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by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: My son (I'll call him Michael) was very ill with cancer at age 15, and as a result he became sterile from his chemotherapy treatments. Thank the good Lord he has made a complete recovery. However, when he married eight years ago, he and his wife wanted a family. My nephew Edmund (his cousin) agreed to be a sperm donor.

Michael and Edmund have always been very close -- more like brothers. Edmund is divorced and has two children. A year ago, my daughter-in-law gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

Abby, they have decided that they will never tell the child who his real father is. I'm afraid someone else might tell him, as a few members of the family are aware of this.

My husband says it's their decision and that we should stay out of it, but I'm worried about my grandchild's future, should he find out.

Please give us your thoughts on this. -- LOVING GRANDMOTHER IN THE U.S.A.

DEAR GRANDMOTHER: I agree with you. Family secrets such as this have a way of leaking, which could cause a flood of embarrassment. Your husband makes a good point, however. Give your son and daughter-in-law some "motherly" advice -- and then say no more.

DEAR ABBY: The pain I am feeling is so great it doesn't allow me even to cry. I have been married to my second husband for more than 17 years. This week I found out that he is bisexual and has been having one-night stands during our 17 years together, events that have increased over the past four years.

I know I need to find a counselor to help me work through this. I will start the process of finding one today. My husband claims I am the only person he has ever loved, and that he can stop his bisexual activity if I just give him another chance. Even if he could -- and that's my question to you -- I'm not sure I would ever be able to trust him again or be comfortable making love which, until now, has been a very satisfying part of our relationship.

With your vast years of experience and knowledge about the human personality, do you know if it is possible, or even likely, that an active bisexual person can stop the attraction to same-sex partners? My husband says he's only kissed one man and that he gets his gratification from touching -- massage, etc.

Yes, I'm going for an AIDS test today. -- HEARTBROKEN IN PLEASANTON, CALIF.

DEAR HEARTBROKEN: Since your husband is bisexual, his attraction to both sexes is natural for him, and he will always be attracted to members of both sexes. And since his infidelities with men have increased over the last four years, it would seem that either his attraction to men is increasing, or he is less in control of his impulsive behavior than he believes.

You have my sincere sympathy for the pain you are experiencing, and you are on the right track to seek professional counseling and have an HIV test immediately.

DEAR ABBY: I have been reading you for years, but this is the first time I have written. I want to let you know what happened to me recently so you can alert your readers.

While vacationing at a friend's house a few months ago, I woke up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom. Apparently I was not fully awake because I thought I was in my own home. Before I realized where I was, I was falling down a flight of stairs! Luckily, I wasn't hurt -- with the exception of a few bruises.

Abby, please alert your readers to the danger of staying in a strange house, and advise the host to provide a night-light or a small lamp for a room or hallway. -- LUCKY LADY

DEAR LUCKY: While it would be gracious for the host to light your way, you would be wise to invest in a small flashlight to keep on the nightstand of your home or, when you travel, on the nightstand in your host's home. I wouldn't be without one.

For an excellent guide to becoming a better conversationalist and a more attractive person, order "How to Be Popular." Send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $3.95 ($4.50 in Canada) to: Dear Abby Popularity Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, Ill. 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)

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