Home » Ask Gase » ASK GASE 11.07.2014



Recently, my husband died suddenly.

He was only 45, leaving me with two children, aged four and 17 months.

It was such a shock and I’m struggling with my grief as well as having problems with my in-laws.

They have blamed me for my husband’s death, saying I had bewitched him, and are also claiming his property.

I need some help as I don’t know how to cope with this. How do we go on?


My heart goes out to you. I know how awful grief is, and on top of that you also have to deal with unfeeling and greedy in-laws.

You are having to face a lot of pressure so please don’t put more on yourself by thinking you have to come up with solutions right away.

And try not to think long term just take things day by day and get as much help as you can.

Talk to friends and your own family and accept all the help that is offered especially when it comes to your relations with your late husband’s family.

I’d also highly recommend bereavement counselling. Some people worry about how a stranger can understand, but it’s often easier to let everything out with someone you don’t know well.

With regard to the issues with your in-laws over property and their behaviour towards you, I suggest you report the matter to the kgotla.

The customary court is there to help with such problems and to see that justice is done with regard to your late husband’s property, as well as dealing with the unfounded belief that you had ‘bewitched’ him.

You also have to realise that grief is natural it’s the body and mind’s way of healing.

And eventually, you will start to feel better.

I don’t think you ever get over it, but you learn to live with it and begin to move on.

Your children will keep you strong because life has to go on for them they still need to have their supper cooked and nappy changed.

Anger is a big thing too, especially when your grief is compounded by the unreasonable attitude of your in-laws. It just seems so unfair.

If you have any time without the kids, scream the place down if that’s how you feel. Let it out.

That will help deal with the emotional stress, whilst the court assists you to sort out the cultural pressures.



I have met a man who is much older than me we have been seeing each other for a few months, and he has asked me to marry him.

I have a child from a previous relationship, and I believe this man will be a good step- father and provider.

The trouble is although I like this man, I’m not in love with him.

But why do I have to be in love with the person I marry?


As the old saying goes, ‘love and marriage go together like a horse and carriage,’ and most believe that marrying for reasons, not including love, would be little more than a settling arrangement.

But let me be the ‘devils advocate’ here and help you out with three arguments to the contrary.

Firstly love is a changeable emotion. As quickly as you fall in love, you can fall out of love. Then what?

Either the relationship ends or it becomes strained. If love is your primary connection, the glue is gone.

Secondly love does not make for a strong enough foundation.

Yes, love is strong but, due to the fact that it can evaporate, it is not something that can stand alone as the basis for a long-term relationship (especially when kids are involved). Anything built on a foundation of love is subject to crumbling.

Finally I would suggest love is far from “all you need.” You need mutual respect, shared goals and compatibility way more than you need love to have a sustainable, lasting relationship.

People “fall in love with love” because they think it will carry them the distance.

We all want to be wanted and we love to love yet, if you had a recipe for a strong, healthy relationship, it might look like this: 3 Cups respect; 2 Cups shared goals; 2 Cups compatibility, 1 Tablespoon love, 1 teaspoon attraction (optional!). (Of course a relationship has many more ingredients than this but you get the idea).


I am a 32-year-old woman and have been married for three years.

Prior to this marriage I was in a relationship for almost six years.

It was a passionate relationship, but I left him and moved on because he was constantly cheating.

Recently he got in-touch again and I have been having a texting relationship with him mostly about sex.

We had our great times together, and I have never felt I could love any man as much as I loved him.

My husband is generous and good hearted, but in truth a bit boring compared to my former love.

I feel guilty about texting my ex but I rationalize my behaviour by convincing myself that unless we are really sleeping together, there is nothing wrong with it.

He makes me feel better over the phone than my husband does here with me.

What is wrong with me? Help please.


Although nothing is wrong with you, I do believe your behaviour is wrong.

You are being intimate with another man behind your husband’s back.

Whether this is physical or virtual, it is still cheating.

Anything that you are doing with another person that you don’t want your spouse to find out about is infidelity.

You are choosing to feel that your husband is ‘boring’ because you deal with less exciting details of everyday life together

Sometimes we can’t tell the difference between distraction and attraction.

It’s easier to create a fantasy with your ex than to address the issues between you and your real life flesh and blood man.

My advice is to end this now. If you are unhappy with your husband, be honest with him and address these problems.

Seek couple counselling that will help you find joy in your life so you won’t have to seek out cheap thrills.




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