DRUM - - Advice -

Need ad­vice? E-mail sis­ 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.


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’

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