Dear Annie: I have been married to a great guy for over a year. We have a fantastic marriage, with one problem. Three months after we wed, our sex life slowed to a trickle. Before we married, we were having sex four or five times a week. Now it’s less than once a month, and the change happened suddenly. We are young and in the prime of our lives, yet he is completely uninterested in having sex with me.
I have asked him lovingly if there is anything wrong, but he says things are perfect. I have asked him to see a doctor, but he doesn’t think there’s any reason. He gets very defensive when I bring up the subject. He tells me he realizes I want more, but nothing changes.
We snuggle, we kiss and are very affectionate. I feel deeply depressed and unattractive. I know he loves me and is a great husband in every other way. I have tried to live with it and count my blessings, but I am beginning to resent and snap at him. I don’t know how to overcome this. — Needing More
Dear Needing: Your husband needs to understand how important a healthy sex life is to your marriage. He thinks you don’t care or will get used to it. The hyperactivity when you were courting was not, apparently, his real sexual appetite. This is. Tell him he must see his doctor and specifically ask for his testosterone to be checked. If he refuses or if the doctor says he’s fine, it’s time for counseling. It would be best if he’d go with you, but if not, go without him.
Dear Annie: Are you supposed to place your hand over your heart during the national anthem? And if so, when did this become the practice?
I am in my 40s. When I was in school, we said the Pledge of Allegiance every morning. We were to stand at attention, place our hand over our heart and recite. We then sang “The Star-Spangled Banner,” but with our hands at our sides. I assumed placing the hand over the heart was because you were making a pledge, and during the national anthem, you stood to show respect. My father was in the Air Force and I went to school on base, and this is how I was taught.
I was listening to a local radio show recently, and a caller said anyone who didn’t put his hand over his heart during the national anthem was “an unpatriotic idiot.” And all this time I thought people who did that were just poor souls who hadn’t been taught properly. Did they change the rule and I missed the memo? — Patriotic Idiot
Dear Patriot: We can understand your confusion. According to the Emily Post Institute, it is necessary only to stand quietly at attention during the playing of the national anthem. However, according to uniform guidelines established in 1942, the U.S. Flag Code states those in uniform should salute and civilians should stand at attention with the right hand over the heart. These federal guidelines are strictly voluntary, and there are no penalties for not complying.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Disgusted With Dinner,” whose husband chews with his mouth open, slurping and smacking his lips. My suggestion is to secretly videotape him while he eats. Maybe if he sees and hears what he’s doing, he’ll realize how much he’s embarrassing himself.
Years ago, my husband and I were on Market Street in San Francisco. He spit on the sidewalk and I told him it was disgusting. He did it again, so I decided to imitate him. When he saw me spit on the sidewalk, he realized how revolting it was and he’s never done it again. That was 40 years ago. — Bonnie in Napa, Calif.
Dear Bonnie: We wouldn’t normally congratulate someone for spitting on the sidewalk, but in your case, it was very effective.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 5.12.08