Dear Annie: I have been married for 34 years. Like all couples, there were ups and downs. Over the years we have seen several consultants working with us in difficult times. In those days we still had intimacy in our marriage. We are now going on for 15 months without any intimacy. He just says he can’t because he doesn’t feel in touch with me.
We are going to therapy and she said she was too overwhelmed with doing our finances alone. So, I got involved in this. Then he said I couldn̵
I hate to think about starting my life over without her, but I want a partner who wants me. I am a good person and husband. I’ve been faithful, doing laundry, most of the cleaning and, until this year, all maintenance of the yard and house, all working 50 hours a week and advancing to work. I don’t know what else to do. – It doesn’t matter what I do
Dear No Matter: Clearly, your wife is making excuses and is passive-aggressive instead of simply telling you why she doesn’t feel in touch with you. Marriage requires work and difficult conversations. Next time you are in counseling, express all your concerns to her and be sure to tell her how she makes you feel when she discourages you. You both deserve to have a loving and connected marriage.
After 34 years of marriage, it’s worth figuring out how to reconnect and add that spark to your lives. Some ideas for rekindling the intimacy in your relationship might be making a date night, being spontaneous or adventurous, sharing the things you love about each other rather than covering up “I love you” or even taking a trip together. These are just a few actionable tips, but the real work will come from going to therapy, talking about your feelings, and gaining a better understanding of each other’s needs.
Dear Annie: I’ve never sent you anything before, but in today’s column you noticed that Autism Speaks is a good resource for learning about autism and I wanted to answer. The autistic community (of which I am a part) considers the organization quite misleading and harmful due to their not-so-subtle implications that autistic people are worth less than neurotypicals. One of their main goals is to find a “cure”, which implies that autism is harmful. I’m all for fixing the dysfunctional parts of my brain, but there are a lot of great things that come with being autistic and I never want to lose them. Autism Speaks is partially responsible for the widespread prejudice against autistic people.
Here are some resources that contain good information on autism spectrum disorder: Autism Society (www.autism-society.org), the WHO factsheet on autism (www.who.int/news-room/fact- sheets / detail / autism -spectrum-disorders) and the CDC page on autism (www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html). – Anya M.
Dear Anya: Thanks for your enlightening letter. I will recommend these resources in the future.
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