DEAR ABBY: My mom turned 60 last month, and I hosted a party at her house for friends and family. As things were winding down, I took a break from cleaning up to look over the birthday cards from well-wishers that were displayed on a living room table. Among them was a big, gorgeous card from "Cassie," a woman around my mother's age, who I always thought was nothing more than an acquaintance.
As I read the message she had written inside, my jaw dropped. While not pornographic, her message made clear that she and Mom have an intimate physical relationship that has been going on for a while.
I have not discussed the card with Mom, but I suspect she knows I saw it. Lately, I have canceled our weekly lunches together. I don't have anything against gays; I believe they are entitled to a love life just like the rest of us. But in this case, I can't help but feel betrayed. Mom was married to Dad for 32 years, bore him three children and seemed happy. Was this all a lie?
My biggest concern is, if this relationship becomes permanent, how do I explain it to my children -- or worse, my brothers, whose views are conservative and some might say bigoted. I can't help but wonder if Mom left the card out so she could open a can of worms in my lap. How should I approach this? Please help! -- DUMBFOUNDED DAUGHTER
DEAR DAUGHTER: Some people are bisexual, which means they can be attracted to people of both genders. Your mother may have had a very happy marriage, and then she met Cassie. If she is no longer with your father, it is not a "betrayal" of anyone.
Call your mother and arrange to get together. Tell her you saw the card. She may not have told you about her relationship with Cassie because she was afraid you would react as you have. IF they become a couple and your children ask questions (keep in mind, they may not ask), tell them the truth. As to making any announcements to your bigoted brothers, leave that up to your mother and resist the urge to be the town crier.