Dear Emily,

I have been in a relationship with this guy for about a year.  When I met him I knew he has three children with his ex of six years and I continued to date him.  He says the reason it didn't work out with them was because she got all corrupted and ran away with the kids while he was in prison.When he got out and found her, she was with someone else and was telling him they didn't need him anymore. It has been over two years they have been apart, but even while me and him were together she tried to work things out with him.  Recently, there has been none of that going on and he even gave up full custody of the kids.  He says the kids don't even know him and that he wants nothing to do with them.  He also told me that she would tell him "the kids have a new daddy" and blames her for being so ruthless. So as a result, he tells me they supposedly don't want anything to do with each other but it all seems so sketchy to me.  Don't ask me why I fell for him, because I don't know.  But when I tried to leave him, he wouldn't let me go, so we got back together. Now he wants to do all kinds of things for me.  He is trying to be a real boyfriend, but I just can't stop thinking about her and what really went down.  Everyone tells me I should leave him, but he really seems to want to be with me, as do I.  Please help me, I don't know what to think about all of this.

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

I am a believer that people can better themselves, and maybe he is trying to be a responsible, caring man -- to you -- but to abandon his children, to allow this woman to call the shots, and for him to, essentially, give up on any rights to his kids (or keep in touch with them) does not speak well of him. I know, men do it all the time. It's been going on since day one.  But what happened in his former relationship can also happen to you. If he gives up so easily, and turns the page without including his kids in the next chapter, I don't know if you can count on this being the relationship of a lifetime for you. Who knows what the future holds on that score, but I'd keep my ears and eyes open for future trouble. I'd also keep my ring finger out of commission until I was as sure as I could be he's a stable partner. Hope is not a plan. He may want to be something different for you, but could end up falling short. If you do decide to leave him, eventually, do it with strength and conviction and never, ever, again, use the excuse that he just wouldn't let you go. I know you care a great deal for him, but that kind of thinking can get you in a heap of trouble.