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

by Abigail Van Buren

Daughter Bears the Burden of Her Parents' Unhappiness

DEAR ABBY: A few days ago, my mom told me that if it wasn't for me, she and my dad would be divorced. She also said that the last few years with my dad have been terrible. I feel so guilty about this, knowing that I'm the reason my parents are unhappy.

I barely slept the night my mom told me this, but actually, it all makes sense. Now I know why my parents yell at me for no reason and why I get in trouble for no reason. Abby, please help me. How do I tell my mom how it made me feel? -- FEELS GUILTY IN GEORGIA

DEAR FEELS GUILTY: Your mother was wrong to say that you are the only reason she and your father have stayed married. They are together for reasons of their own that have little or nothing to do with you. You are not responsible for their unhappiness.

Your parents appear to be under a lot of pressure right now, which may be why their tempers are frayed. Before discussing this with your mother, it might help to talk about what happened with another adult relative you trust. However, if there is no one else, clip this letter, show it to your mother and tell her you wrote it.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Teens