DEAR ABBY: I am 38 and was in a relationship for 12 years. We had three beautiful children together. "John" started cheating on me a few months after we began dating and wound up cheating on me 14 times throughout our relationship. He has been into the drug scene and served some time in prison for setting a church fire.
John and I never married, but I remained faithful to him. He has been in a federal prison for almost five years, but we communicate through letters and phone calls. I have no trust in this relationship anymore and get aggravated when I hear his voice. I want to move on, but something keeps holding me back. I feel I am running out of time. Can you help me figure out what to do with my life, Abby? -- KATIE IN WEST VIRGINIA
DEAR KATIE: Wake up and smell the coffee. The man to whom you have given your heart is a philandering, drug-using pyromaniac. He has no respect for the house of God and what it represents, and if he loved you and his children, he would have married you and shown some responsibility years ago.
Here is what to do with your life: Stop accepting his phone calls. If you haven't already done so, figure out how you are going to support yourself and the children.
Your future is ahead of you, so stop looking backward. There is no reason you cannot have a full life and a rewarding relationship with a man if you want it. But regardless of what he might say or promise, that man isn't John, so let him go. Concentrate on the present, and the future will take care of itself.