"Ask Dr. Tracy"

11/8/98 Advice Column

LITTLE MISS HOMEWRECKER,
PRIOR COMMITMENTS,
SEXUAL PEAKS IN MEN AND WOMEN




Dear Dr. Tracy,

Last fall my husband started to go to work early and staying late all the time after work. I found out later that he was meeting with this young girl before and after work. He says, they were just friends,talking to one another. This is a man that has never talked to me about anything in our 13 yrs together. He has told me he loved her, then said he only said it out of anger at me. He has told me that I should be more like her. to him, she can do no wrong.

This young girl(21-22) called me, sent email to me, telling me everything that him and her talked about. She takes her pleasure from my pain. When I ask him if he has told her any of this stuff, he says he has. He also says that he has not ever talked to anyone else about our problems. My point is, then it is her doing this to me and not someone else. He thinks that she wouldn't do something so childish as to tell me what him and her are doing or talking about. How would I know everything if she wasn't telling me? And it is all true.. For almost 6 mos he refused to tell me he loved me.He refused to tell me that he didn't care for her, that there was never nothing between them, I begged him to walk away from her. He refused. He said, why can't I have both? He felt I had no right to ask him if her loved her.That I should know the answer to that question without asking him.

He has hurt me more in the past almost yr with her, than he has ever done in all these yrs. He has lied to me outright about her. I can't take the pain no more. He refuses to go to counseling.He says, that I am the one with the problem, not him. That he isn't going to someone who doesn't know anything. yet..he can go and talk to some girl barely out of school about us. He said some pretty nasty things about me to her. He told my most sacred and very real fears to her and didn't care what it did to me.

I lost 58 lbs through all of this. I have 5 children with this man. my question is, am I over-reacting here? Am I imaging these problems? I just don't feel that their relationship is through. I believe they are still together as they work together, only they're being more careful now. Do you think this man even loves me? Should I just walk away and start my life over and pray that someday I will find a man who will love only me? Please, if you can guide me in this, I would be eternally grateful. Sometimes, it feels like I am alone in all this pain and confusion. I have no one else to talk to about this.

Thank you for listening.

Dear Hurt,

Sadly, your story isn't unique. I can't tell you how many men have done exactly what your husband is doing. Just for starters, there's Woody Allen and Bill Clinton, both seduced by young girls. And who could forget the soul-wrenching songs in the album Andre Previn's wife Dory Previn wrote about Mia Farrow seducing her husband -- the theme song was "Beware of Young Girls."

A married man has no business hanging out with a young woman without his wife, or talking about his wife to someone else, no matter who they are or where they work. You have a right to be upset, especially since your husband refuses to acknowledge the problem. Because he won't go to therapy (probably because he's afraid his guilt will show) and says the problem is yours, get yourself into therapy immediately. Join a woman's group. Take action. Do something nice for yourself. Start regaining your self-esteem and self-respect which is badly damaged by this kind of behavior.

Don't put up with any more late nights or unexcused absences. Frankly, if I were you, I'd make little Miss Homewrecker's life so miserable she'd want to leave my husband alone. The next time she sends you an email, forward it to her parents, her boss, her priest, or whoever else you can think of. Let her get some of the pain too. After all, she deserves it.

As for your husband, let him know that he can't have both you and her. If you're not sure whether they're having an affair, hire a detective. Knowledge is power, and the truth will set you free - two old sayings that are certainly true in cases like yours. When you know exactly what's going on, you'll be better able to decide what to do.

If he insists on seeing her, then your only recourse is to threaten him with divorce. This is probably not what he wants and would bring him to his senses. So while you're looking for a good detective, check out a good divorce lawyer too so that you know your rights and where you stand. Faced with the reality of losing his family and home while still having to support both will make him see the light. Only taking action will let him know you're serious.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy




Dear Dr. Tracy,

I'm a 23 year old student and I feel I've got a real tough decision to make. Here's the problem starting from the beginning. I was friends with this girl--I'll call her Brenda. She was just an "activity partner." We just enjoyed each other's company to do outdoor activities. We had a great friendship and there was no relationship. She moved away about two years ago. About six months ago, she invited me to go to an island with her to go scuba diving, parasailing, hiking, and mountain biking for a week there. I was really excited about going so I got tickets in advance.

Since then...totally to my surprise I met this wonderful girl--Jennifer. She is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. We go together "like a wink and a smile." :) I've only known her for three weeks. I really need some advice. I don't know if I should cancel this trip (being that it will be the only vacation I've had in the past two years) with Brenda or if I should still go. I just don't want Jennifer to think that I'm interested in some other girl. Jennifer knows that I'm going but she doesn't know that I'm meeting Brenda and her parents there. Help me! I don't know what to do. I would cancel this whole trip for Jennifer because she means a lot to me. Please help!

Dear Just a Friend,

Even if the woman is just a friend, you should still keep your commitment you made to her. Friends are often more important than lovers, especially if you've just met the new woman. After all, the relationship with Jennifer could be over in a month and you've been friends with Brenda for a long time. Besides, it just isn't right to break a date with someone because someone you like better comes along. Living with integrity means keeping your commitments even if you get a better offer.

Explain to Jennifer exactly what you're doing. Tell her Brenda is a friend, not a lover, and that you are obligated because you agreed to go and already have the tickets. If Jennifer has any sense she'll realize that you are a man of principles and not a lout who breaks dates because you've met someone you have the hots for even more.

Also, Brenda will feel jealous and envious and realize that there are other women who want you. A man who's in demand is always more desirable than one who isn't, and a man with integrity is admired. Also, you need a vacation, you've paid for it, and you have nothing to lose by going.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy




Dear Dr. Tracy,

Can you tell me at what age women reach they're sexual peak? I'm trying to settle a bet.

Dear Gambler,

I don't know whether you're going to win or lose the bet, but here's the skinny on women's sexual peaks. A woman reaches her real sexual pinnacle in her early thirties. By then, she's had experience, feels comfortable with her sexuality, knows what she wants and doesn't want, and is an expert at sexual fulfillment.

Although many men are most attracted to women from eighteen to twenty-five, that's not the best time for a woman sexually.

Men, on the other hand, reach their sexual peak at 17, and although they may gain experience and skills at lovemaking as they get older, they will probably never have the ease of erection or ability to perform endlessly that they had when they were young.

So, when you see an older guy with a young girl, they are probably more sexually compatible than you might think - she hasn't reached her peak, and he's over the hill. Neither's sex drive is at their peak. The future, however, is not so bright for them.

But if you see a woman in her thirties with a very young boyfriend, you can assume they're making it like rabbits all the time because they're both at their sexual apex. And this is actually a more stable situation.

I hope you win,

Dr. Tracy





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