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Healthy sex life disappears

Dear Annie: My wife and I have been married 16 years and have two teenage kids. When we were first married, we were regularly intimate. Even after the kids were born, we were able to have romantic weekends several times a year.

I am now 41, and she is 39, and the last time we had sex was more than three years ago. I know women go through changes, but when I read in your column about women who desire sex from their husbands more than once a month, or couples in their 50s, 60s and even 70s who still enjoy a healthy sex life, I thought, "Why not us?"

My wife was never inhibited, is still beautiful and sexy, and would give any 25-year-old woman a run for her money in the looks and figure departments. I stay in shape, am well-groomed and have a decent job. I help with the laundry, the cleaning and the kids so she can spend time with her friends or go to lunch with her sisters. I'm 99 percent sure she isn't having an affair.

I have tried all kinds of things to get her in the mood -- exotic dinners, adventurous outings, candles in the bedroom, massages and once even sent the kids away for the weekend and spent several hundred dollars on a spa afternoon. I often just hug and kiss her with no intention of it going any further.

The thought of going to counseling makes me so uncomfortable. Should I just accept the fact that the last time we made love was the last time we will ever make love?

-- 41 and Done

Dear Done: We hope not. Your wife is much too young for such a diminished libido. Please talk to her and suggest she see her doctor. There could be a hormonal or other medical problem that is interfering with her sex drive. If she is unwilling to discuss it, that's when counseling can help, and we hope you will give it a try.