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Dear Joe,

Hello, you can probably consider me as one of your religious listeners. Just by listening to you I have learned to be strong. I encounter a lot of problems every now and then, but I'm always capable of solving them. I have gained the respect of my friends who would always look up to me as a smart person who would never do wrong.

Honestly, Joe, I feel so down and lonely now. I have failed those who believed in me and I need guidance and help.

I'm Trish, 20 years old and in my last year college. This is all about Francis. I met him over the phone. He called me up just when I needed somebody to talk with. I don't know how he got my number. All I knew was that I liked talking with him. He speaks with sense and makes me laugh all the time.

The first conversation was followed by many more long hours on the phone. We haven't seen eachother yet but it seems like we've already known each other for so long. We finally decided to meet personally at my place; we went steady afterwards. Francis would spend most of his time attending to their family business in Bulacan but we would still find time to see eachother once in awhile.

Just as things were going along well between us, I found about something that shattered my being. Francis is already married and has a baby. That shocking revelation was told by his mom when I called him up one time and he was out... She told me her son got married against his will and his marriage was already on the brink of collapse. He stopped going to school and spent most of his time with his friends. He and his wife have incessant fights and the reason why he stays in Bulacan is not because of his family business but because he wanted to get away from his wife.

His mom told me to forget Francis before it's too late. She believes that having a third party would just make things worse and I should not be wasting my time with her son, who is very much commited to his wife and baby.

After that long painful conversation with his mom, I decided not to talk to Francis anymore. Although my mind was filled with so many questions I didn't want to ask Francis for any more explanation. I felt sorry for myself and for Francis.

Three weeks later, he went to our house . I wanted to confront him and accuse him of cheating me but I couldn't. All I did was pretend that I knew nothing about the real Francis.

I'm still going out with him, much to the dismay of my friends. I want to bring back the respect they used to have for me. I should let Francis go but the problem is, I don't want to!

I have learned to love him, and I know he needs me. I don't want to lose him. I don't want to leave him especially now that he's having troubles with his wife. I want to help him.

I want him to be with me always. But, everytime we're together, I can't help feeling guilty. I don't want to let go of Francis. The mere thought of losing him makes me crazy. But, there is no use in holding on because I know he'll never be mine. Francis belongs to his family and I know someday, he will soon be leaving me against my will.

I hope you can spare me some of your thoughts on this.



Dear Trish,

You are certainly playing a game of chance against time and risking all that you invested emotionally in someone who may be gone sooner than you think. I know how it feels. Even the most sensible people lose their good judgment during very trying times especially when love and emotion are inevitably dominant.

Now you know the frailties of Francis marriage and justify your involvement by making yourself and everyone believe that he needs you more then ever. But come to think of it, it is your personal interest that you are trying to fulfill rather that his own. You know very well that your presence complicates his problems with his wife and I think it would be better that you leave him to straighten out whatever differences they may have had.

Everyone deserves to be happy. Francis is searching for peace and happiness in his marriage and you blindly are fighting for the person you love. You have to accept that there are things that we cannot have simply because they are not meant for us. If you truly want to help Francis then help him find himself and his place in his family. If you take him away from them, then what you'll have are just borrowed moments of happiness which will also be taken paifully away from you.

Love can hold on to a hundred different meanings and sometimes love calls for denying ourselves of our own treasures so we can give them to others. Trish, you have to realize that this time, love means letting go. And when you do this unselfishly, your pain will be happiness for others and your emptiness will be their fulfillment. In the end, you'll also find happiness for life's difficulties. trials and pain are the conerstones with which beautiful and lasting things are built.

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