DEAR ABBY: My wife and I married in our early 40s. I have given my all to her, but I have always felt underappreciated. 

I always wanted to be a father, but she didn’t want to have kids. After we were together for a few years, she changed her mind, so we decided to try for a child and were surprised to discover after only a week of trying that we were pregnant. A few months ago, we were blessed with our beautiful, healthy daughter.

My wife had difficulty with breastfeeding, so she decided to stop and solely bottle-feed. I have been supportive of her decision, but she still feels sad and guilty about it. I have done all I can to encourage and comfort her, but she just brushes me off.

I love my wife with all that I am, but I don’t feel loved in return. Since we started dating, she has always called me “Babe.” Now she calls me by my first name. I tell her I love her every day, but she hasn’t said it back since the baby was born. She also doesn’t say goodnight when she goes to bed. 

We haven’t kissed in almost two months. I receive no affection from her; she never even touches me. I don’t care about not having sex, but she won’t even touch my arm or try to hold my hand. I feel alone and lonely in my own home. What can I do to change things?– HEARTSICK HUSBAND

DEAR HEARTSICK: Tell your wife what you have written. She may be feeling overwhelmed and exhausted from taking care of a brand-new baby, or suffer from a common condition called postpartum depression. (It’s sometimes referred to as the “baby blues” for a reason.) Urge her to discuss how she has been feeling with her OB/GYN because, with medical help, the condition is treatable. Please don’t wait because the sooner this is dealt with, the better it will be for all three of you. 

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