Hung Up On Her Ex
Dear Dr. Tracy,
I am in need of some help. I am a 25 year old guy, and I'm crazy about
this girl (also 25). Neither one of us has been married, although she
has been engaged. We started hanging out about 6 months ago, and
slowly developed a mutual attraction and strong feelings for each
other. The problem is that she is still trying to figure things out in
her old relationship. She was with a guy for 5 years, they were
engaged, and he broke it off. She was completely honest with me about
this from the start, telling me that although she really liked me, she
couldn't commit until she figured things out. We "dated" for about two
weeks, but things got too physically intimate for her, and she got
scared that she was doing something she wasn't ready for, so she
We tried to cool things off a bit, and just be friends while she
figured things out, but it became too hard for her because she still
had strong feelings for me. She came to me the other day and said that
it is too hard for her to be around me right now, because she is very
interested. She said she needs some time to figure things out, and
told me she needed to be away from me for about a month. She later
sent me a letter, detailing that during this month she was going to
take time to try to work it out with her ex, because before she moved
on, she had to know if her and her ex were meant to be together. She's
also going to counseling, I think sometimes with him. She's either
going to marry him, or never see him again, and if she never sees him
again, then we can slowly start building something up again, taking
care because she will be hurt.
My question, finally, is this: Do I give her the space she asked for
and stay out of touch for the next month? He has broken up with her 3
or 4 times before, and hurt her, but she keeps going back. She
acknowledges that this is a problem, which is why she is going to
counseling. But if I sit back for the next month, isn't it going to
make it easy for her to forget about me and marry him? On the other
hand, shouldn't I do what she asked of me and respect her wishes? Like
I said, I'm crazy about her, and I'm afraid of losing her. In my heart
I can't believe that she would marry him since I know she has feelings
for me, but in my head, I sort of acknowledge that it could happen.
What should I do?
Confused and scared.
Dear Confused and Scared,
You're in a very bad situation with this woman you're crazy about. The problem is that she's still hooked on her ex. If she was with him for five years, it could easily take her two or more years to get over him. And from the way it sounds, she may never get him totally out of her system.
When people break up, the breakup can be very painful, especially if it's the other person who breaks it off. She must have had lots of fantasies about spending her life with him, about their wedding and their future children. Those fantasies don't just disappear from your brain like magic, just because you meet someone new.
Even if you were the greatest, most desirable man in the world, a true prince charming, chances are that you wouldn't be able to fill the void in her heart left by her former fiance. It's just too soon for her to be involved with someone else, and she's been honest enough to tell you.
When a relationship breaks up, the broken-hearted person often has an "interim" relationship that they use to get over their broken heart. The broken-hearted person uses the interim person as a shoulder to cry on, as a support system, as a distraction, but when they get better, they almost always dump the interim lover.
The reason is that there has been too much pain, too much angst, and too much thought about the ex attached to that interim relationship. It's unfair, but when the person finally gets over their broken heart, they want to get away from the bad memories and start fresh with someone new. Also, a broken-hearted person often accepts someone that they're not extremely attracted to but who will be a "port in a storm" for them, and when they're ready to sail the high seas again, that's just what they do.
Chances are things won't work out for her and her ex. They've had five years to work it out and it hasn't worked out so far. Most relationships don't work out, and when there is this much time and heartache associated with the two people, it's really hard to put that behind them and learn to love and trust again.
So, sure, give her the space, and if you are smart, make it for more than a month. Give her enough space and time to find someone else to be the "interim man," and bide your time. When she finishes with her ex and is ready to dump the interim man, then you should step up to the plate, but not before.
Meanwhile, if you want her to think about you as something different than a "port in a storm," start dating someone else. Let her see that you are very desirable, perhaps the one she should wind up with. Be careful if she comes running back and wants you right away, though. She's in a fragile emotional state, and you could be the one she's breaking up with after she recovers from her broken heart.
Her Elusive Orgasm
Dear Dr. Tracy,
Hello I'm a 21 year old woman who just doesn't know what to do. I've been
sexually active for the last 6 months. my question is I can't have an orgasm
through intercourse or other simulation that my boyfriend gives me. I can
have an orgasm however through masturbastion by myself. so what's wrong with
me -- he's getting frustrated as well as me. I want have an orgasm with him but
can't seem to do it. Please Help.
It's no wonder you're frustrated, and your boyfriend too. There's nothing men like more than knowing they are giving the woman they love an orgasm. When a man can't give the woman in his life an orgasm, he feels as if he's not doing his job and he's sure to feel that he's not the lover he'd like to be.
So it's important for you to be able to have an orgasm with your boyfriend's help. The fact that you have been able to have an orgasm through masturbation is a good sign. Now all you have to do is share your masturbation techniques with your boyfriend. If he's a slow learner, or you want to be sure of achieving an orgasm, bring a handy vibrator into your bedroom while you're having sex.
Vibrators come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and functions, which can be a bit bewildering to most women who haven't tried a lot of them. My recommendation is to go with a plug-in (as opposed to battery-powered), and get a good brand, such as the Hitachi Magic Wand, which you can order over the Internet (deeply discounted) at www.hitachi-magic-wand.com. I recommend you get it with the attachments, one of which is great for stimulating your g-spot and showing your boyfriend how to do the same. The other attachment will allow you to easily stimulate your own clitoris during intercourse.
Get yourself a Hitachi or other good vibrator, plug it in (an extension cord could come in handy) and use it as an adjunct to your lovemaking. Tell your boyfriend that this is what sophisticated couples do to enhance their sex. You'll get over the hump (no pun intended) of not being able to have an orgasm with him, and he'll feel like a more sophisticated lover.
Telling About Her Past
Dear Dr. Tracy,
I am a 55-year-old, white, divorced female who is
currently engaged to a 54-year-old white,
divorced male. Both of us have been single for
many years and made the decision we did not
want to live alone for the rest of our lives. He
has been (I hope) honest with me about his first
wife and subsequent relationships. His wife was
unfaithful to him which brought their marriage to
an end. He admits he was not the best husband
and I have tried to tell him infidelity is usually not
the problem, it's a symptom of a problem.
People, and women in particular, become
unfaithful because something is wrong in their
marriage. The reason I know this is because I
engaged in the same behavior twenty years ago
when I was married.
It took him fifteen years to finally put the
experience behind him. He keeps "pressing" me
about my marriage and subsequent lovers, but I
am VERY reluctant to reveal the circumstances
of my divorce and have been very vague,
particularly about the man with whom I became
involved which led to my divorce. Of particular
concern is the fact that the man was black.
I know it is wrong to lie to him, but I am afraid if I
reveal my past infidelity he will think if I cheated
once, I will do it again. I love him and I don't
want to lose him. And, of course, I am relatively
certain he will have a negative reaction to the
race of my former lover. I was looking for
several years and know what's out there. The
available "pool" consists primarily of men who
are divorced for good cause, bachelors who are
single because they are incapable of making a
commitment or are otherwise significantly
"defective" and a scarce few men who are
widowed. Keeping secrets is a constant torment
for me not to mention the amount of effort
required to maintain this deception. Your advice
would be appreciated
I understand why you want to tell your husband to be about your past marital infidelity to get it off your chest. However, if you believe telling will make him love you less or will really destroy your relationship or the future you plan together, then keep your mouth shut.
Telling would relieve you, but if it's something he really doesn't want to hear, which could totally destroy your happiness, then you'd be making a very bad tradeoff. Sure, you shouldn't lie, but why do you feel you have to tell him everything? Everyone needs an inner core of privacy -- to be allowed some innermost thoughts and parts of their distant past that they can keep to themselves. Why do you think that's "deception"? Tell him you had a bad marriage, it was a long time ago, and you just don't want to go into more details. Period. He should respect that, even if he volunteered details about his marriage.
It is a concern, though, that you and your intended future husband may be far apart on your beliefs about other races. Perhaps if he's as prejudiced against other races as you believe him to be, you should have a long engagement so that you can find out if your values are similar enough to maintain the respect for each other a marriage demands.