Editor's Note: Hundreds of Ann Landers' loyal readers have requested that newspapers continue to publish her columns. These letters originally appeared in 1999.
Dear Ann Landers: Jack Sprat and I have something in common. Our wives are both too fat. I don't know about Jack, but I haven't had sex with my wife in four years. She has gradually ballooned in size and is now at least 100 pounds overweight. There are no physical reasons for her to be so heavy. It is simply a lack of self-discipline. She loves to eat and denies herself nothing.
I love my wife and would never be unfaithful, but making love to this woman is physically and emotionally impossible. She is very sensitive about her weight and refers to herself jokingly as being "pleasingly plump." Ann, pleasingly plump she is not. She is just plain fat, and her obesity has turned me off to the point that I am impotent. Incidentally, I am an insulin-dependent diabetic, but my sex drive is still strong.
Please tell me, Ann, how do I solve this problem that has made my marriage bed a place where nothing happens? — Jack Sprat II
Dear Jack: The reason for your wife's obesity may be rooted in something deeper than her lack of self-discipline. One hundred pounds of excess baggage could be the result of compulsive eating, but please don't rule out a metabolic problem. I hope you will urge your wife to get a physical checkup. After that, she needs some counseling — to find out not what she is eating but what is eating her.
And you, my friend, should discuss with your doctor the reason nothing is happening in your marriage bed. While your wife's additional weight may be a turnoff, your diabetes could be a contributing factor.
Dear Ann Landers: My 21-year-old stepson lives with my husband and me. He is a good student at a nearby college and doesn't drink or do drugs. He does, however, bring his girlfriend home frequently, and she stays until the next morning — in his bed, I should add.
My husband doesn't see anything wrong with this, but I believe unmarried people should not be having sex, and they certainly should not invite their girlfriends to stay overnight when they are living in their parents' home. How can I convince my husband and stepson that this is not appropriate behavior? — Out-Voted in California
Dear Out-Voted: I agree that it is not acceptable for your stepson to invite a young woman to stay overnight in your home without your approval. But you are not going to change the behavior of a 21-year-old and shouldn't try. You do, however, have the right to say, "NOT IN OUR HOUSE." Tell your husband I said so.
An alcohol problem? How can you help yourself or someone you love? "Alcoholism: How To Recognize It, How To Deal With It, How To Conquer It" will give you the answers. To find out more about Ann Landers and read her past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.