Q. I am a 48-year-old married woman. I love my husband and believe he loves me, too. “Frank’’ used to be very affectionate and also quite interested in sex. Now I am lucky to get a kiss on the cheek at bedtime. We haven’t had sex in over a year. His doctor gave him samples of Viagra; they have been in a drawer for months.
Frank says sex is not important to him anymore, but it is to me. I am so tired of all the jokes about women “having a headache.’’ I feel like the joke is on me.
I do not want to leave him or have an affair. But I start to cry every time there is a romantic scene in a movie. I miss that feeling of closeness so much that I am starting to notice other men a lot more than I used to.
Frank won’t go for counseling. Can you think of anything?
A. Before Frank’s doctor gave him Viagra, did he do a complete checkup and look at his testosterone levels? Most men that age who show little interest in sex with their wives are either cheating or have a medical problem. We’re going to give Frank the benefit of the doubt. Insist that he discuss testosterone levels with his doctor.
Q. I am not an “animal’’ person. I was not raised with animals and find it difficult to have them in my home. Years ago, I tried a cat for my daughter’s sake, but it did not go well.
The problem is that certain friends and relatives who have pets expect to bring them to my house when they come to visit. I have offered to house their pets either in the garage or in my fenced backyard, but they dismiss that idea and insist that their pets stay in my house.
If people go to the expense to own pets, they should also include the cost of kenneling when necessary. I take offense when pet owners insist on forcing their pets on me. How can I tactfully make this clear to others?
NO PETS, PLEASE
A. It’s your house, and you set the rules. Many people consider their pets to be their children and would not dream of kenneling them or placing them in a garage or backyard. That’s fine for them, but it is unfair to you.
Inform any visitors that you are so sorry, but you cannot accommodate their animals. Get the names of the nearest kennels, and also reiterate your offer to house them in the garage or backyard. If they insist, remain polite and sympathetic, but say you will have to visit with them elsewhere. If possible, provide a list of local motels or hotels that are animal-friendly.
Q. I read the letter from “No Signature, Please,’’ whose father had been abusive to her all her life, and now is aging and needs help. Your advice was spot on.
I was in a very similar situation and made phone calls on my father’s behalf and researched what programs he might be eligible for, all without so much as laying eyes on him. Although some of my siblings didn’t understand, others did.
“No Signature’’ can fulfill her obligation without compromising her own feelings or sanity. Since my father passed, I have not lived one moment regretting the way I chose to handle the situation.
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