Q SHE WANTS A BREAK
I’m a 21-year-old guy and I was in a relationship with a 17-year-old girl. Things were really good, so much so that I could actually see her as my wife. But recently she told me she needed some space.
It hurt me a lot but she promised me we’ll continue our relationship when she’s feeling better. Now I’m so scared she might move on – even though she says she loves me. What’s wrong with me? HEARTBROKEN, EMAIL
the one who wants a break and it might have nothing to do with you. Don’t blame yourself over someone else’s decision. If she wants a break, give it to her – it’s better that way, rather than being with her when she doesn’t want to be with you.
What you need to find out from her are the terms of the break and how long it’s going to be. She can’t keep you in limbo forever. You deserve to get those answers so you know where you stand.
Q I HAVE NO SUPPORT
I’m a 27-year-old man with a bad back problem and I can’t work. My parents died in 2008 and the rest of my family is not supporting me. I’ve tried to get advice from people but no one has helped me. What can I do? FM, EMAIL
A It’s sad that at such a young age you can’t do anything to help yourself survive and live a meaningful life. Maybe you could find a job that doesn’t require too much physical activity. You can also get assistance from your nearest health facility.
They’ll refer you to a state doctor who will determine the extent of your back problem and make a recommendation if you’re legible for a disability grant. Then you can make an application through the South African Social Security Agency. Good luck.
Q MY SECRET BABY
I became pregnant when I was 17 and the father of my child told me to get an abortion. He wouldn’t come with me to the clinic so I kept the baby.
He told me not to bring the baby to his family and I didn’t take her to my family either because I was scared to disappoint them and to get my aunt in trouble – I was staying with her when I had the baby. This year I met his family and they want to be part of our daughter’s life and pay damages. But I’m scared to tell my mom. SCARED, EMAIL
A You have to be commended for the brave step you took of keeping the baby and raising her on your own. You made a decision you knew you could live with. The worst is over so now you need to do right by your baby – she deserves to know her maternal roots.
Your mother has to understand that the baby’s father kept you away from his family and now that they know about the baby they’re willing to do the right thing. Speak to your aunt and ask her to talk to your mother. If all else fails you can get help from a family therapist at the Family Life Centre on 011-788-4788.
Q IS SHE THE ONE? I’m 27 and went to a see a witchdoctor in May. He told me to pick three picture cards – I chose the moon, the angel of love and the king on the plain. He told me my life would change and that I’ll meet the woman of my dreams.
I’m a bookworm and in the library the following week there was a beautiful girl sitting next to me. She had an angel tattoo, like the one on the card. I told her the story of the witchdoctor and I asked to date her. She’s 23 and still studying and says I must wait. I know this is the right girl for me but how do I convince her I’m serious? YT, EMAIL
A You can’t force a relationship to happen just because you’re ready. If she’s not ready then you should respect her wishes. What you can do is ask her to be your friend.
That way you can spend time together and get to know each other better with no strings attached. If it’s meant to be it will be, so don’t come on too strong and end up scaring her away. Be patient with her – she barely knows you.
Q SEX WITH HIM ANNOYS ME
I’ve been married for seven years and my husband has been on ARVs for two years. We’ve been using condoms since his diagnosis but now I can’t feel him properly and sex is no longer good – it just annoys me. How can I love him again? FRUSTRATED, SMS
A If he’s HIV-positive and you’re HIVnegative you’re what’s called a serodiscordant couple. This can come with a lot of anxieties and confusion but there’s no cause for alarm. You both need to talk about the challenges and together you should research techniques to enhance your love-making without jeopardising each other’s health.
You could also see a sex therapist. You still love your husband so you need to acknowledge the change and find ways to make things work.
‘The worst is over, so now you need to do right by your baby – she deserves to know her maternal roots’