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Updated 30 April 2018

‘My husband makes me feel like a slave for my in-laws’

Sis Dolly answers some questions from our readers.

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How can I change my miserable life?

Question

I’m pregnant with my fourth child and I’m living with my in-laws.

My life is miserable because I work like a slave before and after going to work. I also have to cook for my father-in-law because my mother-in-law works overseas. I’m working so I can support myself and my kids because my husband doesn’t.

 I really need someone to talk to because I have no one. My husband shouts at me, calls me names and even hits me. I’m too scared to leave him because I don’t have a house. Please help.

Answer

It hurts and is emotionally draining when you continue to bend yourself backwards for your family and all your efforts go unappreciated.

Your husband, as your partner and the father of your children, should help you and make the load a bit easier for you. He certainly should not be part of the problem. Clearly he doesn’t appreciate you and what you do. Instead of supporting you he’s abusing you physically and emotionally.

The bottom line is that you can’t continue living this way. Just because you don’t have a house doesn’t mean you should continue to subject yourself to all this abuse. Besides, this environment isn’t suitable for raising children.

 It’s time for you to involve his family and yours – speak to them and try to get this sorted out. If all else fails you can go to your nearest domestic violence court for help. You need to take action – before something worse happens – for both your own and your children’s sake.

Am I being selfish?

Question

I’m a 25-year-old woman with a well-earning job. I’ve worked hard for this but now everyone wants a bit of me – my boyfriend, my family and my friends. I know I have responsibilities but I would just like to enjoy my life for a while and do things for me. Is this wrong? Am I just being mean and selfish? JS, SMS

Answer

No, you’re not being mean and selfish. You’re simply looking out for number one. You’ve worked hard to get to where you are and you should have the opportunity to enjoy the fruits of your labour without any guilt or shame. Remember, you can’t expect to make other people happy if you’re unhappy. Your partner and family need to understand that you’ll honour your responsibilities towards them in time. Just make sure you don’t alienate them completely as they’re an important part of your life. You’ll find that when the chips are down it is family and friends who are your first point of support. Although you’re not obligated to them in any way, you can assure them that you will find a way to assist them if there’s a need.

 
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