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COL Husband's lack of libido could be medical

Dear Annie: I am 35 years old, and my husband is 51. We have a wonderful marriage, except when it comes to making love. After nine years, our sex life has dwindled to nothing. My husband blames it on being in the delivery room when our son was born. He told me the experience turned him off sex permanently. Lately, we haven't been sleeping together because he says our bed hurts his back.

I have kept in touch with an old boyfriend who is having problems in his marriage. We meet once a month to have sex. I know it's wrong, but I need to relieve some tension now and then. Don't worry -- we are not in love.

My husband is a great provider and a wonderful person. I do not want a divorce. I just want him to satisfy me again. What can I do to make him interested in sex? -- Longing for Affection

Dear Longing: First, knock off the affair. If you need "satisfaction," there are ways that don't involve breaking your marriage vows. Second, ask your husband to see a doctor for a complete physical. Sometimes a lack of libido is caused by an underlying medical condition, or he may have problems with erectile dysfunction and is too embarrassed to tell you. Last, if the delivery-room experience truly turned him off, ask him to see a psychologist and work through it. Good luck.

Dear Annie: My husband, "Barry," has a best friend who is single. I'll call his friend, "Joe." I set Joe up with a cute girl in my office, and they hit it off very well. The problem is, when Joe and his new girlfriend go out, they invite us to join them only on those evenings when they know I cannot come. This happens twice a month.

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I am hurt that they do this on purpose, and more hurt that Barry agrees to go without me. On the rare occasion that I have prevailed upon him to send his regrets, he always calls Joe and makes it sound as if I am forcing him to stay home and threatening him with divorce.

I have asked Barry to talk to Joe about excluding me, but he refuses. He says if I have a problem with Joe, I should talk to him myself. I don't think this is right. After all, Barry has known Joe for over 20 years and should speak up on my behalf.

This is putting a big strain on our marriage because we fight about it every time Joe calls. What can I do? -- Left Out in Columbia, Mo.

Dear Columbia: Why would Joe's girlfriend, who is a friend of yours, want you out of the picture? There is something else going on here. If Barry won't give you a straight answer, talk to Joe directly, or ask the "cute girl" in your office what the scoop is. There is no reason for the "gleesome threesome" to consistently arrange their evenings to avoid you. Something is rotten in Missouri.

Dear Annie: My husband and I recently separated after three years of marriage. I live in New York, and "Adam" lives in Utah. He has been overseas for the past 16 months and barely knows our daughter, "Mandy," who is 2 years old.

Adam would like to take Mandy to Utah for two months. He says it will provide a good opportunity for them to bond. Adam is great with kids, and I am not worried about her care. In fact, I am eager for her to develop a relationship with her father. However, Mandy does not know Adam, and I don't want to traumatize her. Please tell me how to handle this. -- Concerned Mother Out East

Dear Concerned: Ask Adam to visit New York and spend some time with Mandy in familiar surroundings. Show her photographs of Daddy, and tell her good things about him. Consult your pediatrician about Mandy's level of readiness, and when you believe she knows her daddy well enough, let her go.

Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to anniesmailboxcreators.com, or write to: Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.

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