DEAR AMY: I am a 26-year-old male who has been married for more than two years. Recently I have found myself being very distant and resentful about our relationship. She has an aggressive personality, and I feel that I have no say or control in our relationship. When I was younger, I liked having an aggressive woman in my life but now find that this is not what I want. I am afraid of the financial and emotional tear that asking for a divorce will cause -- not for me but for her. I care for her (she is the mother of my beautiful son), but I find myself no longer in love with her. When I bring up counseling, she says, "What's the point?" I have also recently found myself attracted to another woman at work, although I have not acted on it and do not plan to do so until I solve my problems at home. What should I do?
-- Hurt Husband
DEAR HURT: Couples counseling could do you both a world of good. You might learn, for instance, that the statement "I love you, but I'm not IN love with you" is ... (kind of) a crock. Love is love. Attraction happens when you feel important, valued, appreciated and wanted. This is a quality you may feel is lost -- but you can get it back.
You have a child. Do not give up on your very young marriage until you have tried your hardest to save it and improve it. If your wife won't go to counseling, go on your own.
DEAR AMY: I'm writing in response to "Overwhelmed" the young woman with the mother who is a hoarder. The book "Coming Clean: A Memoir" by Kimberly Rae Miller (2014, New Harvest) might be of tremendous solace to her. It's an amazing story of growing up with a hoarder and perhaps will give her new insights into the illness and her own perpetual feeling of wanting to change or fix the behavior. Your advice to be respectful, loving and understanding is the best she can strive for.
-- An Admiring Reader
DEAR READER: Great recommendation. Thank you!