Annie's Mailbox: Don’t seek intimacy elsewhere, fix marriage
Dear Annie: My wife and I have been good friends with “Bill and June” for 30 years. Twelve years ago, my wife had surgery and lost all desire for sex. She isn’t even interested in cuddling. Last year, Bill had a heart attack and is now afraid to exert himself in the bedroom.
Recently, June told me that Bill has given her permission to seek satisfaction elsewhere and asked if I was interested. I am, but I do not know how to approach the subject with my wife. Last year, when she discovered that one of our friends was cheating on his wife, she stated that if I ever did that to her, she would drop me like a hot potato and take me for everything I’m worth. I don’t want June’s offer to end our marriage or destroy the friendship we have with Bill.
My wife goes on a lot of overnight trips for work, so I’m sure that June and I could get together without her finding out. But I do not want to go behind her back. What do you suggest? – Confused Husband
Dear Confused: You cannot guarantee that your wife will not find out, and the worry and guilt would eat at you. Please don’t do this. Instead, have a frank discussion with your wife. Tell her that the lack of intimacy has been difficult for you and that you’ve had an offer for a commitment-free affair. (Do not mention June’s name.) Ask her how she would feel about this. If she agrees, the rest is up to you, although sleeping with a close friend is likely to lead to all kinds of trouble.
Of course, your wife may be appalled at the suggestion, so your next step is to ask whether the two of you can do something else to regain intimacy. Ask her to discuss this with her doctor or come with you for counseling. Do whatever you can to repair the things that need fixing within your marriage before you start looking for “solutions” that could destroy it.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Morose Mom,” whose children keep borrowing money and never pay it back. Your advice was spot on.
One of our sons is like that. It was a continual cycle of borrowing money, even though he has a well-paying job. No loan was paid back. Since he also has children, we were reluctant to say “not another dime” for fear of getting locked out of our grandchildren’s lives.
One day, we decided that a financial counselor would be the answer. We selected one who understood both the problem and the fact she would most likely not be successful. We agreed ahead of time that if my son “bailed,” we would be responsible for any unpaid fees. We then contacted our son and gave him the counselor’s contact information with the ultimatum that there would be no more loans unless he met with the counselor and followed her financial program.
After a couple of months, the counselor billed us for the unpaid balance and said my son indicated he could not work within the terms of her findings. But it’s been five years with no further requests for money and, amazingly, we still have a good relationship with our son. – Relieved Mom and Dad
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies. 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.