Emily:

I have been with my BF for about 14 mos.  I am 35, he is 41.  I have been married and divorced, and, he was in a 14 year relationship with a woman who had both his children. Problem? he never married her. He said she was disrespectful to him, and mean.  And that he would not marry anyone who harassed him about marriage. She left him 'cause he would not marry her. I, on the other hand. am looking for marriage and a serious commitment. I am a divorced mother and I will not just move in with someone.  I want to set a good moral example for my daughter.  I am afraid that I am wasting my time with this man. I love him, and he loves me! His family told me they have never seen him so happy, and that I am perfect for him. I do not want to waste time on a man who is a commitment phobe.  He knows marriage is important to me.  The word marriage came up 2 days ago, and he said it was too early to talk about it. What do I do?  Do I break up with him and find someone who wants the same things as I do, or do I ride it out and hope that I am not like the ex?

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

I don't think fourteen months is long enough to justify getting your petticoats in a twist over this issue -- not just yet, anyway.  I understand his past, he didn't want to marry the mother of his children and she moved on. But I think it's possible he didn't marry her for the reasons he told you. But you don't know for sure, and that's why I wouldn't label him a commitment phobic at this time. I say, wait until the end of the year. Don't surrender your principles, but leave talk of marriage out of your relationship, for now. The more you think about it, the bigger it's going to get and you're going to start feeling as if you are not worthy to marry. It will fester like an open wound, you'll show your frustration, and you'll push him away. You seem like a bright, capable woman. After a few more months in this relationship, you're going to know where he stands, for sure. Right now, continue to show him you are a strong, independent woman, and a person who is able to walk away with her head held high when she has decided she wants something that he cannot give.