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DEAR ABBY: My fiance, "Rick," and I have been together for years and recently got engaged. We are over the moon about it, and genuinely in love. However, this exciting time in our lives has been met with some difficulties.

We recently learned Rick's mother has been having an affair, which makes for a very uncomfortable situation. My future mother-in-law doesn't know we know. Rick's father came to us for help because he suspects she's cheating.

She engages with this man publicly by texting, calling, etc. when we spend time with her, so I avoid her because I don't want any part of it. It's hard to ignore because we live with Rick's family.

He believes we should say nothing. I spoke to our priest about it because I am so deeply disturbed by her behavior and was told to "pray for them." I'm worried this will be a negative influence on my fiance and me, and that by remaining quiet we have become part of her lie. What should I do? -- CLEAN CONSCIENCE IN THE EAST

DEAR CLEAN CONSCIENCE: Listen to the advice you received from your priest. Pray for your almost in-laws, but do not involve yourself in their marital problems. If Rick's father approaches you again for help, tell him that he needs to discuss his suspicions with his wife because that's the only way his problems will be resolved.


DEAR ABBY: I lost my favorite cat a year ago to kidney disease. I had noticed she wasn't doing well, but when I told my parents, so we could take her to the veterinarian, they insisted she was fine. They said she didn't need to see the vet because her ailments were just age. They refused to have her examined until it was too late, and by then, the vet's attempts to help her only weakened her. She died in my arms on the way home.

I am devastated. She was my therapy animal and she helped me combat my anxiety disorders for over seven years. When she died, my family seemed to be suddenly struck with grief, even though they ignored her most of the time. This makes me angry because I feel their hesitation to take her to the vet and refusal to listen to me are what killed her.

I've forgiven them for what happened, but I still feel upset and angry toward them whenever I see my cat's picture by her urn on my memory shelf. Am I wrong for feeling this way? -- NOT FEELING PURRFECT

DEAR NOT FEELING PURRFECT: Please accept my sympathy for the loss of your cat. What happened to her is regrettable, but holding a grudge won't help. What might help would be for your parents to get you another therapy cat, and I'm advising you to suggest it.


DEAR ABBY: My daughter recently had her first child (my first grandchild), and I am wondering if there's any protocol regarding the first visit. Should I wait until my daughter invites me, or should I just tell her I want to come? I'm afraid it would be rude to just invite myself before she's ready to show off her newborn. -- BABY STEPS IN VIRGINIA

DEAR BABY STEPS: Give your daughter some time to rest and for her and her husband/partner to establish a routine, and then ask when it would be convenient for you to come and if she'd like you to help out in any way. I'm sure that approach would be better received than an announcement.

For everything you need to know about wedding planning, order "How to Have a Lovely Wedding." Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Wedding Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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