Dear Annie: I’m an attractive, smart and talented 42-year-old woman who has been married for 18 years to my first love, “Zane.” I’m extremely fit and am told that I look 10 years younger. I am aware that many men are attracted to me, but I have a very loving husband. The problem? We do not have sex. Zane and I have not been intimate in three years and, before that, we had sex about twice a year. This makes me feel really unattractive, especially when I know there are men out there who would sleep with me in a heartbeat.
When I approach Zane on the subject, he says work stresses him out and makes him tired and he knows he should make more time for intimacy, but it never happens. Instead, what should be our intimate moments revolve more frequently around spending time with other couples.
Part of me thinks many relationships are like this, but no one seems to own up to the fact. Another part distrusts him and wonders if he is sleeping with someone else. I also am depressed and indignant that he no longer finds me attractive. To deal with it, I fantasize that I am sleeping with other men.
Does this sound normal to you? Please don’t tell us to go for counseling. — Craving Intimacy in Indiana
Dear Indiana: Fine, no counseling, but an inch of newspaper space can only do so much. A healthy marriage involves a satisfying sexual relationship. That can vary depending upon the couple’s needs, but it should not be so one-sided that one person is content while the other is miserable. Ask your husband to see his doctor and have his testosterone levels checked. If everything is OK physically, you need to make your husband understand that his unwillingness to address the lack of intimacy is undermining your marriage. (This is the part where we’d recommend professional intervention, but if you can work this out on your own, go for it.)
Dear Annie: I have been married to my second husband for over 20 years. My first husband died. My current husband wants to be buried with his first wife since the plot was purchased back when she died. It hurts very much that he has chosen to be buried with her. I was married only two years when my first husband passed away, and I feel this man is married to ME now. We should be buried together. What do you say? — This Violet Is Blue
Dear Violet: There are no rules about this. Does your husband have children with his first wife? If so, that might explain why he prefers to be buried next to her — to make it easier for the children. Some second wives buy a plot on the other side of their husband and the three spouses are buried together. This dilemma needs to be thoroughly discussed and arrangements made, but please don’t turn it into a contest between you and the first wife.
Dear Annie: I realize that some slim girls have an eating problem. However, I don’t. I am 13 years old, 5 feet tall, 72 pounds, and still not big enough for a size 00. This would be all right if people didn’t tell me I needed to gain some weight or ask if I had an eating problem. I most certainly do not. I eat plenty, exercise frequently and live an otherwise healthy lifestyle. I am genetically slim and petite.
However, when I tell people that I am fine, they often don’t believe me. Please help me inform them that not all skinny girls are anorexic or bulimic, and accusing people of such without solid proof is completely insulting. — Not Anorexic in Virginia
Dear Virginia: It is rude for anyone to make negative comments about someone’s size, whether too big, too small or anything in between. Tell these busybodies, “Thanks for your concern. I’m fortunate to be naturally slim.” Then walk away.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to email@example.com, 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 on 11.02.07