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:
SC: I lost my younger brother to Covid in August 2020.
It’s been a year but I am stuck in a time frame which says 1st August 2020, the day my brother died.
I haven’t been able to forgive my sister in law for not calling me on time. She called me hour before his death!
By the time I reached , I only could see my brothers face for few seconds one last time.
As I am writing thing I can’t stop my tears. I tried talking to therapist but it’s not helping.
Can you help me?
ANU: Dear S, I am so sorry for your loss and can only imagine what you are going through at this point in time.
It’s unfortunate that you couldn’t spend time or be there earlier to be with him in his final hours.
Also, it’s natural to direct that anger and disappointment towards someone as that’s the way most of us deal with emotions; externalise it and it starts to become bigger and bitter.
Instead, why not, ask yourself: ‘As his wife, what must she be going through?’ Her loss is indeed huge as well!
She has lost her life partner as much as you have lost your brother.
Again, ask yourself, ‘What must have happened that she was unable to call me on time?’ Maybe, she didn’t want to bother anyone especially the way we have been in and out of lockdowns, she might have been sensitive to that.
Like I mentioned, it is simple to place blame on people to cope with grief; but I am sure your brother would not have wanted that. Be the bigger person, permit yourself to…as hard as it is…
This is the time that the family must come together and support one another.
It’s been a year and you have been carrying this seed of poisonous thought within you that will slowly eat your peace of mind and create havoc within the familial relationships.
Do give her the benefit of doubt, if you want to start with it.
Of course, whatever I say here doesn’t matter as it has to come from within you and only you can change the way you feel at this very moment.
Do you want feel sad all your life carrying this animosity OR do you want to forgive and foster positive bonds? Family is meant to stick together no matter what!
Be at peace and may you choose wisely.
B: For many years I was in love with my best friend who I thought wasn’t interested in me.
I did not pursue her when I should have because I cared for our friendship.
After I got married I was never really happy nor could I forget her.
I even told my wife about the girl I loved. She was okay about it because we both felt it was one sided.
Recently I discovered that she loved me all these years but both of us never had the courage to take it further.
When we got together, we realized how much we missed each other all these years.
Neither of us are happy in our marriage and this news has really disturbed me. I feel emotionally and physically distanced from my wife and I feel guilty about it because she is not at fault.
I have a son and I am not in a position to abandon him or my wife. But I am not able to sleep or stop thinking about starting a perfect life with her.
I have a stable career but now I am not able to focus on anything.
Anu mam, please guide me how to find a solution for both of us.
ANU: Dear B, Catch -22 situation indeed here.
Let’s draw out the perspectives here.
Both of you are married and when you had the chance, you didn’t tell each other.
Now, you have discovered that ‘missed out’ moment and want to make up for it now when families have grown.
How would you advise a friend, if he came to you with this situation?
Would you ask him to leave his family and move in with his lady love? Would you ask him to forget his familial responsibilities and search for love outside?
Again, it is not for me to give you solutions but to lead you to a place where you can find the solution yourself.
So, now that you friend has moved in with his lady love, will he forget his family?
His son for who he will always be a role model? Also, what will he tell his wife who had no role to play into the storm in her life?
The key is that there are 4 mature adults and I guess it’s time for you and the lady that you love to sit down and discuss what happens if you continue in your marriages or move away.
Discuss with your respective spouses as well, as they need to be party to this so that their thoughts and feelings are taken into consideration.
After all, they came into your lives, to become life partners. Whatever the decision, always bear in mind, if you continue in your marriage, do it with full heart as you need to rebuild it and if you move away, your son and his state of mind must be cared for, so make sure you create a wonderful environment for them and care for their needs always.
Also, ask yourself this: What will I lose if I move away from my marriage? What is it that I truly love in my wife?
Life is filled with temptations and sometimes we want some change, some spark…it’s possible in the existing relationship only if you choose to look at it that way. Ultimately, the decision is yours, but there’s a lot to consider and reconsider.
Go deep into a reflective mode and choose.
S: Dear mam, my husband and I had a love marriage. We dated for five years before getting married and we have been living together for 8 years now.
I am working and we have a 5 year old son.
He is a very good guy but his parents and relatives who are staying with us are making things difficult for us now.
Like you suggested I tried talking to my husband but I feel he is being biased and taken for granted.
I tried to adjust and ignore some things but there is a lot of politics going on every day which is affecting both of us. From money issues to privacy and kitchen fights, we are dealing with a lot of things that I am not able to talk and solve.
This is affecting my career and my son’s studies too.
Every time I start a discussion it leads to a big fight in front of everyone. Ultimately I am cornered and blamed.
The patent response is: everyone adjusts. I’m not able to handle it well and no support from anyone. Also I don’t have anyone to talk to whom I can trust. Please help.
ANU: Dear S, Thank you for trying to apply a few of my suggestions. Extended families can be a huge challenge to live with as much as there are advantages as well.
Too much mixing of thoughts and opinions that at times you feel that your thoughts are never valued.
Either, you ease into this and know that this will be your world; which means you start to ‘try’ to become happy which can be stressful.
If this is impossible and you want to change it, then STEP UP for yourself and for your son.
No arguments, no fights, but firmly asserting what you want.
Be kind always no matter what because your husband is just in the midst of his family and the family system that he has been raised with, your protests don’t matter much.
Making your point known doesn't need fights, but reiterating what you want and that your thoughts must be respected.
It’s possible that over a few weeks, this new calm behavior of yours might bring some change in your husband and he may start hearing and listening to what you have to say.
If that doesn’t work, yes you may have to take the help of a professional who will put you two together in a place and become a good third person who will facilitate the communication.
Whatever it is, be kind and calm and I am sure you are…it helps in ‘breaking down’ the stubbornness in other people and they maybe willing to calm down as well.
Be at peace.