Dear Annie: I am a man in my late 50s. Until recently, I was in a long-distance relationship with a woman — let’s call her “Maria” — who lives about a thousand miles away from me. Last month, out of the blue, she accused me of cheating on her with her cousin, who lives about 45 minutes away from me. This is 100% not true. I met the cousin only once, when Maria was in town for a visit last year. I have not seen or communicated with her cousin since!

Because of these accusations and Maria’s insistence that she is right, sadly, we have split. I love Maria, and I have always told her that and showed her in every way I could. We haven’t talked in weeks, since our conversations kept ending in arguments. She says she has “proof,” which she has yet to show. She absolutely cannot have proof, because it didn’t happen! But how do I prove that something did not happen? Maria and I talked or texted every night, and I told her to call me or video chat me anytime to show I was alone at night. In past relationships, Maria has had trust issues and cheating partners, so I’m thinking that might be where this is coming from. Is there any hope?

— Wrongfully Accused

Dear Wrongfully Accused: I see two possibilities here. Option A: Maria was looking for an excuse to end the relationship, so she invented one. Option B: She truly believes that you cheated on her, despite your giving her no reason to believe such a thing. Either way, my advice is to let her go. A loving partner doesn’t make baseless, hurtful accusations.

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