DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been married 48 years, have raised three children and are in our early 70s. Eleven years ago, my wife stopped having sex with me, saying she didn't think it was necessary. She said all her lady friends our age have stopped doing it, and also they sleep in separate bedrooms.
Am I wrong for feeling that sex is necessary for a happy marriage? -- HURT HUSBAND, REDFORD, MICH.
DEAR HURT HUSBAND: No, you are not wrong. Obviously sex is necessary for YOU to have a happy marriage -- and if your wife values your marriage, she'll consider working out a compromise. Otherwise, I fear I'll be hearing from HER asking what happened to YOU.
DEAR ABBY: The response from "Angie" addressing the teen-age curfew enforcement problem was ingenious, but not foolproof. She suggested that a parent who didn't want to lose sleep waiting for her teen-aged child to come home set an alarm for the time the child should be home. If the child arrives before the alarm goes off, he or she turns the alarm off and goes to bed -- allowing the parent continuous sleep.
My mother used (and I thought invented) that technique when I was a teen-ager in the '70s, thinking that was the solution to my broken curfews and late hours. What Mother didn't know until 25 years later was that while she was sleeping, I would come home, turn the alarm off and sneak back out. -- FORMER TEEN, CURRENT MOM
DEAR CURRENT PARENT: Bad girl! Your confession reminds me of the saying that if man invents a better mousetrap, nature invents a smarter mouse. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: The alarm clock method doesn't work! We used it on our oldest son back in 1970. (He's now the chief of staff of the Sixth Fleet in Italy.) After just one night, he began paying his sister (15 months younger) to go in and shut it off. I never learned until a decade later that he had been roaming free until all hours. -- ANONYMOUS IN MARYLAND
DEAR ANONYMOUS: It's heartening that your son has applied his talents to protecting our country instead of becoming a career criminal. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: My solution to knowing when our teen-age daughter came home: I, too, work and can hardly stay up to enforce curfews -- so I simply went to bed. In HER bed! When she came home, she woke me up and we chatted, and I went off to my own bed. She loved it, because not only did we have late-night mother-daughter chats, but I warmed her bed for her!
She's away at college this year, and I miss our talks. -- COOKI IN CINCINNATI
DEAR COOKI: You are a diligent and caring parent, and your solution provided a wonderful opportunity for you and your daughter to share some private and memorable moments together. Too often, communication between parents and children takes place when both are rushed or under pressure. Your daughter is a lucky young woman.
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