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Dear Annie: From passive-aggressive to patient and adventurous

Annie Lane

Dear Annie: I have been married for 34 years. Like all couples, there have been ups and downs. We have seen several counselors over the years to work with us in tough times. During those times, we still had intimacy in our marriage. We are now going on 15 months with no intimacy at all. She just says she can’t because she does not feel connected to me.

We are going to counseling, and she said she was too overwhelmed with doing our finances alone. So, I got involved in that. Then she said that I could not make any sexual advances; it had to come from her. I have tried to make none, but I have slipped a few times. Now, she says that my drinking every day is our problem. So, I have cut back to a few cocktails on my off days. Still, I see no changing on her part.

I hate to think of starting my life over again without her, but I want a partner who wants me. I’m a good person and husband. I’ve been loyal, do my own laundry, most of the house cleaning and, until this year, all the yard maintenance and house maintenance, all while working 50 hours a week and advancing at work. I’m at a loss of what else to do. — No Matter What I Do

Dear No Matter: Clearly, your wife is making excuses and being passive-aggressive instead of just telling you why she doesn’t feel connected to you. Marriage takes work and tough conversations. Next time you are in counseling, express all of your concerns to her and make sure you tell her how she makes you feel when she puts you off. You both deserve to have a loving and connected marriage.

After 34 years of marriage, it is worth figuring out how to reconnect and add that spark back into your lives. Some ideas for reigniting intimacy in your relationship could be creating a date night, being spontaneous or adventurous, sharing the things that you love about each other rather than blanket “I love yous” or even taking a road trip together. These are just some actionable suggestions, but the real work is going to come through going to therapy, talking through your feelings and gaining a better understanding of each other’s needs.

Dear Annie: I’ve never sent anything to you before, but in today’s column you noted Autism Speaks as a good resource for learning about autism, and I wanted to respond. The autistic community (of which I am a part) regards the organization as quite misleading and damaging due to their not-so-subtle implications that autistic people are worth less than neurotypicals. One of their main goals is finding a “cure,” which implies that autism is all bad. I’m all for having the dysfunctional parts of my brain fixed, but there’s a lot of great things that come with being autistic, and I never want to lose those. Autism Speaks is partially responsible for the widespread prejudice against autistic people.

The following are some resources that contain good information about autism Spectrum disorder: Autism Society (www.autism-society.org), the WHO fact sheet on autism (www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/autism-spectrum-disorders) and the CDC page about autism (www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/index.html). — Anya M.

Dear Anya: Thank you for your enlightening letter. I will recommend these resources in the future.

Editor’s note: Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com. To find out more about Annie Lane and read features by other Creators Syndicate columnists and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.

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