Dear Abby: My mom turned 60 last month, and I hosted a party at her house for friends and family. As things were winding down, I took a break from cleaning up to look over the birthday cards from well-wishers that were displayed on a living room table. Among them was a big, gorgeous card from “Cassie,” a woman around my mother’s age, whom I always thought was nothing more than an acquaintance.
As I read the message she had written inside, my jaw dropped. While not pornographic, her message made clear that she and Mom have had an intimate physical relationship for a while.
I have not discussed the card with Mom, but I suspect she knows I saw it. Lately, I have canceled our weekly lunches together. I have nothing against people in same-sex relationships, but in this case, I can’t help but feel betrayed. Mom was married to Dad for 32 years, bore him three children and seemed happy. Was this all a lie?
My biggest concern is, if this relationship becomes permanent, how do I explain it to my children – or worse, my brothers, whose views are conservative and some might say bigoted. How should I approach this? Please help!
– Dumbfounded Daughter
Dear Daughter: Some people are bisexual, which means they can be attracted to people of both genders. Your mother may have had a very happy marriage, and then she met Cassie. If she is no longer with your father, it is not a “betrayal” of anyone.
Call your mother and arrange to get together. Tell her you saw the card. She may not have told you about her relationship because she was afraid you would react as you have. If they become a couple and your children ask questions, tell them the truth. As to making any announcements to your bigoted brothers, leave that up to your mother and resist the urge to be the town crier.
Furious over his mood swings
Dear Abby: I’m only 18. I know I have a lot to learn in life, but I need help. I’m madly in love with a guy who is “bipolar” about our relationship. One day he loves me, and the next he doesn’t.
Now, he says he needs time alone because we’ve been together 24/7. I got angry and started to go crazy. He’s not breaking up with me, but he needs space. I don’t want to lose him, so help me figure out a way to stay with him.
– Got a Good One in Missouri
Dear Got a Good One: If you want to keep your boyfriend, let him have his freedom. I know it sounds contradictory, but the harder you try to hang on to him, the more he will want to get away.
By the way, while he’s enjoying his “space,” you should do exactly the same thing he’s doing. If you isolate yourself, you will only become depressed, insecure and clingy, none of which are attractive traits.