Dear Annie: My wife and I are both executives in our late 40s who lead busy lives.
I love my wife very much. However, she comes home from work frazzled and is less and less interested in sex. We are intimate maybe once a month. I long ago gave up pushing the subject, as it just seems to aggravate her.
Here’s the problem: I have developed an unhealthy attraction toward my teenage daughter. At 16, “Grace” has developed into a full-figured young woman. She’s not dating yet, although she’s shown some interest in a few boys. I know she’s feeling the tug of sexual interest, and I find myself having more and more fantasies about her. I feel like a total creep for these thoughts. They are wrong and would ruin all of us — my wife, my daughter and me. How can I deal with this? — Not Into Incest
Dear Not: We’re relieved you can admit how wrong (and creepy) these thoughts are, and how horrifically damaging any such behaviour would be. First, you must get those fantasies out of your head. Do a little aversion therapy and substitute something ugly, terrifying, painful, whatever works best.
Then get into counselling, preferably with your wife, and work on your marriage. She doesn’t need to know about Grace, but it would help if she understood that you feel sexually neglected, and you both can work on bringing romance and intimacy back into your relationship. If you find that you cannot control your incestuous impulses, you must move out of the house to remove the temptation and protect your child.
Dear Annie: I’ve finally met the love of my life. “John” has so many wonderful attributes, I could gush on and on. There is only one problem, and try as I might, I cannot ignore it. John will not go to the dentist or get regular medical checkups. (I think he has “White-Coat Syndrome.”) It breaks my heart because he’s such a smart and handsome man. His teeth are nice and straight, but severely discoloured, and there is a noticeable cavity in his front tooth.
As a nurse, I worry about his health and only want the best for him. He is extremely well-educated with a good job, so I know he can afford it. How can I approach John in a manner that will convey just how much this means to me, yet not come across as shallow? — Doctors Don’t Bite
Dear DDB: You should approach this as a trained medical professional, letting John know that he should be proactive about his health and get regular checkups, and that gum disease is linked to heart disease, so he ought to take care of his teeth, as well. If you are correct about his phobia, ask him to discuss it. Sometimes bringing these fears into the open removes the anxiety. Offer to make an appointment for him and go along.
Dear Annie: I read the letter from “Wife of a Sneak,” who discovered her husband was going to strip clubs and getting lap dances.
I used to work in strip clubs as a disc jockey and learned a lot. This woman should take a close look at their bank accounts for unexplained withdrawals of cash. She should also check their credit card charges, specifically for cash advances, groceries, or high-end gifts such as jewelry or cars. I knew girls whose entire households were supported by a single customer, buying them groceries and clothes, paying the rent and even making car payments. Even though he might stop going to the clubs, he could still be in a relationship with a stripper he is “trying to help.” — No Easy Mark
Dear N.E.M.: Thanks for the red alert that visiting strip clubs can sometimes turn into more than sexual gratification.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, P.O. Box 118190, Chicago, IL 60611.