DEAR ABBY: My teenage sister and I both live at home with our single mom. Lately she has been acting like a teen in love -- giddy, staying out late, and hiding to take her phone calls. We have even caught her kissing this man, "Gary."
Mom denies any romantic relationship with Gary, who is married with children. But when his name comes up, she talks endlessly about how mean and horrible his wife is. Mom has never met his wife, so she must be getting her information from Gary.
We overheard him tell Mom that his wife had found his cell phone bill and knew that he was calling Mom a lot. So last month, Mom bought Gary another cell phone. We can't afford that! We struggle to pay our bills, and my sister and I have loaned Mom money for her car insurance.
Mom has often expressed a fear of being alone. We are happy that she is feeling good about herself and dating again, but with Gary, she's headed for trouble. We don't want her hurt. How can we help? -- WORRIED ABOUT MOM IN VIRGINIA
DEAR WORRIED: Be there to offer emotional support, because your mother is on thin ice. Gary's wife is already suspicious, and it's only a matter of time until he gets caught. The situation is bad. Your mother is lying to herself, lying to you, and setting a terrible example. Learn from her mistakes.