DEAR ABBY: I am a 22-year-old college student and have been dating "Cody" for six years. Four years ago, my mother decided she didn't like him. She told me to either dump him or to forget about going to college.
Not wanting to give up either one, I began to secretly date Cody. I'll be graduating in one more year, and I know that Cody will ask me to marry him. Should I wait another year -- until I'm out of college -- to tell my mother so she can't keep me from obtaining my degree? Or should I tell her the truth now, so it won't be such a big shock that I'm engaged? I can't just be engaged to a guy I supposedly haven't seen in years. -- UNDECIDED IN TEXAS
DEAR UNDECIDED: You are an adult. Please start acting like one, and inquire at your college about alternative financing for your last year of college. You may qualify for some kind of scholarship, or you may need to take out a student loan and get a part-time job so you won't be dependent upon your mother to complete your education.
If you are mature enough to become engaged, you should be strong enough to level with your mother. She may not be as dumb as you think she is, but don't expect her to be thrilled to learn that she has been lied to. On a more positive note, you and your fiance will have finally cleared the air and asserted your independence as adults, and that's a step in the right direction.