Dear Annie: All of my life, I've heard about the "golden years." Why are mine only black and gray?
I have been married to my husband for 40 years. He has not been sexually capable for half that time. I understand that, but he also does not want to kiss me, hold me, talk to me, go to bed with me or get up in the morning with me. He puts his arm around my shoulders only in church. Everyone in town considers him "Mr. Nice Guy." He takes care of widows, single women, the older gentleman he works with and our daughter and grandchildren -- particularly the oldest grandson and our only granddaughter. He doesn't pay much attention to our son.
I have retired twice, but being ignored has hurt so much that I have gone back to work again. I have begged him to talk with me, but he'd rather watch TV. Everyone wants to be special at some time in his or her life, Annie, and I am almost suicidal. I want out. It hurts so much to not be loved that I would prefer to live alone. It's painful to sit and read, hoping that he will notice me. I know that not all men are like this because I see others kissing and embracing their wives, and I hear their wives talk about their romantic lives. I have been faithful, sharing and supportive for all of these years. I have never asked him for anything. What can I do except to play solitaire and cry? -- A.
Dear A.: Has your husband always been like this? His lack of affection does not necessarily mean that he doesn't love you. But if he does, he obviously doesn't know how to express it and seems unwilling to learn. No one deserves to be so unhappy for the rest of her life. We know this sounds like a broken record, but counseling will help you. Tell your husband you need to find out whether the marriage is worth saving. Explain exactly why you are ready to leave. Ask him to go with you for counseling to work on the problem, but if he refuses, go alone.
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Dear Annie: I am writing to address a problem that seems to be getting worse.
As a young driver, I observed that other drivers on the road would flash their high beams at another driver to let that person know their high beams were on by mistake. But nowadays, it is more common for drivers to simply turn their high beams on and leave them shining in the person's windshield until the offending driver turns their own high beams down. This strikes me as very rude and is probably a reflection of a society that is increasingly more prone to road rage.
Please remind your readers that it is much kinder to simply flash the high beams rather than locking them in. Courtesy is not that difficult. Thank you. -- Pennsylvania
Dear Pennsylvania: We're going to assume that those who shine their high beams into another car simply do not understand appropriate road etiquette. You click them on and off a couple of times, folks, and that's it. It alerts the other driver that their beams are on high (or their headlights aren't on at all). Don't belabor the point.
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