see anything wrong with your wife's online affair as long as you both know the rules and stick with them. That is: no phone and no meetings.

The danger of course, is that your wife would be tempted to break those rules. To talk. To meet. Or just to fall so much in love that she shuts you out. The way to avoid getting in trouble is to keep the lines of communication open, and of course keep checking to be sure that feelings aren't changing. I'd say that as long as you're both enjoying this little cyber 3-way, why not?

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

First I want to say I have searched the net, for what seems like months looking for dating & relationship advice, and have never found anything as great as your site! I have spent hours here, & I am sure I will be back on in the morning to search more things. I just wish I could have found your site sooner! (I found it in infoseek's search engine by the way!)

Now for my question: My past relationships have been the type that no real affection or jealously was seen, I know being jealous all the time is bad, but I think some is OK to an EXTENT... my problem now, My boyfriend of 6 months is so bad that we can't hardly go anywhere without him saying, "you want him don't you.", Even at HIS family events! I just turned 21 in Aug, so as I see it it's natural to want to goto a bar once in awhile for a few drinks, he on the other hand is 26 & had his share of bar scenes, & totally wants me away from them, with or without him there, but it's OK for him to drink beer everyday, most of the day. I can't even go with my father to a bar where 98% of the members are 65 & older, because, as Scott says, "I don't know what old man you are all over in there!" I have given him NO REASON to not trust me, he has even accused me of not going to work, but to a friends house & a bar instead of work & being intoxicated when I came to his house, and the truth is, I WAS at work, nowhere near bars or any of my friends, just work, I had to wait until the next week to SHOW him my check stub to prove I worked all of my 60 hours that week, he said sorry, but made such a deal out of it I cried my self to sleep worrying because he was so upset & didn't believe me...

How can I make him trust me? Should I even try anymore? He just asked me to marry him last weekend, although he only makes $120.00/a week, no car & lives with his mother (I still live with my parents too) & said for 3 days straight we were to go look at rings the following day, and it never happened.. What makes this all even worst, 1 year before I met him I weighed over 320LBS, and lost 180Lbs, and kept it off for a year, now I have been so upset, and having to sit around the house so he can feel as if he can trust me & not worry about me running around & cheating that I find myself eating all the time, in the 6 mos I have been with him I have gained back almost 30LBS! Do you think this relationship is able to be fixed?! Please help me out!

Thank you,

Dear Unsure,

You absolutely should not marry this man. You should leave him and never look back before he totally destroys your life. Jealousy is not a sign of love, it's a sign of an insecure person who wants to have total control of your life. It's the sign of a person who feels so unlovable that they think you can't love them, a sign of someone who can't trust. Without trust, you can't have love.

Worse yet, you can't trust him either. He doesn't do what he says he's going to do. He's unreliable, immature and not showing signs of growth. He'll make you miserable if you stay with him.

Stop being ruled by your own low self-esteem. Stop being flattered by his jealousy. Jealousy can easily bloom into controlling abuse, especially from a man who's been drinking. This guy's already stifling you, and keeping you from enjoying life. Don't let it get worse. Get out while you can. Let him go. He's a loser and you deserve better.

Do it before you gain back all the weight you lost. Do it before you become an abuse victim. You're already being emotionally abused. Don't wait around for it to get phsyical.

You're young. Find someone else.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

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