"Ask Dr. Tracy"

12/29/96 Advice Column

Is Reading Playboy Normal?,
The Past Poisons the Present,
Involved With Her Married Boss

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have met the most wonderful man on earth, and he meets all of your requirements about being a good mate, but there is one problem: Last week, I was at his apartment alone, and I stumbled across a stack of current Playboy magazines. Should I be worried about this? Is this normal for guys to do, even when they say they love you and you think they enjoy sex with you? Why do most guys have these magazines? I never even want to look at another nude man. What should I do? Should I just dismiss this as something that men will do?

Dear worried,

Unless your guy is totally obsessed with PLAYBOY, HUSTLER, CHIC, and strip clubs as well, he's perfectly normal. I hardly know any single guys who haven't read a bunch of PLAYBOY magazines. He could be reading the great interviews or indepth articles, and he could also be looking at the pictures of naked women. So what! There are pictures of naked women everywhere, in great art, on television, in movies, and in many magazines.

Men are turned on by what they see. Pictures. Women are more turned on by words, although PLAYGIRL Magazine would claim otherwise.

Of course you should dismiss this as something most men do. No big deal. As long as he loves you, treats you well with kindness and respect, what do you care? Besides, after you're married, the PLAYBOY Magazines may disappear. Or when you feel more secure and less threatened, you could find that you enjoy reading PLAYBOY too.

If everything else is great, a few magazines is nothing to make a big deal about. If a few PLAYBOYS are your only problem, you're in great shape.

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have been married twice. The first marriage I was very young and it only lasted five years and eight months, mainly because she found someone who had more money than I did. The second wife ran off with a younger man after our marriage of 24 years. I have been single now for 10 years, and I am very lonley, but affraid to get on with another relationship. I don't know If I could take the devistation of the last marriage. If I was a drinker or treated them poorly I could see why these things are haunting me, but I am a very responsible person and I trusted them to much. Can you advise me on what to do???

Dear afraid,

My heart goes out to you for the bad luck you've had with women so far, but you never want to give up on love. Who knows, the third time may be the charm.

You didn't say, but I'm guessing you must be around 55 or 60 years old. That puts you in a very desirable age range for lots of women, but it doesn't leave you a lot of time to get out there and find someone new to love. Now you know what to look for and what to stay away from in a woman. Join single groups, put ads in the paper. Say what you're looking for right up front, and what you have to offer. You'll find many women are looking for a responsible one-woman man like yourself, and they've also been disappointed in the past.

There's no reason to let your past disappointments poison the present and prevent you from having a love-filled future. Only you can keep yourself lonely, by letting your fears of getting hurt keep you from finding love.

Don't sit home and wallow in your dismal past. I'll bet your ex-wives aren't sitting around wasting their lives over their marriages to you. Get out, start meeting women, and focus on your exciting new future.

Dear Dr. Tracy,

I have been involved with a married man for 4 years and am married myself. I have recently filed for divorce from my husband. The man I am involved with has promised to leave his wife and I have given him a deadline of Jan. 11. All my friends say that he will not leave his wife because he is well known and respected in the community. He promises to leave and I really believe that he loves me. Am I waisting my time? What will I do if he does not leave? He is my boss also and I have to work with him on a daily basis.

Dear Involved,

You're so close to your deadline, why not just wait to see if he really leaves his wife? If he does, that doesn't mean you two will be together forever, only that he's decided to break up his marriage. And it doesn't mean that his marriage is really over. They could always get back together again. Or his new freedom could trigger a mid-life crisis, complete with little red sports car and nubile young things. What it would really mean is that you'll have to set a series of new deadlines, to file final divorce papers, to get engaged, and to get married. It may be a long haul, although success is possible.

If he doesn't leave, you must absolutely end this relationship. Four years is already too long. No together outside of office functions, and of course no sex. You could be threatening your job, but if a boss insists that you have sex with him in order to keep your job, that's classic sexual harassment.

Of course, even if he does leave his wife and marry you, who knows when he'll leave you for some other woman, just like he left her. Only you know if it's worth it to you to hang around and find out what's going to happen. If you do, there will be a lot more time before he's really yours and you feel secure. And perhaps you'll always wonder whether you should have stayed and waited, or left and found someone else. There are a lot more questions here beyond whether or not he leaves his wife, and you should have your eyes open. In particular, you'll want to be alert for early signs of a mid-life crisis, which you can read about in"Men to Avoid, Part I" in my Library.

Submitting a Question to this column

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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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