Dear Abby: 30 years in, she can’t quit married man

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DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a married man for 30 years. Our relationship started a few months after he got married.

I know it was wrong to begin the relationship, but it started just as a way for me to get sexual experience. For him, I think he was infatuated with the idea that a younger woman found him attractive. I asked him out knowing he was married, thus safe from expecting a commitment. I don’t think either of us expected our so-called relationship to last this long.

I have dated other men (who knew nothing of him) and gave birth to a child (not his), so it’s not like he’s the only man I see. (Of course, he knows I date other men.)

Many times I have thought about ending our affair because I feel guilty, and sad for his wife. My problem is our conversations are intoxicating, our kisses, touches and lovemaking are like no other.

Must I stop seeing him? Or do you think what others don’t know won’t hurt them? — CAN’T STOP SEEING HIM

DEAR CAN’T STOP: The problem with the rationale “what others don’t know won’t hurt them” is that, at some point, the truth usually comes out. And when it does, there are usually plenty of hurt feelings. Frankly, I’m surprised your lover has been able to keep you under wraps for 30 years without the two of you being spotted somewhere.

If you are truly sad for your lover’s wife, you should end the affair. However, because it has taken you three decades to discover your conscience, I somehow doubt you will.

DEAR ABBY: I’m an asexual woman in my 20s, and I feel misunderstood. When I “come out” to people, they usually make a rude or vulgar comment.

“Asexual” is the accepted term for people who are sex-repulsed or who don’t experience sexual attraction. I fit both of those definitions. People want to know what’s wrong with me: Is it a hormonal imbalance? Was I molested? Am I secretly gay? One man even suggested that sleeping with him would “fix me”!

If it comes up around family, they always suggest that someone will come around and change my mind.

Abby, is 25 years old too young to know for sure that I don’t want to have sex? How can I respond to these rude comments? — ACE IN SOUTH CAROLINA

DEAR ACE: Twenty-five is definitely old enough to know for sure whether you have a sex drive — or not.

Because you are open about your lack of interest in sex, you should not become defensive if someone asks an ignorant question about it. If the person asks if it’s a hormonal imbalance, the result of having been molested or if you are gay, all you have to say is, “Nope, nope and nope!”

As to the man who confused his member with a magic wand, “No, thanks!” would have been a polite response to an obviously deluded individual.

DEAR ABBY: I would love to see you refer to couples without children as “child-free” instead of “childless.” Not every couple wants to have children. The term “childless” sounds like something is missing. — FREE IN MASSACHUSETTS

DEAR FREE: You make a good point. But I usually couch my terminology according to what the writer has stated. If someone refers to her- or himself as childless, I feel it would be wrong to imply something the person didn’t.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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