Log In

Reset Password
Columnists View from the Center Bear Smart The Travel Troubleshooter Dear Abby Student Aide Of Sound Mind Others Say Powerful solutions You are What You Eat Out Standing in the Fields What's up in Durango Skies Watch Yore Topknot Local First RE-4 Education Update MECC Cares for kids

25-year marriage in intimacy-free zone

DEAR ABBY: I’m in a sexless 25-year marriage. It was not always this way, but any intimacy has been over for more than a decade. My wife’s libido has waned, which I understand. What she does do is continually bring up issues about me from years ago as if they were yesterday.

I have my faults, like lack of communication and shutting down, which I have objectively thought about a great deal and tried to make things right. I’m not violent, I don’t use drugs or abuse alcohol. She remains adamant in her distrust of me and punishes me by withholding all forms of intimacy.

We attended marriage counseling, where I listened to her and acknowledged my issues for redress. She, on the other hand, justifies her actions and behaviors. She has her own failings but doesn’t want to hear how much her actions have hurt me. She also didn’t listen to the counselor and will not hold herself accountable.

I feel so lonely. She thinks a lack of intimacy is fine for a marriage, and this is frustrating to me. I have brought this up to her numerous times, but she will not be moved. I could use your counsel on this. – Lonely Man in Georgia

DEAR LONELY MAN: You tried counseling; counseling failed. Lack of intimacy (of any kind) is not “fine” for a marriage. Call an attorney and set yourself free.

DEAR ABBY: During my 30s (I am now mid-70s), I did some nude modeling for several reputable photographers, which resulted in some lovely portraits. A few of them have been framed and hang on my bedroom wall.

My family members are aware of them, but they are very religious (which I am not), so I don’t know how to dispose of them. Should I try to sell them, and if so, how? Should I bequeath them to someone, or should they be left for my estate executor to deal with? What to do? – Portraits in the South

DEAR PORTRAITS: Definitely discuss this with your executor well before the need arises. If the photographers are well-known, go online and find out if there’s a market for their work. Offer the portraits for sale and see if there is any interest. You could also bequeath them to an “open-minded” relative or friend. I wish you luck.

DEAR ABBY: In a response to “Ganged Up On” (Dec. 23), you said it is against the law to hit a child in California. It was in response to a woman whose mother-in-law spanked her grandchild. I was born in California and lived there more than 50 years, and I believe you misinterpreted the penal code.

It is not illegal to spank in California. It is illegal to use excessive force, or to cause traumatic injury when doing it. I don’t personally believe that a child should be hit, but it is not “illegal.” In fact, corporal punishment, not abuse, is legal in every state in the U.S. – Denise E. in Nevada

DEAR DENISE: Mea culpa. I stand corrected. You are not the only reader I heard from after printing that answer. Thank you for straightening me out about this.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.