Auntie Stella

30. My husband is unfaithful

Theme: Sex and relationships
Speaking out

Dear Auntie Stella

I got married two years ago when I was 19 and my husband was 22. We were madly in love and now we have a beautiful baby. I never had sex with anyone else in my life, only my husband, Thulani. But six months ago he started coming home late. He said he was working but I was sure he was seeing someone else. I am really scared of AIDS so I finally got the courage to ask him to use a condom. Well, he went completely crazy and accused me of not trusting him.

Then I found out he had been visiting a woman just two streets away and at last Thulani admitted he had a girlfriend. He said he would break up with her because he only really loves me.

But when I said I wouldn’t have sex with him until he went for HIV testing, he refused. He says he absolutely doesn’t want to know.

This has been going on for nearly a month now. I mostly make him sleep in the kitchen. He says no-one treats a husband like this. But what else can I do, Auntie? I still love him but I am terrified of getting HIV from him. Please help – perhaps I shouldn’t have married so young!


Talking points

  • Josephine got married when she was only 19. Do people often marry at this age or younger in your communities? What are the advantages and disadvantages of marrying young?

  • Why do men and women look for sex outside their marriages? Make a list of reasons and think of solutions for each one.

  • Married women have the highest rate of HIV infection in southern Africa. Why do you think this is? What can society do about this?

  • What do you think Josephine should do now? What should Thulani do?