Q & A with Jay is a weekly column maintained by Detroit Chic writer, Jay. She answers readers questions and concerns about some of the most embarrassing, troublesome and pressing relationship issues. Have a question? Email her at detroitchic.contactus@gmail.com

Dear Jay:

Me and my ex-boyfriend broke up about 3 months ago because he cheated on me (more then once). Since then, I’ve been working two jobs and trying to take care of our 10 month old daughter all by myself. I don’t think I have to say that it has been hard. But last week he started texting me and talking about how he wants to get back together. Aside from cheating on me, he also never got a job, never pays child support and spends most of his time at the gym with his friends or partying. He says that he has changed and I want to believe him but I don’t know what to do. My friends say forget him. But inside my heart, I want my daughter to have both parents in her life and to have a normal family. Can you help? I don’t know what to do!

Ericka – Detroit

Ericka,

This one hits SUPER close to home for me. I have to tell you right away though, do NOT let him back in YOUR life. My husband did the same thing to me after I waited a year for him to finish his service in Iraq. He came home and cheated on me while I was pregnant with our son, more than once. Since then I have been begging and pleading for him to come home and now when I look back on it, I was a fool. If this was a situation your daughter was in what would you tell her? Im so embarrassed that I let him do this to me and have me still there waiting (not saying you have). You have done GREAT. Keeping busy, raising your daughter…

Please know that a “normal family” is one that has love and respect for each other. Two parents who stay together, unhappy, for a child is NOT normal, in fact it will cause more tension and negativity that the child will pick up on. So, normal can also mean a step parent as long as they have vowed to show love to the family they take on. Now, I know its hard being a single mother, especially if your child was planned like mine was and I thought we both were going to be experiencing and enjoying this together, and I also know how you will always have that tiny string attached to her father because, well, its her father! But my best advice for you is actually advice I have given myself (as of VERY recent), keep him out of YOUR life, and let him be in the child’s as much as HE allows himself to be. Update him WHEN HE ASKS, send a photo, let him speak to her on the phone. There is no reason to keep her from him, she can decide one day how he measures up as a father, and maybe he’ll be great in this area. But, when the conversation begins to stray towards you, cut it short. This may sound harsh, but what is more harsh than cheating on the woman who carried your child for 40 weeks, gave birth to that child, and raised him/her? You are doing something truly AMAZING, and by him cheating on you he is telling you that to him, you are doing nothing of value. The coming back is because he realizes that his selfishness is quickly being replaced with loneliness, too bad. He made a choice, he is an adult and must live with that choice. Women have kind hearts and can allow for some error, but repeated error tells us that we are not valued the way we should be.

Keep strong and please know you are not alone. Sometimes I get the feeling I am and it breaks me down, then I get the gift of meeting people like yourself and knowing that WE ALL can do this, and we will find someone who can give us what we DESERVE for all of the hard work we have done and sacrifices we have been forced to make.
Go kiss that little girl and know that you are a great mother and she deserves to see you smile.

With Love, (a fellow single mommy) Jay