The Dallas Morning News

Drunk friend tells family secret


Dear Abby: My parents were separated for four years while I was in high school and college. It was an incredibly difficult time. I was told they had “grown apart” but got back together, although we never discuss the reason.

I was out with my sister’s friends last night, and one of them got drunk and told me the reason my parents split up was Dad had been seeing another woman and accidental­ly texted my sister instead of this other woman, and everyone in my family knew about it!

Dad and I barely saw each other or spoke about the separation, and we are finally in a good place. I’m hurt that he intentiona­lly did something that broke up my family.

My parents have never talked about their separation since they got back together. What should I do? Mixed-up Daughter

in Wisconsin Dear Daughter: When infidelity happens there is usually a reason, and those reasons can vary from couple to couple. It’s possible that your parents, who understand­ably don’t want to relive that painful chapter, were having problems before the affair began. What is important now is that your family is back together.

My advice is to allow them their privacy. However, if you feel you cannot do that, then tell them together what your sister’s friend told you.

Dear Abby: What is the rule of etiquette when it comes to unwanted children’s gifts? We live in a small apartment and sometimes get large-ticket items we don’t have room for. We’ve asked our family to keep the items small, but some of them ignore our request. A few times we’ve sold the items and put the money into our child’s bank account. But we aren’t sure that is the best way.

Also, what do we do when family sends our children stuff we don’t want them to have? Some may be inappropri­ate, broken or junk. My inlaws have little to no interactio­n with our kids, and this is the only way they’ve chosen to make their presence known. We are reluctant to discard the only attention our kids get from their grandparen­ts.

No More Gifts in California Dear No More Gifts: Because you have made your wishes known to the grandparen­ts and they are ignored, you and your children should thank them for their gifts — and you should continue repurposin­g items that are too large or unusable. Do not feel guilty for doing so because someone else may be better able to put them to use.

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