Advice from Ms. Price
Dear Ms. Price,
I have been reading advice columns for years and have never read this question, so here goes:
I am a school secretary for a private school, and we have a smaller front office. Every Tuesday, the PTO president will come into the office, and while she’s a lovely person, she smells like she’s taken a bath at a perfumery. The smell is not only overpowering; I seem to be allergic to whatever she’s wearing. I have started to bring my inhaler when I know she’ll be around the office, and I actually have lost my voice from the exposure.
I admit that I’m a smoker, but I am extremely conscientious about exposing others to my smoke.
I don’t know what to do about this situation, and most likely, not much is to be done. What is your advice?
–Olfactorily Challenged in Safety Harbor
You are not alone, my dear. So many people have allergies to strong smells, but in a world where we can’t even agree on masks during a pandemic, good luck getting men and women to wear less fragrance.
To all of our readers, please keep in mind that when it comes to fragrance, less is more, and a heck of a lot healthier for your friends and neighbors.
Dear Ms. Price,
I’ll bet this is a problem you don’t read every day, but here goes: I have been semi-happily married for 15 years (nothing is perfect), and my husband and I are an average couple in almost every way. I said almost.
My husband stopped having sex with me after one year of marriage. You read that right. I have not had sex in 14 years and am at the end of my rope.
I’m not overweight. In fact, I’m in better shape than the day we met. I have tried to talk with him, and we have tried counseling, but nothing has worked. He closes off, and I stop trying.
I have filled my life with busyness and activity, but I find myself feeling lonely and empty. I tell myself that sex isn’t everything. Friendship and companionship are important as well as the promise we made to each other when we married. I said for better or worse, but after 14 years of “worse,” I’m not sure how much more I can take.
–Waiting and waiting and waiting
I’m sorry to hear about your situation. This is a difficult problem and one that is more common than you would think.
You said that you tried counseling, and it didn’t work. My advice is to schedule a time to sit with your husband and show him this letter. Tell him that you wrote this letter and you are at the end of your rope. I would give counseling one more try and insist that he go with you. Go alone if he refuses.
Many couples live without sex. There is a misconception that it’s the woman who doesn’t want sex, but many times it is the man. Some are fine with it because they don’t feel that sex is a high priority. You apparently do feel that sex is important, and you deserve to have a fulfilling marriage in every way, and that includes a healthy sex life.
You have some big decisions to make and questions to ask yourself. Are you willing to go the rest of your life without sex? If the answer is no, then changes must be made. My advice is to make yourself your number one priority. You deserve every bit of happiness. I wish you all the luck in the world.