DEAR ABBY: I want "Short on Intimacy," the wife in her 20s with no sex life (10/26), to know that she is not the only wife out there who has this problem. I wish you could have heard some of the wild excuses my husband made about why he couldn't have sex. We have been in counseling for months because of this.
I think it is so hard for us women because other men are always talking about wanting sex, and our husbands may even be acting like they want it. And then, when we get home, sex is the furthest thing from their minds.
Through counseling, I have realized that "why" may never be answered. The bottom-line question is, Can I live the rest of my life this way or not? -- NO ANSWERS IN OKLAHOMA
DEAR NO ANSWERS: Only you can answer that. You were generous to share your own experience on this personal and sensitive subject -- and so were countless others who aired their views. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: In response to the young woman who doesn't understand why her husband isn't interested in sex, I applaud your reply. However, in addition to seeing a therapist, I think that man should consult his family doctor.
My husband suffers from clinical depression as well as adult-diagnosed ADD. I struggled for years with the same questions she asked, until he started being treated for his disorders. Things are improving. -- STILL WORKING ON IT, WINCHESTER, IND.
DEAR ABBY: The first 10 years of my marriage, my husband had a low sex drive and intermittent impotency. During a blood screening it was discovered that his testosterone level was about 20 percent of where it should be for an adult male. The medication he now takes may have saved our marriage, and it definitely saved our sex life. This was something neither of us had heard of before. -- HAPPIER NOW IN ARIZONA
DEAR ABBY: I could have written that letter. I would put on lingerie and try to seduce my husband. Still nothing. Of course, I became horribly insecure and thought something was wrong with me. When we went for counseling, my husband finally admitted he didn't need me for sex because he had been "satisfying" himself. It stemmed from huge issues he has with intimacy.
Your advice was right on. Counseling is needed so she won't blame herself for his problem. -- BEEN THROUGH IT IN CALIFORNIA
DEAR ABBY: I have been married 12 years. We have two wonderful children. My husband was a virgin when we married, which I attributed to his shyness and uptight upbringing. I was optimistic, though, and thought in time he'd learn to appreciate sex and get into it, but he never did.
Three weeks ago, he finally confessed that he is gay and always has been, but kept it locked inside. Although I feel compassion for my husband, I also feel betrayed -- but at least I know now it wasn't my fault.
My advice to "Short on Intimacy": My heart goes out to you, but the sooner you find out the reason for his behavior, the better. Do not waste your best years waiting for something that might never happen. -- BEEN THERE IN NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y.
DEAR ABBY: I am a 25-year-old male and not very sexually driven. I don't believe sex is how a man shows love to his mate, and have a hard time keeping up with my fiancee's sex drive. In past relationships I ended up resenting my partner for making me feel that just being "close to each other" wasn't enough, and wondering if I was wanted only for sex.
Perhaps that woman's husband prefers to show his love for her in a less physical way. -- THE OTHER SIDE IN UTAH
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 $6 (U.S. funds) 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