Dear Miss Emily:

I broke up with my girlfriend about 6 months ago. I'm 29, and she is 30 with a 9 yr old daughter.  I love them both very much.  Our (her) reason for our break up is that she does not want any more children.  I have been indifferent about the subject and have only recently been thinking about it.  Everything about this girl, her daughter and our situation is absolutely perfect.  She feels guilty that if we were together that she would be the reason that I will not have any kids.  I  just know that children are not that important to me, but family is!  Since our break up, the family unit that we have created has been destroyed.  I do not need children to be happy.  She feels that because we live in a small town, with few options for partners, that I am only out for her because I'm lonely.  This is not true. I am absolutely in love with her and her child, and I know that I would be completely happy living a life with them.  She tells me that she cannot escape the guilt.  I tell her that I do not want or need children.  So we are at a standstill.  I would like to know if there is any way that I could prove to her that I feel like she is the greatest person in the world, and a life with her would not be lacking anything.  The way I see it, I have a child.  She is not my biological, but I treat her no differently than I would if she were my own.  I'm a wreck, and I know they are both sad without me.  Every one of our lives will be better if we were together and I cannot understand why my girlfriend does not see that.  Help!
In Limbo

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

Dear In Limbo:

It’s a shame your ex does not trust you.  If she’s as wonderful as you say, I can only assume that she comes from a past world-of-hurt and fears abandonment down the road.  I find this troubling because, if what she is saying is truly the reason for the breakup, having any future relationships is limited to a small pool of men who have had vasectomies, or old enough to be her father.  I think you have to tell her you accept her decision, because you are tired of trying to prove yourself and feeling as if  you have to plead your case. I think it's insulting to you to be told that you are lonely and that’s why you pursue her.  She might be sorry that one day she let you go, but I see no reason to hang in there hoping that she will, eventually, see the light.  You might be a small town boy, but you deserve better than a woman who is either too insecure, or self-sacrificing, that she can’t embrace a good relationship when she sees one.  My final thought:  Have you ever entertained the idea that she prefers being alone with her daughter, doesn’t like the idea of commitment and is just too weak to be honest about it?  It's often said that nice people rarely tell the truth.