DEAR ABBY: My husband quit drinking five years ago, and he hasn't made love to me since. The only time he put his arms around me after he quit was when his father died.
I don't think he is having an affair; I think he can't show his feelings unless he's had a drink. I sleep in another bedroom because he snores and reads the paper in bed, but he could come to my bed for sex if he wanted to.
I suggested counseling once, but he said I was the one who needed help. Now it seems I'm only attractive to him when he's had a drink or two.
Abby, I need to be held, and made to feel like a woman once in a while. Life is too short to live like this, but I still love him. What can I do to get him to be affectionate again? -- FEELING UNLOVED IN ST. CLOUD, MINN.
DEAR FEELING UNLOVED: There is little you can do, unless your husband admits there's a problem that needs to be resolved.
If he is content with the marriage and is unwilling to seek counseling with you, go without him. The kind of rejection you describe can be devastating to one's self-esteem. With professional help you will be able to rebuild it -- and also decide what you want to do about this marriage.
DEAR ABBY: I must respond to your answer to "Catfused in Canada." Unless you have cats, you have no right to tell the reader to "keep the cats in a separate room with food and water." As every cat lover knows, people don't own cats -- cats own people!
Since visitors know that their friend has cats, if they are allergic to them, or dislike them, they should not come to visit.
I have two wonderfully spoiled "children" of my own, and I choose not to have some people over -- and some choose not to come on their own -- because they know how freely my cats are allowed to roam the house. They are exclusively indoor cats, so to confine them to one room, even if only temporarily, is not right.
Cats are family members, just as people are. Abby, what would you have told "Catfused" if he or she had a child that the neighbors didn't like? Keep the child in a separate room with food and water?
Be careful how you respond to cat lovers. -- CAT LOVER IN GEORGIA
DEAR GEORGIA CAT LOVER: Since that letter appeared in my column, the fur has been flying from cat lovers nationwide. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I would like to respond to the advice you gave "Catfused in Canada." The reader asked what to do with his/her three declawed cats when her neighbor visited and asked her to remove the cats from the room. You told the hostess she should put her cats in another room with food and water.
In my opinion, "Catfused" should leave the cats where they are. The neighbor should respect the fact that the cats live there, and the hostess should tell her the cats are free to roam as they please because it's their home. If the neighbor doesn't agree, she can call instead of dropping over. -- A CAT LOVER IN NEW ORLEANS
DEAR CAT LOVER: I doubt that a few minutes in another room would traumatize "Catfused's" pets. It's common courtesy to make a guest comfortable in your home. Denying pets free run of the house occasionally for a short time is not, in my opinion, too great a sacrifice to make in the interest of hospitality.
For Abby's favorite family recipes, send a long, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby, Cookbooklet No. 1, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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