Life Advice



Annie's Mailbox: Unhappy Husband

Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar on

Dear Annie: You frequently print letters from husbands whose wives show no interest in sex, but I've never seen a problem like mine. My wife loves sex. However, she will never initiate it or act seductively. If I don't initiate sex, it doesn't happen. We can go for weeks without it. Yet when we are intimate, she adores it. She frequently says, "This is so great. I love sex."

In addition, my wife never does anything that might provoke arousal, including kissing. No goodnight kiss, no kiss of greeting when we've been apart, no spooning in bed before falling asleep. It's like we're roommates.

I'm not some unappreciative husband of an overworked wife. I do all the laundry, dishes, housecleaning, yard work, and home and car maintenance. I pay all the bills. We have identical jobs and work hours.

I'm in excellent shape, and she claims our sex is amazing. Many times, I've explained that I'm hurt that she doesn't find me sexually appealing. We've argued about this for 30 years, and she always promises to change, but it never happens. We've tried all kinds of marital aids and videos, but nothing helps. Every night, she watches TV, crawls into bed and goes to sleep.

Am I wrong to think that a mutually rewarding, romantic, physical relationship needs to be more of a partnership? Is it wrong that I need to believe she is sexually attracted to me? -- Unhappy Husband

Dear Unhappy: There could be different reasons for your wife's behavior. She may have some deep-seated hang-ups about women behaving seductively or initiating sex. She may not be all that interested, but enjoys it once you get started. Or she may be putting on an Academy Award performance for your benefit.

After 30 years, we are going to assume your wife is in menopause and whatever chance you may have had to interest her has diminished substantially. This has nothing to do with finding you sexually attractive. Her libido simply isn't up to it anymore. If she enjoys sex once you get started, please don't focus on who makes the first move.

Dear Annie: I married Bob five years ago. He is 72, and I am 68. Bob is the most loving, kind and generous man I have ever met.


The problem is that I love to dance. I could go dancing four nights a week. But Bob will only take me dancing on Saturday nights, and after two hours on the floor, he's out of gas and wants to go home. I could dance until midnight and then go out with friends for coffee. I'd be happy to let him rest while I keep dancing, but my old dance partners won't ask me out on the floor now that I'm married. I am so angry. What should I do? -- Jane in Ohio

Dear Jane: Why are you so angry? You are married to a wonderful man who takes you dancing every week. It may not be as often as you'd like, but it's hardly deprivation. Would Bob mind if you went with friends instead? Would it bother him if you asked your old dance partners to squire you around? If those guys knew it was OK with your husband, they might be perfectly willing to step in so you could have a few more hours of fun while Bob takes a break. Find out.

Dear Annie: This is for "Adopted Child," who asked about contacting her biological family. If she doesn't get a quick response, it's possibly because the family is going through some difficulties. Or maybe they need more time to digest being contacted by their biological sibling.

If there's no response, I suggest the adoptee gently contact them again, perhaps in a year. Reaching out to one's biological family can be a positive, life-changing experience, but one should be prepared for all possible outcomes. - Another Birth Mother


"Annie's Mailbox" is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar. This column was originally published in 2017. 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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