Dear Miss Emily:

I am with my guy for seven years.  We have two children together.  We were living in different countries for most of our relationship, but we spend half of every year together.  I decided I could not continue to live apart from him after our second child was born, so I decided to move to his country.  He promise we would get married, but after we went and get the marriage certificate he suddenly got cold feet and did not marry me before the certificate expired.  I am really upset and feel really bad about the whole situation after seven years and two kids.  What could make him not want to marry me?  He said that  the fact that I was married before, and it didn’t work, he is afraid.  But I think he is seeing someone else, especially since he planned to go on vacation to the same country that I came from without me.  When he used to visit me back home, he usually went to his family vacation home, sometime three times for the month, but never offered to carry me or the kids along.  He has even stopped sleeping except for maybe once every two months.  Do you think I should move on?  I met this guy that I really like, but I don’t want to start something if my relationship can be saved.  What’s your opinion?
Used Goods

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

Dear Used:

This man is calling all of the shots and it’s degrading to you and your children.  If it’s easy for him to leave you behind on trips that are not related to business, then I think you know all you need to know.  He is not interested in marriage or commitment.  As long as you go along with this arrangement, you are being used and he will continue to take advantage until you put a stop to it.  These are things you must consider, however.  If you decide to leave him, and you are still in his country, he could want the children to stay with him if you ever decide to return to your country.  In other words, make sure this is a place where you want to stay put. If you think, for any reason, this may be a problem, you should consider moving back to your country before things get ugly.  You could take your children for a visit back home, and then decide what you should do based on legal counsel  As far as this other man is concerned,  it would be best to get your life in order before getting involved with him.  No matter how justified you think you are in leaving this man and taking up with someone else, the father of your children may see it differently.  Sure it’s a double-standard, but many women have found themselves losing the battle no matter how righteous their cause may be. A final word of advice:  Keep your mouth shut.  Decide what you have to do and follow through without prematurely broadcasting it to family and friends.  Trust is often broken when others use their own moral compass to pass judgment.  You would not want this man to get the heads-up on your future plans until you are ready to reveal them.  Good luck.