DEAR HARRIETTE: A couple of years ago, I found out my husband was cheating on me, and I divorced him. My three kids had harbored resentment against me for "ruining" the family, so I made their father sit down with them and tell them what he did to ruin our marriage. Now, he has moved in with his mistress, and they have a baby. My teenage children adore this child and constantly show me pictures of her. I don't want to be reminded of my ex-husband's new life, yet I do not want to seem petty or jealous by refusing to look at the pictures. What should I do? -- Baby Blues, Cincinnati
DEAR BABY BLUES: Your children are working to make the best of an impossible situation -- for you, anyway. Adoring a newborn is natural. Indeed, that child should not suffer because of the demise of your marriage, even though it is the fruit of your husband's infidelity. Since your children are teenagers, they are old enough to understand a bit about complex emotions. You can say to them that you are happy that the baby is healthy and that they are enjoying the baby so much. Add that it is difficult for you to be so joyous. Encourage them to continue to bond with their father and his new family. When they offer to show you the photos, tell them you will look at them later. Instead of making a fuss about not viewing them, just push it off until later.
Eventually, you will have to make peace with the reality of this child and your family status. You divorced your husband. He is free to do whatever he wants. Yes, it hurts. But you must find a way to accept life as it is now -- for your own sake as well as for your children.