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by Abigail Van Buren

Late-Night Surprise Damages Dad-and-Daughter Relationship

DEAR ABBY: My 20-year-old daughter recently caught me "actively engaged" in watching porn. I tried to do it late at night when I thought everyone was asleep. My daughter now thinks I'm a pervert.

Her mother raised her with conservative beliefs about any expression of sexuality. I'm worried about her ability to make a future marriage work, and I want the wonderful relationship we shared back. Some people have suggested that as she matures and becomes more aware of the real world, she'll come around. But I'm a relatively old 58 to have a child her age, and I don't want to wait until I'm gone for her to "come around." What can I do? -- MISSING MY BABY GIRL

DEAR MISSING: Your baby girl isn't a baby; she's a young adult woman. Most individuals are uncomfortable with the idea of their parents as sexual beings despite the glaring evidence to the contrary. She may have reacted the way she did because she was embarrassed by what she saw.

Do not broach the subject of what her marriage may be like if and when she marries, because it's really her affair, not yours. Apologize for the unfortunate turn of events, and use this as an opportunity to be more careful in the future.