Five’s a Crowd
Dear Margo: I read the letter from the empty nesters who were happy on their own. My situation is exactly the opposite. I am not happy, and I am not alone. My three adult sons are all still living at home. The middle one is a college graduate and will be moving out in the near future, but the other two don’t seem able to fend for themselves. They both have mental health issues and do not work, and their constant need for money is draining our bank account. This situation is very frustrating for my husband and me. We would love to be empty nesters, but I don’t think it will happen anytime soon.
In addition, the letter I read mentioned the freedom he and his wife enjoy by having sex on the couch. That would never happen in my house because my husband and I haven’t had any physical contact for four years. When I try to talk to him, he shuts down the conversation. (He is early 60s, and I am late 50s.) I feel lonely, neglected and fearful about the future. How can I deal with all this? — Full Nest Mom
Dear Full: The three adult sons at home may be contributing to the lack of intimacy, but they are clearly two separate problems. Regarding the two young men with mental health issues, I would check around for group homes. I do believe that mentally challenged adults, at all levels, can work. I think this change would be therapeutic for them — and certainly for you. Until you get this worked out, I would tell them the bank is closed except for necessities.
As for your husband closing down the subject of the bedroom, you need to tell him you are in this difficult situation together, and that reclaiming your former intimacy would be tonic for you both. Do not accept his refusal to talk about it. Tell him whether it’s a physical problem or an emotional one, there is help, and you are insisting that he pursue the options. Tell him you are going to improve your life … one way or another. — Margo, definitively
Restless Girl Syndrome
Dear Margo: I am a 23-year-old female living in the Midwest. At first glance, it seems like everything is fine: great friends, wonderful boyfriend, a job that pays the bills and puts food on the table. But no matter how well it seems things are going, all I can think about is how much I want to jump on a bus and get out of here! It’s not my friends or my boyfriend; I am just so restless. I can’t afford to take multiple trips to satisfy my wanderlust, so if I left, it would have to be for good. I have family more than willing to help me leave, but I don’t really know where I would go. — Itchy for Change
Dear Itch: I would say you are an excitement junkie. This is usually something to be outgrown. If you had a city in mind where you’d always wanted to live, that would be one thing, but you say you don’t even know where you’d go. Perhaps you are dissatisfied with something about your life or the way things are going that you are unaware of. Because your family is willing to help you leave, I would instead ask for the get-away money and use it to see a therapist. If you don’t get a handle on this now, nothing will ever feel right. — Margo, reparatively
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Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via the online form at www.creators.com/dear-margo.html. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.
COPYRIGHT 2011 MARGO HOWARD
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