DEAR ABBY: I am a divorced mother of two young children. My mother has always been a tremendous financial and emotional help to us, and I'm proud of our relationship. She's a terrific person, but a pushover when it comes to "Ray," her husband of two years. Mom believes whatever he says -- wherein lies my problem.
Ray has been coming on to me for the last year. I don't know how to tell my mother. It's tearing me up inside, and I can't live with it anymore. My little sister told Mom a year ago that our stepfather came on to her, but Mom didn't believe her. Ray said my sister was the one who made the advances. (She was only 14 at the time!) Mom stood by her husband, and to this day maintains his innocence.
In an effort to make sure my mother believes me, I audiotaped my stepfather on the phone begging me to have sex with him. Do you think I should tell Mom I have evidence and insist that she listen to the tape? I don't want to lose my mother. I love her very much, and my children and I wouldn't know what to do without her in our lives. Please help. -- DESPERATE TO BE BELIEVED IN NORTH DAKOTA
DEAR DESPERATE: Get your mother alone, sit her down, and say, "Mom, this is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, but I have to play this tape for you because our family is being destroyed." Her reaction to the tape will tell you what her future is with your stepfather -- and with you.