DEAR AMY: I am a 68-year-old professional man who has been married to the same wonderful and talented woman for 35 years. Up until about 10 years ago, I would have called our marriage as close to perfect as possible. Then, menopause changed everything. My beautiful wife lost all interest in sex. Our sex life had been very fulfilling from the start, and I urged her to seek medical help. She did so halfheartedly but ultimately told me that "we were too old for sex, anyway." My libido has never waned, but I finally gave up. Four years ago, I met a lady through a business connection and our friendship quickly turned physical. We enjoy each other's company in and out of bed. Neither of us is looking to leave our marriages. She is over a decade younger and enjoys sex every bit as much as I do. I'm sure the day will come when I'm no longer able to perform, but I don't see that happening any time soon. I know that you're a woman and naturally will look at this through a woman's eyes, but I don't feel guilt. Do you think I'm a terrible person for looking outside my marriage in an effort to satisfy urges ignored at home?
-- 68 and Cheating
DEAR CHEATING: I wouldn't put your villainy up there with Hannibal Lecter, but yes, you're fairly terrible.
I can only conclude that in addition to being a guilt-free cheater, you are also a coward -- because disclosing this to a stranger is so much easier than dealing with your marriage.
You might be surprised by this, but almost as many women write to me about sexless marriages as men do. If your wife wrote to me saying that you were impotent and so she had decided to look outside the marriage for sex, I would give her the same answer.
I urge you to consider what could happen as you continue to age and deal with health (and other) challenges. I assume the person you'd expect to be by your side is the wonderful woman you married.
Perhaps it's time you acted as if you deserved it.