Dear Bunmi, my husband and I got married about 10 years ago, and I’ve just given birth to our fourth child and don’t want any more children.
But my husband is deeply religious and won’t use the condom. As a result, I’ve resorted to taking the pill without telling him.
My fear is I’m worried my husband will be able to detect I’m taking it.
Franka, by e-mail.
Women sometimes react to the hormones in the pill by getting fuller breasts or by adding on weight.
It’s, however, unlikely that your husband would link this with your taking the pill. So, unless he finds your supply in the house, he probably won’t know.
Seriously though, you’re taking the pill without discussing it with your husband; that’s a sign that something is wrong with your relationship.
You have every right not to have another child, if you think four are enough. But lying to your husband is not the way to a good marriage and a happy life.
Face your husband and talk this over with him until you find a solution that’s right for you both.
Should I forget love at my age?
In three months’ time, I shall be 58 and have been involved in three long-term relationships, which ended at my insistence.
The last one came to an end late last year after 15 years together. My four children, from my only marriage, are all grown up, and I have three lovely grandchildren.
I brought up my children alone because their father seldom kept in touch. My second relationship lasted 10 years, and we’re still good friends.
It’s my last break-up that’s causing me such agonies. We both have thriving shops in a highbrow mall and we live in the same housing complex. He is quite a ladies’ man and, even with friends agreeing with me, I was well rid of him.
This gets worst now he’s met someone new. Why am I suffering so? I could understand all this if I were a teenager. Please help!
Andresa, Dolphin Estate.
Life is not as simple and straightforward as we would all love it to be. You meet someone; you have a good time; you split up and move on.
The snag is that feelings are more complicated than this, and the older you get, the messier they both become. But why are you so unfair to yourself?
You’ve had three relationships, which worked, as long as they lasted. Now you must have confidence in your own judgement and remind yourself of the reasons that led to your decision to leave those relationships in the first place.
You need to analyse why you feel so bad at this recent break-up. You still have to see your ex at work and in your neighbourhood. This makes it harder to make a break, and the fact he’s found a replacement for you niggles.
Yet these things don’t change the thinking that went on before the split. You’re reacting to circumstances you’ve blown out of proportion.
Since you can’t move shops or change house, you must be strong and get over your current feelings. If your fear is that you’ve made a mistake and might not find a replacement easily at your age, then concentrate on what you currently have going for you.
A healthy business, lovely children and grandchildren; and a good roof over your head. With time, you might meet someone new and, if you don’t, life will still be good!
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Is she the right girl for our son?
When my 28-year-old son first brought his girlfriend home, she struck me as quite stand-offish. She seemed to be uncomfortable with the way my husband and I behaved, and although I later detected she could be shy. I’m still worried.
My family is the boisterous type and we like to laugh, but she never joins in.
My son has just told us they would be getting married soon, and my husband is not happy about his choice.
Although our son is quite old enough to know who he wants to live the rest of his life with, I would prefer she fits in with our family.
Susan, by e-mail.
Shy people are generally thought to be snooty, when the truth is that they would do all it takes to belong. They just feel so self-conscious that they simply can’t relax.
I’m sure your son’s girl would love to be accepted but hasn’t got the confidence to join in with all of you. Tone things down when she’s around and spend some quiet time trying to bring her out of her shell to find out the kind of person she really is.
You’re right, your son has a right to settle with whomever he wishes and she doesn’t have to fit in, if she doesn’t want to. She just has to make your son happy!
My daughter has become a religious freak
About a year ago, my 19-year-old daughter became a member of a radical evangelical movement.
The movement banned the consumption of milk or any dairy products because dairy farming is cruel to animals and milk causes breast cancer and other health problems.
At first, I thought it was a phase, which she would soon grow out of. But now, she doesn’t eat with the family and does her own cooking.
I don’t think she’s getting all the nourishment she could from just vegetables and soya milk extracts she uses as meat. Do you think she’ll be alright?
Fatima, by e-mail.
Recently, there’s been a lot of adverse publicity about milk, especially with the mad cow scare a few years back.
But there is no hard evidence that it’s bad for you. According to nutritionists, milk and dairy products are a top source of energy and nutrients.
Some people do have intolerance of lactose (milk sugar), especially blacks, but this could be overcome by adding enzyme drops like Colief to the milk.
Non-dairy products like soya milk are widely available and make a good substitute, but soya allergies are also common.
If your daughter won’t budge, make sure she drinks fortified milk alternatives and take supplements specially made for vegans.