DEAR ABBY: My husband and I are in our 30s and have been married 15 years. Over the past year we have been intimate only about once every three months. I tried to spice things up to see if I could get him interested, but he reacted by becoming upset, defensive and insinuating that I have an unnatural fixation on sex.
After some discussions, it turns out that he's having erectile dysfunction problems. I was relieved to know it wasn't lack of interest, but now I'm even more confused by his unwillingness to see a doctor. It has been a couple of months since he confided his problem to me, but he has done nothing to try and correct it.
I offered to go to the doctor with him, have joint therapy - I even tried being a little extra kinky to see if it would help.
He still refuses to see a doctor or go to therapy. I'm completely stumped and unsure what else to do. Any advice will truly be appreciated.
- Needs Lovin' in California
DEAR NEEDS LOVIN': You have done everything you can do. Your husband may be embarrassed or afraid, which is why he's avoiding going to a doctor. Be supportive, but you need to ask him what he plans to do about this - if anything - because the absence of physical affection is unfair to you.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 60-year-old woman with grown children. My husband and I divorced after 30 years of marriage because he met someone at work.
Two years ago I met a very nice man who treats me with respect and love. He wants a future for us, and so do I, but I can't get over one thing: He has two illegitimate children - one he didn't even know about - and although the son is an adult, he is still paying back support.
I hate to sound like a snob, but this situation isn't OK with me. I'm afraid I will always bring it up when I am angry. I'm thinking maybe if we wait until the support obligation has ended I might feel different, but who knows? I'd appreciate some advice.
- Can't Get Over It in Georgia
DEAR CAN'T GET OVER IT: I know very few people older than 35 who don't carry some kind of baggage from past experiences. You don't have to approve of everything in his suitcase, but if you plan on having a long-term relationship with this "very nice man," you will have to accept that he is fulfilling his legal obligation.
Dragging the past into the present during an argument is an unhealthy expression of anger. It's guaranteed to drive a partner away. Until you can find a more constructive way to work out disagreements, you shouldn't marry anyone.