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His wife acts as if he doesn't even exist

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Dear Annie: I have been married for 13 years. I have beautiful kids and a wife I love intensely. The problem is, she acts like I'm not even alive. I hug her and tell her I love her on a regular basis. She will kiss me if nobody else is remotely close. She never hugs me or makes me feel like I mean anything to her.
When we first married, she made me feel like a king. Now I can't do anything right. She holds her boss in high esteem. I never get higher than the toilet. The most attention I get from her is when I come home on payday.
I'm still crazy in love with her, but the way she acts, I can't help but wonder if there is someone else. I know I'm not perfect, but I'd like to feel that she loves me. What can I do? Lost That Loving Feeling in Iowa
Dear Iowa: It's possible your wife has transferred her affections to someone else, but it's also possible that she has, over time, lost the inclination to be demonstrative with you. These are issues that require open discussion, and if telling her directly how you feel doesn't help, you need a third-party mediator who can help you work on the problem. Please seek marriage counseling, and ask your wife to go with you. As always, if she refuses, go without her.
Dear Annie: My boss lost it during a staff meeting. He started by trashing everyone, saying we spend all our time undermining him and complaining, and he won't put up with it anymore. As he continued his harangue, his voice got progressively louder and his face turned purple. We were stunned and confused. None of us had a clue what he was referring to. He then threatened to fire all of us.
The boss wouldn't explain his diatribe. Most of the staff is disturbed and upset about his conduct, but we are terrified he'll fire us if we say anything. Some really great co-workers were recently let go, and in each case, the person had been evaluated positively.
One co-worker said we should file a protest or the boss will think he can do this again. But we have families to support, and we need our jobs. A significant number of the staff has been calling in "sick" since the meeting in order to look for work elsewhere. Does this constitute a hostile work environment? It sure feels that way. Worried
Dear Worried: Is it possible, considering those "great co-workers" who were let go, that your boss is under tremendous pressure, and some of that frustration came out at the meeting? If this was an isolated incident, we would chalk it up to a personal problem. If, however, your boss continues to berate his staff irrationally, you absolutely should discuss it with his superiors or with Human Resources. He could be a loose cannon, and that is not in the company's best interest.
Dear Annie: This is for "Wishing She Had Marital Problems," who suffered from agoraphobia and couldn't get to the courthouse for a marriage license. You helped her out and then told her about The Anxiety Disorders Association.
I acquired agoraphobia in 1972, before anyone seemed to know what it was. I spent years fighting this through prayer and bawling myself out. Walking to the corner to mail a letter was terrifying to me. Five years ago, I was given medication for depression and found that one of the side effects was the lack of anxiety.
Please tell "Wishing" to get help. And while she's at it, check with her doctor for possible hypoglycemia. Sometimes there is a connection. Tell her to fight back. Her life is sliding by, and it would be terrible if she didn't live it. Spokane, Wash.
Dear Spokane: We hope others will gain strength from your experience. Thanks for sharing.
Creators Syndicate
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