DEAR ABBY: I am a 46-year-old man who has been married for 29 years. I was a father at 18, and have been with "Barbara" ever since because I felt obligated to her and the kids. Our children are grown now, and I am still with her.
Frankly, what we have is more like a chore than a marriage. I won't even go into what I think about her family. I wish I could change and try to love her, but it has reached the point where I make excuses not to have sex. Even when Barbara calls me "Honey," it turns my stomach.
My wife is a good person, and I wish I had it in me to say I love her, but it's just not there. I am repelled emotionally and physically.
I am confused and don't want to hurt Barbara, but I can't say the words or go through the motions. I'd like us to be friends, and I'll live with her as long as she wants. We have discussed it, and she says she will never leave me or divorce me. What should I do? I'm ... A MESS IN COOPERSBURG, PA.
DEAR MESS: If you are asking me to give you permission to leave a woman who has given birth to and raised your children, and tried to be a good wife to you, I can't do it. You're already living with her as "friends." It's time to recognize that there will be a high price for what you have in mind, and you must decide if it's worth it. Counseling might help you.