DEAR ABBY: My husband cheated on me, so I decided to end the marriage. I didn't tell anyone the true reason behind the divorce because I wanted to keep it private.
My 14-year-old daughter is extremely angry with me and blames me for the divorce. Her father can do no wrong in her eyes. I have custody, and our house has become a war zone.
So far, I have revealed no details to her except that we both love her and our marriage simply did not work out. I am tempted to tell her the truth, hoping we can call a truce and try to get our relationship back on track. Is this a bad idea? -- WANTS TO DISCLOSE
DEAR WANTS: I understand the temptation to unload, but yield to it only if there is no other way. If you and your husband are on speaking terms -- and for your daughter's sake, I hope you are -- schedule some time for the three of you to get together and talk about the divorce. At that time, HE should reinforce to her that the divorce was mutual, and you should not be blamed for it.
P.S. If there is one particular woman involved, your daughter will be meeting her pretty soon. Many 14-year-olds are quite worldly these days, and she'll likely draw the right conclusions herself.
DEAR ABBY: My grandmother died recently after being hospitalized for more than a year. My boyfriend, "Tom," has a sister who is a registered nurse at the hospital where Gramma was staying. "Gail" was one of my grandmother's nurses and would often tell Tom about the treatments. It bothered me because I felt it was a breach of confidentiality, and I sometimes wondered if she discussed Gramma's condition with others as well.
The day Gramma died, I was working. Tom came to the restaurant where I work to give me the sad news. I became emotional and asked Tom how he knew. He explained that Gail had called him.
I understand that Tom wanted me to hear the news in person, but my family had decided they would wait to tell me until after I got home from work that evening, which is what I would have preferred.
Gail may not have meant any harm, but I don't believe what she did was right or fair. Should I report her to the hospital? I am still furious about it. -- SAD AND CONFUSED IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR SAD AND CONFUSED: Yes, you should. The administrators need to know that the patient privacy policies they have in place are being violated, since an employee who would do this to you is likely to be doing it to others, which could lead to a lawsuit. However, you should be prepared for the fact that reporting your boyfriend's sister will probably end the romance.
DEAR ABBY: I'm not a negative person, but I rarely laugh at anything. My husband of eight years is growing tired of the fact that I find nothing funny. Is it possible for someone to lack a sense of humor, and do you have any advice for me? –- NO FUNNY BONE IN UTAH
DEAR NO FUNNY BONE: There are people who have little or no sense of humor. Others appreciate humor and will smile, but do not laugh out loud. This is why some television shows have laugh tracks.
I'm sorry your husband is "growing tired" of the fact that you find nothing funny, but he should have known what you were like when he married you. Perhaps it's time he concentrated on developing his serious side. Tell him that -- but do it with a smile.
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 $6 (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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