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Section: addictions, behavior, marriage, marriage

Dear Ann Landers,
I have been reading your column for a long time, hoping someone would write in about my problem, but it hasn't happened, so here I am. My husband is 52 years old. We have been married for 15 years. Although I was a willing and responsive partner, I realized early on he wasn't particularly interested in sex after the newness wore off. He said he would rather make the moves -- then didn't. Then I had to be the aggressor, or absolutely nothing would happen. A bigger problem, however, is his thumb sucking. It started about a year ago. When I enter the room, he will jerk his thumb out of his mouth. He does this while watching TV or after dinner when he reads the paper. I'm concerned because it seems to be getting worse with time. I find this very distressing, but there are many positives to our relationship. He is a hard worker and a wonderful grandfather, and he acts as if he loves me dearly. I am too tired for a major life change and too humiliated to discuss this with anyone but you. Please respond in print. -- No Name, No City

Dear N.N.N.C.,
Your husband's thumb sucking may be a major turnoff, but it is not grounds for divorce. Actually, it is a release from stress. The thumb sucking helps him revisit his early years, when life was peaceful and uncomplicated. Some men drink when life gets stressful. Others cheat. I hope he will consider counseling because this man needs help.

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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

Dear Readers,
, My x-girlfriend who lived with my son and I for 16 years died of cancer. Prior before we knew she had cancer-she moved out because of an addiction problem. We did stay very close before she died. Her x-husband an attorney took over her finances and the burial arrangements. I being financially set was okay with that, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful."
-Ann Landers