Hi. I don’t know if I need advice or not. I’m so angry that sometimes I think there is no longer a reason for me to love again. This is what happened to me:
I have been with my boyfriend for almost three years now and last year when I finished my degree we decided to have a baby while I was awaiting the results.
We then started trying and I fell pregnant in September.
He wasn’t always there for me and I complained a lot that he shouldn’t do that to me while I was pregnant. He agreed but never changed.
This year when he started his new job in January he changed completely.
He was always busy with his work, telling me that he was tired everyday to even check on me.
I tried to talk to him and even asked that if he doesn’t love me anymore because of the baby he should say it, but he kept on saying everything is fine.
When I was nine months pregnant I decided that I needed to know what was going on before the baby was born.
So I scrolled through his phone in his absence. That’s when I found out that my boyfriend has been cheating on me and that the girl was three months pregnant with his child. They met at the beginning of March and started sleeping together in April without protection.
I confronted them both and they admitted to having an affair. I didn’t believe that it was really happening. Even now it’s hard to believe that he did this to me and our baby. He and the girl started fighting and they broke up.
The worst part is that my boyfriend tested HIV+ while I tested negative at 36 weeks.
We used to go for HIV tests together and have both tested negative until the last test. I think I may also be HIV+ because we slept together without protection until I found out about this girl and stopped having sex with him totally.
All along when I suggested using a condom due to his behaviour he would refuse.
I blame myself for everything and I don’t know if I’d ever forgive myself if my daughter is also HIV+. Next week I will be taking her to be tested. I don’t know where to start life again.
You did something that you knew very well you were not supposed to do, perhaps because you loved him and believed his lies.
You decided to have a baby out of wedlock with someone you thought you knew only for you to find out that he’s not the man you thought he was.
You made a terrible mistake but there’s no need to be harsh on yourself because you can never change the past no matter how much you beat yourself up about it.
So, the only way to go from here is forward. You will need the help of a counselor to pull yourself together and sort out your mixed-up feelings and emotions so that the healing process can begin.
Life goes on despite the pain that you may be going through. You need to focus on the future and start planning a better tomorrow for yourself and your baby.
You can’t change the past. Instead of wallowing in self-pity you can take responsibility for the bad decisions you’ve made, learn from your mistakes and move on with your life.
As for your boyfriend, I have only unprintables to describe him. Whatever happens between the two of you, remember you decided to bring a life into the world for which you must both take full responsibility of.
I hope that when you two were planning to have a baby you also planned how you were going to raise the child and provide for her every need. Your boyfriend must understand that he can’t just plan to have a child and then turn around and be an absentee father.
I truly appreciate you sharing your story because there are other young women out there in situations similar to yours who can learn from reading about what happened to you. As I write this, many are being used and dumped by players who have no qualms about spreading HIV and fathering babies they don’t care for.
It’s a painful reality that requires young women to wise up and take charge of their own sexual/reproductive health.
There is absolutely no reason for a young woman in modern day Botswana to put all her trust in a man to the extent of allowing him to dictate whether or not to use a condom.
Here’s a message to all you young women who may be experiencing the same problem: Find yourself a source of income so that you will not have to depend on your man to make all the decisions even those that concern your health.
Empower yourself so that you can tell him to walk his a** out of the door if he refuses to use a condom.
I can only hope and pray that your daughter tests HIV negative; but should she test positive, you will need to be strong for both of you.
Please call Heart & Hands of Compassion on 7351 6022 for an appointment to talk to a counselor.
I got married last year to the man that I loved and thought he loved me.
After marriage he only stayed with me for a month and left.
He claimed I was controlling because I asked where he was coming from when he arrived home very late which never happened before marriage.
I have tried to seek help from parents but it didn’t work. My problem is I can’t get a divorce before 2 years.
I can’t imagine myself in a marriage with no husband for another year, this is really killing me.
I just hope that you’re not one of those women who’re capable of hen-pecking a man out of his home…nagging can surely drive a husband up the wall.
There is nothing wrong in asking about his coming home very late, just as he might ask if you were the one in the habit of coming home at unacceptable hours…but the manner in which you ask matters a lot.
Looking back, do you think you might have been ‘controlling’ at times…or was he just fishing for an excuse to leave you?
It’s really sad how people like your husband have no respect for marriage any more.
The fact that he could walk out on a marriage that was just a month old shows that he probably was never in it to begin with.
I think you were in this marriage by yourself and he was just tagging along for reasons best known to him.
After a month he had had enough and simply walked out, Hollywood style. I wonder why he even got married in the first place.
How do you mean you ‘tried to seek help from parents but it didn’t work’?
Was it both sets of parents that you sought help from, and what exactly transpired…was he stubborn and did not want to listen, or was it that the parents were not keen to assist?
I hope you involved both sets of parents when you got married, because quite frankly, couples who get married without their parents’ blessing should not expect them to step in and fix things when problems arise.
Do you have children? If yes, rather than stress about spending another year in a marriage without a husband, you should be more concerned about getting him to help you provide for the child/ren.
Obviously, it’s a very unhappy time for you; so it’s understandable that under the circumstances, you would want to get the divorce over and done with, so that you can move on with your life.
Please call Lifeline Botswana or Heart & Hands of Compassion to make an appointment for face-to-face counseling. Also, please seek help from the kgosi if you got married through customary law, or talk to a marriage counselor at the DC office where you got married.
If there’s any possibility at all of legally ending your marriage now, you will be duly advised; otherwise, you have no choice but to endure another year of a husbandless marriage.
5 Things to Do Before You Even Think About Getting a Divorce
Want to end your marriage. Here are five things you ned to do before you proceed.
1. Talk to a Marriage Counselor or other professional who may be able to help you save your marriage.
Even if you don’t think there’s hope for the marriage, “divorce counseling” can help you discover what went wrong, how to cope, and how to pick up the pieces and go on. Don’t wait for your spouse to participate, just do it.
2. Talk to a lawyer before you do anything.
Even if you don’t end up hiring a lawyer to handle your separation or divorce, you would be well advised to get as much information as you can before you even discuss divorce with your spouse.
Actions you take now may very well affect the outcome of your divorce and you need to understand your options ahead of time…not some time down the road when it may be too late to alter the outcome.
3. Do not move out of the marital home without talking to a lawyer first.
Leaving the house without a good reason may cause you to lose possession of the matrimonial home or custody of the children.
If you leave the house, you may also be unable to return until after a court divides the property.
The best advice is to stay in the house until after you talk with a lawyer unless your spouse is violent. If your spouse is violent, you must take all steps necessary to protect yourself and your children.
4. Take concrete steps to safeguard your assets before you and your spouse begin discussing divorce.
Protective measures you might consider in your divorce planning include: protecting your own credit rating by freezing or closing joint credit cards and by blocking your spouse’s access to other joint credit such as a home equity loan or lines of credit; and closing joint bank accounts and opening accounts in your own, individual name.
- Make arrangements to see your children as much as you can
The courts, when awarding custody, will look to the status quo in order to provide children with stability.
If you intend on getting custody of the children, you must show the court that you want it and show that you can work with your spouse to arrange time with the children and make decisions.
When separating, it is important to maintain a close relationship with children and to remain equally responsible for them.