Hi Miss Emily,

I feel compelled to start with what must have very familiar words to you--I can't believe I'm even asking this question.  I'm in my early 30s, with a graduate degree.  Aside from the typical bumps and bruises, I've had a pretty happy life:  Good family, good friends.  I've maintained friendships with many of the men I've dated in the past.  I guess I'm trying to establish the fact that I don't have a certain unhealthy pattern that I keep perpetuating in relationships...but, I guess, sometimes the person who has just that, isn't always the one who can most ably see it.  About two years ago, I met and fell and love with a man who seemed wonderful.  The only glitch was that he told me, on our first date, no less, that in the past he'd had trouble being faithful in relationships, but that he had worked out his problems and was a different person now.  It was a red flag, but I proceeded.  Our relationship became serious after a few months, at which point I found out that he was, if not cheating, at least perusing online for other women.  I was horrified and broke it off right away.  At the time, he conveyed that he was distressed that I had broken up with him, but that he understood, because he knew he wasn't the man that I deserved.  Despite what had transpired between us, this seemed relatively noble and self-aware of him, so I let him go and tried my best to move on.  We reconnected casually months later, and to be truthful I had never gotten over him.  I had learned from an acquaintance of his that during that time he had spent a few weeks in jail for propositioning a 15-year-old who turned out to be a police officer.  I was stunned by this news.  I Googled him and found something he had posted online about being sexually attracted to an 11-year-old.  I confronted him on both, when we reconnected, and he told me tearfully how screwed up he had been, that he's not that person anymore, how he's a new person, and how he's finally the man that I deserve.
We've spent close to one year together and it's been wonderful, but I'm terrified that my experience with mostly nice people in the past is leading me to be woefully naive here.  Is there any chance that a person can change after past indiscretions  like this?  To me, it seems that he's turned his life around a great deal, but I fear that I'm in it too deep to see this for what it is.  I'm deeply in love, but I don't want to waste my time if that's what I'm doing.  Thank you in advance.  Any advice you give is appreciated more than I can say.
Round Two

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

Dear Round Two:

There’s no way of knowing if he’s over his pedophile phase, and this is something I would not be qualified to judge.  Those urges are pretty strong and, in many cases, the predator becomes more secretive.  He did say to you, at your first go-round with him, that he once was a cheater “but I’m a different person now.”  Now he says, “I’m not that person, anymore, I’m a new person, and I’m finally the man you deserve.”  Notice a pattern here?  This man doesn’t seem to know how to have a healthy relationship, but as long as he’s convinced himself that he thinks he can, and you buy into it, all is good until the next time he weakens or is caught with his pants down, so to speak.  In California, where I live, if one gets caught soliciting, or having sex with a minor, he or she is registered as a sex offender and it then becomes difficult to find housing, as well, that person is legally "labeled" for a lifetime.  I’m not sure this is where he is headed, but he has been in jail for propositioning a fifteen year-old, and he seems to like them younger, too!  If he’s not getting psychological help, he should be and, I think, it’s just a matter of time before he slips up, again.  No relationship can thrive without trust, and you having to monitor his whereabouts, and his Internet trail are two major roadblocks.  I believe this man wants to change for the better but, in most cases like this, the urges are too great, and the possibility of failure is usually a sure bet.