Consent must be given before sex takes place

Is it OK for a husband to have sex with his unconscious wife? I am a very deep sleeper. I went to bed with my pajamas on but woke up naked and discovered my husband had had sex with me. He can’t understand why I am unable to get over this. As a result, we are currently estranged.

Dear Annie: Is it OK for a husband to have sex with his unconscious wife? I am a very deep sleeper. I went to bed with my pajamas on but woke up naked and discovered my husband had had sex with me. He can’t understand why I am unable to get over this. As a result, we are currently estranged.

His family says he did nothing wrong. My friends say it was sexual assault. He is also verbally abusive, and we’ve had a couple of physical altercations, too. He thinks I should forgive and forget everything, but I want a divorce. Who is right? — D.D.

Dear D.D.: Many men believe a wedding licence entitles them to sex on demand, but forcing himself on you without consent constituted sexual assault. Combined with the history of physical altercations and verbal abuse, this encounter was all about control and power. You can press charges, although it may be too late to report it. Depending on your individual situation, divorce may be your safest option, and you might wish to discuss this with a counsellor before taking action.

Dear Annie: Last weekend, my mother-in-law went grocery shopping at a local store. She was approached by a stranger who asked to touch her.

When my mother-in-law asked, “Why?” the woman stated she had “special powers” and told Mom that even though she had given up smoking, it was already “too late” and she had only a short time to live.

My mother-in-law could not continue to shop and left, confused and worried. Admittedly, Mom is not in great health, but we found it troubling that someone would do this without regard to how upsetting it would be. Is there a way to deal with this comment now? — Upset Daughter-in-Law

Dear Upset: We know many readers will believe this woman had “special powers” to deduce illness, but it’s equally possible she is mentally ill and says this to everyone who appears to be in poor health — and based on the law of averages, she’ll be right once in a while.

Since your mother-in-law is worried, encourage her to get a complete checkup and tell the doctor what happened in the store. If the news is good, it will cheer her, and if it’s bad, she will have an opportunity to get treatment.

Dear Annie: “Worried in Virginia” said her fiance drove with a female co-worker to put air in her tires, and that they text and email often.

You told her to keep an eye on the situation, but the evidence of misconduct was “flimsy.” I believe you missed the most important evidence — her comment that when she confronted him, he became defensive, saying he did nothing wrong and she’s blown it out of proportion.

Annie, anyone who has lived with a cheating spouse can tell you that the first sign of guilt is defensiveness and accusing the spouse of being the problem. The end result of this manipulation is to convince the wronged spouse that she’s simply insecure — which is exactly what “Virginia” questioned. This woman would do well to rethink her fiance’s devotion to her. — Been There, and Even He Agrees With Me

Dear Been There: We don’t disagree, although again, not exactly “evidence.” Here’s another view:

Dear Annie: If “Virginia” is worried about text messages, phones calls and vehicle assistance, my advice to him is to run. I am a married 47-year-old man who works with two beautiful female assistants in their 20s. I would think nothing of helping them with their cars, and we frequently text and phone each other. My wife refers to them as my “daytime wives,” and I assure you our relationship is nothing but professional. — True Love in Bakersfield, Calif.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please e-mail your questions to

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