Dear Annie: What do you think about a married couple whose only intimacy is makeup sex?
My husband says he loves me and I believe he is faithful, but he never initiates anything in the bedroom, and we have sex only if I pitch a fit because I feel neglected.
I don't do this often, so we've had sex only twice in the past 15 months. We are both healthy 42-year-olds. We have a 3-year-old child who requires a lot of attention, but even so, I can't understand how he doesn't desire intimacy.
He is an awesome husband who cooks, cleans, bathes our child, and doesn't go out with the guys or do things I disapprove of.
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He just doesn't seem to want me. I am attractive and still get looks from other men.
A month ago, I came very close to an affair. I was not in love with the guy, but it sure was nice for a man to let me know he thinks I'm pretty.
I told my husband about the encounter and guess what? We had sex.
See what I mean? My husband is a good guy and I love him, so should I just get someone on the side to satisfy me physically? -- Sexless Lady
Dear Sexless: We'll be frank with you. Here are the likeliest possibilities. Your husband's testosterone levels are very low, he is having an affair, he is asexual, or he is gay.
Please ask him to see his doctor for a complete checkup and specifically ask for his testosterone to be checked. We hope that's all there is to it.
Dear Annie: My unmarried 30-year-old daughter has a drinking and behavioral problem that has escalated over the past year.
"Terrie" gets drunk at family gatherings, insults people and starts arguments that often end with her throwing things and shoving people. A lot of her anger seems to be directed at me.
We have encouraged Terrie to get alcohol counseling or attend AA. She tried it once and quit. I believe she is bipolar, but mental health counselors will not treat her until she quits drinking.
After her last outburst, I sent her a text message and said we could no longer have a relationship unless she gets help. Shortly after, she left town and moved to Florida with a friend who also drinks.
Should I keep the lines of communication open, or will my ultimatum help her reach bottom so she can start climbing back up? I tried Al-Anon, but the members only offer support and friendship to each other, which is nice, but it doesn't change my daughter.
She is an intelligent, beautiful woman who has thrown her life away and it breaks my heart. -- Concerned Mom
Dear Concerned: Al-Anon is not intended to change the alcoholic's behavior, only your response to it.
Choosing not to stay in touch would be for your mental health, not hers.
No one can "fix" Terrie until she admits she has a problem, and she doesn't seem ready. Many who are bipolar self-medicate with alcohol and drugs, and there are treatment programs that address both disorders.
If Terrie wants help, she should contact a university medical center department of psychiatry for a referral. And you should contact NAMI (nami.org) about their Family-to-Family program.
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailboxcreators.com or write to Annie's Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. You can also find Annie on Facebook at Facebook.com/AskAnnies.
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