Torn between Two Men

Q: I am torn between my ex-fiancé (also the father of my daughter) and the new love in my life. I feel obligated to stay with my ex due to my daughter, although we both are more happy and safe with my new boyfriend. Should I listen to my heart and finally be happy or make my family as well as my ex happy and go back with him? -- Chastity, 23

Dr. Susan: Your heart is not the part of you that needs to be in charge here. To make this important decision, you're going to have to think this through very carefully. For instance, when you say that your daughter and you both feel "more safe" with your new boyfriend, what exactly do you mean? Is it because your ex has not treated you well, or been abusive in some way? I would never recommend you choose a living arrangement that feels unsafe. However, assuming it's not a matter of safety but of your having fallen for someone new, have you truly given your relationship with your daughter's father the effort it deserves? It's usually easier to fall for a new person than to work things out with the "old" partner, but you and your daughter could find yourselves on a merry-go-round of relationships. Are you and your new love ready to commit yourselves to one another even when the going gets tough? Your life choices can't be based on making your ex or your family happy, but on what is best in the long run for you and your daughter.

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