DEAR ABBY: My husband of 30 years still desires me. I know he has been faithful. He’s a wonderful father, has plenty of friends and a warm sense of humor and even in tough times has always managed to be a good provider. We have never wanted for anything.
He is in decent shape for his age, and some women have commented that he is handsome. Yet I recoil at his advances or pretend to be asleep. I feel like I owe him sex since it’s part of marriage, and then I resent him because I feel I am letting him down. — NO DESIRE DOWN SOUTH
DEAR NO DESIRE: You need to figure out whether your negative reaction to your husband’s advances is emotional or physical. Have you always felt this way, or is it (relatively) recent?
Hormonal changes as women age can be a reason for lack of libido, and if that’s what’s causing your problem, it is something you should talk about with your gynecologist because it may be fixable. Start there, because you owe this both to yourself and your husband.
DEAR ABBY: I’m a 22-year-old woman who was adopted. I recently started dating an amazing man who happens to be of another race. My parents, whom I love very much, told me that if I stay with him, they will disown me. They have made many horrible comments about my relationship, and I’m at a loss about what to do. I love them, but I also love my boyfriend. Please give me advice. What should I do? — HOPELESS IN INDIANA
DEAR HOPELESS: You need to figure out which is more important to you, the hope for a future with this amazing man who is new in your life, or your relationship with your parents. It’s a tough choice to make, and there are variables to consider. Are you OK with your parents dictating who you can date in terms of race? Is this person as serious as you are about this new relationship? Are you financially and emotionally independent?
Start by making a list of the pros and the cons. Once you are finished, understanding that neither choice will be pain free, you may have a clearer idea of what your decision must be.
DEAR ABBY: My fiance and I decided to live together. Although I knew at the time that his cousin and two younger people lived in the house with him, he promised to make sure there was room for me and my 13-year-old son, who has Asperger’s. However, things are tense in the house because someone is stealing my things, and no one will admit it. There is also constant fighting about how I should raise my son because everyone in the house has an opinion and wants to be his boss.
I am at my wits’ end. I love my fiance, but I can’t take much more of the anxiety they put me through. What should I do? — TORN IN TENNESSEE
DEAR TORN: Have a frank conversation with your fiance about the fact that this living situation isn’t working out for you. The two of you should then discuss options. The most obvious would be that some folks need to make other living arrangements — either you and your son, or the cousin and the two younger people. This doesn’t necessarily mean the engagement has to be broken, but things cannot continue as they are.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order “How to Have a Lovely Wedding.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds), to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)