Best friend doesn't share woman's desire for intimacy

DEAR ABBY: I have been best friends with "Mickey" for about five years. We spend every day together and go out to dinner/movies/events, etc. He sleeps over at my house, and I cook for him almost every night.

When our friendship started we were intimate a couple of times but have been strictly platonic ever since. The problem is, I'm in love with him. He knows how I feel, and although he claims he doesn't love me, he continues to spend every waking moment with me and is always trying to better me. We do pretty much everything a couple would do, minus the physical contact. Everybody assumes we're a couple.

I think I should also mention that Mickey is somewhat of a sex addict. It makes me self-conscious that he's constantly thinking about sex but isn't turned on by me even when we sleep in the same bed.

I don't want to lose him. I value the bond we share and what we have together, but I'm constantly thinking about how much I love him and want to be with him. I even started working out at the gym, thinking maybe my recent weight gain was the problem.

I know he "loves" me, but he isn't attracted to me. I'm afraid if one of us starts dating someone else, our friendship will take a hit. Please give me some advice.

— GIRL IN LOVE IN CONNECTICUT

DEAR GIRL IN LOVE: As long as you have Mickey as your major preoccupation, you will not start dating anyone else. You need to stop thinking that his lack of desire for you is your fault, because it isn't. Although it will be painful to call a halt to what's going on so you can meet someone who CAN give you what you need, that's what you should do. The relationship you're in is masochistic. You are being used, and it's not fair to you.

DEAR ABBY: A few years back, my 60-something-year-old single sister relocated from a different state to a mile from my home. Since then, MY husband has become HER husband. If something breaks, leaks or needs repair, she calls us. I "get" to handle the easy stuff, and hubby does the heavy-duty stuff.

I gave her our riding lawn mower and bought a newer model for us. There was nothing wrong with the mower we gave her, but she called us, crying, that it wouldn't start. Hubby spent several hours of his one day off trying to get it running, to no avail.

He told her she needed to call a repair person. Instead, she bought a spark plug and a fuel filter and started viewing online do-it-yourself videos so she could handle it. She said she "hopes" she can fix it so "he won't have to come and try to fix it again." I'm ready to explode! I feel like we're being taken advantage of. Help!

— SICK OF SIS IN THE SOUTH

DEAR SICK: Because you feel you and your husband are being taken advantage of, the next time your sister asks for your husband's handyman services, explain that his time off is limited and "suggest" AGAIN that she call a professional. If you wish to be more helpful, because she's relatively new to the area, ask some of your friends if they know someone who is dependable and competent.

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