Hi Miss Emily:

 I am a 25 year old female that has been dating a guy for a year and a half.  First, let me say he is 31 years old, never been married, and has five kids by three different women. He actually still lives with his most recent baby's mother who has three kids by him. He pays all the bills (she does not work).  He says that this does not mean that they are together but this is his family and this is why he is still there. I have met her, all his family members and his friends. I go everywhere with him, everyday, so it is not an issue of me being his side girl; it is clear to everyone that he is with me. My problem is that he constantly does things that seem like I will never be a priority to him. He has not really made an effort to get to know me, or the things that I like.  Also, he always makes excuses when I ask him to do things with me and my friends. This entire time we have been together, he has only met two of my friends, while I have met all of his!  If I do something he does not like, he gets mad and refuses to answer my calls, for days. My birthday just past, and I have told him how important this is to me. He made no effort to make any plans or anything – not even a card. Another example is when we went to Vegas, on a whim, we did not pack any clothes. We agreed that we would both get clothes when we got there, but while I was visiting with my family, he left and met up with HIS family, and they all went shopping. He came back with all these new clothes for himself, and I am thinking, why would you not even consider me? At least call to see if I need something, also. Don’t get me wrong, he is a very giving person and will help anyone out. He has done a lot of things that no one has done for me, but when it comes to a relationship, I don’t feel like he knows how to put someone else first. He says he has never been in love, even though he has had an 8 year relationship. We are starting to fight more, because I am becoming more frustrated with the fact that he does not act like he cares, while I am doing everything to make this work. I have no children and have never been married.  I feel like since he has so much baggage (that I am willing to accept) he can at least make me feel secure and important. Am I being petty, or are these clear signs that I will never be a priority in his life? Why does he act this way? Should I just take it as a loss and move on? How do I deal with someone like this, someone who always feels like he is right and that I am blowing things up bigger than they are. What do I do if  I want to keep this person around?

-------------------------------Miss Emily’s advice----------------------------

Dear Patsy:

You just described a nightmare to me and you, ultimately, are asking me what you can do to keep this person around?  I don’t know whether I can help you, but I’ll try.  For one, this guy sounds like a horse set out for breeding (no offense to male horses).  He spends so much time being animalistic (and selfish, no matter what you say to the contrary), there’s little time left for him to behave like a responsible human being.  That said, he must be great in the sack because, other than you being an outright, clinical definition of a masochist, why else would you stick around if you weren’t getting more out of this, seemingly, one-sided relationship?  I’m open minded, but this arrangement is beyond my comprehension. But I do know this, his maltreatment of you can only be stopped by you.  I’m not excusing his repellent behavior, but if his “stable of women” hadn’t let him get away with this machismo lifestyle, he wouldn’t have come this far.  If you two are fighting, then perhaps the problem will soon be solved.  He’ll see that you are not willing to continue to be an “untouchable” (that’s Hindu for being at the bottom rung of the class system), and he might decide to start looking for his next victim.  Here’s an idea:  Look at yourself in the mirror and say one of two series of words: “I hate myself and need to be treated like dirt,” OR “I like me and I want better.”  Then, you make the decision on what to do next.