Dear Annie: My husband, "Derek" and I have been married for 18 years and we have four children. Lately, I feel like a piece of meat. Derek wants sex every day and grabs my breasts constantly. If I refuse, he pouts.
Derek recently lost his job and we were evicted, so we moved in with my mom. The longest Derek has ever held a job is four years. He looks for work, but then sits and plays games on the computer while my mom and I do chores and help the kids with their homework. I was raised with a strong work ethic, and have been the primary breadwinner for most of our marriage.
I resent Derek for not respecting me when I say no to his constant demands for sex. Even in the midst of a kidney infection, he still wanted me to mess around. I am ready to leave him over these issues. Please help. -- Indiana Sex Object
Dear Indiana: We think Derek feels inadequate as a provider, and instead of fixing that, he uses sex as a way to control the relationship and keep you in what he sees as a subservient position. But lest we be accused of practicing psychiatry without a license, we strongly urge you to get into counseling and figure this out. Derek may have adult ADD or some other problem that interferes with his ability to hold onto a job. Obviously, it would be best if Derek would go with you for counseling, but if not, go on your own. Check to see if your workplace has an employee assistance program that can help. There also are low-cost counseling options available through your clergyperson, United Way, Catholic Charities and the Department of Children and Family Services.
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Dear Annie: Wow, I was so surprised by your comment to "Outraged in Pennsylvania," that her husband's girlie calendar was none of her business.
Most women I know would be upset if their husband willingly encouraged the exploitation of women by allowing this calendar to hang for all the other boys to ogle in the bathroom. This is sleazy.
If a woman has any class or values, this would bother her, as it goes against everything women have been fighting for -- not to be looked at as sexual objects and to be taken seriously. It's offensive at any workplace, whether women are present or not.
If it were my husband, this would be a huge character issue. For women like you to say this is OK is shocking! -- K.
Dear K.: Please read more carefully. We did not say this was OK. In fact, we agree with everything you say about it being sleazy and exploitative. Here is where we differ: She should not be telling her husband how to run his office. We would say the same if her husband objected to something at his wife's office -- it's none of his business. She has registered her complaint with him, but how he deals with it is entirely his decision, not hers. If she finds his response to be inadequate or offensive, and it changes how she feels about him, that is a different matter and should be taken up with the nearest marriage counselor.
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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