Dear Amy: I am 64; my wife is 62. We are empty nesters. My wife and I are intimate most often on weekends, when I have a day off, and at other times as well. I have ED issues, which I deal with successfully.

My wife retired last year. She has a habit of setting up sexual expectations of me: "Oooh, the weekend is coming" or, "Yea, Wednesday morning you're off work" or, "We get to stay in bed on Friday."

I usually tell her just to live in the moment, and to stop looking forward.

She gets plenty of hugs, kisses and grabs throughout the week. She believes she has the greatest life and is happy and fulfilled. I am happy and content as well, but seemingly without the extreme highs and lows that she experiences. She does this forward-looking excited thing not just with sex, but with nights out, vacations, parties, etc.

Last night she did this morning-sex-expectation thing. I didn't react with similar glee, so she got mad and I launched into an honest conversation asking her to please stop setting up these expectations because if we don't follow through (rare) I don't want to disappoint her. Typically, she overreacted: "OK, I'll never say those things again," which to me was a very unfair response. After several failed attempts to get her to understand my point, I told her she was nuts. Is my reaction normal?

Amy says: First of all — how awesome are you two? Second, there's this: If you ask your wife not to speak to you in a certain way and she responds with, "OK, I'll never say those things again," don't double down and question her tone. And do not tell her she's "nuts."

You and your wife are temperamentally quite different. She is effusive and you are more reticent. Mainly I assume this difference inspires some wonderful chemistry between you. In this regard, however, you are taking her excitement and encouragement as pressure to perform. Given your ED issues, I can imagine this is stressful. Explain your situation this way: Her excitement creates "sexpectations" and stress, making it tougher to make the magic happen. If she can dial it down, it will be easier for you to dial it up.

Say thanks

Dear Amy: I'm responding to the woman whose husband never complimented her. I've recently realized that both my husband and I respond in an unhealthy and inappropriate way to compliments. When he says something positive I should accept it without trying to convince him that his observation is incorrect, and when I compliment him, he should do the same. We've decided this comes from our childhoods and we're working on just thanking each other.

Amy says: Some men have responded that their wives are terrible at accepting a compliment. It's good that you two are working on this.

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