In this weekly self-help series, mental health and life coach Anu Krishna tells you how to take control of your life.
Is your relationship causing you stress?
Are you feeling lonely, helpless, indecisive?
You are not alone!
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?
- ASK ANU: Are couples fighting more in the lockdown?
- ASK ANU: Do couples have less sex after marriage?
- ASK ANU: How NOT To Talk To Your Teen
- ASK ANU: Stressed by online classes? Seek help!
- ASK ANU: How to leave a toxic relationship
Dear readers, if you have a question for Anu, please e-mail it to [email protected] (Subject: Ask ANU) for her advice.
Meanwhile, here’s the unedited excerpt from Anu’s latest offline session with readers:
S: Hi Anu,
I’m a 50 year old male married for 10 years. This is our second marriage for both of us. We live abroad.
Since Day One my spouse was suspicious of me linking me with anyone on the street. She says I’m sighting girls. She suspected that I am interested in my elder sister-in-law since marriage. She never told me this for three years.
Due to this we never had any relationship (and no child). Because of this constant fighting I lost my mother (I apologised to mother since I was not able to take care of her and I was unhappy. She died within a month of my apology.)
I never told anyone either of our relatives about our problems. My father is 90 and alive. I don’t want to cause any problem to him. During these 10 years her father never bothered to check if any problems. I hardly slept 1-2 days a week during these years.
My spouse never changed a bit during these 10 years. Her position reached a stage where I had to admit her to hospital for psychosis. She got discharged in 2 months because her parents were adamant on discharge on the condition that she will travel to India. But once discharged, she refused to travel for nearly 10 months. Her father supported her. When her mother passed away in December 2020, due to Covid her return tickets got cancelled.
In December 2021 she was again in hospital for 20 days in India for similar psychological issues.
In April 2022 I visited her house in India and gave her father a 4-page document detailing her behaviour during these 10 years.
He simply said she has done unknowingly. He is adamant on trying to send her back to me. While I am struggling to live, her father lives a happy life with his pension.
As a father he never corrects his daughter and instead tries to push the problems to me.
I have asked for a divorce but she is not willing to give and starts shouting hysterically. Please let me know how to proceed.
If you have decided that divorce is the only option to consider, then yes, file for divorce legally by hiring a lawyer who has specialized in cases where the spouse is unwilling to let the divorce happen.
In short, if it’s not a mutual consent, it might drag on for years, so get a good skilled lawyer to take up your case.
On the emotional side of things, I urge you to be patient and empathetic towards your wife. With her mental health condition, she possibly has no control over her thoughts and subsequent actions are a result of an impulsive reaction.
Yes, it is unfortunate that the marriage went through a lot of low phases but do remember she is a human who is going through a challenge which is not easy to fathom by people who don’t have a mental illness.
I realise that this might be a little difficult to do, but in the long-term scheme of things, it will be a good ally as a sound and calm mind helps you through challenging times.
This point of view will help you through the divorce proceedings where you will be able to be fair and just to make sure that she is also taken care of.
All the best for a better journey ahead!
PS: Dear Anu, I am a housewife with two kids, younger one is 3 years old.
I used to be working before the birth of my second child. I can’t join back the job as we are nuclear family and husband is busy whole day with his work.
I have to take care of the house and kids almost full day. Sometimes I’m frustrated and irritated.
I gave talked about this to my husband but not much respite. He says ‘I’m doing my job to earn. You do your job to look after house.’
Don’t know what to do.
Typical nuclear family with very little family support relies solely on the mother being the caregiver and this can result in a lot of frustrations. Understood!
But what exactly are you trying to do fighting the situation knowing that things might be the same for a few years down the line till the children grow a little older? Are you planning on being frustrated for all these years?
Also, someone needs to give your husband a talk on these gender specific remarks and pushing the job of the home to you.
Maybe he didn’t mean it the way it sounded, but well…
In the digital world, there is enough and more to do to use the skills that a person has. So why not explore, a work-from-home part time option?
Depending on what your expertise is and the time that you can give to the work from home option, why don’t you focus on searching for this?
This will require an amazing time management and organization skills on your part, so you are able to give it at least 3-4 hours a day.
This will not only keep you occupied and financially stronger, it will also give you a sense of direction and purpose which is what is currently lacking.
Also, if you have an option of a ‘nanny’ for even two hours during the day when the children can be kept busy, you can even have some time for yourself which will re-energize you.
Caring for two small children is no mean feat and make sure when you discuss the work-from-home option (If you choose this), with your husband, you emphasize how important it is for you along with managing the home.
The commitment ‘to do something for yourself’ will be the focus of your discussion and please do something before your frustrations start seeping out and get onto the kids which might eventually happen.
First, be happy yourself to nurture your home and family.
Step Up…All the best!
TP: My wife abandoned me after 14 years of marriage.
That’s OK to me as she was a torture to my parents and me all the time.
The problem is she poisoned my 12 year old son and also emotionally blackmails my son because of which now my son hates me to make his mom happy, he very rarely answers my calls and never reverts to my messages.
They contact me only when school and classes fees are to be paid otherwise I have no whereabouts of my son and what’s going on in his life.
Pls advise. I don’t wish to get my wife back.
Have you considered legal separation?
The reason I ask this is, you can have visitation rights to your son through legal recourse.
It is unfortunate that your wife has not allowed your son to form his relationship with you. But emotions running high can either cerate or ruin things depending on what the perceptions are.
A 12-year-old needs his mother, and he is impressionable and the emotional blackmail along with your wife leaving home has left him scarred.
As a child, he needs to be loved and provided a loving home.
So obviously, he is going to lean into the parent with who je is currently living with.
If you do have a choice of someone being able to talk to your wife and help patch things up, kindly do that else legal separation seems the only way to be able to maintain some contact with your son.
All the best!
GS: Hello Mam, It is so nice of you that you’re providing an insight into problems of everyone and letting them lighten their problems they have in their relationships.
I am married for two years and would like to ask if it is okay for my wife to visit her mom every two months for two weeks or above, sometimes even a month. Her mom stays nearby in the same city, is it logical for her to do such thing?
I have also asked my colleagues, their wives visit their mother’s not so frequently, even if they live in same city.
This situation is hampering my relationship with my wife, while in her context she does it because she wants some time alone with me but the problem is there is a relative (male) of her who looks after some property of my wife in other state. I’ve caught that person (he’s married with two kids) red handed sending romantic songs (kuch aisa kar kamaal ke tera ho jaun) to my wife. This person had a fling with my wife earlier and my wife always prefers to talk to him at her mother’s place and never in front of me. When I asked her to talk to him in front of me, she denied directly.
So whenever she visits her mother I’m always insecure and want her back at my place as soon as possible because I’ve seen call records of my sister-in-law. That person calls on her number and my wife says she talks to him just for the sake of property.
Currently while writing this e-mail she is at her mother’s place and is not willing to come back. We are in a state of quarrel.
Please guide me the right direction.
Thanking you in anticipation.
Thank you so much for your acknowledgement on my work.
I don’t know if it’s okay for a wife to visit her parents every once in a while, or frequently.
I guess this is between each married couple who kind of form some sort of understanding on what’s okay and what’s not.
Clearly, you are not comfortable with her spending so much time as it possibly eats into your couple/ family time.
If expressing this hasn’t helped, you obviously can’t force her to see things your way. But what really bothers you perhaps should be the focus of your communication to her.
The other person who takes care of her property, clearly seems to have some plans; maybe your wife understands this or enjoys this attention, is something that you need to speak her about.
It’s possible that its harmless flirting, but yes, flirting is flirting, and it can turn into something serious especially if the woman is not expressing her displeasure over it. Till then the man feels encouraged to keep going on.
This situation is what needs to be addressed first…talk to her mother…does she know this as well?
Talk to your wife and express that not having a boundary, is making you feel insecure…also, check if you are over-reacting to the situation…having said this, if you feel a certain way, I validate it and it needs to be addressed by your wife.
Also, why does she choose to spend time away from you?
Why does she like talking to the other man?
How is the emotional and physical connect between the two of you?
It’s worth it to ask yourself these questions…a lot may emerge, and you might have a clear path of action ahead of you.
Clear your mind and Act…All the best!
SK: Dear Anu Madam,
Please help me with your urgent advice. I am a 23-year-old good-looking girl from well-to-do Marwari family.
Since 2017 I am in relationship with a 37-year-old who I met in a gym. He is a small-time model.
Within 1 month of meeting, we got physical. However, in August 2021, to my dismay, I came to know that he has two wives and children and that he is in physical relationship with several other girls. This pained me a lot and we broke up. But somehow we got back.
He pleaded sorry for hiding his marriage and cheating with other girls but he said that the other girls had forced him for a physical relationship. He says he is unhappy in marriage and if I marry him, it will give him new way of life. I loved him and decided to get married (he can legally have more wives). But still I felt absurd on my decision because I will face severe parental resistance as he is from different religion and has less money. Yet I made up my mind on marriage and so, six months ago I revealed this to my closest cousin and introduced her to him. I followed up with her to guide me on right decision but my cousin kept buying time. About two weeks ago, while accidentally checking her mobile messages, I found that though I introduced my cousin to my BF to help me, she was cheating on me. From her messages I could see that she persuaded my BF to get physical with her. This shattered me completely and I fought with her. Madam, please advise me. I love this guy and want to marry him. He is my 1st and last love. I am sure he will be a changed guy after our marriage, which will make us both Happy.
So, you want to marry a man who cheats, hides his escapades, and disrespects you?
What kind of life do you think you are going to have with a man who has no respect for women and sleeps with women to gain his self-esteem?
Talking about how you can be a saviour, only makes you a victim, so that you are constantly under his control.
It’s possible that you haven’t been able to see his intentions and that you have reached out to me.
Listen, you have a beautiful life ahead, so not waste it on a man who thinks of nothing and only himself.
Your friend also was able to sell you out so easily only suggest that this man is some sort of a charmer and women easily fall into his trap.
Beware, kindly step up first and respect and honour yourself.
Learn to Love yourself else you will keep falling into the same trap of falling for such men who have nothing to do with women other than use them.
Step out NOW and no explanations required…You are not obligated to give him any.
He will behave like a victim and place you on a pedestal so that you go back to him, STAND your GROUND…Love is pure and this cannot be your first or last love….selfishness cannot be love.
There are more beautiful relationships waiting to embrace you only if you first move on from this toxic relationship, love yourself and use your strength appropriately.
You can do this…be an example for all those girls who choose to celebrate men who are toxic to them. Be a source of strength to all of them.
- Read all of Anu Krishna’s columns here!
Anu Krishna is a mind coach, author and co-founder, Unfear Changemakers LLP and Soulful Exploration LLP. She’s an NLP Trainer (National Federation of Neuro Linguistic Programming, NFNLP, USA), Energy Work Specialist (Institute for Inner Studies, Manila), Executive Member of Indian Association of Adolescent Health (M.I.A.A.H) and Member of Quality Circle Forum of India (QCFI). She has authored the self-coaching book: The Secret of Life – Decoding Happiness.
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