Dear Amy: My wife and I just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. We are still in love, and I could not live without her. She is intelligent and has a beautiful personality, blue eyes and a beautiful face.
Unfortunately, we don't have a fulfilling sex life.
I am 55 and she is 52. I am in great shape. I exercise, but she does not. She is grossly overweight (she weighs more than 200 pounds), and her body does not provide the motivation that I need to want to be intimate with her.
I have tried encouraging her by working out with her and being patient, but nothing has worked. I have tried discussing my feelings with her, but it hurts her feelings and I hate that, so I stopped trying to explain how I feel.
I will never leave her, but I get angry sometimes because it seems that she does not care. She wants more intimacy, but she just doesn't provide the motivation. I feel selfish because she has always supported me. I need some suggestions.
Amy says: You say that your wife wants to be intimate with you. But she will have to lose a lot of weight for you to want to be with her. Is there any other way -- other than her being thin -- that you would find her attractive? Because what if she just can't lose the weight?
Your encouragement and patience -- loving gestures as they are -- might not help your wife lose weight, because every time you urge her to embark on a new weight-loss program, what she hears is, "You'd be so great -- if only you were so different."
Because you are fit and thin, you might think that losing weight is simpler than it is. Gaining weight is pretty simple; getting and keeping the motivation to lose it is complicated. Unfortunately, weight loss can be very resistant to external encouragement or bargaining.
You sound like a good guy and a great husband. You and your wife deserve to have a fulfilling sex life. If you can't seem to find a way to talk about this together in a productive way, a marriage counselor will help.
Son is floundering
Dear Amy: My 27-year-old son participated in his college graduation about two years ago, but for some reason his degree never arrived. I took it upon myself to find out and was told by someone in his department that all he had to do was take one class and earn a B and the degree would be on the way.
My son knows this but hasn't done anything about it. I have also noticed that he is delinquent on some of his bills, because notices come to our home.
My husband and I have stressed to him over the years how important it is to pay bills on time. We have bailed him out a few times. He has a well-paying job; he has to take care of these things himself, but he doesn't.
I was paying his school loan and got it down to a reasonable amount, then turned it over to him, but now this has become delinquent. I need some answers as to why he behaves this way. Why doesn't he feel the urgency to get his degree? Why does he think that paying his bills is not important?
He and his girlfriend live together in another state, and I know she is trying to get him on the right track as well, but nothing seems to work. I hope you can give us some answers.
CONCERNED MOM & DAD