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65° Good Afternoon

His wife suggests he find a girlfriend

DEAR AMY: My wife and I have been happily married for more than 20 years. We raised two terrific sons. We get along great, but over time her interests have evolved. We used to play sports, but now she goes exclusively to the gym. At home she watches TV several hours a day. She constantly has her laptop on and has a smartphone in her hand (I'm fairly certain she has obsessive-compulsive disorder). She has always told me she has a low sex drive. Over the last two years she has developed consistent extreme body heat, which makes physical contact even more difficult. We thought she was having hot flashes (she is 54), but she feels this way 24 hours a day. I believe it is hyperthermia. Recently I took a long business trip. When I returned, we made love a couple of times and we talked. She told me that if I ever wanted to have a girlfriend she would not mind. This was quite a revelation. The idea of dating at my age and having a positive relationship with someone other than my wife seems foreign to me. I'm not sure what to do.

-- Need a Hug

DEAR HUG: You observe, describe and diagnose your wife -- and yet nobody does anything about anything. You think she has OCD. And hyperthermia, which could be a very serious condition.

And now, after enjoying intimacy with you, your wife suddenly suggests that you should get a girlfriend.

Here's my take: Your marriage isn't actually as happy as you state. You are alienated, neglected and paralyzed. Your wife doesn't have much of a commitment to your marriage. It's possible that she has been unfaithful, hence her addiction to her devices, distance from you and suggestion that you might want to get a girlfriend.

You don't seem to have asked her why she would want you to have a girlfriend. Start with that, and take your further questions into the office of a good marriage counselor. She also needs to see her physician, obviously.


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