Posted: Tuesday, July 8, 2008 11:04 pm
Dear Annie: I’ve been married to a great woman for over 16 years. We were both in our 40s when we met. We didn’t have sex before the wedding, although she told me she likes it very much. However, 18 months after we married, our sex life went downhill.
A year ago, I told her I was leaving. She then agreed to have sex, but only under certain terms: not at our home as long as her son is living with us (he is 35 years old), and it will happen when she “gets the feeling.” Now the only place we can have sex is at a cabin we own. We go there every weekend, but she “gets the feeling” less than once a month. She kisses like a 2-year-old — pursed lips only — and there is no passion from her whatsoever. I haven’t seen her naked in over 15 years, although she has a cute figure and is very pretty.
I have asked my wife to see her doctor, but she says there’s no reason. She refuses to consider hormone therapy because she fears getting cancer. I have gone to counseling several times because I am so depressed over the lack of intimacy.
I know she loves me and is a great wife in every other way. I’ve tried to live with the situation and count my blessings, but I am beginning to be resentful and I snap at her. How do I overcome this? — Need to Feel Loved
Dear Need: We are always amazed at otherwise-loving people who ignore or deny their spouse’s need for intimacy. There are ways to have a satisfying sexual relationship that don’t require hormones. Your wife’s inability to show passion or be undressed around you indicates she may have some unresolved issues about sex. Insist that she see her doctor for a complete checkup (not for hormones, but to be sure nothing else is wrong) and then come with you for counseling so you can work on this together.
Dear Annie: Because of budget cuts, I lost a wonderful job as a secretary. So a friend hired me. I thought I would just hang at this job until something else came along, but it’s been almost four years at minimum pay and I feel stuck.
I have an associate’s degree in computers. I’ve had a few interviews, but nobody can offer me enough hours or pay to sustain my lifestyle. My husband makes about $1,000 a week and I barely make $200. He constantly reminds me of my low wages and how I’m not pulling my weight.
How do I keep my spirits up? Relocating is out of the question. — Down and Out in Michigan
Dear Down and Out: At $200 a week, we’re not sure what lifestyle you are sustaining. You are already working for minimum wage, so look for a job that offers an opportunity to move up the ladder, something your current position doesn’t allow. You also should consider seeing a job counselor and possibly going back to school in order to become qualified for employment that pays better. It serves no purpose to wait until someone offers you exactly what you want. Take whatever gives you the chance to improve your situation, even if it’s in tiny steps instead of giant leaps.
Dear Annie: I’d like to add to your response to “K.T.,” who asked about the etiquette of using handicapped stalls. Some people who are handicapped do not necessarily appear to be so.
I have an ileostomy (similar to a colostomy). When the bag fills up, sometimes unexpectedly, it is necessary to get it emptied immediately or risk a bad leak. I don’t like tying up the handicapped stalls if there are others available, but sometimes I have no choice. Please let your readers know that not all handicaps are visible. — Concerned Citizen
Dear Concerned: Our thanks to you and the others who wrote regarding invisible disabilities. We hope readers will keep your letter in mind.
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 7.8.08