Dear Dr. Wallace:

When I was 16, I started dating a nice guy. We never had sex. We broke up after we each planned to attend different universities. I liked this ex-boyfriend, but I knew it would never last. I honestly was relieved when he told me that we should end the relationship. I later lost my virginity during my first year of college. This college guy and I remained a couple for four years, and we were married two months after we graduated from college. I am now a high school teacher, and my husband works in finance. We have two children and live a happy and enjoyable life together.

When dating, sex kept us happy and united. I have always read your column, and I’m well aware that you encourage your teen readers to refrain from having sex until after marriage. Couples in love should have sex. It doesn’t matter if they are married or not. I know that teens who have sex and don’t take precautions usually wind up being parents. My husband and I never had sex without both of us using protection. I know that you won’t change your mind regarding premarital sex, but I want you and your readers to hear the other side of this issue. The prime function of sex is enjoyment, bonding and love, not reproduction.

— Happily Married,

via email

Dear Happily Married: The prime function of sex is reproduction. Mother Nature did not intend to make sex bad or evil. She intended to make sex good and beautiful and a sign of everlasting love. Mother Nature’s design is to produce parents who pledge their love for each other and who provide their children, when they arrive, with love, wisdom, understanding and compassion.

All teens, especially young women, have much to lose by becoming sexually active before marriage. The emotional and physical wounds of a teenage sexual affair gone wrong often heal slowly and scar deeply. I am happy that things worked out for your husband and you, but consider yourself lucky! Many, many more physical teen affairs do not end well at all.

Dear Dr. Wallace: I’m 14, and my younger brother is 10. He is a 100 percent brat! His sole purpose on earth is to irritate me and disrupt my life. He never plays by himself or does something quietly in his room. Instead, he always wants to know what I’m doing, and he gets right in my face and right in the middle of my business.

Several times, I have had to hit him to back off. I always feel bad when he cries with real tears. I don’t hit him hard, just a moderate punch to push him out of my face. Recently, things have gotten worse. My dad now disciplines me because he sides with my brother when little bro goes running to dad, crying. I would like to put my brother up for adoption, but my mother won’t ever let that happen. I feel like I’m going to lose my mind. Help!

— Big Sister,

Springfield, Missouri

Dear Big Sister: Sometimes the pen is mightier than the fist. As you know, hitting your brother doesn’t solve your problem; it only compounds it.

Discuss this entire situation with your dad one Saturday morning when things are quiet around your house, and maybe he’ll realize that your little brother can be antagonistic and is sometimes the one who should be disciplined instead of you. Of course, that’s when you need to learn to ignore him, not hit him.

Maybe when your brother gets a little too rambunctious in the future, you can give him a big hug and carry him right over to one of your parents. Release him there, and explain what is going on. Hopefully one of your parents will then talk things over with your brother or at least direct his attention

elsewhere to relieve the tension.

— Write to Dr. Wallace at rwallace@galesburg.net.