DEAR ABBY: I have been married for 17 years. My husband never tells me I look pretty. I know some women reading your column will think, "Who cares what somebody else thinks of you?" He tells my daughter she looks pretty -- and the girls in his office -- so I know he knows how to give a compliment.
Abby, I am not overweight. I wear makeup and get my hair cut every six weeks. I am not homely. I shower twice a day.
A year ago I told my husband how I felt. Now the only time he says anything complimentary to me is when we are in bed. Too late! I need to hear encouraging words. Every woman needs to hear that she's attractive.
If you print this, maybe it will alert some nice husband out there who has been withholding to say, "Honey, you look pretty today." It'll sure go a long way with his wife. -- DESPERATE FOR A COMPLIMENT
DEAR DESPERATE: You hit the nail on the head when you described your husband's behavior as "withholding." The next step is to discover why he would deliberately withhold something from you that you told him you needed. And while you're at it, ask yourself why it took 16 years to tell your husband what you wanted from him.
I suspect there are problems in your marriage that you haven't mentioned in your letter. Perhaps when they're resolved, you'll receive the strokes you crave.