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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I'm engaged to a man who is a really good friend of mine. We have great times together watching movies or just hanging out.

The problem is I want to be intimate more than he does. He's a once-a-month kind of guy. I'm a once-a-day kind of girl. We have had many arguments about this because it seems like he doesn't want me. He says that's not true, that he is just tired, or stressed, etc. -- the list is never-ending. We get along in every way except this one.

Am I being a baby, or is this not the relationship for me? -- NEEDS MORE IN MOLINE, ILL.

DEAR NEEDS MORE: Much as you may wish otherwise, he is not the man for you. You have a larger appetite than he can cater to. Marrying him will only compound your problem. Keep him as a friend if you can, but don't marry him.

DEAR ABBY: "Frank" and I have been married for three years, but we have known each other since 1994. When we first met, we both drank and partied a lot, but neither of us has had a drink in about seven years.

Three years ago, Frank started gambling. We used to do it for entertainment, but now he takes off for hours and won't answer his phone when he's at the casino. He has won thousands of dollars and lost more.

I have threatened Frank with divorce. I have told him to get out (but he won't leave), threatened to leave him (but I never have), and I have wept, begged, and even tried to ignore it.

I stay because I love him and want to help him with his problem, but I don't want to wind up living in a tent. Please help. -- LOSING BIG IN TUCSON

DEAR LOSING BIG: Your concerns are legitimate. It's no coincidence that your husband got hooked on gambling after he stopped drinking. It appears he traded one addiction for another.

A group that might help you is Gam-Anon Family Groups, a 12-step fellowship for husbands, wives, relatives and friends of compulsive gamblers -- people whose lives have been affected by their loved ones' problem. The phone number is 718-352-1671 and the Web site is www.gam-anon.org.

DEAR ABBY: I have a son who is 32. He says he'll never leave my house or "me" until he's 40. He moved out twice, for no longer than two months each time. Then he came back, saying it was lonely and expensive.

I have talked to him about getting his own place, but he insists he wants to stay here. I can't seem to get him out. He's always wanting to get his laundry done -- by me. He says he can't do it himself. Help! -- CAN'T CUT THE APRON STRINGS

DEAR CAN'T: What makes you think your son will be willing to leave at the age of 40? He has room, board and maid service in your cozy nest.

Yes, living on one's own is expensive, and it can also sometimes be lonely. But learning to deal with life's tribulations is a part of growing up. You'll be doing your son a favor if you give him a deadline to move and insist he abide by it. And next time the laundry basket gets full, take him to a Laundromat and show him what to do.

P.S. He may need psychiatric counseling, so be prepared!

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