I WANT TO KEEP THE HOUSE

Question

I’m 29 and I live with my partner. We have two kids – aged seven and two – and have lived together for 12 years. Four years ago he lost his job and since then I’ve paid all the bills. During this time I’ve also managed to build a seven-room house for the family. I paid for everything but the plot I built the house on is in his name. We’re fighting a lot and I feel the relationship is not working out. His family is telling him to break up with me and take the house as it’s on his property. What are my chances of keeping the house I built for me and my kids? Is there anything I can do?

Answer

It can be very challenging when conflict arises between a couple who are cohabiting but are not married. If you choose to live with your partner without getting married it’s advisable to have a binding contract signed by both of you that stipulates what will happen in the event of a break-up. It’s also sad that after all these years you can’t sort out your differences in a friendly way. I suggest you go to a small claims court and tell them your story. They will be able to advise you on what to do next.

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HE BETRAYED ME

Question

I broke up with my boyfriend last year in April and we got back together recently. I just found out he had a one-night stand in December. I’m disgusted and hurt and I don’t know what to do.

Answer

It’s not clear whether your boyfriend volunteered this information or if you found out on your own. If he told you then at least he was honest enough to come clean about his activities during your breakup, which is a good thing. You should find out if he used protection or not so that you can safeguard yourself. The consolation is that it happened when you weren’t together. Talk to him about how you feel.

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I WAS SEXUALLY ABUSED

Question

When I was nine years old my uncle and cousins used to have sex with me. I’m now 22 and I’ve never told anyone in the family about this. I feel bad about it and need help.

Answer

There’s absolutely no need for you to feel bad – you were an innocent child and they took advantage of you and abused you. No child should ever go through what you went through. It must have been traumatic, especially since you were too young to understand what was going on. You are brave for speaking out and seeking help now. This is the first step towards your healing. You need to speak to a therapist to help you work through your feelings and the trauma. Please call Lifeline on 0800-150- 150 for assistance.

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