‘We love each other but we’re not happy’
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:
GH: I married a man after he cheated multiple times. I knew marriage wouldn’t fix our relationship but I hoped that if we transitioned into marital roles we could bring peace to each other.
We have only been married a few months but have argued about money and have trust issues.
I have even sought info on divorce.
Before we married I worked 3 jobs and paid all the bills. I was unable to fulfil my goal of going back to school because we couldn’t afford it.
Now he’s working full time but doesn’t want to pay his share of the bills. He says his money is here for when all my money is spent.
We rarely go out. I work from home now and care for my children and his son.
I want his loyalty. I want him to be a co-provider for our household. I want us to communicate better.
When I get upset and try to talk, he tries to leave and becomes so defensive and disrespectful to me. He won’t tell me his plans all the time and gets upset when I ask. I just want a husband who loves me and wants to be loved by me.
I have never not once gone out with my own friends. I have never gotten my hair done. I rarely do things for myself.
I hate myself for doing this to myself. Help.
So, there’s someone in your home who lives for free and also wants to go out and seek pleasure and who will not even address the issue at hand.
Why exactly are you with him? He’s in it for the money that you bring in and someone to take care of him and his children and also who overlooks his infidelity.
He certainly has hit the jackpot with you. Now, why exactly do you want to still be with him?
If you feel that he will be willing to be counselled, kindly take him to an expert who can work with him and help you both put your marriage on track, else I am sure you know what situation you are in currently and how this has begun to affect the children as well.
Self-care is something that we don’t pay attention to and slowly it starts to eat away our peace of mind.
Do the right thing for you and for the children as well. Plan now for a future without him and see how prepared you are and whether it is something that you can manage. If not, you will have to accept him for who he is and move along life.
Simply do the right thing. All the best!
SR: Hi I am in a relationship with a guy for 1 year. He is 5 years older than me. We are of same caste and met via social media.
Initially, we had a lot of things to talk about but now we don’t have much stuff to discuss about. He fantasizes about my sis also; he told me that too.
He’s been flirting with her which makes me jealous and low as well. In jealousy I sometimes speak harshly to him and that creates a fight between us.
When I told him that I feel jealous he asked if I wanted him to avoid talking to her.
I don’t want that too. I trust him but this jealousy makes me sad and rude to him. What should I do??
He’s just in the playing field, trying out new things and experimenting.
You are possibly looking at a commitment which I am unsure of whether he is ready for it!
When you say that you are in a relationship, are you a couple or have you been simply hanging out together for the sake of being in each other’s company?
Relationship has a different meaning for each person. For some it’s being together and hanging out, for some till they are asked out, they don’t consider it a relationship.
So, please have a chat with him as to whether he wishes to be serious or not, is he looking for a long-term commitment or not.
When he digs deep for answers, he will also understand his mind space better, and it will give you a clear indication as to where this is all headed.
Till then all you will be doing is fixing and repairing his playing field.
All the best!
SG: Hello dear, How you handle a relationship where both have love for each other but are not living happily?
We are married for 18 years now and have two grown up children.
My husband is very good. But he is not expressive. I feel he is very dry and unromantic from the beginning. There is no communication between us…Verbal or physical.
I have developed a sort of aversion to him and feel suffocated. I am not able to behave normally with him. I am always upset. Though he is very patient with me.
He is very good as a person and has no flaws, but he is always occupied with his work or mobile. I don’t know how to handle myself.
Please advise how to make the relationship happier though I have no desire to make any efforts now as I feel it’s all useless.
He doesn’t see any problem. He feels this is very normal. The romantic relationship is not real, it’s filmy. This is reality.
I feel we have a very formal relation. Just for society and children’s sake I am stuck to him. I don’t want to leave him but I also can’t live with him. What to do?
This seems to be a classic case of two opposites in a relationship which is most often the truth. Sometimes it’s a little extreme like in your case.
But even relationships like these can be managed very beautifully.
You can start by
- Listing down the commonalities between the two of you
- Developing a new hobby together
- Appreciating and celebrating your differences
- Being in a space of gratitude for the silent care and love that he offers
Once he knows that you are making that effort without accusing him or making him feel inadequate, talk to him about what your feelings are how every once in a while, you can be pampered and cared for.
Show him rather than complain. Some men do find it rather difficult to express their love and being very demonstrative.
It’s just a different approach to what you want; when all else fails, you need to try something new to reach your outcome…that’s all….
Most importantly, keep playing in your mind, all the wonderful things that you have shared up until now.
What you choose to focus, grows in the mind…so, focus on what you have, guide him towards what you want and always be in gratitude.
I wish you the most beautiful journey ahead.
VT: Hi Anu Mam, I am married for 4 and half years now and have a 3 YO daughter.
It was an arranged marriage and the families were not familiar before.
My husband started behaving very rude to me since my delivery.
He verbally abused me a lot and finally I felt something was not right and opened up to my parents, that I cannot live with him, after 3 years of the marriage.
My parents supported me and took care of my daughter and me for a year, after which my husband’s family convinced me to move back in with him.
When I came back to him I realised he has been cheating on me with his colleague since before my delivery.
When I probed the issue further, without his knowledge, I got to know that he was a polygamous person for 10 years before marriage. And this shook me.
I also got to know he is meeting one of his female friends after work hours, lying to me. He used to lie to me that he’s going out for work and talk to his other female friend on phone for an hour or so, once every 2-3 days.
He watches porn every day.
I slowly realised he was just exploiting me for his physical needs.
Our relationship turned cold within 3 months of restarting it.
I was not happy being with him. I knew he was still cheating me, but he never obliged when I confronted.
I could not let him even touch me.
Finally, out of his frustration, he physically attacked me in front of our daughter, tried to strangulate my throat, but by god’s grace I could save myself.
That day, 30th of August 2021, I left that place with my daughter and came back to my parents.
I filled a domestic harassment complaint against him, for which we’re attending counselling sessions now.
I cannot think of a life with him anymore.
I have made up my mind to file an FIR against him soon.
I must say I’m at peace now.
But I still have a lot of anguish whenever those thoughts cross my mind.
Is there a way where I can make peace with my past?
Physical abuse is an absolute NO and so is emotional abuse. I am glad that you have decided to end this misery for yourself and your daughter.
Please proceed with the FIR and also seek help on filing divorce if that is something that you have considered.
On the emotional part of it, it will take a toll on you and your health as you are unprepared at this moment. So start by:
1. Visualizing your life without him by your side
2. Working out granular details like finances and where you will live
3. Chalking out a plan of how your daughter will be cared for if you choose to start working
4. Listing down which close family member will be by your side (emotionally) always
As daunting as this may seem, it is possible to be in a space of strength which you already have experienced and move ahead to a better life.
And as you do this, do remember that you are important, so take care of your thoughts and feelings as well.
- Spend time in Nature observing and appreciating
- Surround yourself with people and friends who care and love you unconditionally
- Exercise and eat well
- Pamper yourself by caring for your physical appearances
- Do what you love every day at least for 30 minutes
Situations maybe tough to handle but building strength within at the right time is what is the need of the hour.
I wish you the best in life always.
A: Hi Anu ji, Please help me out the right way!!
I am a single mother, working woman. One of my colleagues got to know about my marital status and slowly he started liking me, texting me.
He was always caring and I felt comfortable and secure in his company. But he has a family.
Despite that, he is in relationship with me, and always tries his best to keep me happy like a family guy.
I tried to break up with him and move on thrice. Still he came back saying he cannot stay without me.
Now my problem is I am worried how will we manage if the relationship is revealed.
My parents will definitely not allow and neither will his family.
I am very confused. Please help
I don’t want to lose him but I don’t want to hurt his family or be the reason for his family disputes.
He is seeking attention, validation and care from you and you are also getting that in return from him.
Does this qualify to be in a relationship with a married man? You know the answer to it and the complications that will arise alongside.
You are confused because in your heart you know that something is amiss.
Listen to what your heart points out to and if you feel breaking up with him is the best thing like you did thrice, the next time stick with it.
Why retract? Maybe because you feel weak at that moment and give in.
Every time you give in, you are back to the same confusion. So, time to evaluate your thoughts and ask yourself: What will happen if I move on without him?
What life can I have an opportunity to create on my terms in complete clarity and away from this confusion?
Will this life that I create be better for me and my child in terms of being at peace?
What if I seek a relationship with someone who is in a similar space like I am in now?
Do this reality check and then do the right thing. You know you can do this, and you want to for a life that can be lived in clarity and harmony.
All the best to you!
- 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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