Dear Amy:

I am in the military in Iraq and was recently on leave to visit my family and fiancee in Los Angeles.

The night before I left to go back to war, a close friend told me that my fiancee has been cheating on me with someone I have met but don't know that well. She was even seen at a local motel with this cheating lover, who also has a girlfriend.

I will get another leave in a few months.

Should I confront my fiancee about this subject then, or should I call her by phone the next chance I get? I have been loyal to her all this time.

If what I have been told is true, then what would you recommend?

Fighting For My Country

You have no way of knowing whether this rumor about your fiancee is true, so my first recommendation is that you should question the motives of a person who would tell you this on the eve of your departure. Even if it does happen to be true -- what good could it possibly do for you to hear about this now?

At this point, you need to concentrate on doing your job and on keeping yourself and your comrades safe. If you choose to confront your fiancee, this issue is probably best handled by mail or e-mail -- and not on a scratchy cell phone or international phone call.

You should write a thoughtfully worded e-mail or letter to send to your fiancee. Give her a chance to admit or deny this story, and then you need to decide what you will do.

If what you have been told is true, then you should suspend your engagement until you can return to the States and make some real decisions. It is possible to recover from infidelity. Some relationships can even be made stronger by the lessons learned when couples face this together, but it's very hard to do that unless the two of you are in the same place.

For additional guidance, I hope that you will seek the counsel of your military chaplain.

Dear Amy:

Here's another testimonial about community colleges.

I had been bored silly in high school, had graduated by the skin of my teeth and joined the Navy. After eight years, I was honorably discharged. Unhappy at the different jobs that I tried, I was skeptical when my wife and my best friend tried to persuade me to take a few college courses at Southwestern College, a community college in Chula Vista, Calif. I loved it! The instructors were amazing and dedicated to our learning.

If the instructors at Southwestern College had not encouraged, challenged and inspired me, I doubt I would have had the drive to achieve my law degree (with honors). After working for the U.S. Department of Justice and in private practice, I accepted an appointment to the federal administrative bench. A few years later, I was selected as the chief judge of the national fair housing hearing system.

Community colleges are excellent places to start a post-secondary education.

Arthur A. Liberty, chief judge,

Dept. of Housing and Urban Development

Thank you so much for adding to the voices extolling the virtues of community college. I hope that interested readers will inquire about the educational opportunities available at their local two-year college. It might not be too late to register for classes for this fall.

Dear Amy:

Do you think that the parents or the grandparents should decide what name the child calls the grandparents? I think that the grandparents should make that decision.

Happy Grandma

I agree with you that the grandparents should decide what they would most like to be called, unless the choice of nickname is truly objectionable -- and, of course, I can't imagine a "Happy Grandma" coming up with an objectionable nickname.Write to Amy Dickinson at or Ask Amy, Chicago Tribune, TT500, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago, Ill. 60611.

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