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Annie’s Mailbox: Cold shoulder wears on husband

Dear Annie: I’m a 50-year-old male, married for 20 years to a beautiful woman in her 40s. The past five years have been hard. I have made mistakes during our marriage, but have worked hard to change and be a better husband. I don’t drink, smoke or gamble. I love my wife dearly and have never cheated. I don’t want anyone but her.

Unfortunately, my wife displays no emotion toward me in any way. Everything we do together is fine, and she is a wonderful companion, but her coldness is killing my spirit. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life like this. I think I’ve reached the end of my tether. I need help. – Crushed

Dear Crushed: We don’t know what you did in the past that may be contributing to your wife’s coldness toward you, but if you have made genuine efforts to redeem yourself for five years, she needs to cut you some slack before it’s too late. There’s a point at which punishment becomes counterproductive, and you’ve reached it.

Please talk to your wife and let her know that the current situation has become intolerable and you cannot continue in the marriage like this. Ask her to go with you for counseling. As always, if she refuses, go without her.

Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Devastated,” whose family will not accept her relationship with an African-American man.

Our daughter married a black man in 1975. My biggest reservation was the prejudice that their children might face. But they handled it in an exemplary fashion. They taught their two lovely daughters to tell people, “My dad is black and my mother is white, and that’s just the way it is.” I learned to love my son-in-law as if he were my own child. He is a special man. They have been married 37 years and counting. I side with you, Annie. It is really nobody’s business. I hope “Devastated” will go for it. – Proud Mother in Kansas