A Man Without a Career
Dear Dr. Tracy,
I am a single, childless, divorced 31 year old female. After 3 years of taking time to: grieve my failed marriage, do some soul searching, and date casually (nothing serious), I have come accross a very special guy who I have been seeing for about six months. The last 2 months have been getting much more serious. He is my age, never married, and childless. Our family backgrounds, views on life, and morals are the same. We make each other very happy in every way.
My only concern pertaining to him is that he is still not in a "career" per se. He has a great work ethic, he has always had two jobs to make sure that his ends are met, but they are jobs that he does not want to make a career out of. He lives on his own, and supports himself just fine. From what I have learned about him, he has a tendancy to flip-flop a lot towards his career goals. He thinks that he wants to go into Real Estate, then he may partner with a friend in his business, then he may sell insurance for a huge car dealership, etc. He seems like a feather in the wind, not quite sure where he should land- or if he'll even land anytime soon.
I think know what you are going to say, because I really am a huge fan of yours and I have been reading your columns for 4 years now. I know that I probably should be happy that he IS such a great guy and leave it at that; he is trustworthy, respectful, adoring, loving, and so concerned with my needs- as I am with him. I do cherish him so much.
He is wanting me to commit to him (as in wanting to have a serious future together) and I feel reluctant because of this issue. Part of me even feels ashamed of myself for feeling this way. Please help!
Your devoted fan,
Dear Devoted Fan,
You’re right, this guy sounds like he has lots of worthwhile qualities. Not every man goes to work for one company and stays there until he retires with a gold watch. Actually, very few people get gold watches these days. You’re making a value judgment that career achievement is very important and that he is lacking. Many people think there are more important things in life than career achievement.
In today’s world, there’s nothing wrong with a woman having “the career” and the man staying home or just having a job. It’s very possible that a man who is devoted to his career wouldn’t have time to give you all that you get from this guy. The career man has other priorities, not necessarily you.
There’s nothing wrong with your guy at all. The real problem is that you have a problem with his lack of career goals.
In order to decide if you are really acting in your own best interests, think about what you really need in a relationship and whether this guy can and will give you that. If what you really need is someone who’s trustworthy, respectful, adoring, loving and concerned with your needs, then you’ve got it. However, if what you need is someone with a status career, then you may need someone else.
He could be happy floating on the wind career-wise for life. If that’s going to make you unhappy, then don’t figure on committing to him forever. Find yourself a man with a career that will make you happy, but don’t expect all the same wonderful qualities you have in the man you already have.
If you decide to stay with the current guy, then give him a break. Love him for who he is and for the joy he brings to your life. Forget about what society or your family or your girlfriends say about his career.
Dear Dr. Tracy,
My future wife recently revealed she had a quite extensive bi lifestyle during her teenage years to me the other night. We have been together for over four years, and plan to marry, but I am worried this could come as a problem to our marriage later. She stated she wants to "put it all behind her'" and "make it all go away", but she did say she is still turned on by women from time to time. Is there anything you can suggest for me in this situation? I don't want to lose her for saying the wrong thing..........
Dear Future Hubby,
If you really want to be a happy future hubby -- as a matter of fact, if you want to be her hubby at all -- accept her for who she is and where she’s been. Her telling you about her past bi experiences shows that she trusts you to be able to handle that information like a mature adult.
Whatever she did in her teenage years made her the woman you love today. Having a formerly bi woman actually is pretty great. She’s tried both and chosen you. Be happy.
You’ve been together four years. That’s long enough to know someone well enough to marry. A formerly bi woman makes a wonderful lover and a fabulous wife. She brings a special quality to the relationship. As long as you behave yourself and don’t turn into the monster hubby from hell, there’s no reason at all to think that she would leave you in the future for a woman.
As for being attracted to other women from time to time, there are lots of women who find other women and other men attractive. That doesn’t mean that they’re going to dump their partner and run off with someone.
This is the time for you to tell her that you love her and that whatever she did in the past has nothing to do with the two of you today – except that it made her the woman you love.
Using Him Backfires
Dear Dr. Tracy,
I have this huge problem with my love life. I have for the past year seen this guy that my aunt is dating, sexually. What I mean is I had been having sexual dreams about him. I had even found it hard to sit in a room with him without daydreaming. For July 4 my family and I all headed to the lake for my graduation party. I soon found it hard to pretend that I didn't have feelings for him. On July 4 night I had too much to drink. We were sitting on the boat and we had sex. It was so right and this man made me feel so good. I wasn't sure of what happened the next day. I couldn't really recall what happened. I do know we had sex. What I don't understand is why I let it happen?
It has not stopped there either. Since July 4 this guy and I have had sex more then 30 times. I had made a promise to my self that it I would only use him for sexual pleasure. I know that what I'm doing is wrong and I hate myself because of it, but I can't stop. My feelings for him have now gone into this lust for him. In September he and my aunt married, but we have continued having sex. I know that he could never be trusted and yet I find my self wanting to be with him. The question I have for you is what should I do? Do I tell him the feelings I have for him? Do I tell my family? Or do I continue on hoping that there someday there could be a chance for us? I do know I have to end it but sure how without hurting my heart. I also want to know his feelings for me.
Dear Wanting to End It,
The problem with trying to use a man “just for sex” is that it almost always backfires. Women are hard-wired to want more than just sex. It’s difficult if not impossible to keep having “just sex” with a man (unless you’re a professional).
If that man belongs to someone else, feelings can easily go from having just sex to lust to love and then worrying about how to end it without hurting your heart. That’s how using a man for sex can backfire. As it has for you.
As for this man, he’s just about the worst scumbag you could have chosen to have sex with. He belongs to your aunt, whether they were married or not when you started. He is a cheat. He is a sneak. He’s an adulterer. And he has no respect for women.
I’m not buying your story that it “just happened” and you don’t know how. You chose to have sex with him more than 30 times and you probably still are.
If you have any sense, you’ll stop this immediately before you bring the wrath of your whole family down on your head. Don’t tell him your feelings, just dump him. Then hope your aunt never finds out. If she does, she’ll hate you for life. Screwing your aunt’s husband isn’t going to win any popularity contests with anyone else in your family, either. Stop it right now and hope no one ever finds out.