Agony Aunt Annie offers help to a reader who never knows when her partner is going to carry out his threat of leaving her.

Dear Annie

I have been married and divorced before. After being single for several years, I found myself content with my status. My children and I were coping in our new definition of family.

Completely unexpectedly, I met a wonderful man and fell in love. He fitted into my family perfectly and we felt that we were given a second chance at love, marriage and happiness.

WIN a R 2,000 Woolworths Voucher

Subscribe to our Free Daily All4Women Newsletter to enter

My first husband is not in the picture at all and my three boys bonded with my new husband instantly.

All was well in the beginning. Now it seems as if this fairy tale is about to end

I really love him and I am committed to this relationship. He so easily feels disrespected even though that is never my intention.

I feel like I am constantly walking on eggshells. He believes that behaviour defines us, so if he perceives that I have disrespected him, often surprising me with that information, he wants to walk out.

I can’t live with this uncertainty

He changes his mind, until the next time. I can’t live with this uncertainty. I feel crushed. Even if he does commit, how can I trust him?

I feel like I am nothing more than old recycling and my self-esteem is at an all-time low.
When do I accept that he may walk out and stop holding on?

Please help
Shelley

Dear Shelley

Thank you for your letter. Marriages are difficult, second marriages more so: throw in a couple of kids and it really is complicated.

It seems like your husband will be content and happy if you would get your shiz together and start being perfect already.

It seems like your husband will be content and happy if you would get your shiz together and start being perfect already

A whole community succeeded at this, I don’t see why you can’t. You can order some tablets from stepford.com. Then you can put on your apron and lipstick and get to the kitchen, where you belong.

Don’t forget to put the toys, clutter and kids away and retouch your lipstick before he comes home. Keep his pipe and slippers in your hand as you smile and greet him.

Makes me want to get a wife, rather then be a wife, even though I don’t swing that way. How come your husband’s happiness and commitment hinges on your perfection?

Does he apply the same rules to himself?

That would mean that you have either married a perfect man or a hypocrite. Does your husband remind you more of Jesus or Jacob Zuma? That will probably give you a good indication. If disrespect on your behalf equals divorce for him, does feeling unloved equal divorce for you?

You cannot make someone love you or be committed to stay with you. Well, you can make them stay, in your basement, with chains, but that’s not ideal, because they probably won’t be able to take out the garbage, or go to work and bring home the bacon. Oh and it is illegal, so there is that too…

Love doesn’t ever promise perfection. In fact it safely holds mistakes and brokenness, offers grace and forgiveness and works to the betterment of your partner

Being the fabulous you, warts and all, should be enough to be loved

We all need to constantly be working on our warts and finding ways to compromise and communicate love and respect to each other. This should be a part of the commitment rather than what the commitment hinges on.

It would be helpful to chat together to a third party. You can then decide if you are both in or out, regardless of behaviour.

Love doesn’t ever promise perfection. In fact it safely holds mistakes and brokenness, offers grace and forgiveness and works to the betterment of your partner.

You are beautiful!
Love and blessings

Annie