DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have been married for a few months and are expecting our first child. His father passed away about a year ago. His parents had been married 33 years when he died.
A few weeks ago, we told my mother-in-law we were expecting our first child. After a joyous moment and some conversation later about children, she brought up my husband's half-brother, someone I didn't know existed! My husband then said, "I thought we weren't supposed to talk about him." She told him my father-in-law had reached out to the half-brother before his death to make amends (she'd had no knowledge they were in contact), but while she was cleaning out his wallet she found a picture of him.
Abby, I'm confused now about how to discuss this with my husband because I would love to know more details about his half-brother. I don't know how old he is, or what happened (i.e., infidelity). Evidently, he lives close to us. We might have met before. My husband nor anyone in his family mentioned this person, ever! Should I just leave it alone, or should I probe some more to see if I can get more information? -- PERPLEXED IN INDIANA
DEAR PERPLEXED: It appears the existence of this half-sibling is the skeleton in your husband's family closet. If I were you, I'd be careful about rattling it. Ask your husband if he's willing to share what he knows. If he is interested in pursuing more information, offer to help him. But unless he is, I do not advise starting to dig.
P.S. Because the father reached out to make amends, the half-brother may try to contact his siblings. But don't count on it.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married for four months. My husband and I love each other very much. Although he has asked me multiple times for sex, we have only made love twice.
My problem is, sex doesn't interest me. In fact, the thought of it terrifies me. I hate saying no because I know it hurts him, but I'm always scared that I won't enjoy it. Or that if I do say yes, I'll feel like it's a chore just to make him happy. I know that's the wrong mindset to have going into it.
I have apologized almost every time I turn him down. He always says I don't need to be sorry and we'll only do it when I'm comfortable, but I'm scared I might not ever be comfortable with it. Plus I have doubts that I've ever had an orgasm. How should I approach this? -- SCARED NEWLYWED
DEAR SCARED: If you had experienced an orgasm, I assure you that you would not have forgotten the experience. You need to have at least two honest conversations -- the first with your husband, the second with your gynecologist. Your problem may be physical, emotional or a combination of the two.
A licensed psychologist can help you figure out the reason for your feelings and resolve them, or refer you and your husband to a sex therapist. The only thing you should not do is wait any longer to deal with this.
For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more sociable person, order "How to Be Popular." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)