Dear Dora (Sleepy)byDear_Dora©
I hope you can help me.
I live with my boyfriend, Doug. We live in a house I bought before I met him. I work as a dental assistant; Doug doesn't work right now, because he is recovering from surgery. I have some concerns about our relationship; I need some advice.
Doug is a musician, so his schedule has always been real flexible. After I got pregnant, I discovered that I cannot tolerate the 'pill.' Doug can't use condoms, either, because he says it ruins the experience for him. Also, he feels that the sponge and the diaphragm aren't spontaneous and 'sexy' enough.
Anyway, about the time the baby was due, Doug's band 'lost their gig,' so he moved in with me. Since he was home all the time, he agreed to take care of Felicia (our daughter) when I returned to work.
That seemed to work for a while, but a couple of times, when I got home at the end of the day, I would find Doug asleep or in the garage with his friends from the band, practicing and paying no attention to Felicia. I told Doug that he must pay closer attention to her, but he said he was doing the best he could, considering his ADHD problem.
I don't make enough to pay for day care as well as make house payments, buy groceries, pay utilities bills, & all. On top of everything, I got pregnant again before Felicia was quite a year old, so I got an abortion.
Doug said that seemed like a good form of birth control, but I said, no way. Finally, Doug agreed to get a vasectomy, and I arranged for my sister to come over and take care of Felicia after she gets done with High School each day (my sister, that is.)
Right after his surgery, Doug was totally bed ridden for over a month. This really surprised me, as I had always heard a vasectomy was a pretty minor surgery ... even in Doug's case, it was an outpatient procedure. But Doug showed me a note from his scrotologist that indicated bed rest until all pain was gone. Luckily, Doug and Felicia really got along well with my sister, Cheryl.
After three weeks of Doug in bed all the time, I started to get worried for him, and he finally agreed to go back and see his doctor. When he returned from that visit, Doug said the doctor had given him a thorough exam, and said he (Doug) was all healed up. The doctor had written Doug another note, saying the pain he was feeling was from not having sex. The doctor prescribed sex two or more times a day for Doug, until his condition 'clears up,' still with lots of rest.
Dora, working all day, then taking care of Felicia and doing the housework at night, I just don't have the energy for sex at all, let alone twice a day, every day. Doug says that's okay with him, cause he's been getting it on with Cheryl, my sister, when she comes over in the afternoon. Cheryl also has brought over some of her high school girl friends to 'study' and 'visit' with Doug. I still often come home from work to find the two of them asleep, sometimes with one or more other high school girls, in my bed.
Doug says this is okay now because he is just doing what the doctor ordered, and doing it with other girls is okay, too, because he's 'shooting blanks' now.
I guess that makes sense, although I certainly didn't realize that's how it would be after Doug's surgery. And it seems to be taking Doug a real long time to make a full recovery. I thought maybe I should go visit this doctor myself, and see if there wasn't something he could prescribe for Doug besides bed rest and lots of sex.
My big concern is Felicia. Nobody's watching her when Cheryl (and whoever) are giving Doug 'therapy' all afternoon. And she's getting big enough to be climbing all over the house and really getting into stuff (Felicia, I mean.) Also, she's learning to talk, and most of her words are dirty ones (Felicia again.)
I told Cheryl that if she was going to be in bed with Doug all the time, she had to get our Mom to take care of Felicia. That was a terrible mistake. Now my mother comes over, sometimes even before I leave for work in the morning, and climbs into bed and gets it on with Doug until Cheryl gets out of school. I guess there's enough people around all the time to keep Felicia out of trouble, but I still worry.
Now I have found out two startling new facts. First, I did go to see Doug's scrotologist, only to find there was no such office there, and no listing for a doctor by that name.
Second, I have discovered that my sister, my mother and two of Cheryl's school friends are pregnant!
Dora, I really need some advice! Should I tell Doug that his doctor has left town? I know Doug was really happy with this doctor, although he was really expensive, and I gave Doug a great deal of money to pay for his treatments, because the man would only accept cash.
Also, should I tell Doug that his girlfriends are apparently messing around on the side with other men, since they are pregnant and obviously, Doug couldn't be responsible?
Doug has been making excellent progress recently; just yesterday, he actually got up out of bed and had me drive him over to my mother's house for a big "Tupperware" party my mom was giving with several of her friends. This was the first time he has been out all day since the surgery, and when I picked him up from the party after retrieving Felicia from day care (which I really can't afford, but it was worth it to see Doug get out!), he looked so tired out that I became really concerned. In his delicate condition, I'm afraid Doug will suffer a relapse if I tell him all this bad news.
Do you have any suggestions?
Sleepy in Sedona
You are having difficulty seeing the real problem here; often love blinds us to realizations of tragic circumstances until it is too late. I hope you won't be offended when I tell you that much of the problem you're having stems from yourself.
Doug is obviously stressed to his limit. What you need to do is get Felicia into day care right away, or maybe get Doug his own apartment, and go over to do the housekeeping for him. If this necessitates getting a second job or doing without something for yourself, well, that's just what we have to do for our loved ones. If nothing else, you might approach the husbands and boyfriends of Doug's companions and see if there's anything special you could do for them, in the absence of their girlfriends / spouses, which might bring in a few extra dollars. Perhaps the fellows in Doug's band could find some way to use you? Even your own brothers or father might surprise you by their eagerness for special attentions. If all else fails, many women find gainful employment by simply stopping cars on the street and asking the drivers if there's anything you can do for them.
Your mother and sister have been wonderful to help Doug recover from his difficult surgery, and by the way, I want to inform you that a vasectomy is very serious surgery, indeed, requiring a long recovery and extended occupational therapy. You should be glad that Doug has been so diligent in doing his exercises to speed along his therapy.
As to the pregnancies, it is obvious that these women are only giving Doug a half measure of their attentions. You should confront them and demand that they get abortions as you did, for Doug's benefit, and/or you should find Doug new, more suitable female companions to help in his recovery.
You need to handle Doug's fragile mental and emotional state with kid gloves. The combination of ADHD, joblessness, and his recent emasculature may have left Doug in a very vulnerable emotional condition, and you should do whatever you can to be supportive. In no circumstances would I confront Doug with the troubling news you have discovered. Let Doug find out in his own way. He seems to be very resourceful.
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