Dear Abby: My 17-year-old stepdaughter, “Amelia,” recently became sexually active. She’s in a “serious” relationship with the boy she had sex with. They have been together for six months, and from what she’s told me, they both gave each other their virginity and protection was used. She has not disclosed this to her parents.
My husband and Amelia are very close, but she and her mom recently had a falling-out. Amelia pledged me to secrecy, and I immediately scheduled her to see an OB/GYN to get her on birth control.
Should I tell my husband? I feel awful not telling him, but she has told me she doesn’t want either of her parents to know. I’m grateful she comes to me for things like this, but eventually, it’s going to come out when my husband sees the explanation of benefits from the insurance.
Amelia’s mom and I have a solid relationship, and my husband and her mom also have a good one. I don’t want to keep secrets regarding their daughter, but I don’t want to betray my stepdaughter either. – Struggling Stepmom
Dear Stepmom: It isn’t necessary to betray your stepdaughter’s confidence to get her the help she needs. Go online to plannedparenthood.org, locate the nearest Planned Parenthood clinic and share that information with Amelia. You should also encourage Amelia to discuss this with her parents.
Dear Abby: My wife and I have been married for decades, but 10 years ago she had, at the least, a texting affair with “Brad,” a longtime friend of her brother’s. Her brother, who knows about the affair, lives on land owned by their father. Brad is there often to go hunting. The affair was very upsetting to me, but my wife insisted we keep it quiet so her brother could continue his friendship with Brad.
Over the years, she has occasionally had online contact with Brad and even told him that she appreciated him talking with our son because our son has few friends. But now our son, who knows nothing about the affair or how bad it hurt me, has become friendly with Brad. Should we tell our son about the affair? – Still Hurt in Texas
Dear Still Hurt: Tempting as it may be to “out” your wife to your son, keep that information to yourself. I question the wisdom of Brad having been encouraged to cultivate a relationship with your son. Because you prefer not to hear what your son and Brad are doing, the next time it comes up, change the subject.