DEAR ABBY: At 48 years of age, I finally need your help in figuring this one out. A year ago, after more than 22 years of marriage, my 58-year-old wife, "Cindy," began sleeping with her 90-year-old mother. Cindy says she does this so she will hear her mother in case she needs help going to the bathroom.
Our bedroom doors are side-by-side, and I can hear her mother clearly from our bedroom. When her mother gets up to go to the bathroom, I hear Cindy tell her to "go ahead" and let her know if she needs help. In other words, her mother can do this -- and many more things -- on her own.
On the positive side, Cindy may make it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person still sleeping with her mother. What do you make of this? -- NEGLECTED IN GEORGIA
DEAR NEGLECTED: You have written an unusual letter. The answer to your question lies in whatever happened between you and your wife a year ago that caused her to move out of your bedroom and literally go "home" to her mother. I recommend some truth sessions with a marriage counselor to referee.
DEAR ABBY: I have been dating a wonderful man for the past four years and have no doubt of his love for me -- or the belief that eventually we will be married.
My problem is I'm at the age where most of my friends and acquaintances are getting engaged, married and having babies, so naturally the marriage question comes up all the time.
I don't mind answering questions like, "When are you two going to tie the knot?" However, I need some ideas for a tactful -- yet forceful -- way to answer those rude and condescending people who ask, "Well, is he EVER going to marry you?"
That question makes me bristle and causes me to feel defensive when there is nothing to be defensive about. I need a ladylike reply that will let the offending parties understand in no uncertain terms that I am taken aback by the phrasing of their question. Thanks, Abby. -- BRIDE-TO-BE (EVENTUALLY) IN OXFORD, MISS.
DEAR B-T-B (EVENTUALLY): Reply with a smile, "When we make the announcement, you'll be among the first to know."
DEAR ABBY: I just read the letter from "Concerned Grandfather in Seattle," and I have to warn him that if he chooses to lie to his grandson by telling him that his father is dead, he will only make things worse.
Whether shame or self-involvement was the cause, my family kept the truth from me for 25 years, and it was purely by accident that I finally found out who my real father is. Had I not, I'm sure my family would still be lying to me.
The trust that had been built over my entire lifetime was shattered in an instant. I no longer knew who I was or where I was going.
Eventually I found a degree of freedom in knowing the truth, but it took a long time and many dark days to get to that point.
The feelings of betrayal by my own family still linger eight years later. -- PORTLAND, ORE., SON
DEAR SON: I believe it. And that's why I say that honesty is the best policy, even if it means opening a can of worms that's difficult or painful to discuss.
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