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(NNPA)—Dear Gwendolyn:

I have been going with a man for 16 years. We have been engaged for the past two years this month. We have no children.

This is my problem: He recently told me that my cousin’s 10-year-old son is his. I cried and insisted on a DNA test. Guess what? It’s true. He told me that he has been going with my cousin for the past 11 years, all the time he was involved with me. Oh by the way, we have lived together for the past 15 years. Yes, it took 14 years for him to propose marriage. I have been happy with him. I have worked the entire time in a high paying career. Because of the recent discovery should I give him up?—Doris


Dear Doris:

Let me tell you this: Time moves rapidly and does not stand still for anyone. I want you to search the laws for your state regarding “common law” marriage. However, if your fiancé has nothing then sorry lady, you will get nothing.

I congratulate you for having a good career. At least you have not been a kept woman. If you leave him, you can financially survive and believe me, you do need to leave him. Do not focus on the years gone by. Focus now on going forward with your life finding happiness within yourself. I know to understand your cousin’s affair with your man is hurtful. But maybe she and your fiancé are compatible–you know…having a lack of principles. Not only will you need to part from your fiancé, but also put distance between you and your cousin. Sometimes with family you have to step back, go around, go under, or go over the bridge of unfaithfulness and wrongdoings.

Doris, let me tell you something else: You asked if you should give him up. Think about it. It seems you never had him—to begin with.

(Got a problem? Don’t solve it alone. Write to Gwendolyn Baines at: P.O. Box 10066, Raleigh, N.C. 27605-0066 (To receive a reply, send a self-addressed stamped envelope). or e-mail her at: gwenbaines@hotmail.com and visit her website at: http://www.gwen­baines.com.)

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