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by Abigail Van Buren

Sister Fears Inheritance May Doom Drug Addicted Brother

DEAR ABBY: I have been left confused and bitter over the loss of my best friend, "Sally." I expected to go to her children's weddings and be there for the birth of her grandchildren.

Sally had an affair, which I knew about. When her husband, "John," found out, he called me asking why I didn't tell him. After that horrible phone call, during which I lied to protect Sally, I never heard from them again.

Had I known this would happen I would have told John the truth. Instead of leaving her husband, Sally gave up her friendship with me. What did I do wrong? Should I be punished for listening to her? What would you advise your readers to do when someone starts telling them about an affair they're having? -- THROWN UNDER THE BUS, BELLEVUE, WASH.

DEAR UNDER THE BUS: What you did "wrong" was allow yourself to be dragged into that mess as a co-conspirator. Silence implies agreement. Once John realized you knew all about her affair and lied, you became as guilty in his eyes as Sally and her lover. My advice to readers about what to do when someone starts telling them about an affair? Stay out of the line of fire by telling the person you don't want to hear it.