Join the debate. Vote Now on the Dear Abby Poll of the week.

by Abigail Van Buren

DEAR ABBY: I am a 32-year-old gay man who lives with my partner in a large condominium complex. Another gay man, "Nigel," lives down the hall. We do not socialize. Nigel is in his late 40s, and I have a strong aversion to him because he informs anyone who'll listen about his sexual escapades.

I recently ran into Nigel in the elevator, and he started boasting about a fling he's having with a 16-year-old boy who lives two floors below. As we stepped into the lobby, Nigel waved to the boy's mother, then laughingly told me under his breath that she regards him as just "a neighbor friend who kindly drives her son to school."

Abby, please urge your readers to get to know who their children are spending time with. They should make it a point to meet all their children's friends in person, and never permit their kids to go out with "friends" they haven't met.

Is there anything I can do about Nigel and that boy? Should I call the authorities? I feel this monster is taking advantage of a minor and should be stopped. -- NO NAME, CITY OR STATE

DEAR NO NAME, CITY OR STATE: What Nigel is doing is child abuse. Tell the boy's mother what Nigel told you. She needs to know what's going on. It's up to her to report it to the police.

DEAR ABBY: Recently, while "under the influence" at a party, "Ray," a friend of my boyfriend, "Pete," tried to kiss me. I avoided Ray for the rest of the evening and have not told anyone about the incident. The trouble is, my boyfriend has told me more than once that if he ever found out any of his friends had made a move on me, he'd hurt him badly.

I don't know if I should tell Pete what happened and try to explain that Ray was drunk and didn't know what he was doing. I don't think Ray would ever try anything like that while sober, so I'm tempted to keep quiet -- so no one gets hurt. However, I have never kept a secret from my boyfriend before, and I'm worried that if he finds out, he might think I kissed Ray back. What do you think I should do, Abby? -- NOT A PARTY GIRL IN ONTARIO, CANADA

DEAR NOT A PARTY GIRL: Don't tell him. I am concerned because it appears that your boyfriend has a violent and/or intimidating streak. You should be able to confide in him without feeling threatened.

I urge you to rethink your relationship with both of these young men, and the kind of parties you are attending.

DEAR ABBY: Just before Christmas, I found evidence on our computer that my husband was cheating. New proof continues to appear, though less frequently.

I am financially dependent on my spouse, physically unable to work, and my elderly mother lives with us. She is completely dependent on me for her care. Financially, I cannot afford to leave or ask my husband to leave. I'm afraid to let on that I know about his infidelity, but don't know how much longer I can keep silent. The hurt and anger are eating me alive. What should I do? -- HUMILIATED IN THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS

DEAR HUMILIATED: The stress of caring for your mother may have affected both you and your husband. If you continue to suffer in silence, it's only a matter of time until you explode -- which would be counterproductive. Tell your husband calmly that you know what's been going on. Explain that you would like the both of you to get marriage counseling to heal the breach that has developed in your relationship. Marriages can be saved after an infidelity if both parties are willing to work on it.

Abby shares more than 100 of her favorite recipes in two booklets: "Abby's Favorite Recipes" and "More Favorite Recipes by Dear Abby." Send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $10 (U.S. funds)

to: Dear Abby -- Cookbooklet Set, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included in price.)

4520 Main St., Kansas City, MO 64111; (816) 932-6600