DEAR ABBY: I had suspicions my dad was cheating on my mom, and when she found a mysterious earring in the house one day, I knew I had to find the proof. I went into his iPad and checked his email/Facebook and IMs and found he apparently has a girlfriend. She works in his office and is also married with a family.
Dad found out I broke into his iPad and confronted me. Instead of apologizing for cheating on my mom, he told me I need to think about what I'm doing because I could be ruining a bunch of lives. He also made sure to tell me that by breaking into his iPad, I had broken the law.
I think I should tell my mom because she doesn't deserve this, but I'm not sure how to tell her. HELP! -- FOUND THE PROOF IN GEORGIA
DEAR FOUND THE PROOF: There is a saying, "The best defense is a good offense." That's the playbook your father is following by trying to make you feel guilty for his transgression.
Because your mother found another woman's jewelry in her home, she may already have a hunch that something is wrong. It is not your job to save anybody's marriage. Tell your mother what you have discovered, because her marriage is threatened and she deserves to know so she can decide how she wants to handle it. Forewarned is forearmed.
DEAR ABBY: My husband, "Evan," and my mother do not get along. It began when our second child was born.
Mom came to help out, and she and Evan engaged in tense conversations concerning politics and religion. I asked them to please not talk about such things with each other, but they didn't listen. Two days after my arrival home with the baby, they had a huge argument and Mom walked out. She has never returned to our home.
Since then, I have never had a holiday with my parents, although I do travel once or twice a year with the kids to see them. Mom and Evan did come to an understanding when our third child was born, but that, too, ended in separation six months later.
I have tried asking them both to apologize or talk with each other, to no avail. I can't control either person, so what suggestions do you have to repair the relationship so I can have family holidays and get-togethers again? -- IN THE MIDDLE IN COLORADO
DEAR IN THE MIDDLE: From where I sit, you're not in the middle -- your husband and your mother are on the outs. Much as you might wish differently, the only people who can fix this are the two of them. If they were more mature, they would, in the name of family harmony, agree to disagree.
Until they reorganize their priorities, you have no choice but to create your own family during holidays by getting together and celebrating with friends or other relatives if they are close by.
Good advice for everyone -- teens to seniors -- is in "The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It." To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)