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My situation is really messy and Iím desperate to get my life back on track.

I was married for 16 years before I divorced and the last five years were very unhappy Ė my ex-husband worked away from home all the time and didnít want to be with me or our three children when he was home. He also became very abusive to me and our children. I was desperately unhappy and couldnít think of a way out of the situation.

Having been totally faithful throughout my marriage, I met a married man at evening classes and we became friendly. He was unhappy in his marriage as his wife had already had two affairs and he suspected that she was having another. Rightly or wrongly we started an affair and fell in love. I felt happier than I had in years and ended my marriage and moved to a new home with my children.

My new partner, who had also been married for 16 years and never been unfaithful, was consumed with guilt, told his wife and she confirmed that she was having an affair. I also wrote to her (with my partners permission) telling her that I didnít want to be the instrument in breaking their marriage and offered to end things if she wanted to make another go of things with him. She never replied.

My partner left his wife and children and moved in with me. He was devastated by the situation as although he loved me, he adored his children and really missed them, even though they stayed over several times a week and at weekends.

In hindsight it was a mistake for him to move in with me straight away and we should have waited until things were properly resolved. When he took his children home after each visit (they only lived around the corner) he would not come home for two or three hours and when I asked why he was gone so long he would say that he had helped to bath and put them to bed. I was insanely jealous knowing that he was spending two or three evenings with his wife. When I asked him questions he would admit that she wanted to get back together for the sake of his boys and when I asked what he thought of our future he would say that he couldnít think about our future Ė that although he loved me, he missed his children. I started to drink far too much wine on the nights that he went to take the children home to try and blot out the pain and worry of what was happening. I started to feel ill and mentally unstable. I know that drinkking was wrong and to this day I am filled with regret Ė it caused really horrendous arguments between us when he came home and he even walked out and slept in his car a couple of times.

Finally, after almost a year together (and despite the arguments we still loved each other very much and had many happy times together), he decided to go back to his wife and we agreed not to have contact with each other anymore. I had a minor breakdown after he left and had counselling and took anti-depressants for a couple of months. Several months later, I was introduced to a new man by friends and started to date him regularly. Shortly after, my previous partner (who I still loved very much) started to contact me by text, confirming that he still loved me and that things werenít working out with his wife. Consequently, I ended my new relationship and started seeing my partner again.

To cut a very long story short, my partnerís wife moved out and brought a house near her family several hundred miles away. She took two children with her, but the eldest son stayed with my partner. This was almost two years ago and not wanting to make the same mistake and rush into things, we still live separately. His children come and stay with him regularly and we all get on really well including my children, who adore him. He and his son come to my house three or four nights a week to eat with us and occasionally stay overnight.

Five months ago, I fell pregnant completely by accident. We were both initially upset, but decided that as we were happy and stable in our relationship we would move in together. We spent several months planning and I was ecstatically happy as things seemed settled at last. Then at three months I miscarried and my partner decided that without the baby he would prefer for us to stay living separately.

We have been in a relationship for almost six years now and I really want us to live together as a family. We both love each other very much and I want to settle down. He says that he has niggling doubts about us because of things that happened in the past. I canít change past, the arguments and upset but that was over two years ago and things have been wonderful since then. He says he is unable to make any commitment to me until he feels that it is right Ė but he canít explain what will make it right. He also mentioned that I make him feel guilty about his children - because he spends a lot of money on presents for them and does everything for them (we just parent differently) I have never critiscised or said anything to him at all - he says he just senses it.

I've tried to talk to him about it. I've said that if he doesn't feel that he knows me well enough to make a commitment after six years then he probably never will. Iím frightened that Iím going to end up living on my own for ever and Iím so unhappy on my own. I hate going to bed alone everynight and waking alone every morning. We do have a fantastic relationship, we have lots of fun together - but should I accept things as they are? Iíve thought of ending things on several occasions but I love him so much I havenít the strength to see it through.

Do you think he will ever make a commitment to me, or should I give up? Weíre both in our early 40s.

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