Moved by Music
Dear Annie: I'm a 24-year-old man, and I recently moved in with my girlfriend of three years. Since moving in, it seems that the passion she used to have for me is gone physically, though she insists it's due to hormone issues with her medications. I'm no woman, so I can't understand her issues with that or if there even are any.
This lack of physical intimacy has led to me having doubts of my self-worth as a partner and being paranoid of cheating and constantly worrying about how much our relationship actually means to her. I've tried very, very hard to be a good provider, partner and father to her son.
This issue had been deepened even further when I learned of a promiscuous and rather morally wrong relationship decision she made in the past. It makes me question how I can expect her to be committed to me.
I'm honestly stuck in a loop wondering why she doesn't love me as much as I love her.
I've tried bringing these issues up, and she weakly reassures me that everything is OK with us, on the off chance that she doesn't get agitated by my worrying. I've never felt more insecure, and the never-ending negative thoughts of abandonment and betrayal are going to tear me apart and ruin our relationship.
Is it me? Am I right to feel this way? I'm scared that I've wasted the last three years of my life if this is how things are going to stay. It's all so sad and stressful and I feel such a deep pain inside all the time from it. Any advice is much appreciated and desperately needed. -- Worried
Dear Worried: There is no "right" or "wrong" way to feel; if your relationship is leaving you feeling insecure and paranoid, then it's time to reassess.
You have already tried to initiate an honest conversation with your girlfriend, and I commend you for that. The next step would be to bring in a couples counselor to help you communicate more effectively. It sounds like you both may have prior relationship history that is seeping into your present relationship. A good therapist can help you figure out how to process that past and channel your energy toward a bright future.
Dear Annie: Having enjoyed attending a church that has superb music and preaching for years, I'd like to give a shoutout to the thousands of organists, choir directors, preachers, handbell choirs, children-youth choristers and church musicians who give to untold hours of practice throughout the year to bring superb music to congregants. To all, I say a huge bravo, hallelujah and blessings on your efforts that lift many spirits higher each week.
If you haven't said thank you to your music makers, please do so during this Easter season. -- Inspired
Dear Inspired: Thank you for your letter. Music can have such a special and poignant impact on our lives, both in and outside our places of worship. We should be much appreciative to those who contribute to and spread this gift.
"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to email@example.com.