"Ask Dr. Tracy"

12/14/97 Advice Column


DANGEROUS DAD,
MONEY, MONEY, MONEY,
SMOTHERING THE FLAME




Dear Dr. Tracy,

Hello, I'm 21 years old, not married or no boyfriends, and I currently live with my dad, and my parents are divorced. My dad and I have been always very close. Just about 2 months ago, my dads girlfriend came over. We both were drinking, having a good time, and my dad was at work, so it was just us two. So, after we were both drunk, I started to make out with his girlfriend. We both got naked, and about 10 minutes later, I saw my dad in the room masturbating. So, his girlfriend and me put our clothes back on, and she left, and I went to bed. I never thought anything would happen from this, but these past months, my dad would walk around the house naked, he grabs me, pees with the door open, walks in on me in the shower.

But the problem is, I'm liking it. What should I do?

Dear Daddy's Girl,

You must stop this behavior immediately. If you continue to flirt with your father, or his girlfriend, or to allow him to flirt with you, you are taking a big chance of ruining your life. There are groups of adults all over this country who are struggling to get over a parental sexual interlude of some kind. This is the kind of sex play that can warp your psyche forever.

Tell your father that you insist he shape up and start behaving like a father, not a sex object. Tell him you want him to wear clothes, shut the door when he goes to the bathroom, and keep his hands off you. And mean it.

If you can't get out of your dad's way sexually, then move out. Go live with your mother. Or get a job and move into your own place.

Good Luck,

Dr. Tracy




Dear Dr. Tracy,

For years I have intellectualized what it is to be in a healthy, positive relationship but I never had an opportunity to put my theories into practice. I finally have my opportunity and I seem to have lost my ability to be objective about my own relationship. In reading some of your website I realize I am in a pretty challenging relationship and by some standards you might advise me to move on... problem is I really love my fiance.

For starters we met online 5 months ago. I am ten years older than he is. I'm 34 and he is 24. We met in person within two weeks of our first on-line encounters, basically fell in love at first sight and due to circumstances as opposed to wisdom we moved in with one another almost right away. He moved to my city, into my house, eventually found work, but much of that time I have been the major bread-winner and a very debt-ridden one at that. The financial pressures of supporting both of us is really starting to have a negative impact on me and our relationship. I tend to worry about money alot anyways. Now my worries are ten-fold what they were and he just doesn't seem to "get it."

I know the subject is coming up far too often and I am beginning to sound like a broken record. I have turned into the nag that I never wanted to become. In the few months we have been together he has managed to pretty much re-build his computer while I have been paying almost all of our living expenses. In all of that time I may have spent a couple hundred dollars on myself. Beyond that, the debts (all under my name) are stacking up. If he walked away tomorrow I would be in a fine mess. I want to believe his reassurances that he's in this for the long haul and that he will start to pay his fair share but I don't know how much longer I can wait until he really does start paying. He has gone without for a long time and I hate depriving him of anything, but our long-term security depends on a total change in his behaviour and soon. How can I get him to face this without attacking him? I need a new approach to this problem as I am even getting tired of hearing myself whine and complain. I can only imagine what he must think/feel when I get on this subject everyday... Please help me turn things around. I would love to have some new input. Thanks.

Dear Broken Record,

You're in the position of having given too much too soon, and now you're not getting enough back and you feel cheated. You should have stopped giving long ago when you first started to feel uncomfortable with the give-and-take in this relationship. However it's not too late.

Sit down with Mr. Wonderful and show him the books. What's coming in and what's going out, and discuss with him which part of the expenses he's going to pay and how. This is not at all the same situation as a wife supporting her husband when he's been laid off or if they mutually agree he should go back to college for an advanced degree. You only met this guy 5 months ago. If he's looking to you to support him, I'm deeply suspicious.

You absolutely need to know if you're just a meal ticket for him. You must find out once and for all if he's going to participate in the bill paying. Don't attack him, simply show him the figures. Set a deadline for him to meet this obligation. And don't buy the line that he's not making enough money, etc. If you're going in debt to pay the bills, why shouldn't he do the same? Tell him if he's not earning enough to carry his own weight, he'll have to share the pain and borrow money from family or friends or wherever to pitch in.

If he still won't or can't pay his fair share of the expenses, you will have confirmed your worst fears -- but at least you'll know. Actually, women occasionally decide to swallow their pride and flush their self-esteem and "keep" a man. Hopefully you won't face that choice, but if you do, I advise you to break up with the deadbeat and find a guy with a job. Believe me, there are a lot of nice guys out there.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm 28 years of age and am currenly involved with a 20 year women at work. We've be seeing each other for about 3 months now. My profession is an Engineer Technician, she works on the production floor. The problwm that I see is, sometimes she seems very distant from me. She tells me that she is just frustrated with herself and she doesn't know how to deal with the frustration or the feelings that she is having. She tells me that its not me and I shouldn't worry about it so much. That's my problem, I think I just think too much, but I don't know how to stop thinking about her. I love to give her things and take her places, but then she tells me that sometimes she feels guilty because she can't do for me the things that I do for her. Its kind of ironic, most of the relationships that I have been in have the reverse. This is the first time that I have ever felt about somebody. I mean the first time I saw her my heart melted, and I love her so much it hurts. She tells me that she loves me very much and I believe her. I realize that she is only 20, but that really doesn't matter to me. Since we've be going out we've seen each other almost everyday, its kind of hard not to just because we work at the place of business. I guess I just have a incredible fear of losing her. Sometimes when I try and explain my feelings to her, she takes it the wrong way and she tells that I'm thinking too much and I should just go with the flow. I'm kind of in uncharted waters here and really would like some advice.

Should I not see her for awhile and wait for her to call me when she's ready or not so frustrated? She also talks about her ex-boyfriend that she dated for 6 years. I realize that this is a long time and it will take almost as long to put that behind her. She was raised with mostly boys, so she doesn't show too many emotions and she tells me that she doesn't. Am I thinking too much of this, am I wrong to feel this way about her. Should I just wait it out. I have a hard time focusing at work because I do think about her and our relationship so much. I've tried finding some books pertaining to this, but most of them are geared towards women in this situation. Do you have any suggestions? Sorry for spilling my feelings like this, I normally don't, but I guess I'm just really confused.

Dear Engineer,

You are about to blow this relationship. A relatively new relationship is a delicate thing. Catching a woman is like catching a fish. You have to reel it in a bit and then you have to let it out some. You're reeling in so much you're going to break the line. Give this poor girl some time off.

If you keep bothering her all the time, she's going to start feeling like the alien is on her and she can't get it off. Stop talking about "the relationship" all the time and stop talking about your feelings. Stop trying to solve all her problems and stop giving her all your attention. Don't call her so often. Stop giving her presents and stop taking her on expensive outings.

Read "Why People Love" in my Library immediately, and then get my book, "Manpower, How To Win The Woman You Want," to find out more about how much to give and how soon. This woman is giving you messages to back off in every way she knows how. You're smothering her, and the flames of this love will blink out totally if you don't stop.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy





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