Dear Annie: I am an 84-year-old woman in love with a 92-year-old man. Since I’m rather old-fashioned, I do not believe in living with him unless we are married. However, marrying him could change our financial status. Is there any service that could be performed so that we may live together legally and not impact our children’s legacy?
— In Love
Dear In Love: Please discuss this with a lawyer who specializes in marital law. There are clergy who will perform religious marriage ceremonies that may not be legally binding, depending on the state you live in, whether you present yourselves as a married couple and whether your state recognizes this as a common-law marriage. (The same goes for any secular ceremony that pronounces you “married” without a valid state license. It could, in fact, be legally binding.) A lawyer also can discuss a prenup that will protect your assets for your children, allowing you to marry legally without worrying about your financial legacy.
Dear Annie: You’ve printed a few letters about married couples who are not enjoying a good sex life. I think there is more advice you should give on this subject.
First of all, married couples should not sleep in the same bed. Sleeping together causes people to become overly familiar with each other, leading to boredom. It should be special. Therefore, in order to preserve a good sex life, each spouse should sleep in a separate room and use a separate bathroom.
As far as the physical problems, there are many possible reasons for a low libido. But for men, it’s food preservatives, which often contain saltpeter. Men who want to stay virile must avoid packaged foods.
Besides over-familiarity and physical problems, there is the issue of what to do in bed. Couples who explore the Persecutor-Victim-Rescuer story are usually able to develop some very exciting scripts. This makes the bedroom experience much more intellectually stimulating and fun. It’s not just a random experience, but rather a planned game that both people can look forward to.
Dear R.: You certainly have some interesting theories, some of which may be helpful. Of course, not all married couples can afford a spare bedroom and bathroom — in which case, that is impractical. And we have no information on saltpeter in packaged food and the impact those foods may have on a man’s libido. Even so, avoiding those foods may do nothing for a woman’s libido, and that seems to be the more common problem. But we agree that playing fantasy roles in bed can add some spark to one’s sex life, and we recommend it for couples who wish to try, as long as it doesn’t become dangerous or abusive.
Dear Annie: “Fed Up with Potluck” complained that one woman in her group of friends always insists that everyone bring a dish to their gatherings. Perhaps the reason is not financial, but something to do with health issues. It’s possible that this woman may have an illness or a health concern that she has not shared with everyone in the group. Perhaps she is simply unable to cook for such a large number of people.
Isn’t the point of getting together more about the social interaction and not so much about the eating?
— 60-Something in Illinois
Dear Illinois: We don’t mind potluck dinners, whether someone feels up to cooking or not. But it is important that the other participants are aware that it is a potluck dinner at the time the invitations are issued and they volunteer to prepare something. Otherwise, it appears that they are being taken advantage of.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Email your questions to [email protected], or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254. To find out more about Annie’s Mailbox and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.
— Creators Syndicate Inc.