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by Abigail Van Buren

Mom's Support of Abuser Is Betrayal to Her Daughter

DEAR ABBY: I recently ended my 11-year relationship with my high school sweetheart, "Kent." During the two years we were engaged he had become a cheating, abusive alcoholic.

My problem is my mother. She hired Kent while we were together, and he's still with her. I asked her to let him go, but she refused. She's the closest thing to family Kent has left. She feels she can "help him get on his feet." I have a restraining order against him and feel his employment with Mom is in direct violation.

I cannot forgive her for this betrayal, and I will no longer have a relationship with her. The person who should be there for me -- my mother -- is not. I don't know how to get through to her. She thinks she's doing nothing wrong and refuses to accept that she's enabling Kent. She reads your column, Abby, so please give us some advice. -- LOST IN CONNECTICUT

DEAR LOST: That a mother would provide "aid and comfort" to a man who cheated on her daughter and was so physically abusive that it required a restraining order, indicates she may have as many problems as he does. Her reaction is not normal, and I don't have the power to make her see the light any more than you do. I do, however, have some advice for you. Get professional counseling, go on with your life and do not look back.