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Mon, April 22

Dear Abby | Drunk friend spills the beans on cause of parents’ separation

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

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. It wasn’t something that just happened because they drifted apart.

I don’t want to ask my sister and bring up painful memories for her. 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: I recently played both sides during a sticky and challenging time. Now I have a friend who is really upset with me, and I don’t know what to do. I thought I was doing the right thing, but in my effort to not hurt my friend, I have done more damage. I’m not sure this can be repaired. What should I do? – Messed Up in Minneapolis

Dear Messed Up: Apologize to your friend. And if the friendship cannot be repaired, learn from it.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

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