'He wants to have his cake and eat it' – Dr Louise answers your burning questions

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PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images
PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images


I’ve been with my boyfriend for a year. Everything started out perfectly and he is my greatest supporter, but things are not good when it comes to his favourite brother. I get along with everyone in his family except the brother. I get the feeling each time we speak that he does not like me or approve of me. 

This brother lives in England and we’ve only spoken over WhatsApp calls. I feel my boyfriend tried to force us to form a relationship. We have fought so much about this. He thinks I don’t want to make an effort with things or people that are important to him. I love him and what’s important to him is important to me, but there’s just something about his brother and sister-in-law – it’s like they don’t think anyone is good enough for him. 

I’ve told him we can’t be together anymore and he moved out. But I don’t want to break up with him as he’s the best thing that has ever happened to me. 

We speak but it is different – he’s distant and seems uninterested. He says he needs time to see what he wants. When I ask if I should give him space and allow him to deal with the matter, he sees this as me wanting to end things. When I message too much, he feels I’m trying to force his hand.

I know can be passive-aggressive and I’m an overthinker and let my emotions run away with me, so what can I do to end this confusion? 

Kelly, email

Dr Louise advice

It’s unfair of his brother and sister-in-law to make a judgement about you if they don’t even know you well. It does seem as if they want to have a say in your boyfriend’s life. He seems confused about what he wants and no relationship can work on this basis. 

End the relationship and tell him he needs to take some time to think about things and make up his own mind – is he willing to be in a relationship with you and draw a line with his family? Is he willing to stand up against his brother and sister-in-law? When you break up with him you should stop texting him and try to get on with your life. Give him some time and space to really think about what he wants.

It’s good that you have enough self-awareness to realise what your weaknesses are and you should use the time to address the way in which these tendencies – especially passive-aggressive behaviour – may also cause problems in your relationships. It would benefit you to consult a psychologist about this.


I’m at a crossroads in my relationship. A few months ago I discovered that my partner of 15 years has been active on various dating sites. 

I confronted him but he denied it. I came across some intimate details he shared with a particular woman he wants to meet up with. 

He’s cheated before and I forgave him. But it’s clear to me that he’s seriously looking for women to cheat with on these dating sites. 

We share a home and I feel used, as I’m carrying my share of responsibilities – financially as well as fulfilling his sexual needs. He often tells me I’m boring and I don’t excite him, so I should not blame him for being unfaithful. 

What hurts the most is that he expects me to behave as though everything is fine and we’re a normal couple, while he’s actively looking for sexual partners. I’m at my wits’ end. 

Desperate, email 

Dr Louise advice

It seems your partner wants the best of both worlds – you at home playing the loyal partner, while he also plays the field as if he’s free and unattached. 

Unfortunately, no good relationship can work like this. A sound relationship is based on mutual love, trust, loyalty and support of each other. You need to give him an ultimatum. Either he gets off the dating sites and stops pursuing other women or you end the relationship. 

You can then get on with your own life and he will be free to pursue his own endeavours. Don’t allow yourself to be a slave at the beck and call of someone who doesn’t treat you with respect. 

If you feel you don’t have the emotional strength to do this, consult a psychologist so that he or she can help you understand why you are struggling to stand up for yourself and be clear about what you are and are not willing to accept.


I’ve been in a relationship for six years and I still don’t know if I’m happy. We now have a baby together and it seems we are living in constant routine. 

I feel attracted to almost every good-looking man that crosses my path. It’s as if I’m in love with the thrill and the possible attention I may get from these other men. 

I have recently even developed a crush on my boss who is twice my age. I love my boyfriend but it’s like I want five more boyfriends. Is there something wrong with me? Cayla, email

Dr Louise advice

You’re going to get yourself into trouble if you pursue these thoughts and feelings. It is very likely to lead to the end of your relationship, and the complication is it can’t be a clean break as he is your child’s father. 

It seems as if you’re not happy with what you have and want more. There may be something in your past that’s causing you to have these feelings and you need to get to the bottom of it.

It may help to consult a psychologist trained in hypnotherapy so you can ascertain what is going on in your subconscious mind and stirring up all these feelings and thoughts.

‘Take your life in your own hands, and what happens? A terrible thing: no one to blame’ – Erica Jong, American Novelist

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