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Discuss issue with your husband

Dear Abby: My husband, "Dan," and I are in our early 30s and have been married five years. He's bright, sweet, outgoing and very good-looking. He is in excellent shape and works out at the gym daily.

Dan has become friendly with a group of men at the gym. Like him, they are all good-looking and in tip-top shape. They are also gay. One guy in particular, "Harry," has become quite close to my husband. He often jokes about "recruiting" Dan and comments on Dan's popularity with "the boys."

My work requires that I travel frequently, and Dan has been going out with Harry to gay bars where he gets "hit on" often. I can tell he likes the attention. I should also mention that Dan seems to be considerably less interested in sex lately.

I hate to think of my husband alone and lonely while I'm away, but his going to gay bars every night is beginning to worry me. If I say anything to him about it, he guilt-trips me about my travel.

Is it normal for a straight man to seek out the company of gay men? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

-- Gay-Friendly in N.Y.C.

Dear Gay-Friendly: It is unusual for a straight man to frequent gay bars. But would you feel better if Dan was going to straight bars every night and being hit on by women while you're away?

Your greater concern, in my opinion, should be his change in pattern of behavior. If Dan is less interested in sex with you than he has been, then you need to find out why. I have always favored the direct approach. The person you should be discussing this with is your husband. When you do, be frank but not accusatory, and do not allow him to divert the conversation by making you feel guilty about your business travel.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, Calif. 90069.