Lady feels as though liv­ing with her hubby is more like be­ing room­mates with chil­dren

The China Post - - LIFE -

DEAR AN­NIE: My hus­band and I have been mar­ried for 24 years, and it feels like we are room­mates with kids. We are op­po­sites and al­ways have been, but it seems as if we have fallen out of sync com­pletely.

He has never been out­go­ing, whereas I am a so­cial but­ter­fly. Our kids have never seen us kiss, hold hands or show any other form of af­fec­tion and that re­ally both­ers me. It’s not that we hide it from them — it’s that we don’t do it at all.

I know I am to blame for many of our prob­lems as I brought a lot of bag­gage with me. I have apol­o­gized to my hus­band nu­mer­ous times, but he has only once taken re­spon­si­bil­ity for his part of it. For the past 12 years, any so­called down­time he has is spent on the com­puter. When I try to talk to him, he stares at me and doesn’t of­fer any in­put. Ev­ery con­ver­sa­tion is about su­per­fi­cial, com­mon in­ter­ests, but when it comes to deeper, more mean­ing­ful talks, he goes mute. A cou­ple of times, I have tried to have a dis­cus­sion and in­stead of re­ply­ing, he texted me snide com­ments. It is so in­cred­i­bly frus­trat­ing that I am start­ing to re­sent ev­ery­thing about him.

I have men­tioned di­vorce, but he ig­nores me. I feel I am suf­fo­cat­ing a slow, painful demise and I don’t know what to do. I want to laugh again. I want him to be happy as well. He is the fa­ther of our chil­dren and I am grate­ful, but at what point is it enough? Is it self­ish to want to put my­self first for a change? I had hoped we could part as friends, but now we’re be­gin­ning to hate each other and he doesn’t seem to care. The stress is eat­ing at me.

— Hope­less and Con­fused

Dear Hope­less: What­ever bag­gage you brought into the mar­riage mat­ters less than the cur­rent lack of com­mu­ni­ca­tion. While there are still some men who are re­luc­tant to dis­cuss their feel­ings (and some women who are too de­mand­ing on that score), your hus­band’s dis­mis­sive and snarky at­ti­tude is what hurts. We un­der­stand that you are ready to throw in the towel, but please first see whether the mar­riage is worth sav­ing, not only for your sake, but also for your chil­dren. Ask your doc­tor to re­fer you to a coun­selor and then ask your hus­band to go with you for at least one ses­sion. As al­ways, if

he re­fuses, go with­out him.

DEAR AN­NIE: Could I please use your col­umn to clar­ify the dif­fer­ence be­tween a trans­gen­der per­son and a cross-dresser? Most cross-dressers are nei­ther gay nor trans­gen­der. They have no de­sire to be­come women. They just like to wear women’s cloth­ing.

I am a 65-year-old grand­fa­ther and a cross-dresser. I have been wear­ing lin­gerie and panty­hose in pri­vate for 40 years. Only my wife and a few sales clerks know. I have oc­ca­sion­ally gone to the gro­cery wear­ing panty­hose with shorts. It has not caused any undo at­ten­tion. — A Cross-Dress­ing Grand­fa­ther in

Den­ver

Dear Den­ver: A trans­gen­der per­son is one whose gen­der iden­tity does not match the one he or she was born with bi­o­log­i­cally. A cross-dresser is some­one who prefers to dress in cloth­ing of the op­po­site gen­der. Many cross-dressers are het­ero­sex­ual and hap­pily mar­ried. An­nie’s Mail­box is writ­ten by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, long­time ed­i­tors of the Ann Lan­ders col­umn. Please email your ques­tions to an­nies­mail­box@cre­ators.com, or write to: An­nie’s Mail­box, c/o Cre­ators Syn­di­cate, 737 3rd Street, Her­mosa Beach, CA, USA.

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