DEAR ABBY: My husband, “Warren,” and I are happily married. We love each other. We are both hardworking career professionals and have raised our family. We have always been faithful to each other.

Warren is very open with his emotions and often tells me how much he loves me. He is also very passionate during our intimate moments. The problem is, he expects me to act the same way – which I can’t. Although I love my husband and always will, I do not feel comfortable expressing myself the way he does during our lovemaking. I am content to just “get it over with” while he yearns for the kissing, hugging and talk.

Despite an active sex life with Warren, he has told me many times he wishes I were more expressive and open with my feelings. I respond by telling him, “I am who I am.” He is not happy that I refuse to change.

Warren is a wonderful man. Other women probably would have no problem giving him what he wants, but we are not compatible this way. I have never spoken to anyone else about this, and I’m wondering what you think. – CONFUSED IN PENNSYLVANIA

I think it’s time you considered the fact that by “refusing” to change, you have limited some interesting and rewarding possibilities in your marriage. One important aspect of “performance” is receiving feedback, as anyone in the arts can attest. Lovemaking is an art, and partners need to know when they, too, are doing something right.

I wish you would have this discussion with a therapist who specializes in sexual issues. Perhaps the person can help you more effectively communicate. If you make the effort, you’ll have a happier husband, and a more satisfying marriage will follow.

DEAR ABBY: My best friend from childhood, “Ethan,” whom I have known for 25 years, is being married. I’m a girl, and my parents weren’t thrilled that my best friend was a guy, but they eventually accepted him as part of the family.

Ethan and I were very close. It hurt that we were separated by quite a distance during college and afterward. But we have always maintained an active e-mail correspondence.

During the last two years I have hardly heard from him, and he has ignored several attempts I have made at getting together. We now live only a couple of hours apart, and I often visit his city to see relatives.

I thought maybe we had just grown apart, but two weeks ago I received an invitation to Ethan’s wedding. I had no idea he was even engaged! I was thrilled to hear from him and happy for him. I e-mailed him three times but received no response. Instead, Ethan’s brother responded.

Is it expecting too much for him to respond personally? I miss him terribly and I’d love to go, but I’m feeling like he doesn’t care. I met Ethan’s girlfriend years ago, and she was very sweet. I don’t think jealously plays a part in this. – MISSING MY FRIEND

DEAR MISSING: Time and distance can sometimes change some people. It shouldn’t be this difficult to maintain a friendship. The reason Ethan communicated with you through his brother instead of directly is because he wanted a buffer – but it sends a message.

If I were you, I would send my regrets to the wedding invitation and move on. I’m sorry to be the bearer of sad tidings, but from where I sit, it appears your childhood friendship has run its course.

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.

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