Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Ask Amy: My wife doesn’t want to sleep with me. What should I do?

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Dear Amy: My wife of 27 years recently told me she was no longer interested in intimacy or sex. We have had a poor record in this regard, especially when raising our four children (three adults and a teenage girl).

My wife told me that I could not initiate or suggest having sex with her, and that the only way to do so would be if she decided to initiate it. She hasn’t done it in over a decade, so I have no hope. Of course, I told him it was unfair to dictate terms that would, in essence, last maybe the next 20-30 years of my life.

She said any form of cheating would be grounds for divorce, so I think she’s trying to force a divorce on me, making me the bad guy with the kids and extended family (she thinks I wouldn’t tell them this publicly ). ). So what do I do now?

Rejected: After years of dysfunction, your marriage has now come to an end. Your sex life may be the main issue dividing you both, but I suspect your wife’s lack of compassion and current non-negotiability is representative of other problems in the marriage. She looks angry, you are (understandably) very hurt.

“No-fault” divorce means that couples do not need to provide specific reasons for separating. If your relationship has collapsed to the point of no return, “irreconcilable differences” is an accurate description. You need to find out about the legal avenues for divorce in your state.

If you’re at the point where you think you’re trying to outsmart each other when it comes to the breakup, counseling might offer you a path to negotiating a more peaceful and honest separation. If she doesn’t want to see a therapist with you, you should go alone.

You are not invited to initiate sex. You should initiate counseling. If you split up, I feel like you might be seen as the “bad guy” regardless of the actual circumstances. You should ask yourself if you are ready to be held hostage by your wife’s anger.

Dear Amy: I am a retired woman, living alone. I inherited a box of very old photos, over 100 years old. At the bottom of the box, I found a dozen small, nicely framed “adult” photos. While I’m sure they were hardcore for their time, they’re pretty tame by modern standards, with partial nudity, laceless bodices, and rolled up bottoms.

The most alluring photo is of a bride receiving a romantic kiss on her wedding night. I was immediately drawn to these lovely images and so I put them together to display in my bedroom, which is a very private room in my house. (I am a retired woman living alone.)

As soon as she saw them, my older sister started insisting that I take them off, because “people will think you’re gay, or some kind of pervert.” I pointed out that anyone in my room knows me well enough to know the truth about me, and who cares what anyone else thinks?

My sister, and now several of her friends, are outraged by my “pornographic display.” Can you help me suggest a comment to stop the discussion?

Art lovers: This looks like a cool and unique collection to display in your room.

In response to comments or criticism from the various candidates in your life, you might raise an eyebrow and say, “Well, you’re right. I held you back. My secret is revealed. I’m actually gay and have a particular attraction to boudoir beauties from the Victorian era. Last night I dreamed of Virginia Woolf. We were doing ballroom dancing on the Titanic. In short, own it; don’t explain or apologize.

And perverse? Would your sister be scandalized if you had a reproduction of Michelangelo’s Venus de Milo or “David” in your bedroom? Would she be shocked if someone watched Rodin’s “The Kiss”? Maybe. But that’s really his problem. Don’t make it your own.

Dear Amy:Superstitious» wondered what to do with his unlucky alliance from a previous marriage. He should melt it down and donate the proceeds to a favorite charity.

Charitable: This is an option worth exploring (many readers have suggested it), but this process could cost more than the gold in the ring is worth.

© 2024 by Amy Dickinson. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency.

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