DEAR ABBY: I have been married for almost three years to a woman who refuses to share the same bed with me. It started on our honeymoon when, after having sex, she chose to sleep in a different bed whenever there were two beds in the room.
She's in her late 40s and had never been married before. We have been intimate only twice in the last year. Moreover, she doesn't let me sit next to her while we watch TV, and there is no kissing, no touching, no affection of any kind, physical or verbal.
I have wracked my brain trying to figure out why she treats me like this, and I have a few suspicions. She's applying for permanent residence status and may have married me only for that, although she denies it. She can no longer bear children, so she may think there is no point in having sex or being intimate. She may have an aversion to being touched, although she doesn't show that when we're out in public. She likes to hug her female friends. (And no, I don't think she's a lesbian.)
Any love that existed between us is nearly gone at this point, so am I justified in getting a separation? We have been to counseling, and that is what the therapist recommended. -- FEELING UNLOVED IN UTAH
DEAR FEELING UNLOVED: Assuming you brush your teeth, use deodorant and shower regularly, I'm as mystified about your wife's behavior as you are. I know people who treat their dogs and cats better than this woman has been treating you. That you have tolerated it this long is surprising.
Your therapist has advised a separation, but I would go further than that. Because you don't have a marriage, I think you should make it official.
DEAR ABBY: I receive at least two or three telemarketing calls a day -- and sometimes even more on Sundays. Can you please tell me what to do to put a stop to this?
I have written once before to an address to curb this situation, but no luck. These calls come as late as 9 p.m. Thank you for any advice. -- STRESSED OUT IN ILLINOIS
DEAR STRESSED OUT: I agree that telemarketing calls are invasive when they come in multiples. The USA.gov Consumer Action Handbook includes a number you can call to restrict telemarketing calls permanently by registering your phone number. It is 888-382-1222. This can also be done online at www.donotcall.gov.
If you receive telemarketing calls after your number has been in the national registry for 31 days, you can file a complaint using the same web page and toll-free number.
This will cut back on some of the calls you receive, but not all of them. Political organizations, charities and telephone surveyors with which you have a relationship can still get through. However, if you still find yourself being inundated, contact your phone provider and inquire about call-blocking 800 numbers. Good luck!
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)