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Divorce Is a Painful Experience Dear John: I have been divorced for two years now. I did not want the divorce, so it was a particularly painful experience. My ex-husband still attends my family gatherings. And it hurts every time I see him! Although my children are from another …Read more. Physical Relationship With Co-Worker Becoming Complicated Dear John: A couple of months after starting a new job, one of my colleagues and I got physically involved after an office party. Unfortunately, now he has informed me that he is steadily seeing someone else. Still, he'd like us to "stay friends." …Read more. Husband Trying to Make Amends for Mistakes Dear John: I'm a 41-year-old man married for 16 years to a great woman. Unfortunately, many times during our marriage, I have lied to her regarding simple matters, because I thought they were no big deal, and I didn't want to get her angry. For …Read more. Trouble Naming Unborn Child Dear John: My new husband and I are fighting over naming our unborn child. We can't seem to compromise! These are serious fights in which we hurt each other's feelings, and we end up not talking to each other for hours. We are both very stubborn, …Read more.
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The 43-Year-Old Virgin

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Dear John: I think I'm the oldest living virgin on the planet. I'm 43, to be exact. I've never had a serious boyfriend. Odds are you would never believe this if you met me. I get along great with most people. I've been told I am very attractive and look quite young for my age. I was even carded at a bar recently.

Most men can't believe I'm not married. I believe I have a major problem, at least compared with the norm. I would love to find the right guy and settle down. I must be sabotaging myself somehow, but I don't know how or why. — Help Please in Warwick, Conn.

Dear Please: You are not the only 40-plus virgin. Some people would rather not wait to experience passion prior to finding true and lasting love. You've chosen this path, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Some women won't go out so that they may avoid the pressure men put on them to be intimate. As a result, they never give a new relationship the chance it needs to move through the stages of commitment and intimacy. We don't have a built-in radar system that tells us, "This person is right for you." In order to find our soul mate, we have to date as many people as possible so that we may discern what traits we are looking for in a mate. Love will create its own timetable. Date openly and actively and it is almost a certainty that lasting love will find its way into your life.

Dear John: I am a 35-year-old mother of two boys, 7 and 4, in a good marriage of almost nine years. "Anthony," my 46-year-old husband, loves me and I love him, but it seems that his "fun time" is more often spent away from the boys and me. In the beginning of our marriage, it was fishing. I could not go with him, because six months into our marriage, I became pregnant with our first son.

Anthony is now into horseback riding. My boys (I always call them "my" boys because they are primarily my responsibility) are too young to ride horses.

It would thrill Anthony for me to take an interest in horses, and I do ride with him sometimes, but to do so we have to get a baby sitter, and I hate leaving the boys so much. Therefore, it is rare that I ride with him. I talk to Anthony and work hard to do so without putting blame on him, but he doesn't seem to get it. — Out of Sync in Roanoke, Va.

Dear Out of Sync: On a deeper level, it sounds as if you resent his ability to find time away from his family and feel guilty when you take time out for yourself. You shouldn't. Yes, busy mothers find time a valuable commodity, but it's healthy for adults to find time away from their families for hobbies or other stress-relieving activities. Dad or a sitter can cover the kids. Make it a goal to regularly plan a few hours away from the children and your husband, be that one day every month or a few hours every week. Go to a movie or on a walk with a girlfriend, or take an art or dance class. Couples should also plan activities together that give them a few guilt-free hours away from the children each week. Make this a priority.

Your husband should recognize that your sons need to be included in a lot of the activities he enjoys. That can include nature hikes, fishing, picnics — and even horseback riding when age-appropriate. The rest of your life starts today, so make plans.

John Gray is the author of "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus." If you have a question, write to John in care of this newspaper or by email by going to www.marsvenus.com. All questions are kept anonymous and will be paraphrased. To find out more about John Gray and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2013 JOHN GRAY'S MARS VENUS ADVICE

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Comments

5 Comments | Post Comment
I agree with the advice on this one. The letter doesn't indicate that he's away from home excessively with this hobby, just that the LW resents that it excludes the children. She should look into forming her own hobby/downtime, and talk to her husband about planning some activities they can do as a family.

Also, what is this new thing about not wanting to leave kids with sitters? My parents worked while I was growing up, and I had many babysitters. Hubby can handle the kids for, say, one evening a week while you do your own thang, and leaving them elsewhere for, say, a few hours on a Saturday to go riding won't ruin them.
Comment: #1
Posted by: Jers
Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:33 AM
Oh, and virgin:

Many religious people die as virgins- namely priests, nuns, and monks (not all, but a goodly number go into the service fairly young). You do not describe what happens on dates, etc., or whether you even get dates (and since you say people find you attractive, surely you are getting asked occasionally?) Perhaps a few sessions with a therapist can help you understand why you're not connecting.
Comment: #2
Posted by: Jers
Sun Jul 21, 2013 8:35 AM
LW1: "Some people would rather not wait to experience passion prior to finding true and lasting love." OMG LMAO Well, you wrote to the perfect moron who shares your delusions. Do you know what sex is? It's a physical act meant to bring pleasure to all participants. That's it. You're not a prostitute so you shouldn't be thinking you need to exchange your hymen for a ring. Sex is not a business transaction unless you are a prostitute. You need to decide what you are and what you want.

LW2: Holy crap - marriage is not a prison sentence. You both are supposed to have outside interests. You both are still supposed to be individuals. What exactly are you going to raise your children to be? Morons? It's too bad you are already breeding. Please find a good therapist. Your children deserve a healthy mom.
Comment: #3
Posted by: Diana
Sun Jul 21, 2013 1:03 PM
LW2: at 4 and 7 your boys are old enough to ride horses. At the very least ponies. If you husband is bording his horses at a farm then investigate if your boys can take riding lessons while you two slip away on a ride. I'd also schedule tome away from the kids and hubby and find something you enjoy doing. Don't get so imersed in being a wife and mother and forget who you are and what you need to do to feel fulfilled.
Comment: #4
Posted by: commentator
Mon Jul 22, 2013 6:56 AM
LW1 - There's definitely more to your story than you are telling. What happened with those "non-serious' boyfriends that caused you to stop seeing them? Maybe if the answer is the same every time, you'll know your problem. Have you had any bad experiences that turned you off to sex? What are your views on what sex should be? When you say "right guy", how exactly would you describe that "right guy"?

LW2 - I'm curious to know why you "hate to leave the boys so much." It sounds like you are perfectly capable of joining your husband in his activities more often if you want to. Do your kids have behavioral issues with babysitters? Are either of them special needs children? Have there been issues with the babysitters you've tried in the past and now you simply don't trust babysitters in general? Again, I sense there's a lot more to the story here.
Comment: #5
Posted by: Paul W
Mon Jul 22, 2013 11:58 AM
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