Dear Gase,

The situation with my boyfriend is getting worse – now he doesn’t want to spend time with me. I think he has developed a drinking problem, and it is really destroying us. He comes back home around 2am most of the time (even during the week) and when I ask him where he has been, he shouts at me saying I just like picking fights. He says that maybe I forget that he has a social life. I have suggested that it might help if we went our separate ways, but he says he wants to be with me.
He has also said that he is willing to make up for his mistakes, but he keeps on repeating the same mistakes. Sometimes I just feel like it would be better if I stayed away from him, but I am worried about what will happen to him, and I love him, so I just can’t do that. Please help.

Gase says….

It’s very difficult to be in a relationship where you’re giving 90% and the other party is giving only 10%. If you love him so much that you feel you cannot walk away then you have to somehow make the relationship as comfortable as possible for yourself, hard as it may be. You sound like you truly love the guy and are prepared to forgive him despite his drinking habits, late nights and tantrums. In that case, hang in there and try your hardest to make it work.
Keep trying to talk some sense into him…who knows, he may eventually see the folly of his ways and make some amends. The question is, for how long?
I hope the two of you can sort out your issues before you reach a point where you feel enough is enough, because when/if you do, it’ll probably be too late to save your relationship.

Seek counselling if you cannot resolve your issue by yourselves. Contact Lifeline Botswana on 3911270 for telephone counselling or 3911290 to make an appointment for face-to-face counselling.
If he is prepared to admit that he has a drinking problem, the support group Alcoholics Anonymous can help. Their contact number in Francistown is 71890109



Dear Gase,

I’ve been with my partner for 6 years and we are both in our late 20s.
When we met I promised her marriage and babies because she considered this was the way to a ‘stable’ relationship. I then had a major change of mind, which naturally has not pleased her.
We’re still together and apart from the marriage argument get on well – we stay at each other’s houses a couple of times a week, but I guess I’m set in my ways now.
She is now putting more pressure on, especially as her married friends at work keep asking her why we have not tied the knot.
Do you think I am being selfish? Sometimes I feel I can’t live with her and at other times I think I can’t live without her.

Gase says…
I think you’re being truthful. If marriage is something you don’t feel ready for, it’s right to say it out. What you mustn’t do is string her along – that would be selfish.
If you’re honest with her, it’s then up to her to decide whether you’re worth hanging around for. But if after 6 years you’re not willing to make a commitment, are you sure she is the one for you?
The fact is you don’t want a full relationship with her – you prefer the life of a single guy. If she gives you an ultimatum, you have a big decision to make, but you shouldn’t be forced into anything, and certainly not just because her friends are asking questions.

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