Dear Annie: I have been married for nearly eight months to a man I dated for seven years. I often wonder what happened since we walked down the aisle. We love each other very much. We communicate whenever there's a problem. However, my husband sees no problem in what I am about to tell you.
He is not interested in me physically. I can walk around stark naked and he won't make a pass. When I try to initiate sex, he tells me he's too tired. Of course, he plays softball with his buddies two nights a week and is never too tired for that.
Early in our marriage, I caught him browsing on pornographic Web sites, yet he tells me all the time how beautiful I am. I work out three to five times a week and play sports on the weekends. I've been told by strangers and relatives that I should be a model, so it's not like I'm unattractive.
I've talked to him about his lack of interest, and he sees absolutely no problem, so he won't agree to counseling. All of this has left me feeling resentful, inadequate and very angry. I love him so much. I am never too tired for him. I just wish those feelings were reciprocated. What's the Deal in Ohio?
Dear Ohio: There could be any number of reasons why your husband isn't interested in you. He may be so involved with the porn that there's no energy left for you; he may be asexual; he may be having an affair; he may be gay; he may have a physical problem. The best way to find out is through counseling. Instead of telling him he has a problem, say your marriage is in trouble, because it is. Ask him to go with you for counseling because you are unhappy and need his help. If he still refuses, go without him and decide what is best for you to do.
Dear Annie: I have an aunt who makes my life unbearable every time I see her. Unfortunately, my grandmother lives with this aunt, so any time I want to see Grandma, I have to see "Aunt Hazel."
During one visit, Hazel made negative comments about my cousin's weight, and then she started in on me about an ex-boyfriend, grilling me with questions that are none of her business, while my new boyfriend sat a few feet away.
Last week, within five minutes of walking in the door, Hazel asked where my boyfriend was and if we had already broken up. Then she started harping on me about when I'm going to have children. It took all my patience not to yell at her.
I don't know how much more of this I can take. My mom doesn't speak to my aunt. My father says Hazel is bitter and mean and to ignore her. I live six hours from Grandma and cannot stomach another trip like this. How do I deal with this woman? Niece of the Witch of the West
Dear Niece: You ignore her, while remaining polite. Say hello to Aunt Hazel when you walk in the door and go straight to Grandma. Do not respond to any rude or intrusive questions, just smile and change the subject. (She asks, "Did you break up with your boyfriend?" and you respond, "Is that a new blouse?") Direct your conversation to Grandma, and when you have had enough, say goodbye and leave. You are being a good granddaughter. Don't let Aunt Hazel push your buttons.
Dear Annie: This is in response to "Jane," who complained about people naming their children "Pretty" and "Cupcake." They don't do it to make their kids different or interesting, it is simply a matter of convenience. This way, those girls won't have to go through the pain and hardship of thinking up a stage name when they become strippers. A Girl in the South
Dear South: We're glad you got that out of your system. There is some truth that children tend to live up to their names, and some parents don't put enough thought into the impression those names give. But it's the raising of the child that counts most.
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