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by Abigail Van Buren

Widower Fears Impotence Will Kill New Relationship

DEAR ABBY: I am a faithful male reader of your column. I lost my beautiful wife of 40 years last year.

During our marriage, I had prostate cancer and decided to have the surgery to remove it. I was told by my doctor that there was a chance I would never again be intimate with my wife, and she was OK with it. Now that she's gone, I have grown close to her childhood best friend. I don't know whether a relationship is in the making, but I'm afraid once she finds out I'm unable to perform, the relationship will die.

I have tried every pill on the market, pump, etc. Is it possible to have a good relationship with someone without intercourse? Or do you think I'm doomed? -- GOING FORWARD IN VIRGINIA

DEAR GOING: I do not think you are "doomed." If you are under the impression that all women your age (and younger) would reject you because you can no longer have sexual intercourse, allow me to reassure you. Many women would value warmth, affection, compatible ethics and morals and an intellectual equal to share their life with. So be honest, and you may be pleasantly surprised to discover that not only are you eligible, but that you are also in demand.

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