DEAR ABBY: When I was a child, I developed a huge crush on "Mickey," a young man who worked for my mother. As I grew older, the crush grew to love. Twenty-six years later, I am still very much in love with him -- and we were married two months ago.
Last night, Mickey told me something that's tearing my heart out: He and Mother had an affair 18 years ago. I am trying to act as though I'm OK, and promised Mickey I wouldn't tell Mom that he had confided in me. Now I honestly don't know if I can keep silent, knowing my husband had sex with my mother. I feel hurt, betrayed and sick about the news.
I still love Mickey and don't want to end our marriage. He says the affair shouldn't matter because it happened long ago, and I shouldn't dwell on it -- but in my eyes it might as well have been yesterday.
How will I ever face my mother again and not let on that I know? -- DESPERATELY HURT IN FLORIDA
DEAR DESPERATELY HURT: You were just a child when the romance happened. For your mother's sake, it would be a kindness not to let her know that you know you have more in common than the usual mother/daughter bond. Everybody has a skeleton in the closet. If you can't let this go, I recommend counseling.
DEAR ABBY: I am a married 24-year-old with a daughter who just turned 2. My problem is that my mother dislikes my best friend, "Marci," for no reason that I can figure out. Any time I invite Marci to a party, Mom raises a stink.
Because of that, my friendship with Marci has cooled over the past year. We haven't seen much of each other, and I wanted to change that, so I invited her to my daughter's birthday party. I informed Mother ahead of time that Marci would be there -- and warned her not to make a scene.
Mom got back at me by showing up at the party with a six-pack of beer. Abby, she raised me never to have booze at a child's party, and we exchanged words in front of everyone. I ended up cutting the party short because it became such a tense situation -- with Marci on one side of the room and Mom and her six-pack on the other.
I have tried talking to my mother about why she dislikes Marci. She brushes it off with the accusation that I'm choosing my best friend over her.
My mother has a history of bad-news friends who ended up stealing from her or trashing her behind her back. How can I get it through her head that Marci isn't like that? -- STILL FUMING AT MOM IN SOUTHERN IDAHO
DEAR STILL FUMING: Your mother may be competitive with Marci, or she may remind your mother of someone who hurt her in the past. If she hasn't come up with a reason for her aversion, it may be unconscious. That said, you're an adult and entitled to form your own friendships. You and your mother aren't joined at the hip. Enjoy both your mom and Marci on separate occasions.
DEAR ABBY: My boss asked me to write to you. He has a box of birthday cards that he wants to use up. When he needs to send a greeting of any kind, he uses one of them. He crosses out "Birthday," and writes in the appropriate word: "Wedding," "Graduation," "New Home," etc. He feels there is nothing wrong with this. I say it is not in good taste. Who's right? -- WORKING FOR A CHEAP BOSS IN BOSTON
DEAR WORKING: You are.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send a business-size, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds only) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Postage is included.)
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