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by Abigail Van Buren

As Girlfriend Becomes More Distant, Woman Feels Despair

DEAR ABBY: My girlfriend and I have lived together off and on for three years. We met at a lesbian bar in Los Angeles, and it was love at first sight for me.

I suspect she has been seeing another woman. She has changed her dress style and even her cologne. When I confront her, begging her to tell me if she's been cheating, she laughs it off. We don't communicate well anymore, and she's sleeping in another room now.

I have cared for her for so long. We were going to be married. Now I feel she doesn't love me anymore. I have tried following her, but she disappears and sometimes doesn't come home for days. I haven't slept or eaten in weeks.

I love her so much. If she doesn't come back to me, I've had thoughts of suicide. I can't afford a shrink. I hope you can help. -- FREAKED OUT & CLUELESS IN CALIFORNIA

DEAR FREAKED OUT: What's happening is painful, but you don't need a "shrink" to help you figure this out. People who love each other -- or even care about each other's feelings -- do not treat each other the way you are being treated. That your girlfriend has been seeing someone else is entirely possible. And whether she laughs it off or not, it isn't funny.

I know it's hard, but someone who acts the way she has isn't worth killing yourself over. It may be scary, but it's time for the two of you to separate. If you need emotional support, have friends with you when you tell her. And if you need more support than they can give, contact the nearest gay and lesbian center for counseling because they <,em>will be able to help you. Trust me, you'll be glad you did.

Read more in: Love & Dating | Mental Health