Posted: Wednesday, July 8, 2009 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: My husband and I are both in our 60s, retired and married over 35 years. I love him dearly.
For most of our married life, I often fantasized about other men during sex in order to be sufficiently aroused. Consequently, after being intimate, I came away with feelings of guilt and felt I was betraying the fundamental tenets of our marriage vows. For the past few years, I’ve stopped fantasizing, allowing me to have a clear conscience, which feels good. But as a result, I no longer enjoy intimacy.
We continue to have sex once a week. My husband knows I’m not an eager participant, but he is grateful that I go along with this arrangement to please him. Of course, he doesn’t know about the fantasizing, as he would be totally devastated. My husband is a considerate, caring, loving man. He is clean and sexy and smells nice. He doesn’t look at porn. Do other women in long-term relationships fantasize about other men? If so, how do they deal with the guilt? — Mature Citizen
Dear Mature: These kinds of things can make intimacy better and strengthen your marriage, so there is absolutely no reason to feel guilty about it. It is perfectly normal to fantasize about other partners during sex. Most people do. It can enhance the experience and keep the sparks lit after many years together. As long as your fantasy life stays in your imagination, it is no threat to your marriage vows. In fact, your husband is probably doing the same thing, so you might want to reconsider.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Not Lazy and Married to Her Son,” who thinks her mother-in-law is criticizing her housekeeping and cooking. My mother-in-law did similar things. When she organized my closets, I thought she was nosy. When she cleaned my kitchen floor, I thought she was criticizing my housekeeping. When she watched me peel potatoes, I assumed she thought I couldn’t cook.
Now when I visit my sons and their families, I often sit idly by and wish I could help. I would love it if my daughters-in-law would give me projects to do. I want to feel needed and appreciated. That mother-in-law probably has no clue what her daughter-in-law is thinking. I wish I’d had this wisdom when my mother-in-law was living. — Missing Her
Dear Missing: It may be too late for your mother-in-law, but not for you. Talk to your daughters-in-law. Show them this letter and say you’d like to help out if they will let you.
Dear Annie: I am a 28-year-old gay man. I have two jobs, keep my own house and pay my own bills. I recently started seeing someone who makes me feel wonderful, and for once in my life, I am happy. The problem is my mother. She has never met “Bill,” but already doesn’t like him because of our age difference. He’s 47, but is the most caring person I have ever known. He supports me in all that I do and tells me I can do anything.
I admit that I don’t care much for guys my age. They tend to socialize in bars and drink to excess. I would rather be at home watching a movie or reading a book. How can I get through to my mother that I am happy with Bill? You’d think she would be delighted I found someone so wonderful. — Emotionally Tattered in Texas
Dear Texas: You are 28 and no longer need your mother’s approval to date whomever you choose. The best way for Mom to accept Bill is for her to get to know him and understand why you think he’s so wonderful. Make plans to introduce them soon. When she sees that the relationship is working out, she will come around. And if not, it’s still your decision to make.
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 7.8.09