Dear Miss Emily:

Hi. I have a question in what to do in my relationship situation.  I tried talking to friends but they aren't really sure what to do either. I have been working in government for 4 years. I am underpaid and struggle to make a living. I lived with my ex for two years of those 4 with this job. We had our ups and downs. We got in a couple verbal arguments which I ended up moving out. I would tell him that I was leaving and he would escalate the situation and even get police involved, so I got my stuff out right away.  After the second time of moving back in and working on the relationship, I ended up leaving again and getting my own apartment. Things have been tough. My ex and I didn't really do much the two years we dated, and I decided a couple months ago to call it quits for good. In the mean time, I started dating a man I had been friends with for a while, that works in the same building as I. We see each other on a daily basis, we get along well, and we have even been intimate. After a month of seeing him, my ex decided to come back in the picture and wouldn't leave me alone. He would show up at my house, call me, etc. I told him I was happy and that he needed to move on, as well.  He told me that he was ready to step up and be the guy I am looking for, as in taking me places showing me he cares and helping me with my bills. I still love him, but not sure I am in love with him. I feel great about the man who works in my building that I have been seeing.  I know we are just dating, but he says we are on the road to a long-term relationship.  In the meantime, due to the economy, I may be getting laid off soon. I am nervous because, without a job, I could lose everything I have. My ex is aware of that and has offered to take me back in, take care of my bills, and give me time to look for better work; which my job has put a toll on the relationship in the past. So my question is: What should I do? Go back to my ex or stay with the new guy? My ex seems promising because I will get out of a bad work situation, and I will be able to be taken care of.  The new guy, well, it's kind of a gamble but I am happy. If I do go back to my ex, how to I break it off with the new guy?

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

Your ex offers no more than a bunch of false promises, the way I look at it.  Famous last words "'Ive changed. Now I'll be the person I couldn't be (but had every opportunity to be) for you just a few months ago." You see him as a safety net based on your financial insecurity and, therefore, denial is your new best friend.  Doesn't it bother you that he's seeking you out in such an aggressive manner now that you are with someone else?  Do you think it's possible that his ego simply can't take it, and his loss of control is at the root of his new found obsession with getting back with you?  I would find a roommate before I sold myself down the river on some false hope that this man will suddenly become your Knight In Shining Armor.  Desperate situations make people do desperate things, but do you really want to go another round with this guy? If you were to get back into this, isn't it possible that you would be ending up giving him all of your power and he would have complete control of your life -- that it could escalate into physical abuse? These are questions you need to answer.  If it didn't work out for you, you could end up thinking that job and material loss was enviable over losing your freedom to an emotionally damaged relationship.  Stay with your new guy, and figure out a new plan -- one that doesn't set you up like a sacrificial lamb who willingly went to slaughter.