Child’s arrival ends romance
Dear Annie: I have been with my husband, Cliff, for 10 years.
Before the birth of our daughter, things were wonderful. Cliff was romantic and attentive.
To my horror, things drastically changed after the baby was born.
He ignored me and rejected any attempts to be romantic.
I was overwhelmed by the loneliness.
Our daughter is now five years old.
Over the years, I have asked Cliff if he is having an affair, but he denies it and flips the conversation to make me feel like I am the one with the problem.
I’ve asked him to go for counseling, but he refuses. I have confronted him with my concerns repeatedly and every time he gets mad, apologizes and promises to make things better.
For a day or two, he tries to be romantic and then it’s the same old same old.
I have thought of leaving, but could not stand the effect it would have on our daughter.
Her stability is my top priority.
Plus, if we divorced, I don’t think I could handle multiple “girlfriends” influencing my daughter every other weekend.
I used to blame myself, but now I’m just angry and bitter toward Cliff.
When sharing a bed without affection began to affect my sleep, I told him to move into the spare room.
We live two different lives, although we still do family things for the sake of our child.
In his eyes, everything is fine.
Do I keep pretending? Should I leave?
Is he having an affair? I need some answers.
— Making Sacrifices in Kentucky
Dear Making Sacrifices: One possibility is that some men have a psychological glitch when their wives have children.
They no longer see them as objects of sexual desire.
Instead, these women become mothers and off-limits.
Sex is repugnant.
It is difficult to admit, and often, men deny it is happening.
Some do have affairs, but that is not the source of the problem.
Ask your husband again to go with you for counseling and see if his sexual feelings can be redirected.
If he refuses, please go on your own.
You have some difficult choices to make.
Dear Annie: My in-laws are very nice people, but they undermine my authority regarding my children.
Seafood allergies run in my family.
I have talked to them about this on numerous occasions, and each time, they seem to understand and agree not to give my child (who is under age two) fish or shellfish.
But as soon as I’m not looking, I see him eating fish covered with rice or in porridge.
How can I drive home the message that any kind of food allergy is serious?
Every exposure could put him at risk for developing this type of allergy and it’s best for him to avoid seafood until he is older. — Frustrated Mom
Dear Mom: Many allergists believe regular exposure to certain foods (in small, monitored doses) may be beneficial.
However, grandparents should not take it upon themselves to experiment on your child.
Bring your in-laws to your next pediatrician’s appointment and let the doctor tell them directly.
If they still insist on feeding your son foods that could trigger a reaction, you should tell them, nicely, that he is no longer permitted to eat in their home.
Dear Annie: This is in response to It’s All About Them, who said her self-centered parents rotate which of their kids are on their blacklist.
My family used to play this game, too.
The siblings should tell their parents, “Mom and Dad, we’re not playing this game anymore. You want to see us, you invite all of us. You treat us all with respect or we’re all leaving. When you are invited to an activity of ours, we will all be there. If you don’t want to come, it’s your loss.”
Perhaps this will wake them up.
If not, then her parents have made the choice and she need not feel guilty for cutting them out of her life. — Sheffield, Pa.
Dear Sheffield: It’s certainly worth trying, although we suspect these particular parents will not care. Too bad.
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