DEAR ABBY: We recently found out that my 19 year old daughter is pregnant. He’s her first boyfriend, and she’s absolutely in love with him. He asked her to marry him, and we’re excited and happy for her, but there’s one thing we struggle with: I’m pretty sure he’s cheating on her.

They live with us, so I can see the signs — he says he works late, and several times even told him he has to work all night. He’s always on his phone and he never lets her see him. He keeps it quiet and face down. When he receives a text message (which happens often), he immediately says he has to go to the bathroom. Then he stays there for about half an hour.

I tried to talk to her about what I see, but she gets mad at me. She says she trusts him and insists he would never cheat on her. It’s painful to see this happen to him, and I don’t know how to handle it. Should I keep talking about it or let her figure it out on her own?


DEAR SAIT: You have already mentioned it. Your daughter shouldn’t rush into marriage just because she’s pregnant, if that’s her intention. Because her boyfriend lives with you, he’s probably not mature or financially stable enough to be married to anyone. (What do his parents think?)

I was tempted to advise you to hire a private detective to find out if the young man is really working late or all night, but I’m not sure you need to go to that expense. The truth will eventually come to light. In the meantime, provide your daughter with plenty of emotional support as she will

DEAR ABBY: I married my high school sweetheart in 1967. In 1979, after 12 years of marriage, we refinanced our mortgage so we could add a bedroom. During the credit check, I was told that my wife had borrowed $14,000 and opened a secret mailbox in another city to hide it from me.

The problem was, and still is, she refused for 52 years to tell me what it was for. Needless to say, my confidence in her was shaken. She had no problem with alcohol, gambling or drugs. I had to ask her a thousand times why she needed that money, and still no answer. Our marriage fell apart, I had an affair and we broke up.

In 1990 we got back together, but it wasn’t the same. The children were grown, so four years later we divorced. I’m 75 now, remarried 20 years ago, and I still don’t understand why she couldn’t tell me the truth to save our marriage. (Abortion keeps popping into my head.) Not a day goes by that it doesn’t pop into my head, even all these years later. My children are separated because all they know is that I had an affair. I guess I’ll ask myself that question until the day I die. Tips?


DEAR STILL: Why your ex-wife needed that money is anyone’s guess. She may have used it to bail out a friend who was in trouble. She could also have paid a blackmailer. The possibilities are so varied that guessing his motive could be a board game.

Since you asked, my advice is to finally let the past stay in the past and stop upsetting yourself about something you’ll never get a straight answer for. There are few more effective ways to diminish the joys of the present than to do what you do.

About Dear Abby

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 or PO Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.