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Agony Aunt helps you to deal with relationship problems

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Cheating on boyfriend

I am a 22-year-old girl, and I am in a long distance in a relationship with a 28-year-old man. He has always taken care of me and is always there for me when I need to talk. Despite this, I crave for real time love and affection, which has led me to cheat on my boyfriend several times. I love my boyfriend very much but I am unable to stop cheating on him and I don’t have the courage to tell him either. I feel torn. What should I do?

Ans: The fact that you can’t stop cheating on him somewhere indicates that apart from you strongly feeling for him there is little or no hope left in the longevity of this relationship. It will be difficult for you to come clean and tell him the truth but not being truthful about it might create a lot of other issues which may be difficult to resolve. Your aim isn’t to justify your actions or blame it on the distance that has caused a rift in the relationship but highlight the fact that the long distance is something which you are unable to maintain despite strong feelings.


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Helping depressed friend

I have recently discovered that one of my best friends has been going through depression. Every time we go out or attend a party, she gets drunk and cries to me about how she feels ignored by the world, under confident, and less than average. I have tried comforting her many times, but I am unable to make a difference. Besides, she never discusses these issues with me when she is not drunk. I’m not sure how to help her.

Ans: Constant badgering her and seeking information might not be the best course of action as it might put her into a shell. Gradually nudge her towards opening about her issues when she is sober, try and reduce the drinking when she is with you and also rope in other trusted friends who can reduce the frequency of drinking. This will bring about a loss of crutch and she might open up to you willingly. You can also suggest her to go meet a counsellor who might help her to open up.

Pursuit of attractiveness
I am a 14-year-old girl, all my friends are slim and beautiful, and I feel like I am the least attractive and I have recently become obsessed with my weight and my diet. I don’t eat too much, I work out too much and I still don’t feel beautiful.  A lot of my family members have commented on how I’m losing weight, I know that they mean I look unhealthy, but I can’t help but feel good when I hear comments like that. How do I overcome this unhealthy relationship with my weight?

Ans: Weight and beauty are often misinterpreted and sadly we fall prey to it often. The obsession with weight will cease to exist when you start placing realistic goals for yourself rather than unrealistic ones also comparing yourself to others. Your body type is way different than that of others and this difference will always exist so rather than being disappointed that you aren’t as slim as XYZ or as attractive as abc, you can shift that focus on your strengths and work on them. Exercise and eat a healthy diet but in moderation, as anything is done in excess leads to detrimental effects.

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A Mother’s turmoil

My son is currently in elementary school. On an average day, he feels highly stressed and unable to cope with everything around him. He often doesn’t understand what happens in classrooms and is hardly passing. Many teachers have approached us asking us to test him for learning disorders. However, my husband, who is the person who could pay for this, is completely against the idea. He is in denial about the possibility of a learning disorder and will refuse to accept that his son is “abnormal”. I want our son to get the help he needs but whenever I approach my husband about it he either shuts me out or fights with me. What do I do to ensure the best for my family?

Ans: The idea of ‘learning disability’ is often misunderstood by a lot of people as they confuse it with some abnormality which brackets a child to be ‘dumb’. You could bring in some literature for your husband to read about learning disability or bring him in to speak to a special educator at your son’s school. The handwriting, his grades, his performance in school could be enough facts indicating the possibility of some learning issue, highlight that as well. Another way to go about this would be that you could start with some remedial intervention and see the difference in his performance and then rope in your husband with the change in the result for him to see the difference.