“Retrenchment knocked my confidence” - Dr Louise answers your burning questions

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Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)
Photo: Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Why should I pay for my hubby’s mistakes?

When I met my husband four years ago he was an affluent businessman who promised me a secure  future. I’ve always wanted to marry a rich man as my family was very poor. I believe a husband should provide for his wife so she can focus on looking lovely and being the perfect hostess.

A year ago my husband made serious financial errors that resulted in him losing his fortune. Now we have to sell our house and our lifestyle has to change completely. We’ve had to move into a dingy flat and our friends have started to ignore us.

I didn’t sign up for this and I hate him for bringing us down. I want to get a divorce but can’t afford to. My husband told me to look for employment, which has only made me hate him more. He owes me a good lifestyle and now he can’t deliver!

-          Marlene, email

Dr Louise’s advice

Marriage is a partnership, not a relationship in which one partner has to give everything while the other gets  a free ride. Of course you should find employment because you both need to work together to get out of this difficult financial situation.

Many businesses are going through a difficult time due to the state of the economy, so it may not just be bad judgment on your husband’s part – and even if it is, people make mistakes.

Marriage is about handling both the good and the bad times. Now is the time to support your husband, encourage him and do what you can  to supplement your joint income. It’s not helpful to point fingers and act like a child who’s lost  a favourite toy.

Many businesspeople have lost a fortune and then built up a business again – but this takes plenty of effort and perseverance. You need to decide if you can support your husband in this  – if not, you should get divorced. Contact any law clinic at a university to assist you.


Retrenchment knocked my confidence

I was retrenched two years ago. I’ve always considered myself a valuable employee who was loyal and diligent. I always did my best. So it came as a great shock to suddenly be made redundant. It really knocked my confidence.

Since then I’ve applied for several jobs but if I’m honest with myself the interviews never go well. I believe it’s as a result of my lack of self- confidence. If I was the employer, I also wouldn’t have offered myself a position!

I think the first step would be to get my confidence back. What can I do to achieve this? I want to be the person who’s willing to climb a mountain again. The one who believes that he can.

-          Dick, email

Dr Louise’s advice

Being retrenched is indeed  a traumatic experience and no matter what you’re told by your employer the perception can stay in your mind that in some way you weren’t good enough.

Of course this is often far from the truth. It usually has more to do with  the fact that companies are struggling because of the state of the economy. They’re consequently forced to let even valuable employees go. It’s basically a matter of crunching numbers.

Therapy could help you process what’s happened to you so you can put it in perspective and realise that there’s more to you than simply being  employed by a certain company. A human being’s value is far more complex than just being an employee. There’s much more to life than just that.


How do I hide my boyfriend from my mom?

I’m a 36-year-old white woman from an Afrikaans family who believe that when it comes to relationships, you should stick to people of your own race. But I’ve been dating an Indian guy for a few years now without their knowledge.

I’ve already met his family but I’ve been hiding our relationship from mine.

The problem now is that my mom, who lives in a different province, is coming to visit me and I’m freaking out. How am I going to hide my Indian boyfriend from her? He’s under the impression my family know about him.

He lives in his own place up the road from me. There’s no way I can tell my mom about him. She’ll  literally freak out.

-          Anonymous, email

Dr Louise’s advice

The first thing you need to do is address a very important issue within yourself. You’ve been living a lie not only when it comes to your family but also with regard to yourself.

On the one hand you’re happy to be with your boyfriend, so the relationship must be fulfilling and he must make you happy. But on the other hand you’re hiding him from your family. How do you reconcile these two things? Why are you afraid to stand up for your beliefs and be open about your relationship?

See your family’s racial prejudices for what they are. Make up your mind about who you are and what you believe.

Are your feelings for your boyfriend real? If you love him, be open about it.  Be woman enough to acknowledge him as your partner to your mother and the rest of your family. Maybe you could even help them see beyond the colour  of a person’s skin.



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