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!
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?
- 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!
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:
A: Dear Anu, my boyfriend and I are school mates. We studied in the same class. We have been in a relationship for more than 10 years and currently we are working.
There is a girl in his life whom we know through common friends. Through one of his friends we got to know that there were a lot of rumours about my BF and her being together earlier. However my BF explained that he treats her like a sister and there is nothing between them.
I got the same explanation from that girl as well. So I accepted their relationship stance and went ahead without any doubt.
Right now our relationship is very less lively and sparkling. We spend less time together as we are committed in our work and trapped in debt too. Due to family responsibilities, he spends less time with me. He says he has lot of work and hardly meets me.
I have been learning over the past few months that my bf and the girl are seemingly growing closer. She calls him daily to ask about his whereabouts and every detail of our life. She knows more about him than me. Recently my BF was out with his family and he was not reachable for a day.
When he is out with family, I would give time to let him update me but the girl messaged me to check if my BF updated me where and what he is doing, whether he is safe or not and what time he will be back. For me this concern seems little fishy. Pls advice on this. I am thinking about talking to my BF. I need advice on how to manage the situation and get proper explanation out of it.
What more does he need to do for you to see what he is worth at this moment?
Dilly-dallying in the current relationship by relying on external relationship, ain’t fun, yeah?
‘Sister’ is a convenient label used when a man isn’t sure about his feelings for her, or he is sure and doesn’t want his current partner (namely, you) to go nasty on him.
Why she is keen on his whereabouts is anyone’s guess! Did you tell her off and ask her to find out herself? What are you, a messenger between the two of them?
And when you do talk to him, ask him: where is his mind on your relationship and what he plans on telling his ‘sister’?
Oh and if his answers don’t satisfy you or he still comes across as evasive, you know what to do then.
All the best!
SR: Dear Mam I am 22 years old and today I want to share my story of heart break and I really want to know what I can I do better to make myself happy.
I started dating this a guy in 2017 and I was madly in love with him. Everything for me was about him.
Since I was living in a hostel I used to feel alone sometimes. Initially our relationship was normal. Then one day I went for a trip with him and we got physical for the first time. Somehow, I got attached to him more after that. I started calling him to my hostel to spend time with me.
Meanwhile I faced some personal problems in my life. Those days were really bad and I used to suffer a lot.
He was there for me always. He never made me feel alone in the city.
I used to go to my family every year and then lockdown happened. I was stuck in my hometown.
I had a fight with him and I just cut the call. From that day onwards his behaviour towards me changed.
The very next day he went out with another girl and posted pictures. I was hurt. I didn’t know what to say, I was in self-doubt mode but his behaviour started changing towards me.
In the beginning, he said when you will come back I cannot come and stay with you. I agreed to it. Then he said I cannot meet you every weekend cause I want to make other plans as well.
Slowly I understood that he wants me to stay away from his life.
He went for a party with the girl late in the night and that triggered me very badly. I fought with him. I guess that was the moment he was waiting for.
He said that he doesn’t want me anymore and broke up. I kept begging him not to leave me but it seemed like he was dying to leave me. I was completely shattered.
On 15th January he left me. Even after leaving he continued texting me. I was trying my best to control my feelings and I tried giving him the space he deserved.
Still he kept texting me. He was not able to stay away from me. My vacation got over and it was my time to go back. This was the most difficult part coz this time I knew that he won’t be there for me, and I have to survive alone.
Once while coming back from my home town to my work town I texted him. He said that he is with the girl and he is drunk. I couldn’t sleep that night. I was shivering. I was broken.
When I entered the city I was shivering cause I was not ready for the consequences. I didn’t meet him because he went for a trip with that girl and got physical with her. He always maintained that it’s only after he left me that he got involved with someone else. He wanted me to be a part of his life somehow so he kept calling and texting me. Even when he was with the girl he used to come to my house every Saturday and go on dates with that girl on Sundays.
I really didn’t understand what was he up to. Meanwhile I went through her profile and came to know that she’s a little suspicious.
One day I got the opportunity to tell him about it. He said come and meet me. He was drunk and we got physical. That time I checked his phone and saw the messages he’d shared with her.
I was broken again but this time I texted her through his phone to please take care of him. That girl got angry and made things worse. Instead of making sure that he is alright she locked horns with him. He blamed me for losing her. I told him that my existence in your life is not good. Let’s just not talk to each other.
Next day he again texted me requesting to meet.
In the evening when I went to meet him he was a completely changed person. He treated me very well, gave me his phone and made me feel special.
Somehow he came back to me and started giving me the importance I was craving for. Today he is with me and pampers me. He has stopped doing certain things which he used to do but I get the importance.
Despite all this, I am a bit insecure and scared because of what I have gone through in the past. Can you please tell me what to do?
Read this sentence that you have written:
“Even when he was with the girl he used to come to my house every Saturday and go on dates with that girl on Sundays.”
Do you not feel used and powerless?
How are you able to allow someone to treat you in such a disrespectful manner?
Did the two of decide to become friends and support one another in your respective relationships, like the way you stood by and watched him date this other girl while he walked into your life seeking approval?
Open your eyes please. The other girl is no longer in his life and he wails and comes back to you and now you are wondering what you should be doing?
If this was your sister or a best friend going through the same thing, will you tell them to put up with this toxic behaviour or will you ask them to take charge of their lives?
Will you tell them to love themselves more and reclaim their power or wait meekly to pick up scraps as and when the guy threw them around?
Stand up for yourself girl; at least he will think before trying this game with another girl.
Do the right thing by just being YOU and loving yourself more.
All the best!
AB: Hi Anu, I recently came across your self-help series on rediff com and couldn’t resist myself from writing to you.
I am a 25 year old woman living with her parents and a younger brother.
I somehow managed the lockdown in 2020 but since last year, my life has been way more challenging.
Things have been really tough since April last year. My mother started her dialysis. Before that, she got hospitalised twice within a month. However she is back home. But due to her dialysis session, her legs ache making her difficult to walk. Her hands have stopped moving due to hypertension so I am taking care of her.
My father retired last year. So he’s stressed about many things. He is over inspecting my every little action and criticising me for no apparent reason.
I haven’t got a suitable job despite working in an educational consultancy (They haven’t even given my first salary). My boyfriend is encouraging me to work hard for my upcoming competitive exam and earn everything I want. But I don’t feel like doing anything. I feel like I have lost the zeal. And nowadays he has hardly any time for me.
My ex-boyfriend hasn’t returned Rs 20,000 he borrowed from me. When I confronted him, he avoided me and told me to back off. Sometimes I feel like taking a loan.
Lastly, I have incomplete submissions of diploma course which I couldn’t submit on time and I am requesting for extra time but I didn’t get any help.
Though I feel that things will get better but most of the time, I feel like quitting.
Today my father scolded me again, so I went to terrace. I screamed and cried and decided to end my life.
I have become so alone. I am wondering when my life will be on track.
I am not a bad person. I know I have flaws. But why has life become so tough?
I am only getting rejections and failures. I don’t know what to do. How do I tackle with all of these? Please help me. I am totally exhausted.
Breathe! And breathe again and once more…
Life is filled with all things great and challenging as well. Challenges come to us as a growth path; one that we must walk on to unleash more of our inner power.
Challenges within the family, education related challenges, personal challenges and more are part of anyone’s life.
How we deal with each defines our journey and shapes our mindset as well.
Have you felt like playing the victim in each challenge and hence feel low and dejected and that prevents you from finishing what you have taken up?
I might be wrong here, but what seems to be happening is every activity is left mid-way due to lack of confidence from within. And then the loop continues and you have termed it as a rejection and failure. We receive what we put out there; so why don’t you try something different?
Why don’t you pick something (one at a time) and see it through till the end; it will give you a great sense of achievement and to do this; simply visualize the path from the start to the end and then jumping for joy at your victory.
Request your boyfriend to play the role of an accountability partner, so that he keeps your ups and downs in check.
Commit to him as to what and when you will finish; and to motivate yourself, keep visualizing your victory and success point and the happiness that you will feel from within.
As for your parents scolding you, they only look at your welfare.
Sit them down and tell them that you need their support and that you are embarking on a new journey.
I am sure that they will be rooting for you. Life is beautiful, make it count and you know you can!
DJ: Hi Anu, I am in a relationship with a guy for 5 months. I met him via social media. We know each other since a year.
Initially I saw him only as a friend, but we grew close, talked daily for a year, met a few times and decided to date. But I am still confused if he is right for me.
It’s a long distance relationship and I am not able to connect as much as him. I am not able to decide if I want to spend my life with him.
He is too deeply involved, and that scares me, I try to break up because I feel it’s not fair to him, but I end up going back to him because I miss him.
This continues. I am stuck in a loop, I don’t know what to do. Please advice.
It can be a little difficult to know people through social media as they are at their amazing best there; pictures, videos, status updates usually is for someone else to validate them and possibly does not reflect who they truly are. And yet you call it a relationship? How?
Also, you have chosen to feel guilty for being upfront about it or take a decision to move on.
How much of emotions are invested in this ‘relationship’ or have you grown it in the mind to an extent that doesn’t even exist?
Time to introspect and evaluate:
Who is he?
How much do I know him despite speaking to him every day?
Does his thoughts and idea match mine?
How do you know that he is deeply involved?
Could just feeling lonely be the reason that the two of you are stuck in this?
I have no clue how old you are but I can tell you one thing; there is no future where there is no true love and for true love to grow, one needs to be with another person initially, investing time in one another.
In your case check if the two of you can meet and maybe things might fall into place after that clearing up many of these confusions.
AD: At first I thought he is different as he doesn’t share his feelings. I thought that he has feelings but doesn’t want to express.
One day we had a fight over something, I made him sit in puja ghar and asked him what are your thoughts about me?
He said I think you as my very good friend and I don’t want to feel anything because I know my family won’t accept us you and you also know it. Now what should I do? He has some financial issues which only I know of. He uses my vehicle in times of need. What is the solution?
I feel he just needs some space to sort out whatever is going on with him right now.
Support him as the friend that he sees you without any expectations or agenda because that is what he possibly wants and needs.
Any expectation might just rile him up especially when he is clear that his family won’t accept you.
Be there with him and support him as that friend. But of course, if that is too painful and expectations keep coming up, better to step aside for a while so that the situation does not hurt you or him and you can still be friends.
All the best!
PV: Dear mam, I lost my husband 8 years ago and have 2 sons. It was an arranged marriage.
We had difference of opinion in almost all areas of life. He was loving and caring in a way that he will not give up on me with the outside world.
We lived and enjoyed our family although we had sex on only a handful of occasions after having children.
I realised that I’ve chosen a person who is not right for me as I am a systematic kind of person.
I was pampered a lot and my parents brought me up in a certain way. All my efforts to make him quit his habits went in vain. He was very adamant in sacrificing his vices (regular smoking and drinking on occasions).
Now I have the responsibility shared by my mother and brother in bringing up my sons.
I have a desire to get remarried but I don’t want to end up with the wrong person. What criteria should I adhere to when selecting a partner?
Right or wrong is simply a perception.
What you should be instead looking for is compatibility in terms of emotions, values and physical wants.
It’s a miracle to find a person who can match to every need of ours and even if we do, there is no guarantee that we will like them the same way for the rest of our lives.
Matrimony sites seem to have some reasonable success in this area, also you could join groups with common interests, and you might meet someone that you like.
Whatever path that you take, changing the other person may never be a good plan. But of course, this time, you can make it amply clear that ‘vices’ are off limits for you and DO NOT compromise on it.
Being assertive right at the start can filter out many and you may end up with someone that is ‘right’ for you.
My best wishes to you!
AY: Hi Anu, I am 30 years old girl and for the past three years, I have been in relationship with a guy who is two years younger to me.
He is Marwadi and his parents are not agreeing to our marriage.
I have tried breaking up with the guy several times and tried moving on but he always keeps saying that his parents need some time.
My BF is a genuine guy and he loves me a lot.
My parents on the other hand want me to get married by the end of this year.
I am really confused if I should wait for my BF or listen to my parents and get married by their choice.
I am unable to understand what to do. I am really depressed.
Will it be really late if I get married after 30 or is it okay to wait for my BF?
Please help me out.
And is your boyfriend also really depressed like you are?
Is he also desperate to get married?
Is he afraid of talking to his parents?
Does he also want to get married and settle down?
Is there a future for the two of you?
If the answer to each is a YES, please have that ‘uncomfortable yet firm’ conversation with your boyfriend.
Being in a limbo isn’t great, so please ask him how much time he needs to talk to his parents and when he is going to talk to them and how serious is he in this relationship?
Else, it will be an endless wait and that is what seems to be getting to you, the uncertainty.
So, by getting a clear commitment on the WHEN, will eliminate this stress that is eating you away. Things will get clearer, and you will know what to do!
- 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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