July: Ask Agony Uncle Eli


Rainbow Counsellor Elijah Luke Michel is here to help with your problems:

I’m worried about my boyfriend. Recently made redundant, he has become unmotivated and needy. He sleeps in, watches Netflix all day, and calls me numerous times at work when lonely or bored, which angers my boss. I also spend my lunch breaks job-hunting online for him. I miss my happy boyfriend — how else can I help him?

Stop. Stop taking calls at work and putting your own job at risk, and stop spending your down-time job-hunting. You are inadvertently enabling him at a time he needs empowering. When we do things for people that they are perfectly capable of doing themselves, we rob them of confidence and esteem and end up taking care of them instead of giving care. Care-taking is tiring and suggests we have no faith in them; care-giving means we empathise but allow them to problem-solve, asking instead how the job-search went at the end of each day.

I am heart-broken. My partner recently disclosed she is pregnant. We have been together for three years in (what I thought was) a monogamous relationship. She was afraid to tell me, but wants to go ahead with the pregnancy and is hoping we can raise the baby together. I am torn between doing so and leaving the relationship altogether now trust has been broken. What should I do?


I understand your dilemma but only you can make that decision with, I expect, great thought. Is the father someone you know? Will he be involved in the child’s life? Was there more between him and your partner than a night of indiscretion? You will need all the facts so you can ascertain if it is likely to happen again. If you decide to stay, all three of you will need to sit down and discuss roles moving forward, ensuring trust is rebuilt and the baby’s needs come first.

Elijah Luke Michel works with the LGBT+ community as a chaplain and face-to-face counsellor at OUTLineNZ. If you have an issue you would like Elijah to talk about in express, email ask@gayexpress.co.nz.