ASK SIS DOLLY
Need advice? E-mail email@example.com or SMS the keywords SIS DOLLY followed by your question and name to 36489. Each SMS (160 characters) costs R1. QI STILL LOVE HIM I’m a 50-year-old lady who’s been divorced for just over a year. My 49-yearold ex-husband cheated a lot but I’ve realised I still love him very much. He says he loves me too but I don’t really believe him because he’s involved with a 22-year-old lady. He was my first love and we still live together. Why can’t I get over these feelings for him? BS, SMS
A You’ve just answered your own question – he was your first love and you have a history together. This is why your feelings for him can’t simply be erased just like that. When you divorced him it was probably because you were tired of his behaviour and not because you didn’t love him anymore, which is understandable. Seeing him every day might be preventing you from finding closure. But time is the healer of wounds, so give yourself time to go through the process of grieving for your marriage, then hopefully you’ll be able to find closure.
QI CAN’T TAKE THIS ABUSE
I’m 38 years old and in a relationship with an abusive man. He doesn’t beat me but emotionally I’m always being hurt. Everywhere he goes he seems to have a different girlfriend and I’m worried because I don’t know if he’s using protection. If I talk to him about it we just end up fighting until I say sorry. He claims he loves me, but I’m not sure I can do this any longer. Please help. MM, SMS
A Being in an emotionally abusive relationship can be as damaging as being in a physically abusive relationship. The difference is the scars and damage are on the inside. Your boyfriend’s behaviour makes it clear he doesn’t appreciate you. You need to realise you’re worth more than the way he’s treating you. You have two choices: either put up with this treatment and lose yourself in the process or leave him, find peace and a man who will appreciate you.
Q SHOULD I STUDY PSYCHOLOGY? I’ve just finished school and I’m unsure of what I want to do next. I think my heart lies in psychology simply because I love helping others. But I’m not completely sure so I need more information in order to make the right decision. I don’t want to find myself regretting my choice later on. I’ve tried every website I could find but there’s never enough information. As you’re a psychologist, could you please tell me more about this career? RM, EMAIL
A It’s commendable that you’re looking to the future and making sure you take the right steps to get started. Although psychology and social work seem to be the most popular “helping” professions, there are many others. Have a look at the websites of the humanities faculties at the various universities and if you still feel you need more information make the effort to visit the one closest to you so you can speak to someone in person. It would be best to call the
department and make an appointment first. Good luck.
Q GYM HAS CHANGED HER My girlfriend of six years recently started working out at a gym and since then she’s started to change. She’s developed a bad attitude towards me, flirts with the guys at the club and lies to me – she cancels our plans by faking family emergencies. Basically she doesn’t have time for me anymore. I see all these photos of her with guys from the club and I think it’s disrespectful. I don’t want to lose her but I don’t want to be in a miserable relationship either. We successfully handled our disagreements in the past but I’m afraid this gym issue will end our relationship. DK, EMAIL
A It can be a challenge when only one partner gets involved in a new hobby or interest. The other person can feel left out or lonely, which can result in conflict. Your girlfriend’s behaviour seems to go further than this however. Talk to her about how it’s affecting you and see if you can work things out. You may need the assistance of a counsellor if you want to salvage your relationship. I suggest you call Famsa on 031-202-8987 for help.
Q I WAS RAPED I’m a teenager and I need help. I was raped at the age of nine and I want to tell my boyfriend about it. The problem is I don’t know how to talk about this, even though I know he’ll understand as he’s a very reasonable guy. How do I tell him? CONCERNED, SMS
A What an ordeal you’ve gone through. I hope you received the support and assistance you needed for you to heal. Sexual abuse and rape are never easy to talk about. You might find it easier to tell your partner about it in the presence of a professional. You can call LifeLine on 0800-150-150 to make an appointment. Tell your boyfriend about the appointment first though. Just say that there’s something you want to talk to him about but you need some help doing it.
‘Emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse’