Dear Miss Emily:

I  apologize for the length before hand..I should start off by saying that my girlfriend and I are in a long distance relationship. We've been together for 10 months. I used to go with her best friend (I know that's wrong), but i took a chance and she said yes. We fell in love in about 3 months of our relationship. After she cheated on me everything went down hill. We got over it, but it was the first time we ever broke up --the first of 1000! Then, about 4 months later, i cheated on her --  broke up again, so to b honest we've been off and on for 10 months. We fight like we're married!  I'm only 16 she's about to be 15. She's been through so much -- rape, no dad, abusive brother, etc. I feel she doesn't appreciate me like I do her. She says she loves me, but she just picks fights for no reason. We don't talk like we used to, so i get mad, and I believe she's cheated on me a lot because whenever we've argued she would say "I've cheated on u 8 times -- then call me and say she was lying. I just wana know if we can work it out, or if it's a waste of time to try. Should i be with someone else? I need an answer, Emily, please! Being with her stresses me.

---------------------------------Miss Emily's advice-------------------------

You seem like a smart enough guy, but one who has a heart that wants something he simply cannot, and will not get from this girl. And my heart bleeds for her. She's had a rough go of things in her life --  and at such a young age. Very sad, indeed. But you know, you can't heal her despite you thinking that perhaps you can -- and her laying the burden at your feet. She's angry inside, and you're somewhat rebellious because of it. Sympathy only goes so far, but you neither have the tools, or understanding of what it will take to allow her to heal -- it comes from within, it's often a long road, and there is little you can do to push her into a better frame-of-mind. She probably doesn't realize, in certain ways, she's punishing you for what she has experienced -- but no matter, the outcome is still the same if she were aware of it. I think you need to man-up and do what's best for you, and that means being honest about your own life -- because life is short, my friend and, although you don't see it now, every choice you make leads you to the person you will have become at the end if it. Opt for success, and happiness. We don't always have that as a reassurance in our lives, but smart choices lead us to a better outcome. It's tough. I know. Matters of the heart often are. But if it's any consolation, you're not the only one with this problem. I get a lot of letters just like yours.