DEAR ABBY: "Wilbur" and I have been together for 25 years, married for nine. During that time we have been through almost everything.
Abby, I am disappointed in the man Wilbur has turned out to be. He does nothing around the house. He does hold a job, but that's the beginning and the end of it. On top of that, Wilbur shows me no affection. He doesn't hug or kiss me, and he sleeps with a pillow between us. I realize he was never very lovey-dovey, but now there is no affection at all.
I dream about being close to a man, having a companion with whom to enjoy things in life -- simple things like going for coffee together after walking through a flea market holding hands.
Our lives have been intertwined for a quarter of a century. I feel there's nowhere for me to go. How does someone in my situation find happiness? -- DISILLUSIONED IN MILFORD, CONN.
DEAR DISILLUSIONED: You and Wilbur may have been together for 25 years, but it appears you parted ways a long time ago. In order for there to be sex and affection, there has to be some sort of intimacy -- and by that, I mean communication.
I suggest you begin by asking Wilbur what has happened to your relationship. If he's willing to talk, with the help of a marriage counselor you may be able to fix what has gone wrong. I can't promise you passion, but at least you won't be acting like cellmates.
If Wilbur is unwilling to cooperate, then the time has come to ask yourself if this is how you want to spend the rest of your life. Are you better off with him or without him? If you decide to stick it out because you "have nowhere to go," you may have to do a lot of sublimating. Spend as much time as you can with people (or animals) that will return the warmth you crave.