Hi Emily,
I'm 24 years old and a mother of a 3 year old.  My current boyfriend is 37. We have been together for 6 months, not long at all. We moved kinda fast at the beginning of the relationship.  We had a marriage license within 2 weeks. I found out he was using drugs, and I was supporting his habit.  I know, not good.  Within 2 months, I had given him over $600 dollars and I only receive welfare. He has also beat me up 4 times, although he hasn't done this in almost 3 months. I'm always afraid it will happen, again, We had a miscarriage a couple months ago. Things just seem to have fallen apart.  Sometimes I really feel like I'm going crazy and want to admit myself in a nut house -- not a joke. He has told me if I want to break up just say so, but I can't just walk away.  It's so hard. He still asks me to marry him, but we both know that we would never make it living together. He always says hes going to pay me back for all the money I gave him, I mean I can't even make car payments anymore since I gave him all that money. Every time he gives me money, even if its only $5, he ends up taking it back. I just don't know what to do anymore. I realize he gave up his cheating ways for me,  and I really do believe that -- but sometimes I feel love isn't enough to keep a relationship. I'm lost as to what to do. Please any advise is appreciated.

---------------Miss Emily's advice--------------

You know what you have to do, and that's get out of this relationship.  Any one of the things you mentioned is grounds, but beating you stands out as an obvious reason to sever all ties. You have a child, and your obligation is to your child -- not him.  The longer you stay in this relationship, the greater the chance you will give away all of your power and he will control your every move.  It's somewhat like a hostage situation, and you will find leaving him to be next to impossible the longer you stay.  It stuns me, in a way, that women your age are not aware of the signs of abuse, and what happens when women stay in these broken relationships.  Please do intensive research concerning abusive relationship on the Internet. Again, if this troubled relationship persists, and your child is emotionally damaged by it, you, solely, will be responsible.  It's possible that the Social Services Department will be informed, and your child can be taken from you and put in foster care.  Leave him NOW.  Your life may depend on it.