DEAR HARRIETTE: I just found out that my best friend's parents are getting a divorce. Our parents have been friends for years, and they are like a second family to me. Her dad cheated on her mom, and her mom has turned the kids against the dad. When my friend tries to talk to me about this situation, I feel very uncomfortable because I think that it is wrong that she does not communicate with her dad. She asks me for advice, but I don't want to go against what she believes is right. I know she is very upset about this situation, and I really don't know what to say to her when she brings up the divorce. Should I try to avoid this subject completely or try and comfort her without giving my opinion? -- Uncomfortable, Miami
DEAR UNCOMFORTABLE: You are doing the right thing by not taking sides. There is no winning in this situation if you become too vocal about your opinions. Do your best to simply be there for your friend. Remind her that you love her and want to support her through everything. Suggest that she see a counselor to get professional support as she goes through this incredibly difficult period.
If she asks you to take sides or agree with something that makes you uncomfortable, tell her no. It is OK for you to say that you refuse to speak badly about either of her parents. If she gets too riled up about the divorce when she is talking to you, you can protect yourself by saying that you need to step back a little. Tell her you want to support her, but that you cannot get involved in her parents' business.