DEAR ABBY: My boyfriend and I are in our 40s and have been living together for several years. The house we live in is in his name only, and he pays the mortgage.

I own a townhouse I bought before I met him, and I make the payments on it. People often ask us why I don't sell it. I usually give some excuse, but the real reason is, when he drafted his will, he left everything to his mother - at her insistence.

He seems to think it's too much trouble and expense to change his will to include me. I want to be sure I have a place to live, so I have kept my townhouse.

Needless to say, our views on this situation differ. What's your opinion?

- Hedging My Bets in Texas

DEAR HEDGING: I think you are behaving rationally, because it should be quite clear that your boyfriend wants his assets to go to his mother - not you - in the event of his death. I hope you have your townhouse rented and are saving the income, because you may need the money later. That way, if your boyfriend suddenly keels over or the romance sours, you won't be left with nothing but memories.

DEAR ABBY: My niece confided in me that she and her fiance eloped. Her parents are planning her wedding for next month. I tried to advise her to tell her parents, but she still hasn't. She's living at home and her "fiance" lives in a different city.

I don't pretend to understand why they felt like doing this. Should I just sit back while she continues to lie to her parents while they plan on her getting "married" in a month? I'm at a loss.

I wanted to give her a chance to come clean, but because she hasn't, do I intervene? Do I threaten that if she doesn't fess up, I'll spill the beans? Or should I just let her keep heading down the road she's on?

- Anxious Aunt

DEAR ANXIOUS: What do you think you will accomplish by breaking your niece's confidence? If you divulge what she told you, she will never trust you again. I'll give you my advice in four words: Keep your mouth shut.