HIS MOTHER IS CONTROLLING

Question

I’m a 33-year-old mother of one and my boyfriend is 35. He has three children from previous relationships and we’ve been together for four years. His mother doesn’t involve me in anything they do and never acknowledges my presence. If she wants something she calls him, even if she needs a babysitter because he and his kids live with her. He does everything for her and she’s doing everything in her power to destroy him but he doesn’t see it.

Answer

It sounds as if his mother doesn’t recognise you as his partner at all, and this is naturally taking a toll on you as you’d like to be regarded as part of the family. You need to talk to your partner about this, but be sure to do it diplomatically. Explain how you feel without criticizing his mother or accusing him of anything. Remember that this conversation will make your partner feel like he’s stuck between a rock and a hard place. Don’t make him choose between you and his mother. If all else fails, call the Family Life Centre on 011-788-4784 to ask for assistance from a counsellor.

HE ABUSES ME

Question

I’ve been with my partner for 15 years, we have two kids and I’m pregnant again. He paid lobola but we never wed. Every time we argue he always blames me and slaps me. The last time he hit me I laid a charge against him. He got really angry and said it’s over between us. He has a girlfriend and has been sleeping in the lounge for the past three months. I still love and miss him, even though he’s hurt me. I need him so much during this pregnancy. Please help.

Answer

Wanting and longing for him are different to actually needing him. Do you really believe you need such a man in your life? He seems to have moved on and perhaps it’s time you do the same. His behaviour makes it very clear that he doesn’t appreciate you or value your relationship. Thank goodness he did not harm your unborn baby when he hit you. Don’t wait around until he hits you again – you need to protect yourself and your children from his abuse. That should be your focus right now. For help call People Opposing Women Abuse (Powa) on 011-642-4345.

NO FINANCIAL SUPPORT

Question

My boyfriend always tells me he doesn’t have money even though he’s working. I’m renting a room and when he comes to my place he doesn’t buy groceries or pay for the water or electricity. What should I do?

Answer

It’s great to be in a relationship where things are done out of love, without you having to ask and force the issue. You’re naturally feeling like you’re on your own here, and you’re right – both of you should contribute to expenses. You need to sit your boyfriend down and tell him how this makes you feel. He might just be bad at budgeting, and that’s why he’s always broke.

HE WANTS ME TO STAY HOME

Question

I’m 22 and met my man in 2015. I’m in Gauteng as I’m at school, and he’s in Limpopo. He accuses me of cheating because I’m far away. We have a three-month-old baby together and I love him so much. Recently he found a job and has started treating me badly. What should I do? I’ve tried to reach out to him but he tells me he’ll only talk to me when I’m back in Limpopo. Please help.

Answer

Your boyfriend seems to have trust issues. It’s unclear whether you’ve given him reason to doubt you. Perhaps he’s just a sceptical person. He should understand that you’re studying so you can have a fulfilling life with him and your child. Don’t give up your dream of having a career because of his insecurities. Let him see you love him and are faithful by visiting him often or have him visit you. If you feel you need professional help to sort out the trust issues, call Famsa on 011-975-7106/7.

CAN’T FIND A JOB

Question

I studied for an honours degree in communications but I’m unemployed. I have to support my 13-year-old brother but I’m so stressed out. Please help.

Answer

It’s disheartening to work hard to get an education only to struggle to find a job. But don’t lose hope. Approach the National Youth Development Agency for assistance (go to www.nyda.gov.za for more info). In the meantime, volunteer your services to companies in your field to gain experience. Apply for a foster-care grant for your brother at your nearest South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) office if you don’t already have one. Good luck.