Dear Annie: I am 32 years old and live with my girlfriend, "Sarah," who is 37. We have been together for eight months. Things were great in the beginning, but lately the relationship has been going south.
There is an ex-boyfriend who won't leave the picture, and Sarah is partly to blame. When he sends texts or calls, she deletes them so I can't see what he wrote. She'll tell me she is out with her girlfriends, when I know she is actually meeting up with the ex. She claims she no longer has any interest in him, but he still seems to weasel his way into her head.
Sarah recently lost her job and rarely comes to bed with me. She stays up all night doing craft projects and goes to bed when I get up for work. I love her, and she says she loves me. I asked her to marry me, and she said yes, but only when she is happy with herself again. What does this mean? Am I wasting my time? — Just Want To Be Loved in Ohio
Dear Ohio: We think you and Sarah began living together before you were ready. Sarah is still interested in her ex-boyfriend, even if it's only as an escape hatch. It does not mean she doesn't care for you. Rather, it was too much, too soon, and she is not ready to commit to you. If you plan to marry Sarah and she is willing, please get some couples counseling and work on this. You may need to take a few giant steps back.
Dear Annie: I've been engaged for almost a year, and the wedding is in December. My fiance was recently laid off, and we decided it would be more cost effective to move in together and take care of one home instead of two.
However, I've begun to realize that I am not simply the only one working. I am also the only one doing anything at our place. Sometimes my job requires me to work 12 hours or more, and then I come home to a dirty house and no food to eat. When I ask my fiance what's for dinner, he says, "Whatever you decide to cook."
I am not his mother, nor am I his maid. I love my guy dearly, but if he doesn't get it together, there may not be a wedding in December. — Ms. Fed Up
Dear Fed Up: We cannot convey strongly enough how important it is to settle this type of thing before you marry, because it is not going to suddenly resolve itself afterward. Explain to your fiance that you expect him to contribute his share to the upkeep of the house. We assume he spends part of his time looking for a job. But he also needs to be doing some of the housework, grocery shopping, laundry and general maintenance. Dinner can be a joint effort. If he refuses, please consider this a prelude to your married life together.
Dear Annie: Your female readers often say that the use of bio-identical hormones and testosterone was the key to changing their libido. I, too, tried these hormones, for more than four years without a boost. The doctor kept "tweaking" the formula to no avail. But for those of us who couldn't care less about sex, I sometimes wonder whether it's totally hormonal. Here are two questions that need to be pondered: Are you still attracted to your husband? Do you still respect him?
I love my husband, but he is not my best friend. His selfishness over the years has had an impact on my feelings toward him. I make an effort to be intimate because it is important to the relationship, and I always go the extra mile to make our interconnection feel good. If he could do the same once in a while, I'm sure my libido would improve. — Maybe It's Not Just Hormones
This Classic Annie's Mailbox column was originally published in 2012. To find out more about Classic Annie's Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Creators Syndicate at www.creators.com.