DEAR ABBY: My husband's parents treat our two daughters very differently. My oldest is bright and talkative, and she's treated with love and kindness. They bring her gifts and make time to be with her. Our younger daughter has multiple disabilities. She is nonverbal and requires help. My in-laws act as if she doesn't exist. I find their behavior toward our younger child to be devoid of love or kindness. It's distressing to my husband and me.
We have mentioned the inequality before to no avail. What should we do? -- MOM OF TWO IN OHIO
DEAR MOM OF TWO: You do not have to sit by and helplessly tolerate your younger daughter being treated the way she has been. I agree that what your in-laws have been doing is cruel and hurtful. It's appalling. So you and your husband should tell them that if they want to continue seeing their grandchildren, they will show more consideration to the younger one, or else it won't happen.
DEAR ABBY: I have been married 30 years. Our marriage has been a happy one. My husband supports me through everything. Our problems come up in the bedroom. A few years ago, he wanted to add spice to our relationship with a threesome. I agreed to try it if it would make him happy.
Now every time we make love he wants to talk about another man being in our bed. I have tried explaining that I do not enjoy this all the time. It has reached the point that I no longer get turned on. He can start out beautifully. I am turned on and we start. Then he wants me to talk to him about another man being there, and I shut down. When I try to explain it to him, he gets angry or frustrated.
How do I keep my marriage going without losing my husband to a younger woman, and add some spice to my marriage bed without talking about threesomes? I love him and I don't want to lose a marriage we have fought to keep together through thick and thin. Please, help me keep my marriage together. -- LOST AND FRUSTRATED
DEAR LOST AND FRUSTRATED: If ever I heard about a couple who need to talk to a licensed marriage and family therapist -- as well as a sex therapist -- it's the two of you. Sex is supposed to be enjoyable for both partners, not just one. Many straight men's fantasies involve another woman in the marriage bed. That your husband cannot be aroused without having you talk about another man raises questions about the nature of his sexual fantasies that I cannot address.
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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.
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