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Couple Tries to Pretend All Is Well for Daughter's Sake

DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Mason," and I have been married for 10 years. We have a beautiful 7-year-old daughter and have just found out we are having another girl. The day we learned her gender, Mason dropped a bomb on me. He said he's not in love with me anymore, and it has been eating at him for a while. He said he was too scared to tell me sooner.

He won't talk to anyone and doesn't seem to want to fix it. We both came from broken homes and had always agreed not to do that to our kids. But I can't act like everything is normal under the same roof.

He says he'll stay at his brother's place at night after our daughter goes to sleep. He's at work before she's up for school anyway. We agreed that if she wakes up at night and calls out for him, I should tell her he got "called in to work." Please give me some advice. -- BROKEN IN NEVADA

DEAR BROKEN: By the age of 7, your daughter is old enough to recognize tension between her parents. She is also aware enough to comprehend that her father is no longer living there if he's spending his nights elsewhere, particularly if he intends to carry on this charade for any length of time.

You say your husband "won't talk to anyone," but he owes you some straight answers. If he hasn't been in love with you "for a while," he shouldn't have fathered a second child with you.

Would his feelings be different if the baby you're carrying was a boy? Could there be another woman involved? Your husband owes it to you and those children to act responsibly and at least try to save his marriage. Running away is not the answer.

In the meantime, my advice is to talk to a lawyer and take your cues from her or him about protecting yourself and your children financially. Doing so does not mean you "must" file divorce papers, but you will have someone who isn't emotionally involved looking out for your interests.

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