DEAR ABBY: My husband, “Sam,” and I have been married three years and have a good relationship. He’s a wonderful father and husband, and I really couldn’t ask for much more. However, there is one thing I just don’t know what to do about.
He had a rough divorce from his first wife, who was also the first woman he ever had sex with (they waited until they were married). She started doing drugs shortly afterward and cheated on him several times. Counseling with her didn’t work, and eventually he filed for divorce.
We married five years after his divorce, and we also waited to have sex until we were married. This was by mutual agreement. Once we were married, I realized he has some big hang-ups about sex in general. There can never be any foreplay, we never change positions, and the times it happens are few and far between.
I have expressed my need for more intimacy, but he acts like I’m being ridiculous, or says he can’t make himself change something he’s comfortable with. How else can I approach this situation without making him feel bad? I believe sex in a marriage is very important, and ours needs to change. — NEEDS MORE IN TEXAS
DEAR NEEDS MORE: Your husband has a problem, but in order for there to be any changes in your marriage, he will have to admit to himself — and to you — that he has one. A place to start would be marriage counseling with a licensed therapist, and from there, very likely, a course of treatment with a licensed sex therapist. I hope you can convince him that it is necessary, because unless he agrees, I don’t think a mutually satisfying union will be possible.
DEAR ABBY: I got my sister a job at my workplace, and she has now fallen in love with one of my co-workers, “Bill.” The problem is, he’s married and has children. Bill’s wife works here, too, and she recently found out about the romance. Bill and his wife talked and decided to work things out.
I have now learned that Bill and my sister are still dating and have even discussed marriage. I had decided to stay out of it, but I’m friends with this couple and I feel obligated to let the wife know. Should I stay silent and let her find out for herself? How do I make my sister realize this is not a good path she is going down?
STUCK IN THE MIDDLE
DEAR STUCK: Bill’s wife already knows she’s married to a cheater. She doesn’t need you to tell her. Do, however, talk to your sister and remind her that this is a no-win situation for her. When Bill’s wife realizes the affair is ongoing, she’ll either see to it that the romance is over once and for all — which means your sister will end up brokenhearted — or she’ll divorce him. If she divorces Bill and he marries your sister, your sister will have a husband with a history of cheating and heavy child support payments. That’s hardly a guarantee of a happy ending.
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, Calif. 90069.