"His mother treats me like I’m his girlfriend and not his wife"

Mother and daughter-in-law (PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/GALLO IMAGES)
Mother and daughter-in-law (PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/GALLO IMAGES)

NOT TREATED LIKE A MAKOTI

Question

I’ve been living with my husband in a back room on his mother’s property for five years, but we cook in the main house. When he goes to work during the day he gives me money to buy something to eat.

I don’t eat in the main house until he comes back from work at about 6 pm, even though he buys the groceries every month. At first I didn’t mind because I’d eat takeaways, but it bothers me now as I’m pregnant and need home-cooked food, not kotas.

I tried talking to him about this but it seems he’s afraid of his mom and sisters. Maybe I should move out and leave him because I can’t live as if I’m a girlfriend and not a makoti.

Answer

It’s difficult for some men to detach from their family, even after they get married. To them it feels as if they’re turning their backs on the people who raised them. Making your husband choose between you and his family will only cause conflict.

I suggest you call Famsa on 011-975- 7106/7 to make an appointment for a counselling session to discuss your feelings and expectations. Listen to what your husband has to say too and empathise with him. Then make a decision that will satisfy both of you.

READ MORE: A feminist in the streets and a makoti in the sheets?

I FEEL UNLOVED

Question

I have two beautiful daughters and I’m HIV-positive, which I only discovered during my second pregnancy in 2007. I left the father of my kids two years later. I haven’t yet met a man who will love me unconditionally and accept me the way I am. I’ve met married men but they only want to have sex with me and then leave.

It’s hurting me because no one helps me financially either. I work in the retail industry and the money is not enough to take care of the kids. Sometimes I do bad things like sleep with men for food for my kids. I hate myself because I might die and leave my daughters to suffer. Will I find a man who’ll love me unconditionally and will I ever be happy?

Answer

Being happy can’t be defined by having a man to love or take care of you. You have so much to live for and you can make ends meet. I suggest you find other ways of earning extra income instead of degrading yourself. Talking to a professional counsellor could help. Call LifeLine on 011-715-2000 to set up a counselling session. Don’t despair – you’ve come this far and you have the power to change things.

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RUNAWAY HUSBAND

Question

I’m 33 and married to a 36-year-old man. I provided for my husband when he was unemployed but I lost my job in 2012. Now he’s working and earning good money but he treats me badly because I depend on him financially. He spends his money carelessly and we had to move from our flat to my parents’ house so we can save for our own house.

But now he’s moving into his own flat and has left me with the kids because I don’t agree with his partying ways. How can I get him to support me and the kids financially? We’re married in community of property.

Answer

It’s sad how quickly your husband forgot about how supportive you were when he was unemployed. According to the law, you can claim child maintenance from your spouse if he fails to assist you financially with the kids’ upbringing. You can apply for spousal maintenance too. This can all be done at your nearest family court, which is part of the magistrate’s court. Good luck.

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