Dr. Tracy's Advice Column

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Sex Without Problems
His Kid Drives Her Nuts
Hard Choices

Sex Without Problems

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have been married for 14 years and find myself disheartened. My wife is a simple woman who stays home and cares for a small house and one 13 year child and a cat. I am a busy suburban physician in Internal Medicine who often comes home at late hours of 9 or 10 pm to find the wife on the couch either asleep or too tired to arise and give me any kind of intellectual, emotional or other stimulation. She is uneducated, stubborn minded and lazy. She admits it herself. We have tried marriage counciling and even the therapist essentially threw up her hands and said "this is the best it is going to get".

Many people give me the advice of "get a divorce." I find that unacceptable at this point because I love my daughter very much and feel a strong moral obligation to be there for her. I don't feel it would be adequate for me to be a father from a distance. She is a very sensitive girl, somewhat immature and often comes to me complaining of her mother's "hollering at her" too often for minor matters such as not cleaning up after herself in the kitchen. So for now, it would appear that I am stuck. I also feel that financially divorce or separation will only cause me more misery.

So, I am resigning to the possibility of having an affair. The problem is, I have always been a shy introverted person who had always problems meeting people before I was married. Now, I feel totally clueless as to how to find a mature, sexy woman who can fill in the vast missing gaps in my relationship with my wife. I have thought about prostitutes, but cannot get myself to spend $200 for one hour of physical satisfaction. On the other hand, I certainly do not need the hassles of another woman who will cause me more problems. Any advice?

Dear Doc,

Frankly, you and your wife have a marriage thatís going nowhere, but then neither are you. In some ways, youíre no bargain either. You work until 9 or 10 at night and expect to come home and find your wife ready to be intellectually stimulating, even though you admit she is uneducated.

You chose an uneducated woman to marry and decided to stay with her for 14 years because you didn't want the hassles of a divorce. Now you want to stay close to your daughter. You also want to retain your financial fortunes without dividing it in a divorce. Well, you've heard the expression "you canít have everything," haven't you?

Perhaps you chose this woman because you didnít want to go to the trouble of finding someone more challenging. And perhaps you stay with her because you know in your heart nobody else would have you. You had problems meeting people before you were married and your wife was there for you. Doesnít she deserve some respect for being your wife for 14 years and giving you a daughter? Have you considered encouraging your wife to get an education? Then she could be a more interesting partner for you.

As for your having an affair, forget it. Women have affairs with married men who are sexy, interesting, affectionate, rich and exciting lovers. A shy introverted married man like you wonít have a chance with an interesting sexy woman. And what makes you think if you found a woman to have an affair with, she wouldnít give you problems?

The only way for you to get sex without problems is to pay for it, plain and simple. You can pay with money or you can pay with other things - such as affection, which I doubt is in your bankbook. Why do men pay $200/hour for sexual satisfaction? Because for some men in circumstances like yours, sometimes money is the cheapest way to pay. So if you want sex without hassles, youíll have to resign yourself to paying in cash. Otherwise, get back into therapy with your wife and start really working on making things better.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

His Kid Drives Her Nuts

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am 28 years old, never married. I am dating a 44 year old divorced man (never re-married) with a 12 year old son. We have been dating for approximately 9 months, and my boyfriend's son lives iwth his ex-wife (who is 32), her 4th husband, and 6 other children. My boyfriend has his son every weekend. My boyfriend and I get along fine despite the huge age difference. We like a lot of the same food, music, movies, etc. My problem is with his son. I don't know if this matters, but my boyfriend said his son's head was much smaller than averge at birth and that he has learning disabilities. (It's hard to tell when he's reciting moveis word for word). My boyfriend also mentioned that his ex-wife is a good liar and that his son gets that quality from her. The son is a total Generation X kid. The world revolves around him, nothing and no one is ever to be taken seriously (except his dad), and there are no consequences in life. I have lost my patience with him. He is not a mean kid, but he annoys me to no end. For example, "slug-bugging" me when he sees a Volkswagen even though I have told him nuberous ties not to do it. I even suggested that we do "hug-bugs" to hug, instead of slugging, when we see a VW. He also gets in my face and shadows me when I'm shopping and makes fart noises with his mouth, etc. Yesterday we went shopping because my boyfriend wanted to buy an outfit for me for my bithday. I tried on an outfit that didn't fit veyr well, and after taking it off, i put it back on to show my boyfrined to get his opionion. When I walked out, he wasn't there but his son was. I asked, "Where's your dad?" He smiled a mischievous smile and shrugged his shoulders and then laughed. I asked again, emphasizing his name to let him know that I didn't appreciate his screwing around, and he did the same thing. I sighed in frustration and went back into the dressing room and changed back into my clothes. He immediately started calling his dad over to see my outfit because he knew he annoyed me and would get in trouble if I told his dad that he was screwing around again.

My boyfriend's mother and I have had conversations about his son. We both agreed that he acts too young for his age and that something is just not right about him. He's still into beanie babies and stuffed animals at 12! I spoke to my boyfriend's mother on the phone yesterday, and she told me how disappointed she is that her grandson's sessions with a psychologist for his learning disabilities have not made a difference in his behavior. (He was previously enrolled in judo with the hopes that it would improve his discipline. Nothing seems to work.) I said to her, "Maybe it's a phase that he'll eventually grow out of." She said, "Oh no, Honey! He's been a defeatist since birth, and it's only gotten worse with age." She doesn't think he'll get any better.

He's in detention almost every week. He doesn't turn in numerous homework assignments each week. Recently when asked by his teacher why he didn't do his homework, he replied that it was because he didn't want to do it. It doesn't seem like he cares about much of anything except candy, music, video games and Pokemon.

The two most annoying things he does to me are that he farts ON me when he has gas and he tries to wrestle me to the ground when he's "playing" and usually won't stop unless his dad tells him to. I've even noticed him looking at his dad befroe he reacts when I ask or tell him to do something.

I didn't sleeep well last night because I was so annoyed that I had to spend my weekend dealing with him. I felt like I never had a chance to relax. I also woke up in a bad mood because I didn't sleep well. My boyfriend thought I was mad at him because I avoided being in te same room with them last night. This morning I called him at work to explain that I have lost my patience with his son, and I was crying. (And today is my birthday.) His response was to ask me if I wanted to break up. I said no, that I just wanted him to know why I was in a bad mood. But the truth is that I don't know how much longer I can put up with an underachieving, annoying, disrespectful kid so that I can be a with a good man.

Before I met my boyfriend, I swore I'd never date someone as old as him nor would I date someone who was divorced and/or a parent. And now I have all three of those things combined to deal with. He has been divorced for 12 years, so that wasn't so bad. He had time to work through the custody and child support and learned to get along with his ex and get his sense of humor back before we met. He's a really good man, but I can't stand his son anymore. I really don't want to break up with him over his son, so I really need some advice.

Thanks, Sincerely, Annoyed & Frustrated

Dear Annoyed and Frustrated,

At 28, you are way too young to be giving up everything for a man who doesnít want to take your side and make his son treat you with respect.

If you donít straighten this situation out right away, you are doomed to have a terrible relationship with this man. His son will become more and more aggressive with you and will continue to test the limits of what he can get away with. It will get worse and worse unless your boyfriend puts a stop to it immediately.

He probably feels guilty about not being a full-time father, but thatís not an excuse to let this boy abuse you by punching you, wrestling with you, or farting on you. This has nothing to do with your boyfriend's ex-wife or with his sonís maturity. It has to do with your boyfriendís willingness or unwillingness to support you.

Tell your boyfriend that he simply has to decide that you deserve to be treated respectfully by his son. Let him know youíre willing to do whatís necessary, such as go to therapy, but he has to enforce new rules with his son. To put teeth in your demand, you will have to tell him you're going to break up with him unless he changes things immediately. I'm very concerned about how quick he was ask you if you wanted to break up when he should have at least given you sympathy. I hate to tell you, but he may be quite ready to break up with you, and that could be why he's letting his son get away with dissing you.

In any case, if your boyfriend wonít stand up for you, heíll make a lousy husband. You donít want to wind up married to a man who puts his son first and you second, no matter how his son behaves. Donít be a fool. Put your foot down and let your boyfriend know that letting his son treat you badly is a deal-breaker, and that youíll be gone if it doesnít stop. Then do just that. The next time the son treats you badly, leave. Donít stop to answer questions about why you left. If your boyfriend isnít there at that moment, leave anyway.

Donít come back for several days and donít take his phone calls. Let him see that you are serious and that you are really angry. One reason your boyfriend allows his son to continue to treat you so disrespectfully is that there are no consequences or repercussions. Not for him or for his son. Youíre still there, no matter what.

If you have to walk away from this relationship, then do so. Leaving is better than getting into a situation that you canít control with a man who wonít stand up for you.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

Hard Choices

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I am a 25 year old gay male. The longest relationship I have been in was four years with my ex-boyfriend. I left my ex about nine months ago. At that time, I decided to not pursue a serious relationship for one year to spend some time fixing my issues (i.e. financial responsibility, career and social life). I briefly spent sometime slutting around, then rediscovered that dating was the way to go for me. Every time I hooked up with someone new, I was always looking for a connection. Just sex became boring quickly.

I dated a few months. Met some nice guys and finally met one that I really clicked with. He is 21 and in his last year at college. Since this is his last year we agreed to a light relationship. However, things progressed and we became boyfriends but not too serious. We agreed to monogamy. We happily continued along until his vacation. He went away and I checked his email where I found exchanges with other guys obviously for sex. At first I was furious and wanted to break up. But then by the time he returned I had cooled off. I did not want to tell him I had violated his trust by checking his email. I also came to feel it was not worth breaking up with him since this relationship is temporary and light to begin with. Easy enough?

Well, at Gay Pride this year I met another guy. We had Total instant lust - even as he was walking up to our float. He saw me, I saw him - boom! We had fun that day and became friends. Since I had a boyfriend we never addressed the possibility of going out or sex. Once I found out my boyfriend was cheating, I went to see this new guy more. We hung out with friends and also got to know each other better through emails.

Strangely, when my boyfriend returned he was more affectionate, attentive, and loving than ever before. Probably a combination of missing me and the guilt from cheating. The increase from him feels great. He is a fun person, interesting and wonderful. I do not want to lose his friendship. However he is flighty, less experienced (I am his first boyfriend) and not marriage material.

The new guy has experience on his side, is a little older, stable and comfortable with himself. Those qualities are in addition to the overwhelming mutual attraction. We share many similar values (monogamy is one) and we have some similar interests. He is potential marriage material.

How can I change my relationship with my boyfriend to friends and get to know the new guy better? I want to keep them both in my life?

Dear Wants Them Both,

You sound like a man who is ready for a committed relationship with someone serious. Thatís why Iím puzzled about why you would stay with a promiscuous young man who obviously canít be trusted. You really donít know whether heís practicing safe sex all the time, so heís putting your health in danger.

When you agree to a monogamous relationship, that agreement is not one you should take lightly. Your boyfriend has violated the trust in your relationship. If you canít trust him to be faithful, it doesnít matter whether you have a light or heavy relationship, you should move on.

You may have to lose his friendship to find a lasting relationship with the new man. If thatís the case, so be it. In any case, you donít want to be the one sneaking around in your relationship. Tell your current connection that you know heís been unfaithful and that you donít want to continue to be in a deceitful relationship. Thatís hard to do, but itís better than sneaking around and pretending to be monogamous.

Then take your time getting to know the new man. Shared values are more important than almost anything else in a relationship, straight of gay. If you find someone who shares the same values and goals, you are already way ahead in finding the lasting relationship you say you want.

Good luck,

Dr. Tracy

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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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