DEAR ABBY: I come from a very close-knit family. We always tell each other we love each other after every meeting and phone call.
My life partner, "Jennifer," has become part of our family. We can't be married because we are lesbians.
Jennifer thought a lot of my dad until last week. I was at work, and my father came by the house. I had no idea that he would ever make a move on Jennifer. She told him four times to knock it off. Dad weighs more than 220 pounds and Jennifer weighs only 95. He continued to fondle her and try to kiss her. She was scared to death. As soon as she got the chance, she ran upstairs to be with our pre-teen daughter.
Abby, this weekend I couldn't even look at my father. I didn't hug him or tell him I loved him. I wanted to beat him to the ground. I talked to my sister about this. We agreed that we shouldn't tell Mom. They have been married 37 years, and she would grieve herself to death. I don't want to drag her into this, but I don't want anything to do with my father right now either. Dad says he "doesn't know what's wrong" with me and that he was "very hurt" after seeing me last weekend because I was so cold to him. Please advise me on what I should do. -- FURIOUS IN VIRGINIA
DEAR FURIOUS: I disagree with you and your sister. Your mother should be told immediately exactly what happened. Your father sexually assaulted your partner. Because an extreme change in behavior can be a sign of serious mental or physical illness, he needs to be scheduled for a complete physical and neurological evaluation.
Please do not postpone it. Your father has shown himself to be a danger to your partner, and possibly to your daughter as she begins to develop. I am sorry for your mother, but you can't protect her from this. For everyone's sake -- including your father's -- this must be dealt with now.