Dear Annie: I’ve been married for 15 years. Eight years ago, I was on an online message board. I was only hoping to have fun, talk about life and make online “friends.” But while on there, I met a man.
We started chatting online and then on the phone. I thought it was a simple flirtation. My husband had a job that kept him away a lot, and I was lonely and not thinking straight. Long story short, we ended up having an affair that lasted five years, on and off. I ended it three years ago when my husband found out. Fortunately, he forgave me, and we moved on.
The problem is, our sex life, which was never highly active, became nil. We haven’t had sex in three years. He loves me, and I love him. He says he forgives me and that he simply no longer desires sex — with anyone. I believe him. But I feel that I am still being punished for my indiscretion. I will never cheat on him again, but I wonder if this will be my life from now on. What can I do?
-- Neglected Wife
Dear Wife: It’s possible that your husband is still angry with you. Forgiveness after an affair is a difficult and ongoing process. It takes a great deal of time. However, when you say your sex life was never particularly active, there could be more going on. Ask your husband to have his testosterone checked, and if that doesn’t help, please get counseling and work on this.
Dear Annie: I am 16, and as much as I am grateful for everything I have, I haven’t been feeling very well. I don’t know what’s wrong. I’m always exhausted, tired and weak, and sometimes nervous and anxious. Sometimes I am angry, and then a minute later, I’m calm, sad or cranky. I don’t enjoy doing anything anymore. My grades keep going down. I have a hard time concentrating and get distracted easily.
I do get headaches on occasion, and they are quite painful. When I was really sad, I stopped eating.
I feel lost. I don’t know what I am doing and just feel so down. I don’t have anyone to talk to about this. I can’t tell my parents because I’m afraid they will think I’m crazy. There is one teacher I could talk to, but I won’t see her until school starts. What should I do?
-- Need Help
Dear Need: Some of your mood swings could be due to hormonal changes in your body, and the headaches could be related to your menstrual cycle. Lack of focus can be ADD. However, the exhaustion and weakness could indicate a physical problem. No one would think you are crazy if you start there.
Tell your parents that you aren’t feeling well. Say you have painful headaches and often feel weak. Ask them to make an appointment for you to see a doctor for a checkup, and then discuss all of these things with the physician. When school starts again, find that special teacher and ask when she is available for a private discussion.
Dear Annie: This is in response to “Wanting No Regrets,” who wants to divorce his wife and go back to his ex-fiancee.
I was married for 27 years when I ran into my ex-boyfriend from high school. My marriage wasn’t horrible, just boring. My ex was sweet, wonderful, loving and made me feel 17 again. We decided to get divorced and finally be together.
It only took six months for me to realize what a horrible mistake I had made. Everything I disliked about him in high school was a thousand times worse. I’d forgotten his flaws and convinced myself he was perfect. “Wanting” needs to take off the rose-colored glasses and remember why he didn’t marry his ex in the first place.
You were correct when you told him to try working through his problems with his wife. Even if things don’t work out, he should hold off getting too involved with his ex. He may realize that he was lucky to have gotten out of their engagement the first time. My ex will always have a special place in my heart, but not enough to live with him.
-- Been There, Done That
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