DEAR ABBY: I am a full-time mother of three young children and have been married for nine years. Since the beginning, my husband has pushed to have things "his way." He struggles with his temper and has yelled at me over little things.
We have met with a counselor and were showing improvement in our marriage -- or so I thought -- until he started pushing me to watch explicit sex DVDs and read sex books. I feel very uncomfortable doing this. He claims he wants us to watch them for "educational reasons." He seems obsessed with the idea that we have to get the most out of life now because we are getting older.
I know we have some big issues to overcome and plan to continue seeing our counselor, but do you have any advice? -- STRUGGLING IN THE SOUTH
DEAR STRUGGLING: I'm all for getting the most out of life regardless of how old a person is. And I'm pleased that you and your husband are talking to a licensed therapist, because it may help to save your marriage.
Many couples watch "explicit" sex DVDs together because it improves their sex lives. Depending upon the content of the ones your husband is watching, it could add spice to your sex life. But because it is making you uncomfortable, this is something that should be discussed with your therapist so you won't feel coerced into anything you can't handle.
DEAR ABBY: I am a woman in my early 60s. I take good care of myself and have been told I'm attractive. I have been in a monogamous relationship with "Frank" for six years. I love him and he loves me, but I'm not sure I want to marry him.
I know I couldn't live with Frank full-time because even though he's 57, he lives like an immature frat boy. He has sports memorabilia all over his house, and he's messy. There are piles of paper and stacks of clothes everywhere. He is a hoarder, a procrastinator and has OCD.
Frank and I are best friends. We have an amazing physical relationship, but I feel I want more. I don't think he's willing to change his ways at this point in his life. Should I accept this relationship for what it is, or look for someone more compatible with my lifestyle, as hard as that would be? -- TORN IN TEXAS
DEAR TORN: I think you should have a talk with Frank and lay your cards on the table. You say he is a hoarder, a procrastinator and has OCD. If you are right, they may all be connected. His house isn't the only thing that may be chaotic; his mind may be, too.
The good news is there is help for OCD and hoarding -- but only if he is willing to get it. If he is open to it, your relationship could go to the next level. However, if he is resistant and marriage is what you want, it would be better to move on and find someone whose lifestyle is more like your own.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)