Dear Miss Emily:

I need some help, some advice. I am desperate for  this -- it will save my life and save my kids' lives. I have a 7 year old daughter with an ex partner from 6 years ago. I am 13 weeks pregnant with my second child, with my new partner. We got engaged just before Xmas. He proposed to me on my birthday in front of my mom, and it was lovely. When I met my partner I worked two jobs, he worked one. We hit it of straight away. We had a few problems with exes and my parents, but got though it and now we all get on great. We were strong enough to get though it all and we both felt great about it. There is an age difference between us, he is 6 years younger then me, but we both enjoy each others company. Before we found I was pregnant, his mom hated me and tried everything to destroy our relationship. She blamed me for the fact that he rarely had a job, and she would moan if we had a argument. It was like I was dating her. It was the worst time of my life! She put me though everything you can think of. I wanted to leave, but couldn't. I knew it wasn't my partner's fault and didn't want to hurt him by leaving him. And I do love him so much. I've tried so hard to get past all this, and she and I even tried to be friends by messages --  but the other day my partner said no to something she wanted him to do and she blamed me. I couldn't help but think it was none of her business, and he should not be babysitting for her. He should be helping his pregnant girlfriend, do the shopping, cleaning and cooking and being with me and our family. I don't know whether this is selfish but we have been together for a long time, and have got engaged and have a baby on the way. She has gone so far as to threaten me, my daughter and saying that I've given her son STDs -- not true! I can't seem to get past this at all, and I'm still really angry with her. She rules my life telling me what I can say and do. It makes me feel so sad and really upsets me. I've tried to talk to my partner about this but he wont talk to me about it, and now I don't know how my life is gonna be. The last thing is my partner's mom is really ill and has 7 young children. She has asked my partner if anything happens to her, would he take the kids on, and he's agreed. I don't know if I'm being really selfish or not. My partner had it planned without talking to me. If it does come to this the 7 kids would move in with us, and  I would have two of my own in a two bed house which I love to bits. He would go to work, and the kids would be at school. I would have to clean up, cook and do washing for 9 kids. Now that's not what I want in my life. I want to rise my kids and have a good career. It felt to me as if he had decided my life for me which made me really mad and we argued. He never spoke to me about it. He told me! I do want more of my own in the future, and would love to get married. I love him but should I let this relationship go for the sake of myself and my kids, and is he really asking too much of me? Please help.

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

No, you are not being selfish in the least.  If she is really ill (and do you know this for sure?) perhaps your partner is the only one who can raise the kids -- but that's a tall order for you. If this woman weren't such an insufferable, twisted lady, it might be easier to accept this, if it is in your future, as a necessary situation in times of hardship. But she has muddied the waters, made your life a living hell -- your partner accepts it, and does nothing about it. Bottom line: Do you want to be with a man, or a mouse? You know what I would do under the circumstances? I would not make any commitment to him until you are sure that what you want, is what he wants. For now -- keep your home the way it is, do not marry this man, and manage your own finances. If you were to sign on to this whole thing feeling the anger you have, it will only increase after the baby comes. This guy is, to a great deal, controlled  by his mother and, no matter he's fun and a "nice guy," he's also a bit of a wimp! Keep your distance from this woman, and put yourself in the drivers seat. Make no future plans with him until you have a better idea of what you'd be getting into if you were to buy the whole package. You have only one life, and you have obligations to your seven year-old and the baby on the way -- and they come first!  If you want to know what misery is, go back and read a Charles Dickens novel. That should keep you from entering into a life of constant struggle. The power is in your hands, use it, and don't compromise. A guy who won't fight for you, isn't worth fighting for.