DEAR ABBY: My husband and I have a 19-month-old son and plan on trying for another baby soon. My husband's brother, who is sterile, called and asked my husband to donate sperm to him. I am very upset because my husband refuses to ask his brother to make any kind of compromises to protect our family and theirs, such as counseling to resolve any issues ahead of time.
Before we were serious about each other, my husband donated to his brother's first wife. His brother wanted to keep it a secret from everyone -- including the children -- but his wife told all of her friends.
What should I do? My husband is afraid he's going to lose his brother if he doesn't give him everything he wants, but the person he is really going to lose is me. -- CONFUSED IN THE SOUTH
DEAR CONFUSED: I hope you won't let your husband's generous impulses have a negative impact on your marriage. I agree that counseling could help to head off future problems that might crop up -- IF your husband and his brother would agree to it. But while you're at it, this should also be discussed with a lawyer just in case your brother-in-law's second marriage goes south, too.
As to keeping all of this a secret -- because wife No. 1 has made public the fact that the children aren't biologically his, the chances of the information being kept secret are slim to none.
DEAR ABBY: Since the lottery for the big jackpot was in the news, my co-workers and I have discussed the etiquette regarding sharing the winnings with whomever may have given you the ticket. For instance, if somebody has an uncle who gives lottery tickets as a gift on birthdays or holidays as opposed to a standard gift, and the recipient hits the winning numbers, is there a fixed percentage that's customary to give?
None of us is actually in this situation; it just became part of our discussion. Thanks for your input. -- OFFICE HOT TOPIC
DEAR HOT TOPIC: Once a gift is given, it belongs to the recipient. The recipient would be under no obligation to share the winnings with the person who gifted him or her with the ticket, nor should it be expected. However, if the gift giver does expect a percentage, then this should be worked out before the drawing.
DEAR ABBY: I'm 15 and I'm a lesbian. I've told my friends, but they don't accept me. They say they do, but when I talk about other girls, they say, "Don't talk about girls around us. We're not gay!" I don't know what to do. Please help. -- LGBT IN GEORGIA
DEAR LGBT: Your friends probably do accept you, but would prefer not to hear all the details you feel the need to share. It's time you find a youth group for gay teenagers. Go online, visit lgbtcenters.org and search for the nearest gay and lesbian community center in your area. If you do, you will see that the support you are looking for isn't hard to find. I wish you luck.
TO MY READERS: Today's the day for wearing something green! A very happy St. Patrick's Day to you all. -- LOVE, 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 www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.