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by Abigail Van Buren

Woman Hesitates to Help Sister Who Betrayed Her

DEAR ABBY: I have a huge problem on my hands. Four years ago, my sister was living with my husband and me. I trusted them both, but they betrayed me by having an affair.

After that, my sister moved miles away and met a man she ended up living with and having a baby girl. The guy turned out to be an abuser. Now she wants to leave him and "come home."

Our parents are no longer living, and my sister has no other family to turn to. If she moves in with my husband and me again, I don't know if I'll be able to trust them -- even though I have forgiven them both and love them with all my heart.

My husband has told me repeatedly that he will never hurt me like that again. He also said if the possibility of my sister living with us is going to stress me out, we shouldn't allow her to stay with us. But if that happens, she and her baby are at risk of remaining under the thumb of that abusive man.

Please advise me, Abby. I'm at a real loss here. -- TORN SISTER IN IDAHO

DEAR TORN SISTER: A safe alternative would be for you and your husband to subsidize your sister's rent on a small apartment for a period of time. Yes, it would be expensive -- but not nearly as costly as having her under your roof might be.

DEAR ABBY: My 21-year-old best friend, "Carole," met a man four months ago. She began dating him right away, became engaged the month after that, and will be marrying him in a few weeks.

I do not know her fiance well, but the little I do know about him is not good.

Carole has asked me to be her maid of honor, and I'm torn over whether to accept. On one hand, I want to support my best friend and "be there" for her. However, I think she's crazy to marry someone she's known only four months.

Should I ignore my concerns about this marriage, agree to be her maid of honor, and pretend to be happy because I don't want to hurt her? Or should I tell her the truth -- that I cannot support this marriage -- and in doing so, risk destroying our friendship?

Abby, I love Carole and want only the best for her, but I don't know how I can stand up in a church and support her in this marriage when I have so many serious doubts about the guy. Help! -- DOUBTS ABOUT THE GROOM SOMEWHERE IN MINNESOTA

DEAR DOUBTS: Level with your best friend. After you do, it will be her decision whether or not you'll participate in the wedding party, feeling as you do. Whatever the outcome, you'll have peace of mind knowing you shared your feelings.

DEAR ABBY: I have been invited to a baby shower for a former co-worker who was an absolute witch when we worked together. In my 22-year career, I have never experienced such disrespect and hatefulness for no apparent reason.

Before she left on her pregnancy leave, she asked me to lunch -- which I ended up paying for. She also asked for my home address because she said a friend was giving her a baby shower and "it wouldn't be a party without you."

Abby, I do not want to go to her shower, and I don't want to give her a present. The invitation asks for an RSVP. What should I do? -- FEELING USED IN SAN DIEGO

DEAR FEELING USED: Respond to the invitation giving your "regrets." You are under no obligation to give a gift if you do not attend the shower.

What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in "What Every Teen Should Know." To order, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby -- Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in the price.)

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