DEAR ABBY: I've been in a committed relationship for 19 years, and have been married for three years. My husband is wonderful, except he has absolutely no sex drive. And of course, in the true nature of opposition, mine is off the charts.
I have met another man who is in a loveless marriage. He says they don't have intimate relations, and she knows he has had "flings" over the years. He has asked me to be his newest "friend with benefits." He's attractive, employed, and wants only a physical relationship. (I suspect their marriage is tied to his business, but I'm not sure.)
I'm honestly tempted, because I'm lonely in that regard. No marriage is perfect, by any means, but am I biting off more than I can chew even if I get my husband's permission (which he would likely give), and assuming this man is telling the truth about his wife? What to do? -- DESPERATE IN THE NORTH
DEAR DESPERATE: While some open marriages have been known to work if the husband and wife are willing, I hesitate to recommend it. You describe yourself as desperate. You must be desperate to consider becoming someone's latest "fling."
Did your husband's low sex drive exist before your marriage, or is it something new? If it is recent, there may be medical help for his problem -- if he is willing to talk to his doctor about it. Please suggest it before you do anything else.
DEAR ABBY: I am in a new relationship (six months) with a man who treats me like gold. He's kind, affectionate and a great man, except for one thing.
His office building is right next to mine, which is how we met. During work hours I'm extremely busy and don't generally have time to hang out or take breaks. If I do, it may be to run a quick errand or grab a sandwich with a co-worker.
Abby, I have worked here for eight years, and I don't invite anyone to socialize during work hours. He texts me that he's outside my building, or he says he just dropped by to say "hi" or "bye." If he sees me pull in at my office, he will wave me down or jog over to walk me to work.
My professional life has always been separate from my personal life. I need my work hours to myself, and I have told him this numerous times. I have asked him not to come by and explained that my 9-to-5 is for work. He just doesn't get it.
I don't want to end my relationship over this, but I love my job. It is important that I be focused at work. I don't think it's appropriate to be hugging, kissing and embracing in front of my office. We see each other after work every day. Please give me a solution, because I am at my wits' end! -- WANTS TO WORK ALONE
DEAR WANTS TO WORK ALONE: Because you have told this man repeatedly that you aren't comfortable with him dropping by during work hours or engaging in public displays of affection where you can be observed, it's time to "up the ante." The next time it happens, tell him you think he's terrific, but if he can't respect your work ethic and your boundaries, it might jeopardize your relationship.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)