Dear Annie: I am a senior in high school. My boyfriend broke up with me a month after he went off to college. We had been together for nine months, and I was devastated. He was my first real boyfriend. He treated me well and cried when we broke up. He ended our relationship because it was his first time being on his own, and he didn’t want anyone tying him down. He said he needs time to figure out his life. He claims I will understand when I go to college, and I am trying to accept this.
Our breakup was amicable, even though I was upset. We still text and talk on a regular basis. I know he has no intention of getting back together, at least not now. I have seen him three times since we broke up, and every time we end up sleeping together. He told me recently that he thinks he is interested in another girl.
My friends say it’s best if I cut all ties with him – no more talking, texting or seeing him when he’s home for breaks. My friends have never been through something like this, though, so they don’t understand how hard it would be for me to not have him in my life. Annie, what do you think? — Confused in California
Dear Confused: Please stop sleeping with your ex-boyfriend. It only muddies the water and makes everything more difficult. He has broken up with you, and frankly, he was right to do so. He’s away at school and wants to date other women. Instead of simply cheating on you, he was honest and ended things. But continuing to sleep with you is taking advantage. You have to let him go. If you want to remain friends, fine, but only if it doesn’t include “with benefits.” You need some space to get over him and move on with your life.
Dear Annie: I’ve never read a letter with my problem: I’m not attracted to my husband anymore, and that’s why I’m not having sex with him.
I have a stronger sex drive than my husband, who will be 50 soon. When we were in our 30s and he wasn’t so overweight, I would initiate sex if he had bathed and brushed his teeth after coming home from his construction job dirty, sweaty and greasy. The problem is that he stopped bathing, and I can’t deal with his significant beer belly and his horrible breath. Also, he has sinus issues and is constantly clearing his throat, which drives me nuts.
I am in good shape, and other men still admire me, which only adds to my frustration. Actually, the frustration is turning into bitterness because he makes no effort to get into better shape. Now I am simply turned off. We do very little together as a couple except eat. I’m sure he blames me for our lack of intimacy.
Please let men know that they can’t expect their wives to look great while they let themselves go. These middle-age issues never occurred to me when I was younger. — No Longer Compatible
Dear No Longer: This is part of “in sickness and in health.” You might find your husband more appealing if he made even a small effort. “Not trying” seems like “not caring.” But it’s possible your husband has some issues with depression and aging. See whether counseling and a doctor’s checkup help. We hope so.
Dear Annie: “Disgruntled in California” said her older sister kept it a secret that she saw Disgruntled’s son eating in a restaurant.
Good grief. She saw her adult nephew eating in a restaurant, and she’s supposed to report this to his mother? Why? Disgruntled sounds like a helicopter sister. Older does not mean incompetent or in need of direction. Their relationship might improve a whole lot if Disgruntled attempted to be a friend instead of an overbearing mother. — Sister Who Knows
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 Third St., Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.