How to get Dr. Irene's Advice: Look here!

Ask The Doc Board Archives

The CatBox Archives

Stories Archives


Below is an Interactive Board sampler. A fuller listing is found in the "Stories" menu above.

4/14 Interactive Board: Codependent Partners

3/23 Interactive Board: He's Changing... I'm Not...

3/1 Interactive Board: D/s Lifestyle

1/14 Interactive Board: My Purrrfect Husband

12/12 Interactive Board: What if He Could Have Changed?

10/23 Interactive Board: Quandary Revisited

8/24 Interactive Board: Quandary! What's Going On?

7/20: Dr. Irene on cognitive behavior therapy and mindfulness

6/12 Interactive Board: Unintentional Abuse

11/7 Interactive Board: Is This Abusive?

12/29 Interactive Board: There Goes the Wife...

11/4 Interactive Board: A New Me!

10/8 Interactive Board: Seeming Impossibility

9/8 Interactive Board: My Ex MisTreats Our Son

5/1 Interactive Board: I feel Dead - Towards Him

4/26 Interactive Board: Why is This So Hard?

4/19 Interactive Board: I Lost My Love...

4/7 Interactive Board: Too Guilty!

What Did You Expect?

What Did You Expect?

From: Katie
Sent: Sunday, August 29, 1999 9:48 AM
Subject: E-Mail Advice

My name is Katie Winters. This question is about my former boyfriend. His name is Kyle Davies. Is he a sex and love addict?
Kyle contacted me in Jan 98, telling me his last emotional and physical involvement with a woman was 5 years before, that he missed having a significant other in his life, and that he was looking for a marriage partner.  He understood I was only looking for a marital relationship. 

Dear Katie, OK so far.

Our relationship was only by e-mail until Feb 99, but during that time I caught him in April 98 telling someone he did not want marriage, and in Oct 98 sending out introductions to women in Atlanta who were looking for marriage or LTR partners.  I almost called off the relationship in April, but he said it was just talk on the Net, nothing else.  I called off the relationship in Oct, but he came back later and blamed it on difficulties at work and turning to sexual talk on the Net to handle the pressure. He apologized both times, saying he wouldn't do those kinds of things again. I accepted his explanations. 

Why? Why allow this person's excuses over-rule your good sense? Didn't you trust yourself enough?

We met in Feb 99.  We were immediately attracted, but I almost called things off because while at his  apartment, a valentines balloon bouquet was delivered from a woman. He told me it was a married woman he e-mailed with. He admitted he'd not give up the cyberspace flirtation as he'd promised months earlier, but he assured me that now we'd met in person he would and could.  We made up, agreed we loved each other and it should not be lost over balloons.  He said we were a couple and it wasn't a matter of IF we marry, but WHEN.  We were sexually intimate, my first time since my divorce in 1981.  He asked we exchange rings as a promise we would be together again.  He asked to meet my father, and I took him to my parents.  However, as we were parting from that week visit, he said he had some residual fears of marrying again and needed some time to get over them. I agreed to wait till the summer. 
Ugh. Katie: acts speak louder than words. Always. Don't ever forget that...

In April 99, I caught him flirting on the Net again.  I'd called him at home to ask why I'd not had e-mail for almost a week - was he ill or anything. He said he was working late and didn't have time to send any e-mail for a few days. I found out a day later he'd shot off 19 emails to a woman he was flirting with during those same few days, suggesting he'd come to visit her.  I called things off again, returned his ring, and asked for mine back.  In the time since, he has admitted to me  has a problem with flirtation, he called it his "bad habit." 

We remained friends, but he knew I was looking elsewhere.  In early July 1999 I invited him to a "last farewell" dinner,  He told me he didn't want to lose me, suggested we elope the next day, or that he give up his job and come to where I am.  I told him I didn't believe him.  But, just to give him the chance to prove sincere, the next morning I asked that we check his e-mail inboxes and outboxes. 

Why even bother? You knew.
 He refused.  We stayed in contact as friends, and I told him I would be back in the area in mid-August. I suggested we cook a meal at his house, and I bake a birthday cake for him, as a "last farewell part 2."  Two days after I left him, he e-mailed that he'd not given up the hope of being my husband one day. I reminded him that until I could walk by his computer without him getting a guilty look on his face, this wasn't an option and I was looking elsewhere.

But, only a day after that, two weeks ago, I did a search on Yahoo for his name.  I believe it was my guardian angel whispering in my ear because up popped a web page from a woman who said she loved him and wished him happy birthday. 
Oh much bad behavior do you need? Are you the love addict?
Oh, I had seen this woman's name on a stuffed animal and small book in his house, a book about love.  He had told me she was an old and loved girlfriend, who was now dead, "resting peacefully".  On her web page was a poem he had also sent to me, and swore he had written for me, last year when we were courting.  I wrote to him, and asked what the two fibs meant: her being dead, and the poem being for me.  He wrote she had gotten  pregnant while he was in the Navy and they had parted EARLY in his tour (he left in May 97). He had no explanation for telling me he wrote the poem for me.  I then questioned how he could have been abstinent for 5 years, if he was involved with her before he left.  At first he said he'd made a mistake, it had been 4 years, not 5.  But I reminded him he left in May 1997, only six months before contacting me.... not 4 years or 5 years.  

I then contacted the woman and found out she had in fact been his girlfriend for 4 months before he left.  They had exchanged wedding rings before he left, as a promise to be faithful to each other until his return.  They continued to write, he continued to tell her he loved her, and they met again in June 1998 when he was back in the states, and had sex.  She had become pregnant 4 months before, and told him after he returned.  He called off their relationship, not mentioning that he had been talking to me about marriage for the six months before.  

They stayed in contact, he tried to give her support during her pregnancy and they met again in Jan 99.  At that time, he held her daughter and fed her, he met her parents, he told her he loved her, he had forgiven what happened, and they would be a "3".  They had sex again.  He neglected to tell her he had a date to meet me the next month to see about marrying me.  He last contacted her on 1 Feb by phone, saying again that he loved her and would be in contact once he was settled (which he actually was already).  She never heard from him again, she had no phone number or e-mail address for him.  When she got my e-mail and learned what he was doing with me, it finally answered her question about his disappearance.

I don't begrudge him any lifestyle he chooses, that is his right. He can do what he likes with whomever he likes and that is his business. BUT when we met in February 99, I believed he'd been sexually abstinent for 5 years. He didn't tell me he had unprotected sex with another woman only the month  before. I agreed to sex with him, only after his commitment that we were a couple and getting married, and because I believed he'd been abstinent. If he had told me he had unprotected sex the month before, I would never have agreed to it.  I would have called off the relationship then. 

He took away MY right to choose how I lived my life, by keeping secret his relationship with this other woman, and his sexual activity. 

Yes and no. You knew he was full of lies. You chose to over ride your instincts because you liked his words. Take responsibility. You had absolutely no reason to believe him.
The last time we had sex was only two weeks ago, and it was unprotected.  I have asked him if he had unprotected sex with anyone else since February, when we became physically involved.  He has refused to answer my question. He believes he is "clean" but has agreed to give me a copy of his next HIV test as proof.
I suggest you wait 6 months and get your own.

I have given only facts.  I came to love this man very VERY much, as if he were my husband.  I accepted him as human and with faults, but I made it clear that fidelity in all ways was a requirement for marriage to me.
Fidelity that goes one way? I don't think you know what love is. This is about sexual attraction and games, not love.
Kyle took away my right to NOT have a relationship with him if he was involved with someone else, by not telling me about her, and my right to protect my own health.
You keep saying that, but you are not taking responsibility for your own actions. You had plenty of "red flags." What more did you need?

I love all the wonderful things he is as a man (What wonderful things? The lies?), and I will never forget his support to me this summer when my mom became ill with cancer and then passed away. He had an ulterior motive; he liked it when you were down and needy.  I told him many times he would have no problem having all the relationships he wanted, and ALSO being honest.  There are many women looking only for recreation on the Net, or for fantasy relationships.  There is no need to lie.  But I was a real person wanting a real relationship and a real marriage. And he had no right to lie to keep me in his life, to engage me in relationships and activities I would otherwise not have done.  He has told me he is sorry.  But, I have asked him to change his behavior so that any women he is involved with now, and any women he might be involved with, will not have this experience.  His only reply "F*** you."
I think dear codependent, love-addicted Katie, that it is time for you to stop worrying about him and what he does...and start worrying about yourself. You have been operating on wishful thinking and denial. You have not been living in reality. The reality is that this guy likes to play games and can be faithful to no one. Your fantasy was that your love would somehow fix him and he would be eternally grateful. Take a look inside. How can you possibly compromise yourself this way? You are very obviously a sharp, sensitive woman who allowed yourself to be used by a cad. Time to start learning to love yourself and take care of yourself. You deserve much more than wishful thinking and a bunch of   empty promises! But only you can give that gift to yourself.
Sorry, but you needed to hear that.
Dr. Irene

From: Katie
To: <>
Sent: Sunday, August 29, 1999 11:48 PM
Subject: Re: E-Mail Advice

Thanks for your advice. Since I only learned two weeks ago that the man I was in love with didn't even exist, I can assure you I had no addiction problem to deal with.  I even found a THIRD woman he was involved with last summer as well. Same story: he told her he was sexually abstinent, he talked with her about marriage, told her he loved her, then simply disappeared in December 1998 when he moved back to the States.

I have a very clear view of the kind of man this is now, thanks to the web page posted by one of his victims.  I am writing a book about the experience, using his e-mail, and hope it will help others to see the problem. I had no idea he was a love addict until two weeks ago. I did believe he had a cybersex flirtation problem, but many people go through a phase where they become excited by it, until they get jaded to it, and let it go.  I certainly do not believe I can fix a love addict, and I wouldn't even try. But I would encourage him to seek professional help.

Thanks, but YOU needed to hear this..:)))

I'll quote you in my book?  -Katie

August 30, 1999


Sure. But how do you explain your not having heeded all the warning signs Katie was trying to get Katie to hear? See, Katie was right on target all along, but Katie chose not to pay attention to herself. 

No doubt Romeo has a problem, but I'm more concerned with you, since you're the only one you have any power over. Think about it. It can only help you. How else can you avoid the next Kyle - before he hurts you?

My very best, Dr. Irene


Dr Irene,
it's exactly because I AM the only one I have control over, that only 8 weeks after meeting in person, I called things off when I found him in doing the flirtation thing.  It's very hard these days because it's so easy to do this stuff on the net and never be "seen".  I was fortunate the woman he was flirting with knew of me, got angry at him, and dumped copies of his e-mail on me.  We've not been "a couple" since, and any time he's said anything about getting back together, my reply has been "when I can walk by your computer without you getting a guilty look on your face, we'll talk."  His standard approach was, "But I love you." My answer was, "Love isn't enough. You have to act love, not just talk love."  No doormat here...:))))

Thanks again, and I'm fine.  Glad I learned about this stuff now, regretting it hadn't been sooner.  The secrecy afforded by the Net makes for easy problem hiding.