DEAR ABBY: My 16-year-old daughter, "Bethany," just confided that she has been sexually active for the past month. This is her first experience, and she says they are practicing safe sex. I have not yet told her father, although he suspects she might be.
Should I tell him or keep my mouth shut?
I'm afraid of what his reaction will be. There has been a lot of tension between my husband and Bethany for the past couple of years, and I don't want to add to it.
I have considered telling him when she is not at home so he'll have time to cool down before he confronts her, but I keep losing my nerve. The fact that he doesn't like her boyfriend doesn't help. If I keep quiet, perhaps he will not find out.
I will wait for your answer. Please advise. -- MOM IN THE MIDDLE
DEAR MOM: Better your husband hears the news from you now than possibly in a crisis. Bethany should be told that you plan to discuss this with her father because she's still a minor, and as a parent, he has the right to know. Tell your husband you expect his cooperation in discussing this with Bethany without confrontation or retaliation.
Your daughter deserves an honest relationship with both of you as she progresses through her teens.