DEAR ABBY: I have been with my husband since 2009. In 2017 we had a surprise baby, who is now 2 years and 9 months old.
Connecting as a couple was getting difficult before the pregnancy, but now that we have this cute, extremely energetic child, we don’t connect at all. If I don’t ask for a kiss, I don’t get one. If I don’t ask for sex, it would never happen. I have to initiate everything.
I have mentioned this issue many times but nothing changes. The only conversation he wants to have is about the news or what he did at work. If I try to talk about anything else, he gives me brief answers and moves to a different subject. I’m bored in this marriage and tired of not getting any kind of romance at all. Help! — ROOMMATE OR ROMANCE?
DEAR R. OR R.: Your husband may be as overwhelmed by parenthood as you are, and concerned about providing for this “surprise” baby, which is why he has distanced himself. Your relationship could also have been winding down before your pregnancy happened. I am not sure a regularly scheduled date night can bring you two back in sync, but a licensed marriage and family therapist may be able to reopen the lines of communication between you.
DEAR ABBY: I am hoping for advice regarding my relationship with my father and his children. I met my dad and his much younger second family when I was 24. I have never felt close to any of them, and 10 years later, nothing has changed.
Dad lives across the country and is now terminal because of his alcoholism. My siblings are telling me I need to see him before he dies. I don’t feel an obligation to do that, but I also feel guilty for not feeling bad.
I don’t feel much connection with my siblings either, and am pretty sure that once my father passes, communication will cease completely. Should I reach out and try to rekindle a relationship before he passes? Do I owe him that? — UNCERTAIN IN MAINE
DEAR UNCERTAIN: It may be a little late to rekindle a relationship with your father, who was absent during such a large chunk of your life. This may be the reason you aren’t grieving his approaching death. That said, if there is anything you feel you might like to say to your father that has not been said — and I’ll bet there is plenty — it might be in your own best interests to have a final conversation or two with him. It’s not that you owe it to him; you owe it to yourself.
DEAR ABBY: My niece is being married very soon. I wasn’t invited to her originally planned church wedding, but due to the coronavirus, she’s now doing a Zoom wedding, and I have received an electronic invitation. Should I send her a wedding gift or is it not required/expected since we weren’t included in the original wedding plans? — TIMELY DILEMMA IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR T.D.: If you want to maintain a relationship with your niece, send her a gift with a sweet note wishing her a lifetime of happiness with her new spouse. If not, then decline.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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