Dear Annie: I have been married for 10 years this month. I am at the end of my rope with my husband.

My husband was a widower when we first met, and he was very affectionate and romantic.

But now, for him to try to be romantic or affectionate is like a chore — one that he refuses to do. This is the first time I have ever experienced somebody who is emotionally lazy.

I find myself wondering why I’m even in this relationship still, because there is no financial support, no sex life and no emotional support of any kind. I do love him and have asked that he go to counseling, which refuses to do, as he does not see that he has a problem.

Other than counseling, is there any way that I can get him to revive our emotional life? — Emotionally Starved

Dear Emotionally Starved: The fact that he was affectionate and romantic in the beginning shows that you had a spark and you have the potential to get it back. It’s called the honeymoon phase for a reason; it doesn’t necessarily last unless you work at it. And working at it takes two.

Ask yourself whether you are affectionate and romantic with him. It could be that you noticed him getting lazy and your reaction was to subconsciously pull away or push him to the point where boundaries are blurred.

He could also be suffering from depression, which can show up as avoidance. Regardless of what is going on between his ears, a good trained professional will help you get to the root of it. If you want this marriage to work, sit your husband down and tell him outside support is absolutely needed to get back to where you were. And instead of recommending counseling for him, why not go to couples therapy?

“Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to

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