Dear Miss Emily:

I've been in a relationship for 4 yrs. with my kids’ father.  Actually, we have one child together. One month into the relationship, I got pregnant by my ex, and my current man didn't find out that the baby wasn't his until 3 months after the baby was born. His mother and I hate each other, and we’re always fighting.  He supposedly forgave me, but every time we argue, and I leave, a girl shows up. He even gave me something.  I don't know if I should leave and stop trying.
Tired of it all
-----------------------------Miss Emily’s advice------------------------------

Dear Tired:

You may not be able to trust this man but, unfortunately, it was you who, first, blazed this trail.  It’s time to find some answers to your dilemma or you might get pregnant, again, and your children will continue to be caught in the middle of this mess.  However, consistent, irresponsible behavior isn’t easy to fix.  You have to ask yourself what is the best situation for your kids and, ultimately, that will be the solution to many of your problems.  Self-respect is another issue you need to address.  If you believe that you deserve better, don’t accept the conditions as they are, now, and start taking responsibility for your own actions.  Put a stop to his womanizing by demanding he be faithful, and don’t feed on his mother’s contempt for you.  After all, she sees you as betraying her son and will defend him if it kills her.  As far as “giving you something,” I  think you are trying to tell me it wasn’t a trip to Hawaii, but only you and your doctor know for sure!   Learn to set an example by cleaning up your own act.  If you can do this, a better future is out there for you, with or without this man. As I stated before, it isn’t easy to change bad habits, but I’m going to trust that you have the intelligence to step-up-to-the-plate and seek a better life for you and your children.