Is your relationship causing you stress?
Are you feeling lonely, helpless, indecisive?
You are not alone!
As part of an initiative to help Rediff readers, mind/life coach, NLP trainer and mental health guru Anu Krishna wants you to talk about your problems.
Every week, Anu will answer your queries, address your concerns and offer expert advice on how you can take control of your life.
- Ask ANU: 'I feel suicidal. What can I do?'
- ASK ANU: How do I deal with loss of a loved one?
- Are couples fighting more in the lockdown?
- ASK ANU: Do couples have less sex after marriage?
Meanwhile, here's the unedited excerpt from Anu's latest offline session with readers:
SD: Dear Anu, I would like to be anonymous.
Long story short, after two years of my marriage, my husband’s best friend’s wife shifted to India from abroad and applied for divorced, because she found her husband was a womanizer.
Both husband and wife stayed with us during that time, husband tried his best to persuade me to have an intimate relationship with him, I refused, I told my husband about it and he asked me to keep quiet.
Somehow a friend's wife filed a divorce case and the husband was virtually thrown out of the house, the case went messy.
We supported her in all possible ways. For 4 years every weekend we spend with her. And I saw that she was getting too possessive about my husband, I told this to my husband, he refuted.
In front of him only she would insult me and he would just keep quiet.
Our intimacy was gone, it was he who said he is not interested in intimacy anymore.
We stopped sharing a bedroom, during this lockdown after 8 years of stay at home mother, I was applying for jobs and attending interviews. I was at my possible lows.
Suddenly my husband became friendly and started talking about dogs, he wanted a pet, since he doesn't have time to care for it and I was not mentally prepared for any extra responsibility so I said no for the time being.
Instead he went ahead with her and asked her to buy one for us without informing me.
She called to inform me that she had ordered one from the breeder and it would be delivered the next morning.
I told her to cancel that. Not only this, she has called my daughter and informed her too that she is gifting the dog to her.
I told my husband that I want to walk out of this marriage, we had fought for more than a month.
I called her and told that 'This is it,' never to call my house or talk to me again.
After a month my husband went to her house with our daughter.
He has asked her to lie that they did not go there but my daughter came back and told me.
I feel cheated by my husband whenever the dog is around, it’s a poor animal.
I give food and take care of it but my anger and resentment is not coming down. I want to leave the marriage, because I feel there is no end to it. Please help me.
ANU: Dear S D, This seems all very M&B type of romance. Well, who am I to judge?
But, do be aware that it has slowly but surely progressed into a connection that obviously doesn't make you feel comfortable.
You have questions about it that are unanswered and doubts that are eating at the foundation of the relationship.
Now, to make it more messy, your daughter seems to be part of this too without her knowledge. Time to intervene. Sit your husband down and please sort this mess out before it grows bigger.
Does he want to continue in the marriage or not? If yes, lay down some ground rules and a strict NO to the other lady stepping in even if she cries foul.
And if he wants to move on, that’s a different situation at hand.
Talk to a therapist to deal with separation/divorce and if through the sessions, there are chances of working on the marriage, great! Take a call and do that NOW.
Make wise choices and best wishes!
SK: Hey Anu, Hope everything is well.
To begin with, I'm an introvert. That eventually made me mad alone. That inadvertently made me an existential dread. (Series of predicaments, indeed).
I have been thinking about the human existence. Like, what is the purpose of me writing this?
What are we when compared to the universe? Well, many questions yet to come but no, I don't want you to think the same. Anyway, coming back to the point, nothing seems worth to me.
I don't know why people are suffering out there. I don't why politicians, well I guess you know about it.
What I want is the answers. how can I come out of this existential crisis? How can I perceive things in more valuable ways?
ANU: Dear S K, Thank you for enquiring about me. I am very well, thank you and trust that you and your loved ones are well.
It's great that you are on a journey to questioning and deep reflections. Herein lies the answers and more questions as well; because once you think you 'have it', there's something more than crops up and then you have to start all over again.
We all have our perspectives on human existence and we are all right to think the way we do as it's our personal journey that we go through which involves feelings, emotions, experiences and so on.
My perspectives are:
We are all here for a purpose; a higher purpose as we work through this earthly life.
It is our responsibility to become aware as we wade through our experiences and emotions to rediscover ourselves and show up as an authentic version rather than hide behind a façade.
As we take on this journey, we may encounter many challenges and it’s up to us if we want to face them, circumvent them or fight against them. My experiences have taught me to embrace them as they are as when we avoid or fight, we dissipate into nothing and learn nothing and as a result do not evolve.
So, going through each challenge, drops the external layers and you reach within to the ESSENCE that shines brightly.
In short, that’s when you begin to touch base with what your true purpose in life is and then you will start living it.
For you to perceive things to keep your emotional health, drop rules from the rule book; which means drop all the 'should be' 'should have been' etc.
Look at what IS and embrace it and live it. People externally like politicians, give you examples on how you can work with your existing rule book and evolve through it.
So, as far as it goes, allow yourself time to reflect and also enjoy life; keeping a right balance... else the obsession to discover will take you over and you might start putting deadlines to find your purpose and understand the Universe and its miraculous ways of working.
Start to enjoy the process of your inner journey and also appreciate the simpler things in life and you will move towards an equilibrium state that will hold you in good stead.
TS: I'm married and mother to a 5 months old beautiful daughter. Before and after marriage I was working in a company as HR executive. I loved my job. Then I left my job because me and my husband was working in different locations. When I shifted with him, I tried a lot to get a job. But all in vain.
Maybe because of this I started getting frustrated. It affected my personal life a lot. I used to blame my husband as he never ever told me to quit. But somehow......
Then we shifted to our home town because of lockdown and my husband's WFH. And my frustration level is increasing day by day.
I lost everything. How to enjoy, happiness everything. I want to be happy but....
It's like I can't do anything for my daughter as well as for myself. I hate dependency and I am totally dependent on my husband even for a single penny.
I tried to commit suicide many times. Then I thought I should talk to my mother. I did. But nothing helped.
She used to tell me always that I have to live for the child now. Then I thought what I could do for her. Because if I m alone, sad, depressed from inside how can I be happy outside?
I used to motivate people and right now I want to end up my life. Can you help please?
ANU: Dear TS, What do you want for yourself? What do you want to make out of life?
You can choose to be sad and depressed and keep thinking of what hasn’t happened. Always do things that set you free, always think of things that set you free.
The more you choose to focus on what could have happened and what should happen, it leads you to a dark place.
Why think that you are dependent? Marriage is a space where both partners must have the comfort of growing together.
Let’s say someday if you have to step up and work instead of your husband, will you call your husband a dependent person then?
We all go through phases in life that challenge our mind and mental state. The sooner you accept this, the better you will sail through this.
After all, nothing is permanent. Instead of brooding over, if you gave yourself a fresh start and looked at opportunities in a different way, you may find something that is better than what you had initially been searching for.
And if ending your life, you think makes it easier, remember, it never has and it never will and DO think of your daughter who is solely dependent on you.
Please work with a Mental Health expert who will help put your priorities together and a good action plan as well to achieve simple goals in life.
Start first by being outdoors in Nature and please be in GRATITUDE for what you have in life. That will make you trust that LIFE IS GOOD! Surround yourself with people that nourish you.
Be in the best mind space. Best wishes.
A: I am 27 years old and I have been married for 3 months now.
Married life is already suffocating me may be because I never wanted to get married in the first place.
I knew my parents were not gonna let me be and will definitely get me married so I wanted to marry a guy of my choice at least (even if it is arranged marriage).
Anyways I tried all that I can to avoid this marriage because I didn't like the way this guy talked about certain things and we had no similarities. Except for the fact that my parents knew their family and he was educated there was nothing I liked about him.
I thought it was the right thing if my parent said that I wasn't interested in this proposal so I tried to make my parents understand.
I tried to discuss, argued, cried, stopped eating, did everything I could to stop but they wouldn't budge. Turns out he had already given his word.
My dad threatened me that he would take his own life if this marriage doesn't happen.
My entire life, every single decision was taken by my dad. From college, BTech, basically everything.
Since there was at least one thing that I gained out of his decision I didn't bother much. I gained a friend for life in my 12th standard and in BTech, I was able to meet lots of people and that to a certain extent changed my thought process.
Other than that since I was 15 I never got to do anything I ever wanted to do.
Well my dad's threat worked. I got married thinking maybe ... just may be there might be something that I might gain.
My parents are in Hyderabad and my husband works in Bangalore.
In the 3 months I lived with him, the first month it was just us and now my in laws stays with us.
Every second made me anxious. I keep thinking..what if they say something if I use my phone or if I sit down or spend some time at the balcony.
Apart from me being stressed, anxious and hating the situation I was in and losing lots and lots of hair, everything was fine.
My husband was always working. He works everyday till 10 pm and after my in laws came he spends all the time with his mom.
Well that didn't bother me, i just thought that he just loved his mom so much.
Nobody said anything until the day I mentioned wanting to come home as I had some work at my previous office.
Out of nowhere my mother-in-law mentions how I was not their 1st choice for their son. They had lots of proposals lined up but chose me because I am from Hyderabad even though I was fat and our family wasn't rich.
I didn't think it was right to say anything to her so I didn't say a word. On the day I was travelling to Hyderabad, my husband complains how I don't do the household work as much or help my mother in law. he says I sleep a lot.
He wants me to quit my job and sit at home. They have problem if I order clothes to where at home.
I work night shift so I tend to sleep during the day but I make sure to help my mom in law to a certain extent.
When it was just us in the 1st month it was me who did all the chores and I had to do WFH too.
I made it very clear to him that I will not leave my job which he didn't like and he asks me not to return and just stay at my parent's place.
I explained all this to my parents and they are trying to send me back as soon as possible.
Everybody who got involved in this like my parents, the uncle who brought the proposal says that it is my responsibility to change my husband.
I don't see how I can change a person who thinks that everything he does is right and it is wife's responsibility to initiate a conversation even if husband doesn't and he has his entire family backing him on this.
I cant seem to change my mind or my parent's mind. I can't seem to make myself like my husband.
At this rate I don't know if there is any future with him at all. I mean people who wants a maid and not a wife and who thinks this way and insults others.... I am not sure if they are gonna change.
My parents want to force me into this just for the fear that I might be left alone in life and more importantly for the reputation of the family but they don't think that in this marriage I will for ever be anxious and unhappy.
Please help and extremely sorry for the long letter.
ANU: Dear A, Isn't it time that you took charge of your life?
If what you mentioned happened exactly that way, take charge of your life now.
It doesn't make any sense changing anyone; they will change only when they want to and wish to. But it's also worth it to figure out if you are blaming your marriage for your misery.
Do become aware if you are basing your unhappiness on things that should have happened and then blaming your marriage to aggravate that situation. This isn’t healthy.
Sometimes in life, we don't get what we have planned but with a better mind, it is possible to set things right.
Is it possible that your unhappy state of mind might also have caused a lot of unrest within the marriage?
Also, I will agree that it is quite hurtful when you hear from your in-laws that you weren't the first choice for their son.
So, you are in a place where you have to figure out: Which hurts you more... the fact that you didn't want to get married in the first place and was forced into it or the fact that your in-laws aren't happy with you.
Two different sides of the coin; which side is your situation in?
Think and reflect deeply because only you know how to get to a space that keeps you happy and sane.
If walking out of the marriage is what you feel, then do that keeping in mind how life is going to be financially and emotionally.
If you decide to work on the marriage, then have a clear communication involving your parents and in-laws and husband as well and work through the fact that your in laws maybe with you forever and this is a fact that needs to be accepted for your peace of mind.
Being anxious will not help. Do get help from a marriage counsellor to strengthen your relationship.
Whatever that decision maybe, stick by it and do it only because you want it and not because you think someone caused it.
We are all a product of our choices and every choice must only lead to a better state of mind and thereby a better life.
Be happy always!