Dear Annie: My wife and I have been married now for 37 years. Our three children are all grown up with their own careers and families.
The problem is I’m no longer physically attracted to her. She is 60, and I’m 66. We’re both somewhat overweight, but she has noticeable bulges of belly fat, which is not uncommon for women her age. Needless to say, her figure is less than desirable.
I refuse to confront her weight issue for fear that she’ll feel rejected. She is my soul mate, and I love her dearly, but it’s been over a year now with no sex. I can live without it for the most part, but she can’t. Help! – Hesitant Husband
Dear Hesitant Husband: There must be something about your wife that you’re attracted to that’s not based on her appearance. Is it her sense of humor? Her intelligence?
We all age, and there are plenty of ways to keep that strong sexual connection. Focus on the things she does have going for her. Give her lots of hugs, so you reconnect physically as you picture the woman you fell in love with.
And if you’re both overweight, why don’t you start a diet and exercise plan together? You’d get quality time, improved health and a better body – which could get you out of your rut. Three for the price of one.
Dear Annie: I have been married to my husband for 40 years. Over the years, we have had our ups and downs. About seven years ago, I found an email from one of his co-workers indicating a romantic relationship.
The co-worker thanked him for being there for her children and said that she and her family needed a “man like him” in their life. This co-worker is also married. When I confronted my husband, he told me they were just friends but spoke quite frequently via phone calls and text messages. To save our marriage, he cut ties with her.
Since then, we have been trying to work things out, and I felt we were finally able to move forward until last November, when I found out my mother-in-law has become friends with this co-worker and has been keeping my husband in the loop on her life.
For example, her uncle had surgery, and my mother-in-law texted my husband to let him know he was out of surgery and doing well. My husband doesn’t know this man.
I confronted my mother-in-law about this and asked, out of respect for me, she stop talking to this person or, at the very least, stop keeping my husband in the loop. Now I am being treated as the “problem” and not invited to family events. Was I out of line asking her to stop? – Wife of 40 Years
Dear Wife of 40 Years: Why would your mother-in-law be in contact with this woman? Either she doesn’t like you very much and is trying to disrupt the 40-year relationship you have with your husband, or she was too weak to tell the other woman to mind her own business.
You were not out of line in asking her to stop, just as you were not out of line in demanding that your husband cut ties with the woman. As Princess Diana said about Camilla’s relationship with Prince Charles, “There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded.”
Your mother-in-law’s encouragement of this woman’s relationship with your husband is strange at best and destructive at worst. If your husband is the one pulling the strings behind the scenes, you both would profit immensely from marriage counseling.
Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.
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