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Mum cries to Mai Chisamba – “My Sons no-longer take care of me”


Wife does not listen to me

Hello amai. I am a 30-year-old man and I am married to a 28-year-old woman. Our relationship is not smooth because my wife insists on doing everything her siblings say. I try to get her to do some things I request but she will only budge when her sisters approve.

I am really fed up with this because I want us to make decisions as a couple. Recently, we moved out of our home. We had been staying in a high-density suburb where rentals were affordable. We now reside in the Avenues area, and we are struggling to pay rent. She constantly has to borrow from her sisters. How best can I resolve this?


Hello and thanks for writing in. I can understand why you are frustrated. Two is company and three is a crowd. Your wife has to understand that she married you and that decisions need to be made at household level more often than not.

I recommend seeing a marriage counsellor. They will make sure this message gets across. The bond between sisters is tight, but if left unchecked, as in this scenario, it may do damage to a marriage. Leaving the house you could afford to break your back every month paying rentals elsewhere was unwise. I gathered from your communication that her siblings are loaning her money.

Could this be why they have such a stranglehold on her? Inform the counsellor of all this. You need to make your own decisions while working on becoming financially independent. Go reside in an area you can afford. False pretence and keeping up appearances causes more harm than good. I wish you well.


Are we compatible?

I am 26 years old and my wife is 25. As far as marriage is concerned, things are going well. I have written to you because I have a bit of an inferiority complex. I obtained five Cs at Ordinary Level, which I attained after several sittings. My wife is degreed and, quite frankly, earns a lot more than me.

Recently, I caught a glimpse of her payslip and I nearly fainted. I am scared she is going to leave me because she is more qualified and out-earns me. Any tips on how I can prevent this from happening?

As far as providing, I am an only child and my parents left me their comfortable home when they retired and moved to the rural areas. I used my last dime to pay her lobola. Please help!


I will get straight into it. You are creating a lot of chaos in your mind. As of now, your wife has not voiced her displeasure at your lack of advanced education certificates or inferior salary. You have outlined the major differences but I am sure there are much more similarities that led her to agree to marrying you.

Relax, it sounds to me like you are in love. However, I do admire your desire for self-improvement. Do it for the right reasons – to better yourself and support your union. Learning has since been made easier by the use of the Internet and an abundance of digital study material.

Take another shot at it. Age is just a number. Twenty-six is not too early to start working towards improving your curriculum vitae (CV). As for the monetary aspect, try and find a trade or a project you can venture into to supplement your income.

Start small and keep at it. The more things blossom, the less pressure you will feel on your end. Continue to treat your wife with love and respect. Do not go about starting fires you may not be able to put out.


Sons are no longer taking care of me

Hi amai. I hope you are well. I have written to you because my two sons have drastically fallen short of providing for me.

They are blaming the lockdown as the basis of this and I am confused. I am even beginning to wonder if perhaps their wives are in on it.

I am not really well-versed in how the economy works. Please help me. Is there a way I can tell them that things have changed a lot? I never envisioned things becoming this hard.


Hello writer. I am very well, and thanks for asking. As you rightly stated, there is a global lockdown because of Covid-19. Your sons must be commended for taking care of you thus far. I genuinely believe this rough patch is Covid-19 related. Companies have scaled down, production has been minimised and for informal traders, their marketplaces have been closed.

Pair that with the cost of living and associated costs needed to provide for their families, there is little income left to go around. Is there any other way you generate income and if so, could you stretch it more to cater for your needs? What aspects of your life do you need help with the most?

Tell your sons you understand the situation and highlight the major areas of concern that have been affected. Leave their wives out of this. I am sure as a family you can map a productive way forward until the pandemic lets up. I wish you well.

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