Dear Annie: My husband does not like to have any physical contact whatsoever, except for a peck hello or goodbye. He does not like to be touched. There is no cuddling. We don’t have sex. There is nothing.
We’ve been married for eight years, and I can guarantee that we had more sex prior to our wedding than we’ve had since. I have never met anyone like this.
I long for an intimate relationship. Whenever we had sex, it was because I initiated it or complained that we never had sex. It’s been eight months now and I just don’t have it in me to try anymore. And he obviously doesn’t miss it.
We’ve attempted counseling, but it was short-lived. He never has given any reason as to why he is this way. Do I stay or do I go? – Lonely
Dear Lonely: Does your husband have other redeeming qualities or does the lack of intimacy trump everything else? Has he had a physical checkup? It could be a hormonal imbalance like low testosterone, or erectile dysfunction. Is he asexual? Is he gay and using the marriage to stay in the closet? Is he depressed? Has he lost interest in you? Is he having an affair?
These are all possibilities that should be explored. Don’t be coy. Ask him directly about each of these issues. You can offer to accompany him to his doctor to discuss it. You can insist that the two of you return to counseling to sort this out. But if he refuses to talk about the problem and will not seek treatment of any kind, your decision is whether you are better off with him or without him the way he is.
Dear Annie: “Mom of Three” sounds like my husband’s mother. “Mom” said that ever since her son married, he spends all of his time with his wife’s family and she rarely sees him. There may be significant reasons why her son doesn’t want to visit, and it may have nothing to do with his wife.
I’ve been married to my husband for 20 years. He was raised in a strict home with a physically and mentally abusive father and a neurotic mother who did nothing to protect him and his two siblings. At 50, my husband still has serious scars, both physical and mental. His mother is in total denial of her son’s abusive upbringing. Whenever he mentions it, she scolds him for talking about family matters and quickly changes the subject. In addition, his parents are not shy about sharing their racist, bigoted ideas in public, which makes social outings embarrassing and uncomfortable.
The facade his family presents to others is totally superficial. He can barely tolerate being in their presence and often makes excuses to avoid contact with them. – His Wife
Dear Wife: There are always two sides to every story. Any parent whose grown child avoids them (whether newly married or not) should take a good look at their own behavior to make sure it is not the reason for the estrangement. And if it is, the child should have the gumption to say so. Behavior cannot be changed if it is not recognized and addressed.
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.