DEAR ABBY: My husband and I had our first child, a boy, last fall. We were both very happy because the baby is healthy and we had wanted a family since our marriage four years ago. We enjoyed shopping for baby clothes and furniture. My husband, "Chris," was gentle and supportive throughout my pregnancy, and was at my side during labor and delivery.
By choice, I took four months off work and only returned part time until the baby is older. Shortly after the baby was born, I noticed that Chris was moody and constantly on edge, but I let it pass. When it became medically possible to resume our sex life, he did not seem eager. (We have always had an active love life.)
Chris refuses to feed or diaper our child, but often complains that the baby "smells bad." He finds fault with my housekeeping and cooking. He sits in front of the television barely speaking, or "goes out with the boys" after work, which is very out of character.
He calls me "tubby" and says I should get in shape, which has almost brought me to tears. Abby, I gained only 13 pounds during the pregnancy, most of which I left at the hospital. I am 5 feet 6 inches and weigh 118 pounds, less than I weighed at our wedding.
When I confronted Chris, he said he is sorry, but he no longer finds me appealing or attractive because I am now a mother! I am hurt and shocked beyond words. I do not know what to do. I do not want my son to grow up with divorced parents, and despite all this, I still love Chris. Yet he has become a complete stranger. I cannot reach him.
What can I do to save my marriage? (Please, no state or town.) -- DIANA X
DEAR DIANA X: You are a mother, true. But you are not HIS mother, which is something that your husband may be unconsciously troubled about. He needs psychotherapy.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 43-year-old woman. I own my business, my home, and I'm fairly attractive. I have cherished friends and have my act pretty well together.
My problem: I have never had sex! Yes, I am a 43-year-old virgin. I am not hung up on sex; neither am I frigid nor unrealistic. I simply chose to wait for Mr. Right.
I recently started dating a slightly younger man, and for the first time in my life, I'm with a man I trust and for whom I have deep feelings. I'm sure we are going to become intimate soon.
Abby, should I tell him that I'm a virgin? I'm comfortable with my reason for having remained celibate, but I realize it may sound bizarre to someone else. I'm afraid this man will think I'm warped or obsessive and might think less of me.
Please answer soon. Each date is becoming more intense than the last, and our sexual history "talk" will probably be taking place shortly. -- MATURE VIRGIN
DEAR MATURE VIRGIN: Virginity is nothing to be ashamed of. Tell him. He may be flattered that you waited for him, and he should respect you for sticking to your principles. If he doesn't, then he's not a man you could be happy with in the long run.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
4900 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64112; (816) 932-6600