DEAR MISS LONELYHEARTS: At 72, I'm still sexually active, but not with my wife. She quit wanting sex with me about eight years ago. She sleeps in another bedroom and quietly locks the door. Afraid of an ambush? I don't know. I decided I wasn't going to let her decision keep me from enjoying the last years of my sexuality, so I got myself a lady friend to have cuddles and sex with. Everything was going fine until the last month when her (impotent) husband died and things changed in her life. Now she's lonely and wants a love affair and I don't feel that way towards her. I love my wife, even though she doesn't want me sexually. What should I do now with the amorous woman? I don't want to lose what we have now. -- Not Her Love, Winnipeg
Dear Not Her Love: You've already lost it -- the no-strings-attached relationship. Set this woman free to find a new husband. She shouldn't be held back by you, from finding a companion who's free to go out with her in public -- or even to search for a new husband. Don't tell her lies to get her to stay, or insinuate she's "on deck" if anything should happen to your wife. That's not the truth. You know you don't have that special feeling for her. She may be hurt and insulted, knowing for sure she was just a sex friend, and that you were not romantic lovers, kept apart by old marriages. But, she will be free to look for love. As for you, start having heart-to-hearts with your wife, and see if you can at least resurrect some affection. Many readers have experienced cessation of sex in their marriages and not all of the "uninterested" spouses care if their mate discreetly finds "just sex" with a friend, especially in later years. Others are horribly hurt. I'd like to hear from anyone who knows of a solution that works.
Dear Miss Lonelyhearts: I often get invited for lunch/dinner by my gay guy friends, or guys that I've been friends with since junior high/high school. I've been in a relationship with my boyfriend for almost four years. Just telling him that my guy friends call me to come hang out or go for lunch sets him off. It's platonic and I reassure him of that. Sometimes, I even invite him out with us but he just won't have it. He starts saying things like "You're probably going out to have sex with them" or "Why are you going to hang out with some guy anyways?" I get really offended. If he hangs out with female friends, I don't get jealous or offended when he doesn't invite me to come. I trust him and he's proven that I can. Help! -- Friends with Several Guys
Dear Friends With Guys: Invite your boyfriend for dinner with your male friends and their girlfriends (or boyfriends) and let him see for himself they have romantic interests that have nothing to do with you. As long as they are mysterious people to him, and he only has your word to go on, this insecure guy is going to fuss. Do not make the mistake of staying with him if he can't get over accusing you of having sex with other men. You don't need the possessiveness that leads to isolation and abuse. Try counselling, if you're really serious about him. But, if it doesn't work or he won't go, have a serious think about this relationship.
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