My fiancée and I are 23 and have been together for four years.
We are both working, but she is in Gaborone while I am in Francistown.
We have talked about living together and are saving up to buy a house.
At the moment I am renting a servant’s quarters so can’t really offer her a home.
The problem now is that she has become distant, not just in kilometres, but emotionally as well.
We see each other a few times a month, however, there is hardly any physical contact and sex is just a memory.
I have talked to her about it and she either tells me she is too tired, stressed out because of her work commitments, or just not in the mood.
I asked her if she was feeling depressed, but she said she wasn’t.
She makes an effort with others – when I am with her she is always getting calls and laughing and joking with friends and family, but then is miserable as soon as she hangs up.
I feel that I don’t get out what I put into the relationship.
I know she loves me and I love here immensely, and there are good days when she is caring, but it depresses me that this is what married life will be like.
I don’t want to leave her so what can I do?
This sounds like a classic case of ‘if you liked it, then you should have put a ring on it.’
I suppose that when you talked to your fiancée about her feelings towards you, the subject of marriage was discussed.
After four years of dating each other it is a legitimate question.
It might be that you have put off the big day because you are ‘saving up to buy a house together,’ whilst she might feel that this is just an excuse to avoid making a commitment.
It’s also true that when you’re stressed and tired, the last thing you want is anything physical.
Perhaps you need to put some romance back into your union rather than feeling that you are not getting out what you put into the relationship.
Spend some pulas buying her perfume or going out to stay in a hotel for a night, and just enjoy being young and in love – assuming your assessment that she still loves you is correct.
Rediscover what it’s like to enjoy each other’s company – right now things are getting very pressured and serious.
There’s no point in saving up for a house if when you get it your relationship lasts a week!
You need other things to look forward to and to be reminded why you’re together in the first place.
If that doesn’t work, then you have to sit down together and be honest about what you both want.
Maybe you’ve come to a point where you want different things – people change a lot in those years from late teens to 20’s.
You’ve been together a long time considering your age and it could be that your fiancée has fallen into the trap of taking you for granted.
She sees you as the one person she doesn’t have to make an effort with.
You should also consider the possibility that there is someone else in her life.
What is happening now is not the right way to start a life together. Unless you’re both committed, don’t rush into anything, especially marriage.
I’m 20-years-old and I’m pregnant. I have a regular boyfriend, but the problem is I’m not sure if the baby is his as I once slept with his best friend.
It was all a mistake my boyfriend was away on a trip and I went to a party with his friend.
We were both very drunk and I don’t really remember what happened, but I woke up in his bed.
I’m really scared it could be his. What should I do?
At this stage I’m sure you don’t need me to moralise about the dangers of alcohol and how it led to you having unprotected sex, nor to question what kind of ‘best friend’ sleeps with his mate’s girl.
I would hope that you have already done a whole lot of soul searching on both topics.
What you need now is to find a way out of the mess.
I’m afraid the only thing you can do is be honest.
I don’t believe there’s any point in going through nine months of pregnancy or your life worrying about whether the baby is your boyfriend’s or not.
These things have a habit of coming out through gossip or innuendo, so my advice would be to tackle it now.
Of course, your man might leave you, in which case you’ll be a single mum and that can be really difficult, or he might become violent and take it out on you, or his so called best friend.
If he is your steady boyfriend you should know enough about him to gauge his reaction, but you could do with confiding in someone close your mum, an auntie or a trusted friend.
You might also wish to talk to a counsellor from the list of contacts I provide with this column especially if your thoughts may be turning towards illegally terminating the pregnancy.
It would be good to have someone backing you up and helping you because it’s a big thing to admit to your boyfriend and being pregnant can itself be overwhelming.
There’s no way of knowing who the father is until the baby is born and you can have a DNA test carried out, but the only other option is to live with uncertainty, possibly for ever.
I can’t predict how your boyfriend will react – hurt and possibly angry – but you can’t run away from it.
It’s best to be honest now. It might not feel like it, but it’ll save you a lot of heartache and devastation in the year’s to come.
Good luck and let me know what you decide to do.
WHERE TO GET HELP
Lifeline Botswana – 3911290 (Face-to-face Counselling), 3911270 (Telephone Counselling)
Childline Botswana - 3900900 (Children’s Issues, Counselling, Parenting Skills)
Men’s Clinic – 3909402 (Male Sexual Health)
Heart & Hands of Compassion - 73516022 (Face-to-face Counselling)
BOSASNet – 3959119/72659891 (Substance Abuse Education, Prevention & Rehabilitation)
BOCAIP - 3916454 (Counselling, HIV Testing, Care & Support)
Ipoletse HIV/AIDS Call Centre – Toll Free Numbers 0800 600 700 / 711600
CEYOHO - 3919958/71763659 (Counselling, HIV Stigma Reduction, Behaviour Change, Health Education and Support for Young People)
Women Against Rape – 6860865 (Counselling, Legal Aid, Emergency Shelter)
Kagisano Women’s Shelter Project – 3907658/9, 3900516 (Counselling, Medical & Legal Aid Support for Women and Children affected by Domestic Violence)