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What to do when your man does not make time for you

By Faeza
25 April 2017

Stressed and confused writes:

I AM 33 and have been dating a guy since August 2014. The following year on Valentine’s

Day, he proposed and I accepted. We moved in together and started planning for the lobola negotiations. Since we got engaged, things have just been going downhill. I spend 98 percent of the relationship alone even though we are staying together. I've sat down with him several times to explain that I would like to spend more time with him but up until today, I'm still longing for the day that he will sacrifice an hour in his busy schedule to just be with me. It has gotten to a point where we only make love once a month if I'm lucky. We're no longer sexually active. I can’t even remember the last time he held me in his arms. He says he loves and cares for me, but whenever we have an argument he is ready to pack up and leave when I'm willing to fight for our love. He is impatient with me and I don’t see love in his eyes anymore. It's like he can’t see any good in me because he points out every single thing I do wrong. He was supposed to pay lobola at the end of March, but I stopped everything. I told my family that I was married to a man like this

before and I refuse to go through the same thing again. He believes that as long as I have food, a car, a house and money, then I have nothing to complain about. I'm at a point where I want to quit.

Linda Yende replies: 

YOU guys started dating in August 2014. You got engaged and moved in together in February 2015. By all accounts, you guys should still be in your honeymoon period. At this

stage in your relationship, this is still the point where people should still be saying to you: "Don’t be fooled, it won’t always be like this. Trouble is still coming." I'm a big believer in living together for a bit before getting married. Living together is a relationship accelerator

– in a positive and a negative way. This is the time when you see a person for who they really are. You see them at their best and at their worst. You see the person that you are going to be stuck with for the rest of your life. If the person you see during this period is not quite what you signed up for, then I'm afraid you have your answer.

TWO SIDES TO A STORY

Let’s put the blame game aside because, honestly, there are always two sides to a story. He could be telling a very different story to yours. The fact is: are you able to resolve your

issues? Are you able to communicate and discuss them amicably? The answer, as things stand, is no. Please understand that it's just as crucial to look at the woman in the mirror and figure out your part in the whole saga. For example, you can’t keep saying, “I want a man who is hard working. A man who is a provider. A man who brings the bacon home” , then be surprised when you get exactly that. If you keep on saying that, you'll get a man who is emotionally unavailable because he is too busy working and bringing the bacon home. Just keep in mind that life will give you precisely what you asked for.

PRIORITY LIST

I think it's no coincidence that you have fallen for the same kind of man twice. Ask yourself what initially drew you to them. Too often, we put the wrong things on our priority list. Then we’re surprised when we get those things. We discover when it's too late that we

forgot the far more important things like kindness and compassion. You should always aim for a man who treats you with respect and loves you above all else. So, please review your priority list.

THINK BEFORE YOU DECIDE

To me, it sounds like you already have one foot out of the door. You just need some convincing to validate your decision. You should both consider going for a couple's counselling session so that you would all be able to tell your side of the story. There, you

will have somebody to facilitate an honest, open discussion before you completely decide to call it quits. I wish you all the best.