Sis Dolly

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‘It’s not death a man should fear, he should fear never begin­ning to live’ – RO­MAN EMPEROR MAR­CUS AURELIUS

WASTED TIME

I’m 28 and was with my partner for eight years. We got en­gaged when I was 24 and started the process of lobola the same year. It was meant to have fin­ished last year but he had a car ac­ci­dent and I found out he was cheat­ing on me. I said noth­ing and sup­ported him in his re­cov­ery.

Then my partner started ar­gu­ing with me, say­ing I don’t like his fam­ily. I’d pre­vi­ously told him I was frus­trated when they didn’t even come to see him af­ter his ac­ci­dent and I thought his brother was just milk­ing him for money. In the end we had a big fight and sep­a­rated.

I started see­ing a guy from church and af­ter three months I slept with him. It was amaz­ing but I dis­cov­ered he was us­ing me to get back at his girl­friend and I left him too. Now I have two guys apol­o­gis­ing and try­ing to fix things with me – and they both say they want to marry me.

This whole drama has re­ally hurt me as I al­ways wanted to get mar­ried young and ex­pe­ri­ence ev­ery­thing in life with my hus­band. Eight years later I’m still not mar­ried, I’ve slept with an­other man and bro­ken an­other re­la­tion­ship. What should I do? FM, EMAIL Beat­ing your­self up for what you’ve been through won’t change what’s hap­pened. Treat those ex­pe­ri­ences as lessons for the fu­ture – they’ll de­ter­mine the kind of per­son you be­come. What you need to do now is ask your­self which of the two men is worth your while – which one do you re­ally love and why? Think about this ra­tio­nally, not emo­tion­ally, so you don’t end up mak­ing the wrong choice.

You may even dis­cover that you don’t re­ally want ei­ther of them, in which case try be­ing sin­gle for a while. Can you see your­self spend­ing the rest of your life with one of them? Once you have an an­swer to this ques­tion you’ll be able to de­cide what’s best for you. Good luck.

AN­GRY AT DEATH

I’ve been mar­ried for nearly 20 years and al­though we’ve had some hard times we’ve had a good re­la­tion­ship. We re­cently found out my hus­band has cancer and prob­a­bly won’t live more than a few months. He seems to be deal­ing with this but I’m com­pletely de­pressed. I can’t imag­ine life with­out him. I want the rest of our time to­gether to be good and to sup­port him in ev­ery way I can but I don’t seem to be able to do that. I’m sad and an­gry at the same time and I think I’m just mak­ing things worse for us both. What can I do? DEV­AS­TATED, EMAIL What you’re go­ing through is un­der­stand­able be­cause so much of your life has been shaped with your life partner at your side. It’s never easy to just ac­cept that the per­son you’ve spent so much time with is go­ing to pass on and leave you.

Take strength from the fact that he’s deal­ing with his emo­tions and feel­ings ap­pro­pri­ately. Hard as it might be, you need to do the same.

You also need to be there for him as a source of strength and sup­port. He needs to know he can rely on you when his body starts to fail him. The only way you can do that is if you start to ac­cept the in­evitable. Be­ing in de­nial will only make things more dif­fi­cult than they al­ready are.

Con­cen­trate on mak­ing good me­mories with your hus­band while he’s still around. These are mo­ments you’ll hold on to when he’s no longer there. Work on mak­ing his last days with you the lov­ing, com­fort­ing and as en­joy­able as pos­si­ble.

LONELY WITH­OUT LOVE

I’m a 24-year-old woman and am des­per­ately in need of a lov­ing man. I’ve not had a sta­ble boyfriend in my life.

I’ve lived through a se­ries of re­jec­tions – one af­ter the other – and now I’m feel­ing sad and alone. I envy other peo­ple in re­la­tion­ships and I’m start­ing to hate be­ing alive. What can I do? KC, EMAIL Love starts from within. You need to start lov­ing your­self, un­der­stand­ing who you are, what your strengths are and what you want. You need to set your own goals and ex­pec­ta­tions, and not rely on the man you’re with to de­fine you or be the source of your self-worth.

Tell your­self that those who re­jected you weren’t wor­thy to be in your life, ac­cept that they’ve moved on and do so your­self.

You must make sure you give your­self enough time to heal af­ter a break-up. Time out will en­sure that you con­cen­trate on your­self and that you don’t take bag­gage from the last re­la­tion­ship into the next.

I sug­gest you talk to some­one about how you feel in or­der to get sup­port, cop­ing skills and guid­ance. Keep telling your­self that true ful­fil­ment in life and love starts from within.

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