DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Warren," and I are happily married. We love each other. We are both hardworking career professionals and have raised our family. We have always been faithful to each other.
Warren is very open with his emotions and often tells me how much he loves me. He is also very passionate during our intimate moments. The problem is, he expects me to act the same way -- which I can't. Although I love my husband and always will, I do not feel comfortable expressing myself the way he does during our lovemaking. I am content to just "get it over with" while he yearns for the kissing, hugging and talk.
Despite an active sex life with Warren, he has told me many times he wishes I were more expressive and open with my feelings. I respond by telling him, "I am who I am." He is not happy that I refuse to change.
Warren is a wonderful man. Other women probably would have no problem giving him what he wants, but we are not compatible this way. I have never spoken to anyone else about this, and I'm wondering what you think. -- CONFUSED IN PENNSYLVANIA
DEAR CONFUSED: I think it's time you considered the fact that by "refusing" to change, you have limited some interesting and rewarding possibilities in your marriage. One important aspect of "performance" is receiving feedback, as anyone in the arts can attest. Lovemaking is an art, and partners need to know when they, too, are doing something right.
I wish you would have this discussion with a therapist who specializes in sexual issues. Perhaps the person can help you more effectively communicate. If you make the effort, you'll have a happier husband, and a more satisfying marriage will follow.