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Dear Carolyn • Although we've had sex before, my boyfriend of two years has zero interest in sex with me or anyone else. He just doesn't feel the need. This makes me feel unwanted, unloved, and incredibly self-conscious and paranoid. He's been to therapy (I am also in therapy), but his psychiatrist flat-out told him she didn't know how to help him (!), so he stopped going. He turns down every other suggestion I make to try to overcome this issue, and talking about it leads to his anxiety and my tears. I need affection and I want children. The choice I have in front of me is this: Spend the rest of my life with the love of my life, but childless and sexless, or spend the rest of my life without the love of my life, which feels like dying.
Sad Rock or Sad Hard Place
Dear Hard Place • The sexless, childless marriage will give you pain for his or your lifetime, or the rest of the marriage whichever ends first. The breakup with "the love of my life" will give you pain until you find less frustrating sources of love and companionship. I suspect your recovery speed will be in direct proportion to your willingness to let go of the idea that he is truly right for you.
Dear Carolyn • I have an acquaintance who has gone through a major health crisis in the last year we didn't know if he was going to make it. But he bounced back like a miracle. I am truly happy for him. Only one problem: Whenever he sees me, he now goes into a barrage of comments about how lucky I am, in a way that feels hostile. What he does not know is that I have a potentially fatal health condition that's not obvious from outside. I have no desire to share my health condition with him, but would like him to stop these comments. Any advice?
You Have No Idea
Dear No Idea • You can't make childish, bitter and/or entitled people into mindful ones with the flick of a well-chosen phrase. You can make your case to your own satisfaction, though. "You're assuming a lot," "Appearances can deceive" and "I wish it were that simple!" with follow-up questions brushed off are not only pointed, they're true.
Carolyn Hax's column runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.