DEAR ABBY: I need your help. I am 28 years old and have two great parents. Their marriage has not always been the best.
My mom confided to me the other night that she has been seeing a man who works with her. I couldn't believe it. Mom is a recovering alcoholic, sober for 12 years -- and since she met this man, she goes out with him several times a week for drinks and dinner.
I am ready to fall apart. My teenage sister is in drug rehab, and now my mother starts drinking again, cheats on my father and asks me not to tell. On top of that, I have a child with disabilities. What am I to do?
I love my parents dearly. Should I tell my dad about the other man? I have asked my mom to stop, but she says this man "treats her like a queen." -- STRESSED TO THE MAX IN THE SOUTH
DEAR STRESSED: For your sanity, take yourself out of the middle. As much as you love them, you are not responsible for saving your parents' marriage. Your father must be aware on some level that your mother is drinking again.
"Queens" have been known to lose their heads, and it appears your mother has lost hers. The next time she confides in you about her Prince Charming, tell her you refuse to be her confidante. Silence makes you an accomplice. Give your mother a deadline to come clean with your father, and tell her if she doesn't tell him what's going on by then, you will. Between your mother and your sister, your father has enough problems. He doesn't need a sexually transmitted disease on top of everything else.