DEAR ABBY: My parents divorced when I was 5, after my father was sent to prison on drug charges. He was released a couple of years ago. When we were little, Mom never talked about him. She never told us what he did that landed him in jail. After his release, my sister and I didn't want to see him.
Eventually, I met a wonderful guy I'll call "Mike." Mike's aunt is a loving woman and we have a warm relationship. Then she met and fell in love with my father.
Now that I have spent time with them, I have heard the whole story. Mom was my father's partner in dealing the drugs. My father didn't implicate her in any of the charges because he wanted her free to raise me and my sisters. I was shocked, because Mom never told us any of this.
My mother refuses to be anywhere near my father, or at any gathering where he is present. Because of this, Mike and I have postponed having a wedding, baptizing our son or giving him a first birthday party. My father doesn't understand why, since he and Mom are both remarried, she can't just move on with her life.
We want our son to enjoy both of his grandparents. I have considered holding these events and inviting both of them, and letting them know I want both of them to be part of my life. Please tell me what to do. -- IN THE MIDDLE IN INDIANA
DEAR IN THE MIDDLE: The first thing you should do is have a talk with your mother and tell her exactly what your father told you. She may not want to be around him because she doesn't want to face her past, or he may have abused her -- but give her a chance to explain.
You should not put your life on hold trying to please your parents. You are all adults now. So have your wedding, baptize your son and celebrate his special events. If they can't be in the same room together, then invite them to alternate events.