DEAR ABBY: My father is turning 60 this year, and I want to make him a photo album with pictures from throughout his life. However, Dad is widowed and remarried, so I'm having a hard time deciding what to do with respect to my mother. They were married 25 years before she died, and they loved each other very much. At the same time, I have a feeling that including pictures of Mom may upset my stepmother. What should I do?
— Laura in St. Louis
DEAR LAURA:I commend you for your sensitivity. If the photo album is intended to be a surprise for your father, consider talking with your stepmother about the idea. It will give you an indication of how such a gift would be perceived by her.
DEAR ABBY:Mom confided to me that she has been seeing a high-school flame behind my father's back. She claims she loves this man and said she has slept with him. She swore me to secrecy about her affair. Meanwhile, my father has started talking with me about their marital problems. He doesn't understand why Mother isn't happy. I feel like I should tell him, but that would betray my mother. What should I do?
— Caught in the Middle
DEAR CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE: Your parents should attempt to resolve their marital difficulties by communicating with each other — preferably with the help of a licensed marriage counselor. That your mother would turn you into a co-conspirator in her affair is despicable. Give her a deadline to level with your father or tell her that you will. n