Posted: Monday, August 8, 2011 8:01 pm
Dear Annie: I am a 48-year-old married woman. I love my husband and believe he loves me, too. “Frank” used to be very affectionate and also quite interested in sex. Now I am lucky to get a kiss on the cheek at bedtime. We haven’t had sex in over a year. His doctor gave him samples of Viagra, but they have been sitting in a drawer for months.
Frank says sex is not important to him anymore, but it is to me. I am so tired of hearing all the jokes about women “having a headache.” I feel like the joke is on me.
I am attractive, healthy, clean and loving. So what is wrong? I do not want to leave him or have an affair. But I start to cry every time there is a romantic scene in a movie. I miss that feeling of closeness so much that I am starting to notice other men a lot more than I used to.
Frank won’t go for counseling, so it feels as if we are at an impasse. Can you think of anything I haven’t? — Neglected
Dear Neglected: Before Frank’s doctor gave him Viagra, did he do a complete checkup and look at his testosterone levels? Most men that age who show little interest in sex with their wives are either cheating or they have a medical problem. We’re going to give Frank the benefit of the doubt. Insist that he discuss testosterone levels with his doctor. It could make a world of difference.
Dear Annie: I am not an “animal” person. I was not raised with animals and find it difficult to have them in my home. Years ago, I tried a cat for my daughter’s sake, but it did not go well.
All my friends and family members know this about me. The problem is that certain friends and relatives who have pets expect to bring them to my house when they come to visit. I have offered to house their pets either in the garage or in my fenced backyard, but they dismiss that idea and insist that their pets stay in my house.
If people go to the expense to own pets, they should also include the cost of kenneling when necessary. I take offense when pet owners insist on forcing their pets on me. How can I tactfully make this clear to others? — No Pets, Please
Dear No: It’s your house, and you get to set the rules. Many people consider their pets to be their children and would not dream of kenneling them or placing them in a garage or backyard. That’s fine for them, but it is unfair to you.
Inform any visitors that you are so sorry, but you cannot accommodate their animals. Get the names of the nearest kennels, and also reiterate your offer to house them in the garage or backyard. If they insist that the dogs be allowed inside, remain polite and sympathetic, but say you will have to visit with them elsewhere. If possible, provide a list of local motels or hotels that are animal-friendly.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “No Signature, Please,” whose father had been abusive to her all her life, and now he is aging and needs help. Your advice was spot on.
I was in a very similar situation and handled it according to my ability, regardless of the feelings of those around me. I made phone calls on my father’s behalf and researched what programs he might be eligible for, all without so much as laying eyes on him. Although some of my siblings didn’t understand, others did.
“No Signature” can fulfill her obligation without compromising her own feelings or sanity. The fact that she wrote you shows that she is a caring human being. Since my father passed, I have not lived one moment regretting the way I chose to handle the situation. — Doing Fine
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, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. 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 8.8.11