Dear Annie: I am a 27-year-old man and was recently engaged to “Shawna,” a beautiful 27-year-old woman. We’ve been together for five years and have worked hard to make sure we are financially stable. The problem is our sex life. It is nonexistent. When we first started dating, sex was frequent and more exciting, but now, I am lucky if we are intimate once every three months. There is no compromise on this issue, either. I can’t even get a deep, passionate kiss.
I am an attractive guy. I’m in good shape and try to be a kind person. I am frequently hit on by other women, but am completely faithful and would never hurt Shawna. I enjoy treating her well. I love this woman. She is my world. But what about my needs?
I know Shawna loves me and she has always been the one wanting to move forward in our relationship, but I am beginning to think it’s only because I am a reliable roommate and a good provider.
I don’t want a roommate. I want a wife with whom I can be intimate, and I see no sign this is going to happen. What can I do? — Always Disappointed in Louisville
Dear Louisville: A lack of libido this early in the relationship could indicate a medical or psychiatric problem, or even a sexual orientation issue, and must be resolved before you make the arrangement permanent. Insist on couples counseling before you move forward with your wedding plans. Shawna also needs to see her doctor. If she refuses to do these things, it means she is not sufficiently invested in the relationship and things will not improve.
Dear Annie: My father and I are not close. He has rarely been there for me or my siblings. I see him a couple of times a year and it is usually awkward. We all have a lot of anger and resentment toward him. He also makes rude comments about our mother for no reason. (He was the one to leave her.)
Since the birth of my baby, Dad has been a little better. He calls every month or two and seems to like my son. However, I don’t want to include him and his family at my son’s first birthday party. Neither my mother, my siblings nor I enjoy being around him. I’m afraid he’ll ruin it for all of us.
I am polite to my father despite how I feel and I don’t want to hurt his feelings. It seems silly to have two parties. What should I do? — Daughter in New York
Dear Daughter: Have one party and invite whomever you wish. If you decide Dad’s presence would be too stressful, ask him to come the day before or after for a special birthday dinner with only your immediate family. If that’s too much, have him drop by during the week for cake and ice cream. Sing “Happy Birthday.” Blow out the candles. It’s enough.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Looking Out the Window,” who has agoraphobia. I am a 38-year-old mother who has had panic attacks off and on for 20 years. When they began to get so bad that I didn’t want to leave the house, a friend urged me to see my doctor, who referred me to the psychiatry department of the local hospital. I had a panic attack while waiting to see the psychiatrist, but I stuck it out and am glad I did. I have been on medication for the last two months, and it has helped enormously. Just knowing I have the pills in my purse is often all I need. — Looking Out the Window Less and Less
Dear Looking: We are sure the quality of your life has improved dramatically. Sometimes all it takes is the confidence of having help within reach. Thanks for the words of encouragement.
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 on 12.12.07