DEAR ABBY: Please help save my marriage. My wife of five years discovered an Internet browser history of 13 Web pages I had clicked on the previous day. The pages were of women's sexy lips. My wife is calling it "porn" and a "gateway to porn." I feel guilty about it, but I told her it isn't pornography. I think it's a fetish. She says I'm using that word to get off the hook.
Will you please tell her that this probably is a fetish? Our sex life has not been the same since she discovered the images on the computer. What can we do about it in a way that will strengthen our marriage? -- NOT GUILTY AS CHARGED
DEAR NOT GUILTY: It's a shame you and your wife hadn't discussed what turns you on before she checked your browser history. A fetish is any object that turns someone on, and it can range from large breasts, to stiletto heels, to leather or rubber items of clothing, to full red lips. It is not pornography.
A way to strengthen your marriage would be for you to buy her a tube of bright red lipstick. And a way for her to improve your sex life would be to put it on.
DEAR ABBY: I'm a 13-year-old girl with a sister and a brother. I was recently told by my dad that I have to teach my brother how to read, but the problem is he has a learning disability and a behavior disorder. I don't know how I'm supposed to teach him to read, and it scares me.
On top of that, my dad got mad at my sister and me and said that when we were younger we were just like my brother, only worse. He said he was close to giving up on us. Sometimes Dad says we're worthless, stupid and asks why we're even in this world. He says we're not good for anything.
I have a slight form of autism, so I'm sort of slow doing certain things other kids do at my age. I feel like I'll never be as smart as anyone else, and I have no clue how I'm going to teach my disabled brother to read. Help! -- LOST, ALONE AND WORRIED IN URBANA, ILL.
DEAR LOST: It would be wonderful if you could teach your learning disabled brother how to read, but you are not equipped to do that. Your brother should be in a special education class with a teacher who has the specialized training -- and, possibly, a tutor.
Sometimes, when parents are extremely stressed or angry they can say things they don't mean without thinking of the lasting effect their words can have on a child. You are neither worthless nor stupid. You are an intelligent girl. Frankly, your father appears to be in need of some help, and I hope you will share with a counselor at your school what you have told me.
DEAR ABBY: My 13-year-old son is refusing to wear a bicycle helmet because he has decided it's "uncool." My husband and I have always worn them, but here in Texas many people don't. There's no state law requiring it.
I know how devastating the effects of a head injury can be and I want to prevent my son from getting one. How can I help my teenager see that protecting his brain is more important than looking "cool" to his friends who don't wear them? My son insists I am ... AN OVERPROTECTIVE MOM
DEAR OVERPROTECTIVE MOM: Contact your son's pediatrician and ask if he or she can facilitate a tour of a rehabilitation facility that treats people with traumatic brain injuries. If that doesn't convince your son, nothing will.
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, CA 90069.
What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)