DEAR ABBY: I am a 29-year-old woman, married with two sons, 7 and 8. My husband of nine years and I try to set a good example and teach them the difference between right and wrong.
My mother is dating a man who has been married for many years. Mom and this married man have been "dating" for about four years. He says he's miserable and still married only because a divorce would lose him half his assets. I know there will come a day when our boys find out that "Grandpa" is married to someone else.
My husband and I have taught our children that marriage is a faithful and truthful act that only two people who love each other very much should engage in. We have also taught them that marriage is forever -- until death do us part. How do I answer the questions I know are going to follow?
Please don't tell me to let Grandma tell them the story. Her take on the situation may warp our kids' sense of marriage. I refuse to lie to my sons, but I don't want them to look at Grandma as a horrible person, either. Any suggestions? -- DON'T KNOW WHAT TO SAY
DEAR DON'T KNOW: First of all, your sons should not be calling your mother's boyfriend "Grandpa," because he isn't their grandfather. And Grandma isn't a "horrible" person; she is someone who has allowed herself to become the "side dish" of a man who values his money more than he values her.
If asked, tell your sons that you do not approve, but that Grandma is a big girl -- and this is the decision she has made.