Agony Aunt Annie gives advice to a reader who is battling to cope after her partner left her…

Dear Annie

I have been in a relationship for four years. I fell pregnant but I did not want to keep the baby. I grew up with an absent father and I wanted to be married before considering children, if ever I was going to have them.

My partner assured me that we would raise the baby together. I went ahead with the pregnancy and our daughter is two years old now. We have talked about marriage and I assumed that this would eventually happen. I didn’t put too much emphasis on it, as we are both still young.

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We have been having difficulties and never seem to be able to communicate without fighting. I’ve hoped things will get better. He is my whole world and I really love him. I also want to stay together for our daughter’s sake.

Eight weeks ago he walked out and said that it was over

I couldn’t take it. I felt that I couldn’t face life without him and so I tried to end it all. My mom found me and called an ambulance. A hundred stitches later, I am trying to put my life back together.

I know that I have no future with him if he can make me do this. He is also already in another relationship.

I know that I have no future with him if he can make me do this. He is also already in another relationship

The problem is that I can’t stop thinking about him. I don’t know how to carry on without him. I am also sad and angry that I need to raise my daughter alone. She loves her dad so much and is excited to go to him for weekends.

I am happy on one hand that she goes to him, but on the other hand I worry about how responsible he will be and if he will care what effect his behaviour has on her in the future. He certainly did not care about what his walking out did to me. He didn’t even bother visiting me in the hospital.

How do I move on with my life and what would you advise about my daughter?
Thank you
Merci
Dear Merci

Thank you for your letter. Having someone be a part of your life and then losing them can be devastating. It seems like a lot of your adult identity was formed while you were in a relationship with your boyfriend.

What you have come to know about yourself seems to be the self you see reflected from your boyfriend.

While the pond looked crystal clear, bathed in romantic moonlight, you probably reflected really well. He thought that you were beautiful and perfect and he was excited to raise his offspring with you.

When the algae started to grow on the pond and the reflection that you saw was slimy and murky, you began to feel really bad about yourself.

One day he up and left and you perceived your reflection to be less-than, lacking, not good enough. You were so overwhelmed with this devastating picture, that you tried to give up on ever seeing that reflection again.

At this point it is understandable that you had lost all hope and that you were too overwhelmed to think straight. You could have chosen to kill him (no, not a suggestion) or rip your clothes and run down the street naked, or go on a spending spree, or get really drunk, or cry on a friend’s shoulder, or get a new puppy, or… The point is that when you were completely devasted and overwhelmed, you chose how to respond.

You chose. No one made you attempt suicide.

If you want to heal you need to start by taking responsibility for your choices

This is not an insensitive judgement. When you realise that you have choices, you can move from being a victim to becoming the boss of you.

If your garbage only gets taken out if he does it, or your life is only preserved if he doesn’t make you kill yourself, you will never be safe. You can put the laundry basket there but you can’t make him put the socks in.

You need to choose to define who you are as you reflect from your creator, not as you reflect from a temperamental, smelly man

Your relationship failed, your family was broken up and you feel shattered. Take time to grieve and heal. You need to choose to define who you are as you reflect from your creator, not as you reflect from a temperamental, smelly man. Start disagreeing with what you have come to believe about yourself. You are not a has-been or unwanted because some jackass (who you admittedly love) cannot see your value and worth!

Go for counselling and rediscover the strong, brave and unique person that you are. Be the best you… for your sake and your daughter’s sake.

You are beautiful!
Love and blessings

Annie