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by Abigail Van Buren

Dream of Romance Dissolves in Loveless Marriage

DEAR ABBY: The wedding night I had dreamed about forever was supposed to be the most romantic and amazing of my life with the one person I can't live without. Instead, it was the most humiliating experience I have ever had. I dressed in a beautiful negligee, and my husband didn't even take a second look at me. I was so embarrassed, I rolled over and pretended to fall asleep. That was my big night, the one night I'll never get again.

This same man brags about the sexual encounters he had with his ex-wife, cyber sex and his 13-hour sexathon. When I try to touch him, he seems repulsed and pulls away. My heart can't take the never-ending rejection and the nights of crying because I don't know what I have done wrong.

The sad thing is, I'm pretty sure he has never even noticed. Even an intimate kiss would be enough for me now. I dream of a man who loves me so much he stares at me from across the room, who can't wait to get his hands on me even if it's just for a second. Unfortunately, that's not my marriage. Don't I deserve happiness? And will this ever change? -- UNTOUCHED IN TEXAS

DEAR UNTOUCHED: Of course you deserve happiness. But nothing will change until you start asking questions and demand answers. The only thing you have done "wrong" is to have tolerated the status quo.

Has it occurred to you that your husband has been lying to you about his sexual exploits? He may be impotent, gay, or so hooked on cyber porn that there is nothing left for you. Make it your business to find out. Ask him. And if he isn't forthcoming, talk with his ex-wife. If your marriage was never consummated, you may be entitled to an annulment.