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DEAR ABBY: I have an unusual problem that I'm not sure how to handle. As a man in my late 20s, I still consider myself quite young. I dated a bit before getting married and enjoyed kissing. My wife, however, does not seem to enjoy it -- or perhaps isn't that "skilled," I'm not sure which.

I feel like one of my needs isn't being met. We have been married almost three years. I have tried talking with her about it, but it always seems to come off like I'm comparing her "abilities" to my past girlfriends' -- and that's not what I intend at all. I honestly don't think this is a question of technique, but rather of effort. This hasn't caused any major arguments or anything yet, but it is something I find seriously lacking. Any ideas? -- MISSING THE KISSING IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR MISSING THE KISSING: You may "honestly not think it's a question of technique, but rather of effort" -- but I'm not entirely sure I agree. Not all people are equally talented at kissing, so my suggestion to you is to demonstrate the kind of kisses you would like to be able to share with her. And when you do, do not mention your past or any other woman -- just what kind of kisses make you feel the most loved and cherished. If your wife loves you, and your breath isn't a turn-off, I'm sure she'll cooperate.

DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Trey," and I have been married a year and a half. Most of the time I am very happy. I say that because we do argue sometimes, which is normal.

Trey gets upset with me when I ask questions about the ex-lover he had before me. (I ask him about his intimacy with her and how she was.) I often ask these questions out of the blue. I just want to know because I become jealous.

I never had a man in my life before. My husband was my first man ever, but I don't feel that "special" anymore because his ex was a virgin, too, and gave him her all as I did on our wedding night. I just don't feel like I gave him anything that special when someone before me already did. In other words, I wanted to be the first virgin he ever had. How can I get past this? -- UNSATISFIED IN SPRINGFIELD, VA.

DEAR UNSATISFIED: You gave your husband the one gift that nobody else could ever give him: You gave him yourself on your wedding night. Please be satisfied with that, and stop obsessing.

What you are looking for isn't information about another woman; it's really confirmation about your husband's feelings about you. Because you need reassurance, that is what you should be asking your husband for -- not information about a woman who wasn't able to earn his love regardless of how much she gave him.

DEAR ABBY: Friends of mine received an invitation to a holiday party that I have attended for the last few years, but I did not get an invitation this year. The same thing happened last year. When I mentioned it to the hosts, they said it was an oversight and to attend the party anyway.

My friend who got an invitation said he can't make it, so I should attend in his place. Is this proper protocol? What should I do? -- UNDECIDED IN MICHIGAN

DEAR UNDECIDED: Under no circumstances should you attend the party in your friend's place. You were not invited to the gathering and do not belong there. My advice is to make plans for the evening, go out and enjoy yourself with other friends. (And I sincerely hope you take it!)

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $6 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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