Clyde not having a Bonny time in the bedroom
Dear Annie: I am 62 years old and have been married to "Clyde" for 12 years. We do not have a sexual relationship. He prefers to sleep on the sofa and always has, saying it’s more comfortable.
Clyde had a horrible childhood. He told me that his mother had sex with various men in his presence. On the weekends, he would stay with his paternal grandparents, where he witnessed his uncle abusing his aunt. His grandmother is the only one who showed him any love, and while there, he slept on the sofa.
Prior to meeting my husband, I contracted herpes. I am allergic to latex so sex is always a risk. He knew this prior to our marriage and things were OK then. But after we married, sex became infrequent, partly due comes so angry that I once put my feelings in a letter. He tore it up without reading it. Any advice? — Missing My Husband
Dear Missing: Clyde’s background indicates a lot of unresolved issues about sex and intimacy, but if he refuses to address them, there is little you can do to change how he responds. However, you can get counseling for yourself. A good counselor will help you focus on what’s important to you and decide what is best for you, including ways to cope with the situation you have with less frustration.
Dear Annie: "Good Daughter" said her mother endlessly stole the limelight. I’ve observed the exact same behavior in both my husband’s mother and mine, and it seems to have started in their 70s. I wondered if it had to do with them fighting the feeling of being invisible or irrelevant in their families’ lives.
As I transition into the empty-nest phase of life, I’m beginning to get a glimpse of what it feels like to go from being the center (and coordinator) of all family activities into a much less active role in my kids’ lives, and I’m sure it will be even more pronounced over time.
We all need to feel needed. In our younger years, we race through our busy lives. Once we reach our senior years, all of these connections and obligations fade. We need others to validate that we still matter. While this doesn’t make it any more pleasant to observe the redirection of every conversation, a little perspective might encourage more tolerance. — Patient Daughter
Dear Patient: While we aren’t sure that applies to all cases (many people are self-absorbed from childhood on), we agree that the sense that one is invisible and unimportant can push people to assert themselves this way. Thank you for providing a plea for understanding.