Dear Annie: I have a friend in Alabama who is being physically and mentally abused by her adult son. I’ve called domestic abuse hotlines for information, and I gave my friend a phone number to call in case she needed someone to talk to.
She seemed happy that I was looking out for her, and that I had her in my thoughts and prayers. Unfortunately, two weeks ago, I lost contact with her and don’t know where to turn. I’ve sent emails, texts and letters and have made phone calls, but haven’t heard anything back.
To say I’m worried would be an understatement. Any advice would be helpful. — Concerned Friend in Warren, Ohio
Dear Concerned: We shudder to think of the devastating scenarios that are possible. Please contact the Alabama Adult Protective Services hotline at 1-800-458-7214 and ask them to investigate the situation. We hope your friend is OK.
Dear Annie: I am trying to decide whether I should leave my marriage of almost 50 years. During the years when we both worked, my husband and I spent many hours at our jobs, and I pretty much raised our children myself. Now that we are retired and have the time, he has no interest in being with me.
I am still fairly attractive at the age of 70. I would love to go on vacations and am also interested in a sex life. My husband, however, couldn’t care less. He saw a doctor regarding his inability to have sex, but had no success and gave up. He keeps himself busy, but he has locked me out both physically and emotionally.
I would be happy kissing, hugging and cuddling, but he scoots so far away, I am surprised he does not fall off the bed. We seem to have nothing in common anymore, except our grandchildren. He enjoys being with them. But I am lonely. I have a network of friends, many of whom are widows who say I would be crazy to leave him. I am afraid of making a mistake at my age, but living like this is miserable. Am I too old to start over? — Lonely in New York
Dear New York: No, but you have to be willing to be alone, because that is a possibility. Your husband is probably afraid that cuddling, kissing and hugging will leave you with raised expectations. We are certain he is no happier about this situation than you are. Please ask him to go with you for counselling to see whether the two of you can find a way to work through this. A professional can help guide you.
Dear Annie: I really enjoyed your response to “Worried Hubby,” whose wife receives a lot of flirtatious attention from “Harry” when they eat out.
I have been in situations where men have approached me like this. My husband makes sure he is nearby and always strikes up a conversation with the guy. Later, when we are alone, my husband compliments me and says he understands why I attract other men. He then tells me how lucky he is to be married to me.
I also have had the situation reversed and have seen women be attracted to my husband. It serves as a reminder of all his great qualities and of why I married him. I remember to compliment him, as well. I also make sure that I keep things special in our marriage by being an attentive “girlfriend.”
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, c/o Creators Syndicate, 5777 W. Century Blvd., Ste. 700, Los Angeles, CA 90045.