DEAR ABBY: I have been married for three years. We are both retired. Five months after the wedding, my husband let me know that he wasn’t interested in having sex anymore. We no longer share a bedroom. He’s overweight, not in the best of health, and refuses to change his diet or exercise.

I feel like I am living with a very nice male friend. Other than the lack of affection, he isn’t a bad person and he pays all the bills. I did state clearly to him before we were married what I was looking for in a husband, and he agreed to everything I said. Although I am lonely, I would never cheat on him.

I have been thinking about an exit plan. We pray every night and attend church together. He refuses to consider any type of marriage counseling. I’m not stressed, but I know I must get out of here. Any suggestions on how to save this marriage? — THE EXIT PLAN

DEAR EXIT: The answer to your question is no. You made clear to your husband that sex in a marriage was important to you. You say he ”agreed to everything.” Because that was not the truth and you were misled, consult an attorney to find out if the marriage can be annulled.

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for 10 years. We are both in our 50s. Six months ago, I found him with nail polish on his toes. When I asked him about it, he explained that it started in his 20s when a girlfriend painted his toes, and he liked it. He has been painting his toes ever since. He said he doesn’t wear polish all the time, but he does it for himself and he likes how it looks. I asked if he was a cross-dresser, and he assured me he isn’t.

I’m not sure how I should feel about this. I’m writing for opinions from you and others. I can’t turn to my friends because I don’t want this to become small-town gossip. — PAINTED IN NEW JERSEY


DEAR PAINTED: You asked for an opinion, so here’s mine. Frankly, I’m surprised it has taken you 10 years to notice this. Because your husband enjoys painting his toenails, look the other way and don’t obsess about it. We all have quirks, and what he’s doing is harmless.

P.S. I have it on good authority that he isn’t the only man who does it.

DEAR ABBY: I am estranged from my son because he changed his last name when he married. He did it over my objection. Reportedly, his wife’s parents tried to dissuade them from doing it, too. The explanation we were given was ”they need to have the same last name to feel like a family.” I suppose our last name was not acceptable, although they claimed they had nothing against it.

I tried to compromise and suggested my son use a hyphenated name. They agreed to it, but changed their minds after the wedding. I suspect that their reason was they want their children to have a different last name than ours.

What is your take on this? Am I overreacting by wanting to have nothing to do with them? — MOM OF ANOTHER NAME

DEAR MOM: Yes, you are overreacting. If you keep this up, your grandchildren will miss out on a loving grandma. It is possible that your son and his wife preferred a name that was less ethnic or easier to spell. Hyphenating names can create problems — especially if it continues into the next generation.

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 or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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