DEAR ABBY: I am recently divorced from my husband of 17 years. There is someone special in my life now, and my ex-husband is trying to cause problems where my kids are concerned. I have tried to talk to him about keeping his distorted thoughts and opinions about my boyfriend to himself; however, he can't seem to do it.
My daughter is 13 and has a mind of her own. My son is 6, and he acts according to things he has heard my ex-husband say. This is affecting my relationship with my son because I have tried to teach him to be respectful to all adults, no matter who they are. I keep reminding my son that my boyfriend has done nothing to him and deserves to be treated nicely.
Please help. I love this man and want my kids to be a part of our lives. -- HOPEFUL IN N.C.
DEAR HOPEFUL: Since your ex-husband refuses to cooperate, the only other choice is to try to make the children less susceptible to his brainwashing. The next time your son acts out, take him aside and ask him why he's doing it. If he repeats something that his father told him, say, "You know, your daddy is very angry right now -- and sometimes we all say things we don't mean when we're angry." Point out that the boyfriend has always been good to you and to him.
You say at 13 your daughter has a mind of her own. If that means she likes your boyfriend, enlist her help in convincing her brother that the man is not as bad as their father says he is.
If that doesn't work, make an appointment with a child psychologist, and good luck.
DEAR ABBY: I am 48 and have been married 21 years. My husband is the only person I have ever had sex with. For most of our married life, we have had sex three to seven times a week. We had our share of minor sexual problems, but lack of desire was never one of them until a few years ago. I just lost interest. My husband would do everything a loving husband could possibly do to spark romance, to no avail. He would give me wonderful, long massages, my favorite prelude to sex in the past -- and I would just fall asleep.
One night a few months ago, my husband and I were out on a "date." We had just finished dinner, and the next showing of the movie we wanted to see was in two hours. My husband joked that we should go somewhere and park -- and I got a sudden urge I hadn't felt for some time. We found a secluded spot and parked. It was the first time either of us had ever gotten completely naked anywhere outside of a bedroom, and it was the best sex I have had in years. Abby, we had so much fun I didn't want to go to the movie.
We have had some great sex since then, but only when we park somewhere or do it outside our house. I still can't get turned on at home. What is wrong with me? Have you ever heard of this? -- J.D. IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR J.D.: There is nothing "wrong" with you. It appears you are one of those who need an element of "danger" (for instance, the possibility of getting caught) to spark your libido. Warning: Having sex in public is most likely against local, state or federal statutes, so I urge you to be very careful. I have always subscribed to the adage that what goes on between two consenting adults and hurts neither one is OK with me.
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