DEAR ABBY: This isn't a dog question but a romance one. I think my wife would rather I sleep on the dog bed and the dog sleep with her. Every morning she quietly slides out of bed to pet the dog instead of rolling over and connecting with me. At night they go to bed at the same time. The dog also gets most of her attention during the day.
We have been married for 20 years and have three kids. I'm tired of living in a marriage without romance. I can't remember the last time my wife initiated intimacy. We have sex maybe twice a month. While I don't want a divorce — yet — I'm almost at that point. Being a man, abstinence is not part of my DNA.
I love my wife. She's a great mom and spouse in most ways, except when it comes to affection and intimacy. I have talked with her about this, but nothing changes. Honestly, I think she'd be OK if we never had sex again. I know there's a saying that "If you are not having sex with your husband, someone else is," and I'm beginning to think THAT is my future. Please advise because I am running on empty. — CLOSE TO DOGGONE DONE
DEAR CLOSE TO DOGGONE DONE: Talk to your wife again and ask her why she avoids having relations with you. Is it something you are (or aren't) doing? Has sex become physically painful for her? Could she be approaching menopause, with the inevitable hormonal changes that accompany it?
If it's either of the latter two possibilities, she needs to talk to her doctor about possible solutions. However, if it's something else, then it's time to enlist the help of a licensed marriage and family therapist.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a student who maintains a decent GPA. However, my parents believe they have a genius in the making.
Since I started at a new school, my mother has been pressuring me more than twice as much. She no longer talks to me except to pester me about that B or C in algebra or any other class. I understand that she wants me to be smart, and I know I should be trying to live up to her expectations of a flawless, straight-A student, but I don't believe I can. Please help me. — UNDER PRESSURE
DEAR UNDER PRESSURE: It might help if you would talk with your teachers about this, and ask if THEY think you are working up to capacity. If they feel you could be studying more effectively, they may be able to help you earn better grades.
However, if that's not the case, ask if they would speak to your mother at the next parent-teacher conference and explain to her that you are doing all you can. The kind of pressure you're getting at home may not only not help you to raise your grades, it may be counterproductive.
DEAR ABBY: I have a friend who insists anywhere she is that we all have to freeze so she is comfortable. What should we do? — SHIVERING IN LAS VEGAS
DEAR SHIVERING: Wear a jacket.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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