DEAR ABBY: I'm in my 60s, fit, sexually able and I desire physical relations. My wife, because of health issues, is no longer interested in sex. In fact, it would be at least mildly painful to her.
I recently met a lady my age who is in the same predicament. She has a sexual appetite; her husband does not. She hinted she would be interested in being "friends with benefits." I didn't pursue the hint because it caught me by surprise and I wasn't quick-witted enough to follow up on it at the time.
I am wondering if such a relationship is acceptable with today's mores and the circumstances. No, I won't discuss this with my wife. It would only hurt her feelings and strain our relationship. Should I pursue the hint? -- FOLLOW UP ON THE HINT
DEAR FOLLOW UP: I would not advise pursuing the "hint" -- which appears to me to be more of a full frontal assault -- without thinking very carefully. The problem with adulterous relationships is that more often than not, the spouse catches on. If you think that by not talking this out with your wife you will be sparing her feelings, you are wrong. When, not if, she finds out, she will be devastated.
As women age their bodies change, and sex can become painful. But that can be remediated in many cases with prescription and other medications. It's possible they could help your wife. Of course, that's not going to happen unless she talks with her OB/GYN about the problem. And that won't happen unless you talk to her.