Posted: Friday, September 23, 2011 8:02 pm
Dear Annie: I think my brother-in-law’s wife is attracted to my husband, “James.” James believes this to be true, as well, but he rather enjoys the attention.
Whenever we are at his brother’s house, the wife is always flirting with James, touching him and finding reasons to be near him. When it’s time for us to go, she practically begs him to stay. She also often makes subtle suggestive comments, and this really gets on my nerves.
As an added twist, my husband and I are not sexually active. We’ve not been intimate in nearly two years. This was a mutual decision. James is always tired when he gets home from long-distance driving. I’m on two separate antidepressants that just about kill off any shred of sexual interest. A few times, I’ve told James that if he is interested in sex, I’d be quite amenable, but he repeatedly tells me he’s too tired.
I asked him why he lets her flirt with him, and he says it’s fun, but insists he’s not interested in having an affair with her or anyone else. We have been married for 12 years and have no children, so he has all of my attention and plenty of affection.
This flirtation was going on even before she married into the family. I had hoped that after five years and two kids it would end, but it hasn’t subsided in the least. I admit I am slightly jealous, but am I completely off base thinking there is something wrong with this? — Green-Eyed
Dear Green-Eyed: There are a lot of things wrong with this. We don’t care how tired your husband is, surely he could work up some interest in sex in two years. The fact that he hasn’t is worrisome and, combined with the attention he receives from another woman, puts your relationship at risk. We don’t know why James’ brother turns a blind eye to his wife’s flirtations, but that is his problem. Yours is to find a way to reconnect intimately with your husband. Talk to a counselor, get some books from the library, watch some videos or take a long vacation, but please do something before it’s too late.
Dear Annie: Our grandchild is 4 years old. He pushes and slaps his father while laughing and yelling. His dad retaliates, often rolling on the floor with him, all in fun.
This “fun” is getting more violent, and we worry that the child will grow up shoving and hitting and having a problematic life. His father laughs at our concerns. What do you think? — Worried in West Hills
Dear Worried: A certain amount of roughhousing is OK if neither the child nor the parent is getting hurt, feels anxious or becomes over-stimulated. The father should be aware, however, that the boy is not capable of controlling his enthusiasm and things can get out of hand. We recommend that Mom discuss it with her pediatrician.
Dear Annie: “Happy Senior” said she avoids the person who is “so hard of hearing that conversation is tiresome.”
My mother was socially active and popular in her small circle. She joined the Scrabble club and started tap dancing classes, pursuits that she had enjoyed in the past. But before new friendships could take root, she began to experience hearing problems that became so severe that she was unable to readily interact with people in group situations and withdrew from her outside activities. Despite the latest hearing aid technology, she is still functionally hard of hearing.
Certain considerations can lead to less tiresome encounters: Face the person squarely and engage in one-on-one conversation. A quiet place is likely to be more conducive to conversation. Anyone making the effort to engage my mother in such conversation will find an intelligent, caring and fun-loving human being. — C.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to email@example.com, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
Published in The Messenger 9.23.11