Inappropriate behaviour might indicate medical issues
Dear Annie: I am gay. Two years ago, my partner of 34 years told me that my brother-in-law had touched her breasts inappropriately. I didn't believe her and we had a huge fight over it. She never confronted him or told my sister, and she has continued to socialize with my family.
Last weekend, we attended my niece's graduation, and much to my horror, my brotherin-law rubbed his hand across my butt. Worse, I then had to get into the same car with him. I was shocked and said nothing, even though I was terribly upset. I avoided him the rest of the weekend, but things haven't been quite right since.
A year ago, I moved to another state and spend vacations with my sister and her family, either in her home or mine. Now I'm not sure I should continue.
I do not understand why he did this or what to do. Was it an act of power or hate or some kind of midlife crisis? This is my sister's husband, whom I have respected through the years. I now doubt everything about him, including his fidelity to my sister, his morals and whether he has touched other females in the family.
I am close to my sister and don't want to hurt her. We are not young anymore and don't have a tremendous amount of time left to be near each other. But I am not comfortable with the idea of staying in the same house with him. How do I explain that to my sister without causing more harm? – Confused and Angry
Dear Confused: There is another possibility. Sometimes, sudden and peculiar changes in behaviour or a loss of inhibition can indicate a medical problem, including a small stroke or early signs of dementia. In all the years you have known him, your brother-in-law has never behaved this way toward you.
Please talk to your sister. Say that you've noticed some disturbing changes in your brotherin-law's recent behavior and that you worry he may have some physical or neurological problems. You will have to tell her what you mean, but do so with concern and caring, instead of accusations and condemnation. Suggest to her that she get him to a doctor for a complete workup and evaluation.
Dear Annie: This is for "Had Enough, Thanks," the 68-yearold woman whose husband still wants to have sex, but she isn't interested. I have the opposite problem.
My husband is in his late 60s, and I am 10 years younger. We have only been married for five years, and he has had no interest in sex or any other type of physical intimacy. He even told me that he has no need for this anymore and could easily live the rest of his life without it. This has caused extreme problems, as I still have a strong need and desire for marital intimacy.
Though I truly love him, it is almost more than I can bear to face the rest of my life with virtually no human touch. – Married, Living Alone
Dear Married: We're certain a lot of women will tell you that in a few years, you may feel the same way your husband does, but that's not necessarily true. And in the meantime, you are miserable. Is your husband willing to discuss this with his doctor or a counselor? If not, counseling might help you make some decisions.