DEAR ABBY: While I appreciated the irony of your response to "Ready and Willing in New York," subtlety may have been lost on him. He's the man who wants his wife to guarantee that she'll give him sex three times a week.
That poor woman has my sympathy. How could anyone feel romantic -- or ready and willing -- with a partner who made that kind of demand?
The fact that she wants to move to Albany and have her family help care for their four children might be an indication that he's not helping her enough. Ask any mother: Not getting the assistance or appreciation that you need in raising children is a surefire libido killer. -- NOT READY OR WILLING TO PUT UP WITH THAT IN D.C.
DEAR D.C.: Many readers had strong feelings about that husband and his attitude. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: Your answer, "Why limit yourself to three times a week?" was weak. Why didn't you tell that awful man what a jerk he is for thinking sex with your spouse can be used as a bargaining tool? What kind of person would demand that his wife make love to him like it was nothing more than a contract? Shame on him, and shame on you for not calling him on it! -- FURIOUS IN PHOENIX
DEAR FURIOUS: What kind of husband would demand sex as a payoff? A turkey in the hay, of course.
DEAR ABBY: Your message to "Ready and Willing" was right on. However, in all seriousness, this man should consider why his wife is not "giving him" the sex he wants. When a wife hears, "I deserve it because it is my marital right," she withdraws. No one wants to be treated that way. I have a hunch that even if they move to Albany, he won't be satisfied until he examines his behavior. -- MARJORIE IN LONG BEACH, CALIF.
DEAR MARJORIE: Or examines his approach, which is about as romantic as an ice bath.
DEAR ABBY: Get out the wet noodle. Do the math. That woman is caring for four kids, the oldest of which couldn't be more than 10. She is tired! Your reply was not appreciated by other tired moms -- and we are legion. -- ALSO TIRED IN K.C.
DEAR ALSO TIRED: I meant no disrespect to tired moms.
DEAR ABBY: I just want to say I loved your tongue-in-cheek reply. -- MOTHER OF FOUR IN VIRGINIA
DEAR MOTHER: I'm afraid my answer was interpreted as more foot-in-mouth than tongue-in-cheek.
DEAR ABBY: That wife should counteroffer and tell him his agreement is acceptable under the following terms:
(1) If the toilet seat is left up, subtract two sex days.
(2) If he nags or complains when asked to help around the house, subtract one "encounter" for each complaint.
(3) If he starts a project and leaves it unfinished, subtract one more.
Sex in marriage should not be about power and control. It should be about intimacy, love, and feeling close to your spouse. -- VALERIE IN BLOOMINGTON, IND.
DEAR VALERIE: You're right. Many readers pointed out that intimacy in marriage is a result of cooperation, consideration and respect in every aspect of the partnership.