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

by Abigail Van Buren

Drunk Friend Spills the Beans on Cause of Parents' Separation

DEAR ABBY: My parents were separated for four years while I was in high school and college. It was an incredibly difficult time, and it strained my relationship with my dad. I was told they had "grown apart" but got back together, although we never discuss the reason for it.

I was out with my sister's friends last night, and one of them got drunk and told me the reason my parents split up was Dad had been seeing another woman and accidentally texted my sister instead of this other woman, and everyone in my family knew about it!

Dad and I barely saw each other or spoke about the separation, and we are finally in a good place. I'm hurt that he intentionally did something that broke up my family. It wasn't something that just happened because they drifted apart.

I don't want to ask my sister and bring up painful memories for her. My parents have never talked about their separation since they got back together. What should I do? -- MIXED-UP DAUGHTER IN WISCONSIN

DEAR DAUGHTER: When infidelity happens there is usually a reason, and those reasons can vary from couple to couple. It's possible that your parents, who understandably don't want to relive that painful chapter, were having problems before the affair began. What is important now is that your family is back together.

My advice is to allow them their privacy. However, if you feel you cannot do that, then tell them together what your sister's friend told you.

Read more in: Family & Parenting | Marriage & Divorce | Friends & Neighbors