Keeping Secrets and Keeping Mom out of Trouble

By Cheryl Lavin

September 22, 2017 3 min read

Dear Cheryl: If you knew your best friend's husband was cheating on her, would you tell her? — I Hate Having a Secret

Dear IHHAS: If I had to give a one-word answer, that word would be no. There are circumstances under which I might change my mind, but as a general rule, I'd say no.

Readers, would you want your friend to tell you your spouse was cheating?

Dear Cheryl: You've printed stories about mothers who worry about their daughters' romantic choices, but what about daughters who worry about their mothers'?

My dad died a few years ago, and my mom, a senior citizen, started dating a man at least 10 years her junior. He says he's divorced and living alone in a small, rundown house. However, he spends several nights a week and all holidays at the home of his married daughter, which is in a much better neighborhood. The only catch is that his supposed ex-wife lives there, too. Isn't this odd?

On one occasion, Mom spent the weekend at his little house, and the ex-wife just showed up and stayed the weekend, too. They actually managed to convince her the more the merrier! She really seems to believe the only reason he spends so much time at his daughter's house is because he's such a devoted father.

I think he's playing her for a fool and his family members are taking advantage of her, getting whatever they can. For all I know, he and his "ex" are still married. She may have moved in with his daughter to live in a better house in a nicer neighborhood because she couldn't sell her own little rundown house.

Mom is slim and rather attractive, and I don't think she should allow herself to be treated this way. She actually dropped a decent boyfriend for this guy. Whenever I try to talk to her about it, she says this is all acceptable behavior under the "new rules" for senior dating. Is there any such thing? — Swinging Senior's Daughter

Dear SSD: There are a lot of new rules these days, but this isn't one of them.

How is your mother's health? Does she see a doctor regularly? Is it someone who's familiar with geriatric issues? Who handles her money? Do you know whether she's been giving this man any money?

What about her friends? Does she have any close ones? Have they met him? What do they think of the situation?

Something is so obviously wrong here that I think you have to intervene. If you have any siblings or she does, involve them, too. It may be time for an intervention.

Dear Cheryl: My boyfriend and I are having an argument. He says you're related to Linda Lavin. I say you're not. Who's right? — Friend of Alice

Dear Friend of Alice: Who's Linda Lavin?

Got a problem? Send it to [email protected] And check out my e-books, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front" and "I'll Call You. Not."

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