Now, the heart-broken Thembi* shares her story of how she left her Mama’s boy fiancé because she could no longer compete with his mother for him.

This is her story.

“I got engaged to a very loving and caring guy in June 2016. He paid off my lobola in December later that year. Everything seemed well until my future mother-in-law started demanding money from my fiancé.

He would do anything for her, he even went and applied for loans behind my back so that he can assist his mother. When he could no longer handle the pressure, he would become frustrated and start to disrespect me to the point where he’d abuse me emotionally. I then suggested that we go for couple’s counselling and fortunately, he agreed.

At the first session, he disclosed everything and said that the reason behind the abuse was me refusing to contribute towards his mother’s allowance – which he took as my apparent hate for his mother.

She (his mother) was still employed at the time and earned more than both our salaries combined as she was a station commander at the SAPS, while he was a secretary at the municipality and I was a waitress.

The bank almost repossessed his car because he started reversing debit orders so that he could give his mother money. He even got blacklisted and started to borrow money from his friends.

We found ourselves in so much debt and could no longer afford to pay rent so he suggested we move to his mother’s house. Knowing the kind of parent she is, I refused and offered to take over the rent until he got back on his feet. I had a bit of cash that I had saved up for our wedding ceremony and was willing to use the money to pay for rent at least four months in advance. He refused and said it’s better I give that money to his mother.

Things got worse because he started acting weird and calling me by other people’s names. He’d wake up in the middle of the night and cry. When I’d ask what was wrong, he’d say that he’d get into trouble if he does not go back to his mother’s house.

Even though this scared me, I would kneel down and pray and he’d attack me and say “stop praying because you are destroying my mother”.

The last time I had sex with him he called his mother’s name and surname during the intercourse.

This was traumatic for me so I decided to call the elders to try to get them to intervene but they couldn’t help because his mother threatened them.

When I realised that the situation would not become any better, I packed my bags and left my fiancé. He moved to his mother’s house and cut ties with all those who wanted to help him. He can’t even recognise his own father.   I feel so sorry for him but I can’t help but wonder why a parent would do this to their own child.”