Dear Annie: I want to write an open letter to my wife. She reads your column and will see it.

Dear Wife: There is absolutely no doubt that our relationship is based on love. You are the best wife and mother. Your love and companionship are a blessing to me and to our children. We have made a wonderful life together, and I hope to grow old with you.

Why am I writing? Because the only thing missing from our life is sex. I do not know why, and it may be the hectic pace of our lives, but a year ago, you quit making love to me or being responsive to my attempts. I have taken you to dinner and movies, made special time alone, talked with and listened to you about everything. But without fail, every time I try to initiate intimacy, you turn me down. I always feel like some pervert afterward and lay in bed fuming, frustrated and resentful. But the rest of our relationship causes me to “lump it.”

I understand that something has robbed you of your desire, but mine is still here. For that reason, I have found someone else to have sex with. You cannot possibly understand the difference it has made in our relationship. I no longer resent you. I no longer attempt to have sex with you. The other woman and I have no emotional attachment and never will. It is purely physical.

I know you would be hurt to find out. But it has made our relationship stable. I no longer dream about leaving you. If nothing else, I hope this letter will let you know that my love for you is strong. I simply have a basic need that is getting filled elsewhere. If things change at home, I will leave the other woman for good and never look back. She is not a replacement. I would rather it be you, but until then, please forgive me. — Your Husband

Dear Husband: While we cannot approve of your “solution,” we understand it. Men and women who refuse to be intimate run the risk of having their partners seek intimacy outside the relationship. But your wife may be perfectly happy with this arrangement, content to let you have your sexual needs taken care of by someone else, knowing that you are committed to the marriage.

If you are hoping this letter convinces her to work on her libido, we wouldn’t count on it. But you have written a sensitive letter that we hope will leave an impression on others.

Dear Annie: How long do a bride and groom have to write a thank-you note for a wedding gift? I just received one for a wedding I attended a year ago. For several previous graduation and wedding gifts, I never received any thank-you note at all. Should I just be grateful I got one, even belatedly? Is this new generation changing the rules? — Iowa

Dear Iowa: We’re sure people from a generation ago had a similar complaint. A wedding couple should send thank-you notes immediately upon receipt of a gift, but certainly within three months. However, we agree that any written acknowledgement, even a late one, is better than nothing.

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