ASK GASE 28/09/12

  • He’s sleeping with both of  us under the same roof

Dear Gase,

I am a lady of 29 years involved with a man of 35. We live together and have two kids. I have another child from my previous relationship and he also has a child. We have been together for the last seven years. Everything was perfect until last year when I realized that he had impregnated another girl who he says he has been seeing for a year. I was seven months pregnant and after that I got ill to the extent of having a miscarriage.
Ever since then, things have gone from bad to worse. He would masturbate when I was in bed with him, thinking that I was asleep. I love this man so much and the kids adore him. He claims that he loves me, which I doubt. I forgave him and we continued living together. Two months ago I went home for a few days and when I returned he had a new (female) housemate, something that he never told me about. Things started to change again – he would chat with this lady till very late and when I joined them, they would stop talking. When this lady went to bed he would go to the extent of sleeping on the couch or pretending to be doing something till the early hours of the morning.
They would flirt right before me, but when I confronted him he would tell me to do whatever I wanted to do, saying he was comforting the lady, who was apparently having problems with her boyfriend.
I decided that enough was enough, packed my bags and went home to my mother who is looking after our kids. When I was home he would call and tell me how sorry he was, that he still loved me and that he wanted me to come back. So, I went back.
But the tension between the housemate and me has become unbearable – we are not talking…she only talks to him. Now I have discovered what I suspected all along – that the two are sleeping together.
I am so hurt and confused…no matter what he does to me I love him to bits. I don’t know what to do. I am three months pregnant by him. In 2008 he bought me a very beautiful engagement ring. WHAT MUST I DO? PLEASE HELP ME.

Gase says..
My heart bleeds for you because this is so obvious… the writing is on the wall, but you have chosen not to see this whole sorry state of affairs for what it is. Things are going to get worse by the day unless you decide to confront the situation head-on.
Someone who loves you will not deliberately hurt you. Have a serious discussion with him to find out why he’s treating you like trash yet he says he loves you.
I think that most times he knows he can get away with it because you are not always frank with him about your thoughts and feelings. For example have you asked him why he has to masturbate when you’re lying right there beside him, and did you tell him how it makes you feel?
When you have the discussion with him do not beat about the bush – be blunt and tell him what you want, and what you don’t want in your relationship. Make sure he understands that you deserve to be told the truth, not these tales that he’s been trying to pass off as answers to your questions. You need to tell him in no uncertain terms that from now on you will not allow him to insult your intelligence by telling you such obvious lies. You have allowed him to use you as a doormat for too long.
But be wise enough to listen to his side of the story and any criticism of you. Do not rush to be on the defensive. Try to learn from the experience and pick whatever you can use to help yourself become a better, stronger, happier person.
I believe it’s time to demand and take your life back. Do you think it’s proper to condemn yourself to a life of misery all because of a man?
Together you can beat this thing that is causing havoc in your relationship, and once again become the happy couple you used to be – but that can only happen if he’s still interested in making this relationship work. The two of you must just remember that without love and respect in your relationship, no matter how hard you try to make it work, you will achieve nothing.

I recommend that you go for counseling to sort out your tangled life, and the sooner the better. The counselor will guide you so that you yourself can come up with the best option. Contact Lifeline Botswana on 3911290 for face-to-face counseling or 3911270 for telephone counseling. The ideal situation would be for you to attend the counseling session/s together, but of course you can’t force him if he doesn’t want to – it’s important that he be willing. Otherwise just go alone since you’re the one who’s confused and hurting.


Dear Gase, 

I don’t know if what I have is a disorder, but the problem started a few years ago when I was doing my form four.
I had always been one of the brightest students in all my classes since I started schooling. Teachers knew that if a question was difficult, I could rescue the class. I was confident and always participating, which benefited me very well. Then there came a time when our English teacher in form four gave us some topics to debate in groups and I volunteered to be one of the panelists. I prepared for my debate well and did some research. On the day of the debate I started having this fear that I had never had before and I screwed up during the debate because I was nervous. I felt such a great disappointment in myself and after class my classmates made fun of me. That really gnawed at me and since then, I’ve lost my confidence.

Every time I try to do something in front of people, it ends up in a disaster. I am now scared for my future because I am finishing my studies at the University and will be looking for a job very soon. I worry about what will happen to me should I fail my interviews. I always try to stay positive when doing my presentations, but somehow I don’t do things right. It has gotten to a point where even talking to my friends has become difficult; for example, if I tell them a story and they are all looking at me, I stammer and end up ruining the joke that I was trying to tell. Worse still, I sometimes have a panic attack when I am supposed to meet my boyfriend especially if we have spent perhaps a month without seeing each other. I’m often surprised at myself, knowing that I know the person I am meeting yet getting nervous. I need help really…I just am so scared for my future.

Gase says..
Your confidence appears to have taken a serious knock when you screwed up during the debate at high school. I suggest you talk to a professional regarding your panic attacks, just to be on the safe side. Please see your medical practitioner as soon as possible; s/he will know where to refer you if need be.

Regarding your nervousness and lack of confidence, I want to assure you that what happened or is happening to you also happens to a lot of other people.
Initial anxiety is normal – you just need to make a conscious effort to cut it short so that it doesn’t ruin things for you. Nervousness can derail you if you allow it to be the boss – the trick is to use positive self-talk whenever you feel that fear starting to creep in. Be the boss of the fear and control it, not the other way round. I’m a trainer and I almost always feel nervous at the beginning of a workshop, but I tell myself that I am the trainer and the participants depend on me to run a successful workshop. I remind myself that I’m competent, I can be trusted to deliver, and that’s a fact!
Remember that you are what you think; if you believe you can turn things around and make a success of your life, you will. Likewise, if you think you’re a failure and always imagine that you’re going to screw up, believe me you will. The problem with you right now is you tell yourself even before you do anything, that you have no confidence and you’re going to screw up. Obviously you end up blowing it, whatever it may be, including things you are supposed to be very comfortable and relaxed about, things that are not supposed to cause you any stress whatsoever, such as sharing a joke with your friends or meeting with your boyfriend. Stop the negative self-talk; start to love yourself more and engage in positive self-talk.
You have become your own worst enemy, but the good news is that it’s reversible.


Dear Gase,
My husband is a control freak – he is a traditionalist and can’t adapt to the new generation.
We are in our fifties and our son, who’s 23, still lives at home and they argue all the time.
My husband recently lent our son the money to buy a laptop and they agreed on the repayments. When my son asked if he reduce the amount a month later my husband started yelling and screaming that our son can never keep his word. We live in a very close neighbourhood and it is very embarrassing when he shouts like this.
When I tried to calm the row he turned on me. It is sad and painful the way he talks and behaves – it is affecting our relationship but he will not go for counselling. We’ve been together 30 years so I don’t want to walk away – and he can be a wonderful person.

Gase says..
Grown-up sons living at home often clash with their dads as both strive for dominance. I realise you want to calm the atmosphere but my experience is it rarely helps to intervene in rows like this. Unless there is going to be violence, leave them to settle it between them. If you think they may turn violent, call the police.
But do talk to them quietly and separately.
Tell your husband how distressing you find scenes like this. Don’t criticise him – from his point of view he may well have been right to feel his son was taking advantage – but ask him to try to settle disputes more calmly because such rows break your heart.
If he behaves like that with you though, say firmly that you will not accept being emotionally abused and walk away.
Tell your son that if he wants his dad to respect him as an adult then he has to behave like one. In this case he should have negotiated terms he could keep to in the first place – that’s what happens in the outside world. Watch out that you’re not being protective of your son at the expense of your relationship with your husband.



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