Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Hurting Deeply

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: I am 57 years old and divorced. I am now engaged to a woman who is 29 years my junior. "Carla" is everything I ever wanted. I never intended to fall in love with her, but I needed a friend, and there she was. She feels the same way.

Here is the problem: Even though we are engaged, Carla's parents do not know I exist. For the past four years, she's been trying to figure out a way to tell them about us. Her father is a minister. Both parents are of the opinion that an older man and a younger woman do not make a biblically proper couple. I have read my Bible from front to back, and nowhere does it say this.

Carla says we should elope and then she will find the right time and the right words to tell her parents. But for four years, I've been hearing that we will "elope this year," and it has yet to happen. What do I do when I love a woman so much, but she doesn't have the inner strength to disappoint her parents? -- Hurting Deeply

Dear Hurting: Carla is too young for you -- not because of the age difference, but because she is immature. As daunting as it is to confront disapproving parents, someone who is truly committed to the relationship would have been willing to stand up for her choice of mate after four years and an engagement. Sorry to say, we do not have a great deal of confidence in your future together.

Dear Annie: I could have written that letter from "Sick of It," who doesn't want her husband to approach her for sex. Combine post-menopausal me with my husband's health problems and medications, and you could have a dreary sex life, except for one thing: I love my husband so much that even though sex is not as magical as it used to be, I cherish every moment of closeness we have together.

Even though I don't always feel like it, I jump at the chance to be intimate. Love is about the other person, not yourself. Sex should not be an obligation, but a fulfillment of the promise made by a husband and a wife. -- Bring It On

Dear Bring: We wish more women would emulate your attitude, although we know it can be difficult. And too many women wrote to insist that having sex when you aren't in the mood is akin to rape. It is NOT. Read on for more:


From California: I was outraged by your answer to "Sick of It." I have a husband 12 years my senior with heart and impotency problems. That did not stop him from wanting to play with all the bells and whistles, push all the buttons and then say, "Oops, that's all." Meanwhile, I was hot and bothered with no relief. Finally, I made him understand that all that groping was not welcome. True intimacy at our age comes from love and tenderness. Now we cuddle. He is sad that sex has disappeared, but love is full of compromises.

Florida: A lot of women think the lack of sex in their marriage is perfectly fine. They decide they don't need it anymore, so their husbands don't need it, either. I wonder how many of those women would like to have their husbands visiting prostitutes, watching porn or having affairs. Intimacy is part of marriage, and if they aren't willing to participate, they shouldn't get upset when the husband finds someone else.

Kentucky: I don't get why a man insists on continuing to attempt something his body is clearly no longer up to. He gets embarrassed and frustrated. I get groped and bored. I want him to stop pestering me.

Tennessee: Historically, women were not destined to live into old age. We would have died in childbirth at some point, and our husbands would have found younger wives.


"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2016. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at




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