DEAR AVOIDING IT: I can’t wave a magic wand and make you more physically attracted to your husband. I can suggest that the most sensitive sexual organ in a woman’s body resides between her ears. However, I am not qualified to diagnose whether your problem may be of a physical nature. That’s why I’m advising you to ask your doctor to perform a thorough physical examination. If he or she finds nothing amiss, ask the doctor — or your health insurance company — to refer you to a licensed mental health professional who can help you figure out what’s going on.
DEAR ABBY: My husband and I moved to a new town last year and are working on settling in and making friends. Our way has been to accept every invitation offered in hopes of building relationships in this small community. We recently had dinner at the home of a neighbor couple who were very welcoming, but we quickly realized the four of us have absolutely nothing in common. Making conversation through the meal and coffee taxed all of our small-talk skills, and there were many painful silences. Any foray into current events, family life — even gardening — revealed stark differences that brought conversation to a screeching halt. We made an excuse to go home early and sent a thank-you note the next day. Usually, I think a dinner invitation requires a reciprocal invitation in the future. In this case, I’m wondering if it would be better to just let it go. Would it be rude to not reciprocate, or must I suck it up? If we must have them over, how do I ensure the second dinner goes better than the first? We hope to live here for a long time. — DIFFERENT IN THE WEST
DEAR DIFFERENT: Do the right thing and invite the couple for dinner. It does not have to be in your home — a nice restaurant would do. If the evening was as uncomfortable as you have described, they may not accept your invitation. But if they do, a way to make conversation flow more easily might be to include another couple.
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.