Free Press Journal

Agony Aunt: Personal problems


Caught in the midst

I have been married for 3 years now. Before marriage I belonged to a strict vegetarian family. It was a love marriage and my wife used to have non-vegetarian food. Before the marriage I had warned her it would be difficult as my family is very strict about it. She said she will give up and she did initially. But after a year she said she can’t stop non-veg food as it is very difficult for her and she started eating outside the house. Which I accepted but now she feels we should move out of the family as she feels the need to have regularly and she cannot eat always outside food. She wants to cook at home and that is creating a scene in my house. I really love her and we are very good together otherwise, I understand her needs and so want to settle this issue without any remorse feelings.  

Ans: I really appreciate your efforts to empathise with your wife despite her inability to keep her words. Although she too must have assured you of leaving non-veg food as she may really want to marry you at that point of time, but giving up suddenly what you have been doing since childhood is very difficult. It’s a part of her staple food and basic necessity. Till she isn’t ready herself to give up non-veg this with now be pleasant if forced to do so as it will just not work. If you don’t want to shift out from the house you explain to her that it would be unfair if she expects you to leave your house and preferences of staying together at the cost of her need to eat what she can’t quit for you. So a mutual respectful call will be that she can eat but just not in the house.  This will be a good balance she still gets to eat but you too will not leave the house. So it’s fair enough to give up one thing on each side.

Teen son sexting

I was once going through my son phone for a number with his consent and I saw some messages that shook me up. He is 15 years old and is studying in school to give his board exams. Being a father it’s very worrisome, as I have caught my son sexting with an older woman. There are photographs and video clips exchanged on Whatsapp. I don’t know this older girl but she seems around 25 or 26 years of age and working.  I am scared my son might be in a troubled relationship but at the same time I don’t want to confront him, as I am scared he will feel as though I am a nosy parent and he will start hiding everything from me. How do I assure he is protected?  

 Ans: Your worry is very genuine. Parental guidance is very necessary for growing teen who can get carried away with relationship and get into risk taking behaviours especially due to sexual attraction. You need to let your guard down and speak to him about sex education. The more awkward you feel the more he is going to run away. You need to first accept that as a father it’s your role to guide him and no one else will be honest and genuine with this than you. Build that trust where he can feel safe to come and share doubts. Don’t worry about him hiding because you are going to confront him. He is anyways hiding from you currently. Avoid being judgmental of his actions it’s a phase you would know better as you’ve been through that. You just have to make sure his decisions aren’t risk taking and help him make the right choice.

No job opportunities

I have shifted to a new place in Chandigarh since a year and half. I have initially lived in Mumbai all my life. I had to change my residence as my guardian passed away and left her house for me. But beside the house I have no other source of income here. It’s been very long and I haven’t found suitable jobs here. I am scared I will run out of money as my saving is also being used away for maintenance and other expenses. I am getting worried and don’t want to return to Mumbai again. What should I do please help.

Ans:   you need to get your goals ready. Yes the change is good but what you need to do is start from any opportunity you get and I mean literally the smallest opportunity. You can take up freelancing for a while if possible. Since you haven’t mentioned your profession I assume you can at least do the part times that you get. Yes definitely you want make your career there but currently your priorities have changed to first earning money and then settling in the career. Chandigarh is a growing city so you will find something.  If nothing then you can start with volunteering work as something can be put up in your resume instead of a long gap. You will then meet new people and are in touch with the latest affairs and thus increasing your chances of getting a job.