DEAR ABBY: After a six-year relationship with my boyfriend, “Rudy,” I have learned that he’s been shacking- up with another woman. I am devastated.

I was sometimes suspicious about Rudy’s living situation. He told me he was renting a room from his longtime friend, “Lorna,” but I was never invited in. Rudy’s explanation was that since it wasn’t his home, he didn’t feel comfortable having company.

You guessed it, Abby. Lorna, the “longtime friend,” turned out to be my Rudy’s lover. The way I found out was humiliating. Last Sunday, I dropped by to visit him because he had told me on the phone the night before that he had stomach flu. When I rang the doorbell, an older man opened the door and identified himself as Lorna’s father.

When I asked if I could come in and see Rudy, the old man told me that Lorna and Rudy were away on a Caribbean cruise. My jaw dropped. When I introduced myself as Rudy’s girlfriend, and my 15-month-old as Rudy’s child, HIS jaw dropped.

How could the man I love, the father of our precious baby, have pulled off this double life? I’m hurt and angry, but I know I must pull myself together for my daughter. How will I control myself when that two-timer has the nerve to show his face at my door? Can you give me some advice? – TWO-TIMED IN BOSTON

Your boyfriend is an accomplished user. He has taken advantage of you and Lorna, too – so please don’t think you are alone in your situation. What you say to him when he shows up is up to you. Fortunately, you have some time to prepare your speech. I’m sure it will be a dilly.

Before you do, however, it is imperative that you consult a lawyer and establish child custody rights and a support payment schedule for the benefit of your little girl. Let’s hope that Rudy is willing to be a more responsible father than he has been a boyfriend.

DEAR ABBY: I look at myself and wonder how I got here. I am almost 23 and feel like a blank slate. When I was in high school, I had a 3.8 GPA. I had drive and purpose and knew exactly where I was headed.

Now I am tired all the time. College has taken a toll on me. I am overweight, a “C” student, and completely burned out. I’ve held a couple of part-time jobs, but nothing that excites me. I am at a crossroads. I have no idea where to go from here.

I have a few acquaintances, but no close friends. Boredom and loneliness fill my days. What do I do? Start over and try to fix things? I don’t know whether to take time off from college or continue to grin and bear it. Maybe I should just lie down and die.

All I know is I’m tired of feeling like I have nothing to offer anyone. I am not happy with the road I’ve chosen, but don’t know what other avenue to take. Abby, what can I do to feel alive again? – CO-ED IN CENTRAL CALIFORNIA

You are exhibiting signs of depression. Go to the student health center and tell them exactly how you are feeling. Once you are treated – medically and/or psychologically – find out if your school offers career counseling. It will help you to understand where your strongest attributes lie and what your alternatives are.

You are clearly bright and success-oriented. Many people have more than one career in a lifetime. Select something you enjoy – something that stimulates your creativity and makes you feel good about yourself. I guarantee you’ll discover you have much to contribute – and much to live for. Let me hear from you in three months. I care.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Write Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

To receive a collection of Abby’s most memorable – and most frequently requested – poems and essays, send a business-sized, self-addressed envelope, plus check or money order for $5 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby – Keepers Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447.

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