DEAR ABBY: I'm a freshman in college and have the sweetest boyfriend in the world. We've always been close and trusted each other, never pushing the other too far. I always thought it was innocent and safe.
Last weekend, though, things got a little heavy between us. We stopped before anything happened, but I felt dirty afterward. As I thought about it, I realized that, to me, it had seemed OK that our relationship was starting to take a more intimate turn.
Is it wrong for me to think this way? I don't know how to bring up the "sex talk" with him without seeming desperate or like I'm rushing things. What should I do? -- NEEDS TO KNOW IN VIRGINIA
DEAR NEEDS TO KNOW: You and your boyfriend are normal, healthy young adults. If this is the first time you and a young man have gotten "a little heavy," then it's not surprising that you felt conflicted, depending upon how you were raised to think about premarital relations.
However, because you have now progressed to the point of physical intimacy, it is important that you and your boyfriend talk about last weekend and what may happen in the future. Share your feelings and ask how he feels about what happened and what he would like to happen going forward. That's not desperate or rushing things -- that is communication. True intimacy involves the mutual sharing of thoughts and feelings in a relationship.
DEAR ABBY: A few weeks ago, my wife returned from a business meeting out of town. After unpacking, she took a bath. I happened into the bathroom just as she finished drying off. When she saw me, she grabbed a towel and held it over her shoulder and breast, but not before I spotted a hickey and bruise on her chest.
When I asked her about the hickey, she said she had no idea what had caused it. After that, she refused to discuss the matter. The hickey faded and disappeared after two or three weeks.
Yesterday she agreed to take a polygraph test, but how do we go about arranging one? Your thoughts? -- TROUBLED HUSBAND IN TEXAS
DEAR TROUBLED HUSBAND: If your marriage is on such thin ice that you need a lie detector test to determine if your wife is telling the truth, you may need the services of a family law specialist.
You asked my opinion, and here it is: From my perspective, you and your wife could benefit more from some truth sessions with a marriage counselor than with a polygraph examiner. However, one way to find a polygraph examiner would be to Google "polygraph examiners in Texas." Another would be to consult an attorney about a referral.
And now, Dear Readers, allow me to again share the traditional Thanksgiving Prayer that was penned by my dear mother, Pauline Phillips. No Thanksgiving would be complete for me without it:
Oh, Heavenly Father,
We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry.
We thank Thee for health and remember the sick.
We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.
May these remembrances stir us to service,
That Thy gifts to us may be used for others. Amen.
Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, everyone! -- Love, ABBY
Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $12 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in price.)