DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married 35 years. Our sex life was never very active, but we have been each other's soul mates and best friends. We had a rough few years early on, but managed to come back together, and our relationship is great.
Recently, while I was setting up new email addresses, I saw some messages he had sent in response to requests from married men looking for sex with other men. I just can't reconcile this with the man I know; however, I'm sure it's true. I'm not sure if I should tell him I know, or if I should try to forget it. After all, I may be the reason he's looking for sexual satisfaction elsewhere. More than anything, I'm surprised he's not looking for a woman. I'm sure confused. What should I do? -- SOUL MATES IN TEXAS
DEAR SOUL MATES: I seriously doubt that this is your fault. Your husband doesn't look for women to satisfy his sex drive because his orientation may be homosexual (or bisexual) rather than heterosexual.
You say you are soul mates and best friends. Soul mates and best friends communicate honestly with each other. I do think you should level with him about what you discovered. Is his having sex outside of your marriage all right with you? If you have had sexual relations with him over the last few years, make an appointment with your doctor to be checked for STDs.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 30-year-old woman who has been with my boyfriend for a year and a half. He's a great guy who treats me wonderfully. I know he sees marriage in our future, and that's where my problem lies.
I've heard the saying that one should only marry someone (or even be with them) if one can't imagine life without that person. Well, if I picture my life without him, I see myself being perfectly fine. Yes, I'd miss him, but I still think I could be happy without him. I don't imagine ever feeling devastated like other people feel when they break up with someone. Is this a sign that something is missing from the relationship? -- STILL ALL RIGHT IN NEW JERSEY
DEAR STILL ALL RIGHT: I don't think so. The only thing that's "missing" is the fact that you are not so emotionally dependent on your boyfriend that you couldn't function if something were to happen to him. And in my opinion, that's actually healthy, because relationships and marriages don't last forever, even when we wish them to.
DEAR ABBY: Why is it that when adults are trying to get to know my children, the first thing they want to know is who they have a crush on? Not only is that an extremely personal question, it's also the least significant part of their lives and not something I want them to dwell on.
Ask instead what their favorite subject is, if they read a book recently they enjoyed, what kinds of activities they participate in or clubs they belong to. Please stop telling them that "surely some cute little kid" must have caught their eye. -- WISE ONE IN VIRGINIA
DEAR WISE ONE: I agree. Young children may "like" someone, but may find it embarrassing to talk about. Another question, in addition to the ones you have suggested, might be, "Who are your friends, and what do you like doing with them?"