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He treats me like a prostitute

By Bunmi Sofola
Dear Bunmi,
In my student days abroad in the early 80’s, life was tough and I did a lot of things to keep going as funds coming from home were virtually non-existent. I slept with a lot of men for money and was able to finish my studies.

I got married and had two children but the  marriage didn’t last and I came back home. I have a good job because I’m well qualified. I have my own flat and a loving partner. Recently, my partner who is married, visited my flat with one of his good friends and you can imagine my shock and embarrassment when he turned out to be one of my ‘regular customers’ in my student days abroad. He didn’t let on that he knew me and I was grateful to him for that.

However, a few weeks after the visit, he came calling on his own and it was plain what he wanted. I told him I was now involved with my partner and he said he wasn’t looking for a permanent relationship and that he would keep his mouth shut. Of course it was blackmail and I’m ashamed to say that I let him have sex with me. He left some money and went away.

I feel dirty and used and dread his coming back. I would hate for my partner to find out about my sordid past. What can I do to get rid of this shameless man?

By e-mail

Dear Nonye,
Your past should be well behind you and you have to call the bluff of this shameless man from your past. It is a pity that you gave in to his blackmailing tactics. When and if he comes calling again let him know you’re not having any of his crude overtures, and that if you had to, you could come clean with your partner. It would be nice if you had a tape recorder to record what would transpire between the two of you in case he denied anything. I am sure if your man is any friend of this creep, he wouldn’t breathe a word about pestering you for sex to him.

Must he stick his tongue in my mouth?

Dear Bunmi,
Ever since I could remember, I’ve always hated having things in or near my mouth even brushing my teeth makes me feel uneasy – and kissing is a big problem. Unfortunately, my current boyfriend feels kissing is not passionate enough unless we both use our tongues. I often resent this and he’s starting to think I don’t love him because I don’t kiss him ‘properly’. Ofcourse, I love him and I’m sure there are better ways of showing this. Any ideas?
By e-mail

Dear Lara,
A strong reaction such as you have is often the result of something nasty thing that’s happened to you in the past. It could be that when you were very young, you were made to eat something you didn’t like – or you had a bad experience with chewing sticks or the dentist. Now you have a phobia of things near your mouth.

You need to talk to a professional who could help you rethink the past and put the ‘something nasty’ in perspective. In the meantime, let your boyfriend know of this fear and together, you could beat it.

He was nasty to my family

Dear Bunmi,
For close to ten years, I was married to a man who was a control freak and very abusive to my family. It got so bad that he threatened to kill me if I saw my family or attend any of their functions. I was so terrified of him that I took his threat seriously and cut off all contact with my family and friends.

Now I’m divorced from the brute and for the first time in a long time, recognize him for the spineless coward he was. I will very much like to get back in touch with the people he forced me to cut off contact with. But I’m worried about what they will think after I’ve ignored them for so long.
By e-mail

Dear Dorothy,
It’s almost certain your family and friends understand exactly why you stopped seeing them. They had seen a flash of violence in your marriage and know you had to save your life. If however they seem not to understand) then you need to explain. Tell them how abusive your ex husband was. Make it clear you’ve always loved them but were just too afraid to make contact until now because of his threats.

I am a pretty sure that once they really appreciate the situation you were in, your family will be happy to have you back. So get in touch now. You’re out of the clutch of the monster that alienated you from them.

Why do I keep on having malaria?

Dear Bunmi,
Fed up with constantly having malaria, I invested in a good mosquito-repellant net and flit my environment from time to time, yet I still get the fever though not as often as I used to. Why is this so?

Should I be using other preventive measures apart from the mosquito net?
By e-mail

Dear Chris,
According to statistics, malaria is a potentially deadly infection affecting millions every year. It’s found in Asia, Africa and South America where it kills around 2.7 million people annually, mostly children. It is caused by a bite from an infected mosquito. The bite transmits a parasite through the bloodstream to the liver within 30 minutes. After multiplying, it gets back into the bloodstream where it destroys oxygen-carrying red blood cells. This can then lead to organ failure.

Symptoms, as you’re well aware, include fever, chills, joint pains, weakness, muscular aches, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Sadly, once you’ve had the deadly fever and treated it, it comes back because malaria parasites can lie dormant in the liver and then becomes active at any time. That is why antimalarial drugs are used not only to treat infection, but to prevent it.

He ogles teenage girls

Dear Bunmi,
My current man is 67 and we get on well together. I’m in my early 50s. His fault is that he’s constantly eyeing young girls when he’s with me.

When I asked him why he looks at 16-year old girls, he replied: “They are well developed these days.”

Why does he behave like this at his age? I’ve told him a few times that I find his behaviour annoying. I look after myself, have a nice figure and a good disposition.

Isn’t that enough? We’re compatible otherwise, but his lecherous way really spoils things.
By e-mail

Dear Risikat,
Like most men, your boyfriend tends to behave in ways that suit his self-image. Most men, just like their female counterparts, like to think of themselves as attractive to the opposite sex.

Now that your man’s sexual attractiveness is declining, he increasingly seeks fulfillment in fantasy – maybe he used to see himself as a stud who had sex with young, fertile women!

Now that has become impossible, he chases dreams in which his continued sexual success as a man is guaranteed.

His behaviour might be shocking to you but your best bet is to ignore him. Stop competing with the young girls he seems to be panting over and be yourself

For now, the only woman he wants and can have is you, so humour him – or ogle younger men to give him a good run for his money!

Will he always cheat?

Dear Bunmi,
My partner is in his forties and was married before. He is a widower and has confessed that all the time he was married he’d had girlfriends which his wife condoned. When I told him I don’t like unfaithful men, he assured me he was now older and had more important things to think about. We currently live together and anytime I can’t account for where he is, I instantly assume he’s shagging someone somewhere, once a flirt, always a flirt. Am I right?
By e-mail

Dear Munirat,
It is a fact of life that a man who has had affairs is much more likely to have another one; so you do have reason to be anxious. Since he’s now being honest with you and assuring you of his loyalty, you have no choice but to believe him. Except you have other reasons to suspect he is still a ladies’ man, I would get on with making the best of the relationship if I were you. In this type of situation you have to follow your instinct and not rush into making rash assumptions.

Don’t I turn him on any more?

Dear Bunmi,
I love my boyfriend so much. Though he’s overweight, that has never bothered me as I adore his cuddly body. We had a good sex life too until a few months ago when he changed. Now every time I’ve tried to get near him, he backs away and calls me a ‘naughty’ girl. What do you think is wrong?
By e-mail

Dear Lisa,
A man who backs off from sex usually does it for one reason – he’s afraid of failing. It could be that your partner is embarrassed by his weight and feels too ugly for sex so you need to build up his confidence. Or he may be having some difficulty in getting an erection. If so, you need to reassure him that erectile problems can almost be cured easily by having a word with his doctor.

Patience and a lot of support will soon get this problem sorted out.


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