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Annie Lane: To continue relationship?

Dear Annie: I met a man about four years ago. We started dating a week after we met, upon his insistence. Well, after we were together a year, I found out that he was messaging with a girl online and had been for several months. She didn’t want him. Then, a month after that, I heard he cheated on me with someone from work who was in her early 20s, the same age as his daughter. I confronted him, but he refused to admit he was guilty. However, I’ve caught him exchanging sexual messages with a couple of other girls online since then. He says he’s never actually hooked up with them in person.

I guess my question for you is, is it worth trying to keep this man in my life? I love him, and he says he loves me, but part of me is no longer in love with him. If I’m being honest, I’ve felt this way ever since I heard of his cheating with that young woman. What do you think, Annie: Should I set him on the curb on trash day? My heart is telling me to stay, but my mind is wanting me to tell him to get lost.

— Confused Girlfriend

Dear Confused: Listen to your mind on this one. Not only did he cheat on you more than once (the racy messages count as cheating), but he’s also shown no interest in truly making it right by you. Life is short, and your time is too precious to squander on someone who doesn’t value it. While at first it might feel hard to live without him, eventually, you’ll look back and wonder how you lived with him for as long as you did.

• • •

Dear Annie: I’m a senior in high school, and I’m struggling with finances right now. I plan on going to community college, but even so, I would still have to pay $2,000 out of pocket because for some reason, they are having trouble viewing my Free Application for Federal Student Aid form.

I’m very overwhelmed, and I don’t even know what to do now. If I stop school for a year to work and save up money, it will be very difficult for me to readjust to a student’s lifestyle. If I don’t, I’ll have to take a loan out, and I don’t even know if I’ll be able to afford to pay it back. I have five kids to help care for (my little siblings). Is there some sort of solution to this? I know that when I’m stressed and overwhelmed it’s very hard for me to see obvious answers to my problems, and I tend to overthink. I just need some guidance and advice and a bit of a walk-through. My entire family is depending on me to pull through educationally. So, I really need a stable, decent-paying job that can support a family.

I’d really appreciate any help you can offer.

— Embarrassed and Overwhelmed

Dear Embarrassed: Far from being embarrassed, you should be proud. You’re investing in your education and beginning a new chapter of your life while also helping to take care of your family. Don’t be dissuaded from starting school just because you’re feeling overwhelmed by applying for student loans. Navigating the student loan system can be a challenge, even for people who have done it before. It’s natural that you’d need some guidance in the process. Fortunately, the Federal Student Aid Information Center exists for just such a purpose. Reach out to their hotline at 800-433-3243 for expert assistance. Kudos, and best wishes to you.

Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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