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Naledi Mqhayi is a clin­i­cal psy­chol­o­gist spe­cial­is­ing in re­la­tion­ships and fam­ily ther­apy. She holds a masters de­gree in clin­i­cal psy­chol­ogy from the Med­i­cal Univer­sity of South­ern Africa.


I’m a 23-year-old wo­man who has been in a re­la­tion­ship for over a year with a man aged 34.

Every­thing was per­fect in the be­gin­ning un­til he started cheat­ing on me. When I con­fronted him, he started beat­ing me up.

I left him for two months, but we later got back to­gether. I’m preg­nant with his child now and things have be­come worse.

When I visit him, he only talks to me when he wants some­thing. We don’t kiss or cud­dle like we used to. The only time he shows af­fec­tion is when he wants sex. Should I leave him or stay?


AThe re­la­tion­ship you are de­scrib­ing is very toxic and love­less. Often, the treat­ment you get from a part­ner is al­lowed by you to con­tinue.

You should have re­alised that with the re­peated cheat­ing he is not se­ri­ous and can­not com­mit to fa­ther­ing a child. Save your­self and count your losses. Get sup­port from your fam­ily and look at tak­ing care of your baby.


I’m 36-year-old wo­man and I’m in love with a 41-year-old man. When I met him in 2012, he was sep­a­rated from his wife.

I fell preg­nant the same year, so we have a child to­gether. We’ve been dat­ing for five years now and we love each other. When I asked him about our fu­ture, he said he can’t di­vorce his wife be­cause he doesn’t want to lose his pen­sion fund and as­sets. He says he wants to wait un­til he’s 55 and able to with­draw his pen­sion fund. This frus­trates me be­cause I can’t wait for that long. What must I do? ANONY­MOUS, BLOEMFONTEIN

AIt took you too long to re­alise that you are stay­ing with a mar­ried man and planning a fu­ture with him alone while he has other plans with his life.

That’s the dan­ger of dat­ing a mar­ried per­son who prom­ises to leave the spouse. Even­tu­ally, they never do and you end up be­ing the other wo­man. The ball is in your court as to what you want to do as he has told you of his de­ci­sion. You know what mat­ters in your life and what you can live with or with­out.


I’m a 39-year-old wo­man. My hus­band di­vorced me be­cause I couldn’t give him kids.

Seven years after the di­vorce, I met a hand­some man at work. After some time, I moved in with the guy.

One day when I was clean­ing the house, I came across his son’s clinic card which said that his mother was HIV pos­i­tive.

When I con­fronted the fa­ther about this, he con­fessed that the mother was HIV pos­i­tive and that she passed away after giv­ing birth. I was forced to go to the doc­tor after hav­ing ter­ri­ble headaches.

After some tests, the doc­tor told me that I’m HIV pos­i­tive.

The lov­ing man that I knew changed overnight. He aban­doned me after in­fect­ing me with HIV. ANONY­MOUS, DUR­BAN

ASome peo­ple are very cruel but you need to be strong and pos­i­tive. Anger and neg­a­tiv­ity will only make your con­di­tion worse. Seek sup­port from the peo­ple who care for you.

Do not waste your life on get­ting an­gry at such a per­son.

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