Dear Miss Emily:

 My husband and I have been together for13 years (married 4), ever since I was 14 and he was 13. I stuck by his side through thick and thin because he had a drug problem. Two years ago, I finally got fed up and put him out. Well, when I put him out, I guess he came to his senses because he got clean, and has been clean for two years now.  But since then he has messed with somebody else, and they had a baby together 2 months ago. For the last 6 months I've been wanting him back and, he's says, he's been wanting the same.  Now he has this other child, and the girl is nothing but drama.  I don’t know if I’m really ready to deal with that.  At the same time, I want my husband back.  Just the other day he tells me that he is confused..  He feels obligated  to her because of the baby, but he loves me. So he tells me, the same day, that he’s not going to be with anybody because he needs to figure out what he really wants to do.  He wants me to be his friend, but. I don’t think that I can handle that because I’m deeply in love with my husband.  How should I respond to that?

--------------------Miss Emily’s advice-------------------

Dear Shattered:

I know that you’re probably not going to believe this, but it’s better to maintain a friendship, now, rather than trying to resume this marriage.  The way I look at it, he’s smart not to make a commitment to you, only to find out later that he made a mistake and feels he needs to make it work with his child’s mother; a common conclusion, because her position holds a lot of sway.  Let him have his space and see where it goes from there.  You don’t have to hang out on a daily basis – just try to rebuild a relationship based on sound reasoning rather than a knee-jerk reaction to this dilemma. For better or worse, he’s got a child now, and he’s obligated to that child.  The mother will, at least, want his help and financial support.  You already said you didn’t think you were ready for the drama she brings to this, and I don’t blame you.  I can see it now – late night calls to help with the baby, and your husband frantically trying to balance two women and a child in his life.  Not pretty!  Be patient, and this whole thing will get resolved.  If he chooses to end the marriage,  you probably dodged a bullet.  On the other hand, if he decides to come back to you, make sure he has all his ducks in a row – a workable relationship with the mother of his child (and that means you too, if possible), child support, and regular visitation.  If he’s not capable of balancing these responsibilities, the pressure could push him back on drugs to avoid it.  For your own sake, don’t walk into that nightmare, again.