"Ask Dr. Tracy"

10/11/98 Advice Column


Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm a Dutch girl, 33 years old, living in the eastern part of Holland. I happened to find your site and read a few of your love-advices. Although I'm not an all-american-girl - however, I'd like to try my luck and hope for an answer from you. I like the idea of writing a message to you, since I've seen you on an Oprah-show where you talked about your last book.

Four months ago, my boyfriend left me after we had lived together for almost three years. I want to ask your opinion about this: when he left me, he could not really mention any reason why he didn't want to be with me any more. When I confronted him again three months later, with all my questions, he still couldn't give me any explanation... To me, this is very difficult to swallow. I know that I shouldn't feel guilty and insecure about myself, but I can't help searching and searching for reasons. He even can't describe the good things we had in our relationship. I know that this says more about him than about me, but nevertheless - it stays on my mind. I would like to know your professional reaction. How am I to cope with a situation that leaves me with so many questions.

I must tell you also that a month before he left me, he became friends with another woman. Although he tells me that she is not the reason why he didn't want to go on with me, you must know that two weeks after he left me, he started a new relationship with her.

Like so many of my friends who say - "well he's avoiding the truth, you better believe it: she IS the reason why he left you, I hope you will look beyond." I truly believe him, when he says that she is not the reason why, so there must be something else. And that something else must be me - of course. Yet without any explanation - how am I to cope with the loss of the one I loved so much, and how can learn from this experience?

Dear Hopeful,

My heart goes out to you because this kind of unthinking break-up is the hardest to handle. Men think it's being kind if they deny their involvement with another woman made them want to leave, but the truth is that he went off with someone else, which he wouldn't have done if he wanted to stay with you.

So you wonder why he did it? Was it you? Well of course not, it's him. And he could have done it because he wanted a different experience than the one he had with you. Perhaps one that seemed more exciting, more challenging, more sexually enticing -- but they'll never tell you that. Men lie to keep from hurting our feelings, but they only make it worse. Men hate to have confrontations and one way they avoid them is to refuse to communicate the truth -- especially when they're following their sexual or other instincts right out of your life.

Since he left with no explanation, that leaves you blaming yourself, but you should blame him. He's the one who didn't appreciate you enough. Don't be angry and upset with yourself -- that only leads to depression. It's okay to be angry with him for leaving in such an insensitive way.

The best thing for you to do now is to go on with your life and stop trying to analyze what happened. You may never really know the truth. The best revenge is to be happy without him, and of course, if he comes crawling back, don't take him back.

Assure yourself that he was too stupid to realize what a good thing he had, and don't waste another minute on the past. Next time, resolve to not give too much too soon and to always keep a part of yourself in reserve, just for you. That way if something goes wrong you'll still have some self left to lean on. Please read "Coping" in my library; it will help you deal with this.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

First I appreciate you answer about men wearing women's panties. I wore my sister's panties while a teen, and have worn panties ever since, -ones I buy or my wife's. She thinks it is fine.

But I have another problem. I fantasize about sex with a teen or even pre-teen, like 9, 10, 11, 12 year olds. I don't have any kids living with me at all, but I pretend, thru my pseudo personality on the internet that I have been having sex with my step daughter (I really have none) since she was 9. I think of having sex with her as I masturbate each day, and talk some about it on the internet. Do I need help or what? Or are some guys drawn to sex with young girls in their fantasies? I feel I could never do such a thing in real life. And is pretending on the chat areas about this, on the internet, wrong? I really enjoy my fantasy.

Dear Fantasizer,

Your panty wearing is just fine, but your fantasy about young kids is not. Calling a nine-year-old a "pre-teen" may make it sound better to you, but you're still talking about little kids. If you talk about it on the Net, it is wrong. Don't you realize that there's more at stake here than your little fantasy?

First of all, you are encouraging child molestors. Second, you're providing perfect ammunition for those who want to censor the Net. Finally, you're risking some heavy scrutiny by the authorities. There are police who specialize in tracking down potential child molesters who lurk on the net. You'd have a hard time convincing them that you were only pretending. Even if they have no grounds to haul you off to jail, they'd probably investigate you -- perhaps talk to your employer. No fantasy is worth those kinds of complications in your life.

Whether or not you realize you're walking on thin ice, see a counselor or therapist and get help with this addictive fantasy at once. The more you indulge in fantasizing about sex with children, the more you'll be tempted to live out your fantasy and the more dangerous chances you'll be taking with your freedom. You are also endangering your marriage.

Get a grip,

Dr. Tracy

Dear Dr. Tracy,

My husband and I have been married for two years. When we first got together he was very attentive and liked to do things with me. We would talk about what we wanted out of life. It seemed we wanted the same things. Well, right after we were married things started changing. He kept making excuses not to have sex. He would either have a headache, stomach ache or just be too tired. I'm an attractive woman and I get tired of being rejected by him all the time. I've done whatever I can think of to get him interested from begging to giving him his own space. I really don't know what to do or believe anymore.

There's a second part to the problem. We live in a small town and it seems everyone but me knows he's cheating on me. I don't have any proof whatsoever. Everytime I confront him with things I hear, he denies everything. I don't know whether to believe him or not. At first I did but now I don't feel I trust him. He won't go to counseling or admit to anything. I even gave him an "out" the other day. It's not just with one person, it's many. He's 35 and it seems he hits on girls from 17-25. If this is so, I don't want to be with him. It seems to be his word over everyone elses. He's a very convincing at denying it all. What to do?? Hurt and confused

Dear Convinced,

He's got to be some convincing liar for you to believe him in spite of all the evidence to the contrary. But then, Hillary believed Bill too, or at least she pretended to.

After only two years of marriage you should be practically like newlyweds, not half-deads. Any sexual man who suddenly doesn't want sex is highly suspect, especially if there are other signs like staying out late, changes in personal habits, being hard to reach. There's an old saying: if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck. So if your husband is showing all the signs of cheating and everyone says he is, he probably is. Stop begging. Stop giving him space. Stop "enabling" his behavior.

I recommend Carol Botwin's great book about sexual infidelity called "Men Who Can't Be Faithful." Also, Melanie Beatty's book, "Co-Dependent No More." Your husband's unwillingness to go to therapy is a final nail in his cheating coffin as far as I'm concerned. Husbands who won't go usually have something to hide. So go by yourself and get the help and support you're going to need to get away from this philanderer. Whatever you do, stop expecting him to tell all. He won't until he can no longer deny it. If you really want proof, hire a detective and find out once and for all, but stop asking him for it. It's very unrealistic to expect a confession.

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!"

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(Featured art from cover of Letting Go, by Zev Wanderer and Tracy Cabot, published by "Bitan" Publishers, Tel-Aviv, Israel)
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