DEAR ANNIE: About 10 years ago, I was working on a remodel project and discovered a hidden “treasure”: three dusty books stashed above some ductwork. Two were personal journals, and another was an art book with sexy photographs from the 1980s.
I briefly glanced at the journals and noticed they dealt with some romantic breakups. I didn’t read past that. Since I didn’t know who the owner was, I put all three books back, figuring they were not meant for public consumption.
I recently returned to the same house and told the owner about the items. We debated whether or not to track down the author or let the dog sleep. I think enough time has passed that the author might be interested in having these things for sentimental reasons. What do you say? — Al
DEAR AL: If it were only the book with sexy photographs, we’d say leave it alone. But two journals might be of value to someone, and we think you should make an effort to return them. You already know that these things belonged to someone who lived in the house post-1980, which should make tracing the author easier without pouring over the personal content. But it also means reopening the wall with the ductwork, so you will need the current owner’s permission.
DEAR ANNIE: “Need Help” is just like me: I do not like sex. Never have, never will. I am 56 years old and have been married for 29 years. My husband threatened to divorce me many times due to my lack of interest, but I could not afford to live on my own, nor would I subject our kids to a divorce.
We have had, and continue to have, a fun, thoughtful, interesting and satisfying marriage, except for that one thing. About a dozen years ago, with another threat of divorce looming over my head and the possible breakup of our family, I agreed to have sex once a week, on the condition that my husband wouldn’t talk about it or request it any other time. He agreed, and here we are now.
I still don’t like sex, and he knows it, but that’s the deal. Why must someone like sex? My husband doesn’t like to read, so I don’t make him. The notion that marriage can only be strong with a gratifying sex life needs to stop. If society wants longer, happier marriages, then we need to start focusing on the other 99 percent of the relationship. — Would Prefer a Sexless Marriage
DEAR PREFER: You seem to think people are just fine without sex, but that’s not true. Some are, but for most, it’s a fairly basic urge. Since you’ve never liked sex, it’s quite possible that you are asexual. Had you told this to your husband before you married, chances are, you would not be together. But we congratulate you on your willingness to compromise for the health of your marriage, and we hope your husband appreciates the other 99 percent as much as you do.
Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column.