DEAR ABBY: The love of my life, “Stacy,” and I have been together for 20 years – married for 10. I adore her. We have three beautiful children.

I consider myself to be fairly good-looking. I work out regularly, have good hygiene and I’m in excellent health. I work hard at two jobs so Stacy can be home with the children. I make sure my family has the best of everything.

My problem is Stacy gives me very little affection. She is a loving person; however, she rarely touches me, lies in bed with me or kisses me. When we do make love, it’s not as exciting as it was 20 years ago. I feel empty inside and I ache for some warmth.

Recently, at a business gathering, a slightly intoxicated female employee surprised me with a passionate goodnight kiss. It felt wonderful. I can’t stop thinking about that feeling. I yearn for that same feeling with my beautiful wife, but she shows no interest.

I am desperate for advice. I don’t know how to talk to Stacy about this. I am so preoccupied with these feelings that I can’t keep my mind focused, and it’s starting to affect my job performance. – SOMETHING’S MISSING IN NEW JERSEY

You’re working two jobs. Your wife is caring for three children under the age of 10. It’s time for a second honeymoon where the two of you can spend time alone, get to know each other again, and rekindle the passion you once knew. Please make it a priority. It’s important for the two of you to talk to each other and share feelings. That’s where the true intimacy in marriage lies.

DEAR ABBY: In a letter you printed signed, “Watching My Garden Grow in Tulsa,” the writer made clear the point that one person’s weed is another’s flower. That column inspired me to write a poem. I hope you like it. – MARY G. SKELTON, LYNN HAVEN, FLA.

Like it? I love it! And I know my readers will, too. It is beautiful.

Weeds – The beauties of my garden

Weeds, to some, are like memories long past,

Needing to be plucked of the shadows they cast –

But I see their beauty, for God placed them there,

So that’s where I leave them and tend to their care.

Their roots, growing deeply, hold fast and true,

As my faith, my love and my hope must do –

To garner my strength for another day,

To weather life’s storms that come my way.

Where I see a flower and you see a weed,

Its presence and purpose fulfills my need –

To do what I can to manage the earth,

In my small garden, regardless of worth.

As I nurture my weeds and watch them grow,

There’s something I’ve often wanted to know:

Could the loveliest rose, cursed with its thorn,

Be simply a weed – imperfectly born?

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

Good advice for everyone – teens to seniors – is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.

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