DEAR ABBY: So often I read about troubled marriages in your column. May I share with you something that my husband and I started doing that has transformed what I thought was a good marriage into a blissful one?
One day, after complaining that we had no quality time together -- we rarely talked, much less made love -- my husband suggested we turn off the television and offered to give me a massage.
Ever since, four or five times a week, once the children are in bed, we go into our bedroom, take off our clothes and give each other long massages. Sometimes we spend the entire time in conversation, other times we savor the peace and quiet. Sometimes we make passionate love; other times we fall asleep naked in each other's arms, completely content.
It doesn't matter how it turns out; it's wonderful and it has made the rest of our lives less stressful and more enjoyable. Our sex life is better than before the children came, and we sleep in the nude more often.
I hope you'll print this. More marriages would take a turn for the better if couples made time for each other and discovered the wonders of massage. -- HAPPIER THAN EVER
DEAR HAPPIER: That's a terrific suggestion, and one that should be taken to heart. I hope it doesn't rub anyone the wrong way.
DEAR ABBY: I am in a bit of a dilemma, and I would appreciate some advice.
I divorced my husband six years ago because he was physically and mentally abusive to me. We had two children together. They are now being raised by me and my new husband.
Abby, my ex-husband never told his family the truth about why we divorced. He told them I was unfaithful and other things which you can't print in a newspaper.
My question: What should I do when the kids graduate or they get married?
I have tried to make peace with several members of his family. All they did was rip into me and give me their opinion about what I supposedly did to their brother. I don't want to put my family in the position of being berated and attacked when the children have a special occasion. On the other hand, I don't want to cut them off from their other family at important occasions in their lives.
What should I do? -- UNDECIDED IN BELLEVUE, WASH.
DEAR UNDECIDED: When the time comes, ask your husband and the children how they feel about including these relatives. My advice would be to invite them, and place the burden of whether to attend the events or not on them.
DEAR ABBY: How do you tell someone how well you can do something without sounding like you're bragging? -- STELLA IN DALLAS
DEAR STELLA: It's not bragging to mention that you excel at something. It only becomes obnoxious if you dwell on it to the point that you forget to show an interest in the accomplishments of others.