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Door-Locking Debacle

Annie Lane on

Dear Annie: I've been happily married for 17 years to my wife, and we have two kids together, ages 9 and 14.

We live in a city that has seen a rash of petty crime, or worse, lately. It has become a commonplace occurrence for criminals to try to open windows and doors, entering homes and stealing things.

My problem is that my wife has a habit of not locking doors when she goes to work or forgetting to lock doors if she goes to bed later than me. Several times, I have come home to a wide-open front door that she forgot to lock and close all the way and a breeze opened it. This makes me have a mini panic attack, leaving the kids in the car as I then have to sweep through the house to make sure there isn't an intruder inside. This obviously causes me a great deal of anxiety.

I've tried talking to her and showing her posts on the Nextdoor app about people walking into houses. We had a friend three blocks away who found someone in their backyard with their daughters. All of these are met with, "I'll try to do better." Then, a week later, I wake up to an open back door that she forgot to lock.

Any advice on how to try to impress on my amazing wife that this is important to me and our family's safety? -- Anxious in Portland

Dear Anxious: You have a right to be anxious. I'm surprised your wife is putting yours and your kids' lives at risk by not locking the door. She sounds very immature or just plain clueless.

Because she seems unable to "remember" to lock the door, you are going to have to take matters into your own hands. There are high-tech self-locking doors you could get. The reality is that until she gets the picture, you are going to have to lock the doors yourself.

Dear Annie: I suspect I've become hyper-sexual. I never really thought about it until my wife of 40 years entered menopause. As her libido has decreased, and activity has become sort of perfunctory, I've become more and more obsessed with performance.

 

I have not yet acted out on my impulses, but that is only because the opportunity has not presented itself. I've read up on sexual addiction, and I probably do share some symptoms, such as obsessive thoughts and a preoccupation with fantasizing about sex.

I guess what I'm asking is, are restraint and self-discipline the answers to this dilemma?

It is not a subject that is easy to talk about, and my spouse certainly has no interest in discussing it. Part of me just says life is hard, and this is only the latest challenge. -- Self-Discipline

Dear Self-Discipline: The fact that your wife does not want to discuss your feelings is not helping your situation at all. In marriage, both husband and wife should be willing and open to discuss such feelings, obsessions, etc. Ideally, she would support you in your concerns.

My first suggestion is that the two of you enter marriage counseling so she will understand how serious this is. If she refuses, you might want to check out Sex Addicts Anonymous. SAA is a wonderful online tool that might help you address some of your concerns. https://saa-recovery.org/am-i-a-sex-addict/.

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"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 dearannie@creators.com.

 

 

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