Dear Amy: My daughter is 34 years old, single, with no children. She’s intelligent and well educated.
Six months ago, she quit her job in another state and moved into our house. We welcomed her, but it was supposed to be temporary.
She seemed reluctant to come here to begin with, saying that she didn’t want to intrude into our lives. However, since arriving, she hasn’t even been looking for a job.
She says that she doesn’t know what she wants to do or what her abilities are.
She’s been sitting around on her phone all day and every day. She gets depressed about her life, but she’s not doing anything to try to change or improve her life.
My husband doesn’t want to push her. I feel that the longer we give her a free ride, the worse her life is going to be.
What should we do?
— A Concerned Mother
Dear Concerned: No able-bodied 34-year-old should quit a job without having another job or full-time educational opportunity lined up. Self-supporting people need to continue to support themselves, even during times when they’re not sure where they’re headed.
She needs to work! She needs the income to finance the current and next phase of her life. She also needs to experience the satisfaction and tolerate the frustration and fatigue of putting in a day’s work. As of this writing, the unemployment rate is a low 3.6 percent and employers are eager for workers.
Your daughter is an adult, and her choices are her responsibility. But misery does love a soft bed. She has successfully descended to the level of your low expectations. Her sloth is also affecting her self-esteem.
Six months of R&R are enough. Give her two weeks to find a job — any job. Let her know that if she wants to continue living with you, she will have to work at least 20 hours a week while she pulls her more permanent plans together. Give her six months to save enough to rent her own place. This puts the total of her respite at one year, which is a generous amount of time for you to donate to her.
Does she need counseling? Help her to find it. Does she need job coaching? Help her to get some. She can do all of these things and work 20 hours a week — and she will feel much better about herself when she does.
Dear Amy: My wife and I are in our early 60s and have been married for 13 years.
Up until two or three years ago our love life was pretty good, but has gradually tapered off until a little over a year ago my wife told me she has no sex drive — which ended our sex life.
She asked our family doctor, who told her it’s a normal part of aging and there’s probably not much to be done.
She has said she would see if there are any alternatives but to date hasn’t acted on her intentions.
While her libido is zero, mine is still what I would deem healthy for a man my age. I don’t expect (nor want) daily sex, but once a week or so would be great.
I miss the sex, but I miss the intimacy just as much and find myself feeling like I’m drifting away. I don’t feel like we’re close any more.
I find your advice to be common sense and well-reasoned and almost always agree with your suggestions. Your advice is welcome.
— Lacking in Love
Dear Lacking: Your wife should definitely consult with an ob/gyn.
Loss of libido for women can be related to a number of physical factors, and there are treatments available to mitigate these age-related changes.
I hope you can understand, however, what a loss this is for your wife. Losing your desire can be profoundly sad; it can also make you forget what having desire felt like, making it challenging to pursue treatment.
While you work on this, find ways to be physically close — without having sex.
If your wife doesn’t feel the pressure to have intercourse, being intimate with you should help to draw you two closer.
Dear Amy: I have to thank you for putting words to what I have felt in my own life, as the survivor of an abusive household.
“Adult survivors … don’t know what ‘script’ to follow.”
— Grateful for Insight
Dear Grateful: I hope you can write your own script — with a healthy and happy ending.
(You can email Amy Dickinson at [email protected] or send a letter to Ask Amy, P.O. Box 194, Freeville, NY 13068. You can also follow her on Twitter @askingamy or Facebook.)
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