DEAR HARRIETTE: I called off my wedding with my fiance. I didn't tell anyone that he cheated on me for years because I want my family to still respect the father of my child. What I didn't expect was the backlash onto me. I was trying to help my daughter and myself but now my family thinks I've ruined my ex's life by calling off the wedding. I did what is best for my child and me, but I don't think my family will see this unless I tell them the truth. Is it wise to reveal this secret? -- All His Fault, Sag Harbor, New York
DEAR ALL HIS FAULT: The saying, "The truth will set you free," is real. Your family members have a false understanding of the downfall of your relationship. Since there is a child involved and your ex will remain in your life in some way, you should come clean with your family. Sit them down and talk. Explain that you had wanted to keep your personal business private, especially given its sensitive nature. But since they are of the false notion that you are somehow destroying his life, it's time for you to speak up. Without going into all of the details, acknowledge that your ex cheated on you repeatedly, that you stayed for whatever reasons you had at the time and that ultimately you had the strength to walk away. Tell them that you do not want your child to know this, as it would be unproductive and hurtful. Add that you do not want them to jump in and provide their commentary or input. Make it known that you are telling them only so that they would have some perspective and back off.