Question

I’m 23 years old and left school in Grade 6. Now I’m struggling to get a job because I have no qualifications. I feel so useless and sometimes I think of killing myself. What can I do to make myself better and build a meaningful life?

Answer

Not having a qualification isn’t the end of the world. Being young means you have an advantage – you can still change your situation for the better.

Do not label yourself as useless because you are not. The fact that you’re alive means there’s a need for you in the world – you just need to find your worth by finding and fulfilling your dreams.

There are institutions that offer adult basic-education classes in most communities, so do a bit of research to find out what’s on offer in your area. Go and chat to someone there and choose a course that interests you. It’s also possible foryou to get your matric through these institutions, if that’s what you want to do. During your studies you’ll get a better idea of what interests you and what you’re good at. Then you can choose your career path and follow your dream. Good luck.

Question

I was married for over 40 years and although our lives were not always easy we had a good relationship. He was a kind and caring man and he tried hard to earn money for me and our family. We went through a lot together and always worked out our problems together, supporting each other and finding things to laugh about. He got sick a few months ago and died very soon after and now I feel completely lost without him. I miss him so much every day and I don’t know how to carry on living life on my own. My children and my neighbours are very kind and try to help me but he was everything to me. How can I go on living without him?

Answer

It’s never easy when you lose someone who has been your pillar of strength for so many years. You have laughed, cried and loved with this person for over 40 years – he has been a part of you. It’s only natural that with his passing you’ll feel as if a limb has been ripped from your body. He was your life partner and his absence will definitely leave a void in your life. It’s important for you to deal with the sorrow that you’re feeling, acknowledge that it hurts and not be in denial. What is crucial is that you don’t let the sorrow drown you.

The memories you shared with him should serve as some consolation for you but if you find that you’re still not coping then you need to seek the assistance of a grief counsellor. You might also benefit from joining a support group for people who have lost loved ones or starting a new hobby to keep yourself busy.

Question

I recently got married after dating my girlfriend for two years. I love my wife and we’ve often talked about starting a family. She said she wanted to have children as soon as possible once we were married. I told her I’m happy with this, as I want kids too, but now our sex life has become all about getting pregnant. We only have sex at a certain time of the month and otherwise she’s not interested. We always had a good time together but now I feel like I’m just there to make babies. I have tried to talk to her about this but she tells me I’m imagining things and there is no problem. What can I do to resolve this?

Answers

Sometimes in life when we’re determined to reach a goal the focus becomes too much on achieving that goal and we forget to have fun. This is what seems to have happened here. You used to enjoy each other’s company and were intimate frequently but now that there’s a goal to reach, sex has become like a duty. You need to try to rekindle the spark of intimacy you had with her before. She might not even be aware of what she’s doing because she’s so focused on falling pregnant. Keep talking to her about it and if that doesn’t work consider seeking the help of a relationship counsellor who can assist you with different ways of approaching this.