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Agony Aunt helps you to deal with relationship problems

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Shifting strains

I am going to get married soon. It is through an arranged set-up. Both the families are happy. I like the boy I will be marrying and was not forced or pressured into this. However, I am extremely worried for my future. The boy lives in the US and I get nervous each time I think of the shift my life will undertake after my marriage. I wonder how I will cope with the new place, new people, with no support as both our families live here in India. Moreover, if I wish to work over there, then I will have to start-over from scratch and study first. All of this has been building up a lot of anxiety and it is getting to me with each passing day, as the wedding date gets closer. I have started having trouble in my sleep as well of late. Please help.

Ans: The reality is such that it will bring about a lot of change in your life and being apprehensive about the changes is normal. Travelling abroad and setting up a new life with your partner can be exciting rather than stressful. You can share your concerns with your fiancé so that there could be sharing of responsibilities as well. As far as your career is concerned to start with some research about the availability of jobs and requirement in terms of degrees and whether your current education could be help. There are ways and means to reduce the impending anxiety as the focus should mainly be on contributing to the relationship rather than peripheral stressors.


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Interfering Mother

I am 15 years old. My mom and I aren’t very close and we don’t get along. We fight most of the time, but we have moments where we enjoy each other’s company. However, I do not like sharing things about my life with her. She’s extremely judgmental, manipulative and controlling and never respects my privacy. Every day when I go to school, she spends time searching my diary, and she reads it. Then she holds it over me as blackmail and threatens me by saying that I can never hide anything from her. I don’t know what to do, and how do I keep my personal life from my mother? 

Ans: You may begin by having a conversation about the intrusive behaviour and explain how it affects you personally. You can also involve your father or some other elder in your family who can hold a conversation with your mother without offending her. The time spent together can be utilized to get to know each other better rather than resorting to techniques which are intrusive. You may also discuss with her about the need to do so and whether it has anything to do with her insecurities or lack of trust so that right course of action can be taken in order to resolve the issues.

After breakup

I dated a guy for three years. After he shifted school, he changed completely and broke up with him. I used to spend all my time with him and therefore started feeling lonely immediately. My family is too conservative to give me relationship advice. What is the best way to deal with loneliness?

Ans: Since the relationship took over your routine the absence of the same is making you feel lonely. Prior to the relationship, you did have a life which may not involve loneliness. Try and bring about those changes again and indulge into activities which ceased to exist once the relationship began. also, a consideration for future relationship: you enter the relationship as an individual and thus maintaining that individuality becomes very important as both of you are interdependent and not dependent in the relationship.

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A ‘bossy’ affair

I am a 37-year-old single woman working at an ad agency for the past 9 years. I enjoy working as it gives me independence and a lot of experience. Last month during a business trip I happened to have sex with my boss. We have been skirting around the attraction for past few months now. This trip was away from the office environment as well as our respective families and it brought us closer. The problem here is that he is not ready to commit as he wants to remain single for the rest of his life. I got my pregnancy report as positive yesterday and since then I have been contemplating about telling him but not in a way that would tie him down. How do I go about this?

Ans: Firstly, think through the fact that you are going ahead with the pregnancy would add in responsibilities onto you alone if he denies his share of responsibilities. You could share the news and tell him honestly as to how you would want him to be a part of your and the child’s life. You can state his role clearly if you do not wish to tie him down only because of the baby being in the picture.