DEAR ABBY: I love my husband very much. Until the last few years there have never been any problems in our 20-year marriage. I have depression and epilepsy, and I am on five different medications for them.
Sometimes when I have come out of a seizure, I have found that my clothes have been removed and my husband is "touching" me. Also, because the medication puts me into a deep sleep at night, I have half-awakened to him having sex with me. I am so groggy I can't respond. Is this right? I feel like I have been violated, but I haven't said anything to him. This causes me to cringe most of the time when he touches me now.
I'd like to get back to a normal love life, but I can't get over what he does to me when I'm not fully aware. How do I tell him I know what he has been doing without ruining my marriage? -- FEELING VIOLATED IN RIO RANCHO, N.M.
DEAR FEELING VIOLATED: You feel violated because what your husband is doing is called spousal rape, and it's a criminal offense. Having sex with someone who is so doped up she (or he) can't give consent is a sexual assault. Tell your husband you know what he has been doing, how you feel about it and that you would prefer that the two of you make love while you are wide awake and able to fully enjoy it. This should be discussed with a marriage counselor and, if necessary, the police.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a married father of two very young children (2 and 6 months). I have excessive student loan debt that is making my life extremely tough, and between that, day care and my mortgage, I'm on the brink of bankruptcy.
My mother is extremely wealthy. She is very involved with my family and we both do things to help each other out. I mow the grass in her large yard every week.
She sees me struggling, yet she makes no offer to help financially. I am becoming resentful about it. If she helped, it would not change her lifestyle at all. My wife's family is the opposite. Her parents aren't wealthy, but they have done everything within their power to help their children. I know how I will treat my kids.
Am I wrong to feel resentment because my mother has decided differently? Or should I just "grow up"? -- FRUSTRATED IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR FRUSTRATED: If you have discussed with your mother that you are under extreme financial pressure and she has refused to help, then I can see why you might feel some resentment. My question is, have you talked to her about it? That would be the "grown-up" thing to do. The worst she can say is no. If she does, what you will need to do is take a part-time job to help with the bills -- even if it means you mow your mother's lawn less often.
DEAR ABBY: Next month will be our 25th anniversary. My wife and I are permanently separated, but will not divorce because she would lose health coverage under my employer's plan. How do I acknowledge this "landmark" -- or should I just ignore it, since it isn't really a celebratory event? -- NOT QUITE AN EX IN THE SOUTH
DEAR NOT QUITE AN EX: If you and your wife are on speaking terms, call her and say something nice. Or send her a card. If you're not on friendly terms, then diplomatically ignore the landmark.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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