Dear Abby

DEAR ABBY: My husband and I recently watched a comedy that featured men cross-dressing. Ever since, I have had a burning desire to have my husband wear sexy lingerie and makeup.

There is nothing effeminate about him, but I can't get this out of my head. I bought him a lacy bra and panty set, garter belt and stockings, but I haven't had the nerve to ask him to wear them. Am I crazy? Should I try to forget this? -- BURNING DESIRE IN NAHANT, MASS.

DEAR BURNING: Human sexuality is complicated. There are many women who help their husbands cross-dress, however it is my understanding that the initiator is usually the man. I don't think you are crazy, nor do I think you should "forget" something that you describe as a "burning desire." What I do think you should do is have a frank discussion with your husband and find out how open-minded he is on the subject.

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DEAR ABBY: I have been in a relationship with "John" for the past seven years. I live down south, while John lives up north. John is 76 and does not plan to retire, even though he doesn't have to work. I am 65 and need to work.

Is it possible for this long-distance relationship to survive? Part of me wishes we would end it so we could start over with someone who lives in the same city. I'm tired of living this way, but cannot seem to make the break. What should I do? -- SOUTHERN BELLE

DEAR SOUTHERN BELLE: If you are torn between your head and your heart, please listen to the part of you that thinks. Because this has been going on for seven years, it's clear that the status quo is enough for John. Because you need more than that, explain it to him, and if the two of you can't figure out a workable solution, it's time for you to find someone who can fulfill your needs.

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DEAR ABBY: Our family, consisting of our three children, their spouses, our grandchildren and great-grandchildren, have occasional gatherings to celebrate special events. My husband's 90th birthday is this summer, and the immediate family will come here, some from faraway locations.

My daughter-in-law, "Janie," who lives 2,000 miles away, has felt for years that her children from previous marriages (who do not know any of us) should be included at these events. They live within 100 miles of our home and could attend if invited. Our relationship with Janie has been generally cordial and affectionate. She will be visiting her children at their homes the week of the birthday. If we exclude her kids from our celebration, she will feel insulted and resentful.

How obligated should we feel to bow to Janie's demands and include four additional adults and a young child to our party? My husband becomes upset and confused by large groups and noisy children. -- CORNERED ON THE EASTERN SHORE

DEAR CORNERED: Your husband's comfort and sense of well-being must come first. If he becomes agitated by large groups and noisy children, you must explain to Janie that no "strangers" can be introduced into the mix and why. Do not allow anyone to lay a guilt trip on you for advocating for him. When Janie sees your husband, I am sure she will understand.

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