DEAR ABBY: My wife and I have been married four years. I love her very much, and we have a good marriage.
Years ago, I became fascinated with strip bars. I even dated a couple of strippers in the past. My problem is I can't seem to stay away from these strip clubs. I go once or twice a week. I find seeing the women –- all shapes, colors and sizes –- very relaxing, almost like taking a tranquilizer.
My wife is very straitlaced. She would probably leave me if she found out. I have thought about joining a group for men with sexual addiction at our church to help me overcome this problem, but I'm afraid if I start attending weekly meetings she'll find out.
I know I need help. I can't kick this on my own. --HOOKED IN PORTLAND
DEAR HOOKED: You have already taken an important step by admitting you have a problem with sexual addiction. Since you are concerned about issues of confidentiality if you join your church group, consider contacting Sexaholics Anonymous. The organization has chapters all across the United States –- and in 16 countries –- and its program is based on the AA 12-step model. The only requirement for membership is a desire "to stop lusting and become sexually sober." There are no dues, no fees, and it is not affiliated with any sect, denomination, organization or institution. People attend the meetings and learn to be open and honest about their addiction. Confidentiality is respected, and nobody comments about another member.
For more information about Sexaholics Anonymous, write: S.A., P.O. Box 111910, Nashville, TN 37222-1910 or call: 1-615-331-6230. The Web site is � HYPERLINK "http://www.sa.org" ��www.sa.org�, and the e-mail address is: email@example.com.
DEAR ABBY: My fiance won't marry me on July 18 because it's his former wife's birthday. He says he doesn't want to hurt her. We would be on a Hawaiian cruise, and the 18th is the day we will be in Waimanalo Bay for the wedding. I didn't pick the date on purpose. He says no, and also says I don't "get it."
Why is he so able to hurt me? -- HURT 2 THE CORE
DEAR HURT: He's able to hurt you because you refuse to accept the message he's sending. A man who is more concerned about his ex-wife's feelings than his fiancee's is not fully committed to marrying.
If the tickets are paid for, go on the cruise yourself and take a friend. Send him a postcard on the 18th. Tell him you finally "got it" and, for better or for worse, "Aloha!"
DEAR ABBY: In response to the question from "Getting Pesky Over Pollen" about how many times it's necessary to say "God bless you" after someone sneezes, I offer the following:
My son, Brian, was in high school math class. He sneezed, and the instructor said "Gesundheit" (health). When Brian sneezed several times more, the math teacher said, "Gesundheit squared." -- PATTI FAIRCHILD BARTEE
DEAR PATTI: Chalk one up for the teacher.
CONFIDENTIAL TO MOM AND DAD IN BEVERLY HILLS: Wishing you a happy, healthy 62nd anniversary. No daughter could wish for more devoted and loving role models for a successful union. –- JEANNE
Dear Abby is written by Pauline Phillips and daughter Jeanne Phillips.
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-size, 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, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
4520 Main St., Kansas City, Mo. 64111; (816) 932-6600