I am a 38-year-old husband and father of four. "Marla" and I have been married 11 years and live in Syracuse. My wife wants to move to Albany to be closer to her family so they can help care for our children.
I agreed to move only if Marla guarantees to give me sex three times per week. That is the only compromise I am asking her to make. My wife says she won't commit to putting a number on the times we are intimate every week.
Abby, am I expecting too much by asking Marla to commit to the amount of sex I want, as long as I agree to move to Albany -- which is what she wants? That way, making the move will benefit both of us.
Ready and Willing in New York
You and your wife appear to be "ready and willing" about very different things. I can understand her wanting to be closer to her family for the child-care advantages, but why would you demand that she limit your lovemaking to only three times a week? You're selling yourself short.
My wife and I have been going to a nudist resort for the last five years. Our children are all grown and in their thirties. I want to tell them where we are going in case something should happen to one of us while we're there.
My wife is too embarrassed to say anything about the nature of our retreat to anyone, even though we both enjoy our tradition.
Should we, or shouldn't we, say something to our children?
Adam and Eve in the Garden State
Your reason for wanting to tell your children is valid. You are all adults. There should be no embarrassment in disclosing your whereabouts. Many people enjoy the nudist lifestyle, and there is no reason for your wife to be ashamed of it.
It's a good idea when anyone travels for an itinerary to be left with a trusted friend or family member. It's not so much what could happen to the traveler, but that an emergency could occur back home that necessitates being in contact. If a person can't be reached, he or she also can't be notified.
I am a 38-year-old, college-educated, single woman. I have a good job and own my own home. A few months ago, I met "Willie," a divorced man who is a couple of years younger than me. We initially exchanged e-mails, then met in person after several weeks. Willie is also well-educated and has a good job. We are extremely compatible, and our relationship has progressed to the point that we are now discussing marriage.
The problem is my mother and single, older sister disapprove of me spending time with Willie. They say I don't spend enough time with them and he is trying to separate us.
When we began dating, I invited Mom and my sister to join us for dinners. All my offers were refused. Willie did spend Christmas with us, but it was awkward.
I have told them how much Willie and I care for each other and that marriage is a possibility, but every time I see them, all they do is complain about my relationship.
Wouldn't you think that when I finally found someone, they would be supportive? What can I do to make this a more peaceful situation?
Torn in Alabama
If the only concern your mother and sister have about Willie is the fact that your relationship leaves you with less time to spend with them, the problem is theirs, and you should not make it yours. Neither should you put yourself into the thankless position of being the family peacemaker. I have a feeling no man will ever measure up to their "standards." Follow you heart and have a happy, fulfilling life.
Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.
(c)2003, Universal Press Syndicate