Dear Annie: It’s the middle of the night, and I can hardly type because my blood pressure is sky-high and my hands are shaking and my nose is bleeding. Why? Because a few days ago, I came across a leather bag belonging to my husband, and it was filled with homemade movie tapes with pornographic titles.
I’ve read letters in your column from wives who were shocked after finding their husbands’ secret porn caches, and I thought they were making too much of it. Then I started thinking I needed to know what kind of porn “Jim” was into, in case he was a pedophile or gay, so I went back and looked again.
Each tape had a note on it, addressed to my husband, describing in detail the porn within. The good news is that it’s all adult, straight porn. The bad news is that it doesn’t explain why he is not interested in having sex with me.
Apparently, Jim has been corresponding for years with a group that exchanges tapes of private sex acts. He received the most recent tape just a week ago. I have to wonder what his contribution is to this group, since we don’t have sex. In the 15 years we’ve been together, we’ve had sex maybe 10 times, and lately, not at all.
We’ve already been to counseling together and separately. Jim told his counselor that I was a “cold fish.” I’m not a prude, Annie. I love sex, even though I have to do it by myself. Now I feel cheated out of an important part of my life. It’s as if I am married to someone I don’t know.
I’d rather leave him than have the necessary conversation. Please tell me what my next step should be. – Having a Stroke in Pennsylvania
Dear Having a Stroke: Nothing like a good shock to get the heart racing. Jim may be one of those men who only becomes sexually excited when watching others. In any event, he has been keeping a major secret from you, and you are not finding sexual and emotional satisfaction in your marriage.
Decide if Jim has other qualities that make the marriage worth saving. If so, wave one of those tapes in front of his nose and insist on joint counseling so Jim cannot lie about his sexual proclivities. If both of you aren’t willing to do this, you can kiss your marriage goodbye.
Dear Annie: I was married to “Dina” for 27 years and was always close to her side of the family. Her brother was my best friend (that’s how Dina and I met). Dina passed away three years ago.
Last summer, I began dating “Gloria,” and I believe we eventually will marry. The problem is, Dina’s nephew (the son of my best friend) is getting married next May. Gloria’s daughter just announced that her wedding will be on the same day. How do I decide which wedding to attend? I can’t do both because of the distance. Gloria thinks I should be with her. What do you say? – Need a Clone
Dear Clone: Let’s deal with the simplest solution first – can Gloria’s daughter change the date of her wedding? Otherwise, your nephew should take precedence. He is a member of your extended family, you are his father’s best friend, and you have known him his entire life. If Gloria is a class act, she will let you go without complaint.
Dear Annie: I read the letter about the child who was the recipient of rude comments about her appearance because she didn’t look like her parents. I, too, had a red-haired daughter, while my wife and I are brunettes. Whenever anyone made a comment, I answered matter-of-factly: “She was born a week late. It’s from rust.” – Alan Out East
Dear Alan: We love it.
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