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Dear Abby: The widower wonders if age creates a limit for intimacy Lifestyle

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Dear Abby: My 41-year-old wife passed away four years ago. I am about 60 years old. I sought counsel on grief to fully handle her loss. The counselor encouraged me to maintain and expand relationships with peers. The counselor also encouraged appointments that I tried, but no novels resulted.

My wife was diagnosed with type 2 bipolar disorder, which progressed the longer she lived. When she died, I was glad that she no longer had to suffer with her mental illness. With the onset of menopause and bipolar disorder her libido declined sharply. The counselor assured me that if an affair ensues, sexual intercourse can take place with women my age.

Because of my religious beliefs I will not have a sexual relationship before marriage. My question concerns a woman’s desire for sex at this stage of life. Is sexual intercourse something that can be shared, or is it just a marriage requirement? – INTERESTING IN IOVA

Dear interesting: Let me leave your worries. The elders are not clones of each other. Some love sex until the 80s; others do not. When both partners feel comfortable with their bodies and are willing to adapt to the inevitable changes that occur as their bodies age, they can enjoy sex just as much as young couples.

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Although your religious beliefs do not allow you to have sex before marriage, there is no reason why you should not discuss this topic honestly, and this is what I urge you to do when you are in contact with someone.

Dear Abby: Recently, my daughter asked if her girlfriend could stay with us until the two of them leave in a month. To help them, my husband and I agreed. The problem is that the girlfriend is very insecure about her weight. She is heavier and her daughter’s weight is average. Sometimes when we talk about fitness or nutrition, it feels like a painful topic. I don’t want her to feel uncomfortable around us because I watch what I eat. Parade? – IMPORTANT ISSUE IN WASHINGTON

Dear weighty issue: Ask your daughter if she has a girlfriend mentioning these topics. Keep in mind that your guest will only be staying with you for a few more weeks. Until she leaves, refrain from discussing topics that make her uncomfortable in her presence.

Dear Abby: I am 60 years old, I am disabled. I desperately wanted a dog. I’m not a cat person. I can’t get a bird because I have lupus. Working in a shelter is not an option. I added up all the pros and cons, and the cons were more. HOWEVER, the pros are SO tempting.

Logically, I know this would be unfair to either of us. The wise part of me says no, but I want someone to be happy when I come home, kiss me, sit on my lap and share my bed. And who to look after. Any advice? – educator in NEW YORK

Dear educator: Save a dog that needs to be raised just like you. Take the eldest of the rescue animals and you can save two lives at once. However, it is important to discuss these pros and cons with a veterinarian and take out pet insurance – just in case.

Written by “Dear Abby” by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or mailbox 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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