DEAR ABBY: "Ingmar" and I have been married -- on and off-- for 12 years. We have married each other twice. Ingmar loves "big" women.
The last time we separated was three years ago, after I lost 105 pounds. I lost the weight because my doctor said I had to for health reasons. When I first met Ingmar, I let him know my large size was not normal for me and was a result of some medications I was on.
After my weight started dropping, Ingmar told me I "grossed him out" and I was starting to resemble a "little girl." We have had no physical contact in four years, and we sleep in separate rooms. He often goes off by himself for two or three days at a time. I know he isn't involved with another woman because he can't do anything anymore and he's not willing to fix it.
I feel like a roommate instead of a wife. We don't eat together, watch TV together or kiss anymore. Although I care for my husband, I'm not in love with him anymore. But I'm scared of going out in the "dating world" again. I'm 46 and no longer a "spring chicken," but I crave affection. What do I do? -- AT A CROSSROADS IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
DEAR AT A CROSSROADS: The dating world is no lonelier than the one you're living in now -- but at least in the dating world there is hope that you'll connect with someone.
Your husband is punishing you for something that isn't your fault. The fact that he "can't do anything anymore" with you doesn't guarantee that he can't do something with someone else. Offer Ingmar the option of marriage counseling to see if he's capable of an attitude adjustment. But if he's not, recognize that even though you may no longer be a pullet, your best chance at happiness might be to fly the coop.