All the magic has gone out of our relationship

I am 28 and have a two-year-old son with my girlfriend of six years.

I am 28 and have a two-year-old son with my girlfriend of six years.

We are from the same community. I am a university graduate, but she only completed matric. I have a very good job and we live together. Our life looks perfect, but I feel trapped.

I have lost every feeling I had for her. She's a wonderful person, beautiful, loving and caring. She loves me so dearly and I can sense that if I tell her that I no longer love her, she might even commit suicide. The other problem is that I have raised expectations in my family, her family, close relatives, friends and the community that she's the one, though I have never said so.

She does not have independent thinking. She wants my approval in everything. I have to think for her, the child and myself, even for things that should concern her as the woman of the house.

I am not seeing someone else.

My unhappiness sometimes affects our sexual life. I have never cheated on her. She is marriage material, but all the love is gone.

This is beginning to affect me at work and socially. Sometimes I just sit in the park alone, feeling very inadequate and miserable. I am tired of pretending.

How do to get out of this mess? How do I love her again? How do I tell her how I feel about her after years of being together? How do I explain to her, my parents and friends? Please help me sister.

Trapped and Stranded, Gauteng

My heart goes out to you, especially when I read the bit about sitting in the park on your own and feeling miserable.

My suggestion is that you are honest with her, your family, her family, friends and relatives. Tell everyone that the magic is gone, that you have tried everything to get it back, but you just can't.

It is better to be honest to find your chance of happiness with another woman instead of staying in this for longer and growing more frustrated and unhappy, and even growing resentful.

Anyone who says that you have no right to find your own happiness is a selfish and judgmental fool. You deserve to be happy. Be honest with everyone, and then move on.