Dear Abby: My husband told me to find a sex buddy to fulfill my needs

Dear Abby counsels a couple struggling with intimacy.
Dear Abby counsels a couple struggling with intimacy.

DEAR ABBY: I have been married for the last 25 years to a wonderful man, “Frank.” We are very happy in all areas except for intimacy. Frank has lost all interest in intimacy and sex. It began about two years ago, and I have tried everything to reignite the flame in our relationship. Frank’s sex drive has disappeared!

About a year ago, he told me I should find someone — a friend with benefits — to take care of my sexual needs. At the time I said no, hoping he would be interested again. Now, after a year of waiting, I am seriously considering finding a “friend.”

Do you think I should follow through with it, or keep waiting and hoping Frank will change? Have you any advice about how to restart the intimacy in our relationship? — EXTINGUISHED IN VIRGINIA

DEAR EXTINGUISHED: You and your husband need to have another serious talk about this. He should also talk to his doctor and ask for a referral to a urologist and an endocrinologist, who may be able to help. The inability to achieve an erection occurs in some men around age 50 and even younger, which is why Viagra is such a popular drug. If your husband is willing to discuss this with a medical professional, it may be the solution to his (and your) problem.

DEAR ABBY: I met a co-worker about a year ago and we started dating. He had been clean and sober from alcohol for more than 10 years. We got along very well, but he is drinking again, and his behavior has changed — there are mood swings, bouts of jealousy and finger-pointing.

When he drinks, it’s unpleasant, and the smell seeping from his pores is nauseating. He finds almost any reason to have a drink. When I try to talk to him about it, he says he does nothing wrong and he drinks because he wants to, or some other reason that makes no sense. I’m tired of the excuses. Then he begs for forgiveness or accuses me of not wanting him around.

I have told him he needs to work on himself and get back into the program, and he says all he can do is take one day at a time. He drinks and drives, which poses a danger to himself and others. He’s jealous of my ex and my grown children. He plays the victim, and his answers to questions are, “I don’t remember,” “I didn’t do anything,” or “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I’m at my wits’ end and can’t take any more. Please help. — TOXIC RELATIONSHIP

DEAR TOXIC: Draw the line. Remind your co-worker that when you started dating him, he was on the wagon. Tell him that when he drinks, his personality changes, and you do not like the person he becomes. You need to educate yourself about alcoholism, and an effective way to do that would be to join Al-Anon and attend some meetings.

If you really “can’t take any more,” stop dating him! And, if it creates problems where you work, inform your boss or supervisor. I’m sure that because of the potential liability, your employer won’t be thrilled about having a drunk for an employee.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.