Dear Annie: I married my wife in 1957. We were compatible in every way and very much in love. We have four children, eight grandkids and 11 great-grandkids. Since the day I met her, whenever I held her or kissed her, she was always my 16-year-old sweetheart. She is still the gal I fell in love with.
About five years ago, my wife lost interest in lovemaking and will not talk about why. I'm sure she isn't cheating. She is 73, and I am 79.
After 55 years together, I have finally noticed that she has aged. She just laughs when I say that I wish she would still act like my 16-year-old gal when I hold her and kiss her. I truly miss her touch and sweet words. She tells me she loves me, but it doesn't feel like it.
The thing I want to get across is to always treat your partner like you did the first day you met him or her. It's the best way of getting to your 57th anniversary. I promised to love her until the day I die, and I will keep that promise until we are head-to-head in our mausoleum 5th-floor penthouse.
- The Old Fool
Dear Fool: We sympathize, but we are also astounded at how many men truly do not understand what happens to a woman's libido at menopause and beyond. Your wife's lack of interest in lovemaking has nothing to do with how much she cares for you. She would probably love being your 16-year-old sweetheart, but her current hormonal state doesn't permit it. It's a physical change.
There are treatments, but they don't work for everyone. Talk to your wife. Say that her physical touch - not sex - would mean the world to you, and ask whether she would be a bit more affectionate.
Dear Annie: Thank you for printing the letter from "Disgusted in New York," whose 85-year-old aunt wasn't bathed in the hospital.
I have been a nurse for many years. We never give baths in bathtubs to patients. We "bathe" them in bed - what my mother would have called a sponge bath. Also, it is possible to shower people who can handle a shower chair. However, this lady seemed to have an odor, thus none of the proper things was done for her well-being and comfort.
- A.S. RN
Annie's Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column.
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