DEAR ABBY: I am a 58-year-old woman who has just been dumped by my 55-year-old boyfriend for a younger woman. She is 18, and if that isn't bad enough -- she's my daughter. They are now living together.
For more than a year we functioned as a family. We had regular game nights and took a family vacation together. Because of their betrayal, I have lost my daughter, my boyfriend, the two people I thought were also my best friends, and my family all at the same time. I don't know anyone who has had this happen to them, but unfortunately there must be some out there.
How do I go on? How do I maintain a relationship with my daughter when she is living with my ex-boyfriend? How do I accept what has happened without approving of it? There is so much wrong with this I'm at a loss for rules or tools to handle it. -- IN CRUSHING PAIN IN OREGON
DEAR IN CRUSHING PAIN: There ARE no "rules." And it does occasionally happen -- most famously with Mia Farrow, her adopted daughter and her longtime boyfriend Woody Allen. I believe Ms. Farrow cut off all contact with both of them.
But enough about her. You are going to have to figure out what will work best for you. Your first step should be to seek spiritual support. Sometimes, with time, comes acceptance. But right now, it is crucial that you take care of yourself.