Dear Miss Emily:

My boyfriend and I are having serious problems.  We have been living together for a year now.  We were high school sweethearts that broke up years ago, married other people and had families.  After both of us getting divorces, we ran into each other again and started dating.  He was sent to prison for two years in which I was completely faithful, went to visit every Sunday, and talked on the phone every night.  Now after him being home for a year we have had our shares of ups and downs trying to adjust.  We recently got into an argument and I went to stay with my mother for a few days.  Now, tonight, he tells me he needs to do some soul searching.  I am so distraught.  What should I do?

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

Prison changes people. That's not to say you wouldn't have had problems if he hadn't gone to prison, but it could be a factor in why things have gone south, so fast. I would give him that soul-searching time he needs on a silver platter. You've already had one divorce, and to be in another relationship that ends that way would be emotionally debilitating; far beyond what you are experiencing now. I don't know the age of your children, but they deserve a mother who can solve this problem without breaking into a million pieces. You were faithful to him while he was gone, you did all the right things, but that doesn't guarantee a continued happy life with a man whom you once had as a high school sweetheart. Circumstances change -- people can change. It's painful. Your best strategy is to let this take it's natural course, and give him a wide birth. No matter how this turns out, you will be glad you gave him this time to sort out his life -- free of any drama or constant interference.