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Dear Abby: Woman is realizing she’s a lesbian but still loves her husband

She long has identified as bisexual but now is repulsed by their lovemaking.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a 29-year-old woman married to a dream of a man I met when I was 19. We have a child together. We have had our ups and downs, but it’s to be expected, I suppose, when you begin a relationship before really knowing yourself.

Recently things have become complicated. I am discovering things about myself and think I may be a lesbian. I identified as bisexual for most of my life, but I’m starting to reevaluate my life now. I have become repulsed by sex with my husband. I love our family and I think he’s an amazing husband, but I still feel a void. Please give me some advice. — EVOLVING IN PENNSYLVANIA

DEAR EVOLVING: It is not uncommon for individuals of both genders to come out later in life. You owe it to your husband to level with him about what’s going on — omitting, of course, that you now find sex with him to be “repulsive.” Under no circumstances should you make this about him.

Tell him you no longer think you are bisexual but a lesbian, and you need to explore your true nature. Do not expect him to like it, but stand your ground. Offer him the option of counseling at the nearest LGBTQ center, and hope that he will be able to move forward with his own life soon. He may also find support by contacting the Straight Spouse Network. Its website is straightspouse.org.

DEAR ABBY: I’m a woman in my early 60s. I have a husband I love very much and I enjoyed dressing sexy for him at the end of our date nights. However, I stumbled across some pictures of half-naked young models a friend of his continually sends. Because of them and the fact that my husband enjoys commenting on them, I no longer feel sexy.

I’m not a 20-something model, and now I feel like an old fool for thinking I looked good to him. I don’t know how to talk to him about this matter. I wish that, just once, when his friend sent him a picture, he would have replied “No, thank you,” and told his friend he already has a sexy woman in his life. Advice? — FEELING FOOLISH IN NEW YORK

DEAR FEELING FOOLISH: You are not an “old fool,” you are a disappointed wife. It’s time for an honest conversation. Tell your husband you found the pictures and read the comments he made to his friend in response, and how it has made you feel about your own attractiveness. If you speak up, he may be able to reassure you. However, if he can’t, it may require assistance from a licensed marriage and family therapist. You have my sympathy. Your problem is not uncommon.

DEAR ABBY: I gifted my boyfriend $5,000 so he could get rid of his credit debt. He was really stressed, and I thought it would be a solution. Now he’s buying more stuff, like he didn’t learn from this. I’m in a weird situation — why is he spending more? (I probably have no right to know what he has done with it.) Honestly, I don’t think I’ll do this again. What do you think? — SADLY MISTAKEN

DEAR SADLY MISTAKEN: Your irresponsible boyfriend is spending again because he now knows you will “rescue” him by paying his bills. This wasn’t a tiny “oops,” it was a big mistake. Put away your checkbook before he ruins your credit, too, and end the romance or he will bleed you dry!

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.

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 $8 (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.)