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Agony Aunt helps you to deal with relationship problems

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Struggles of separation

I am a mother of two kids. Both my kids are young (6 yr. and 8 yr.) and are very loving and well-behaved. On the marital front, I am undergoing a major life-change. My husband and I have decided to separate due to our differences. But, I’m very worried about the children. How do we break the news to them and how will they react to it? The other day, when we had a fight, it was too much for me to take and hence I took the kids and left the house. I’ve been staying with my parents for the past two weeks. When my elder son asked me when are we going back home, I said that we may not go back. Hearing this, he got very disturbed and threw a crying fit. He might have guessed that things are bad between us (his parents). This has made me more worried than ever about how they will react to the separation. Please guide me on what to do.

Ans: Of the many children who have to deal with the separation of parents, not many are in a (mental) position to face reality and accept it easily. You are the best judge of your children’s mental capabilities and maturity. If you feel that your kids aren’t ready for it yet, then you and your husband may mutually have open discussions with your kids wherein step by step, in simple words, you may disclose the situation to them rather than breaking the news of a divorce directly. For instance, you may begin by explaining them about the difficulties that you two are facing by being together. Also, in such a scenario, make sure to involve the father and allow the kids to spend time with him. If at a later stage, you believe that either of your children are finding it tough to cope with it, then you may seek the help of a child counsellor.


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Finding the lost love

I am 26-year-old female, working in a law firm for past 1 year. My ex-boyfriend referred me to this firm while we were in a relationship. When I joined the firm, we were already broken up and I met him after 6 months of break up at the firm. Since we work together and also socialise outside work with same group, one thing led to another and we developed a causal relationship which escalated to being physical as well. I started hoping that we would get back, but he showed no inclination. I spoke to him about this, but he refused to talk about it. He is distancing himself from me and I am feeling emotionally too weak to deal with this all over again. I cry often and also hate going to work as I have to see him daily. I don’t know what to do anymore. 

Ans: You have unresolved issues revolving around your breakup which need to be addressed before you can move further. A professional can help you learn ways to deal with emotionally taxing situations in a rational way so that you can manage your emotions better. Talking about it to an external person can help throw light on the implicit aspects of your situation and the underlying anxieties attached to it that need to be addressed. The need to escape work place because he is a part of the organization is simply giving him more power over your emotional state. Therapy will help you in various ways to overcome such fears and hindrances.

In pursuit of pet

I had a dog who passed away two years ago after which I was depressed for a while. It took me few months to get back on track and not be affected by the event. The time when I was depressed, my parents were extremely worried about me. I stopped eating, stopped getting out of my house and did not really want to do anything. I was in a bad state then. Eventually I accepted the fact that my dog was no more and with some help of my friends and family I got out of it. It’s been a while now and touch wood everything has been great, and I’ve been considering getting a new dog. But because of how I became after the loss of my first dog my parents are not willing to get me a new dog. I know that it was tough to get over last time, but I really feel getting one will help a lot. How do I convince them?

Ans: Dealing with death and loss is usually approached with denial to begin with and resentment following the suit. In your case the classic stages of bereavement were observed closely by your parents and friends which has made them cautious about your well-being. They come from a place of concern regarding your emotional health and thus the resistance towards getting another dog at home. But your argument in terms of having a pet at home isn’t flawed as the presence of pet is known to do wonders. However, there needs to be an understanding on your part that death is inevitable and sooner or later one has to come to terms with this harsh fact. You could visit animal shelters or similar places that allow volunteers to interact with animals for few hours during the week or maybe take up an internship at such shelters to be close to animals. When your parents see you being comfortable, they might also realise the importance of a pet in your life.

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One sided love

There is a girl at my workplace and have known her since the past couple of months, during which I gradually started getting attracted towards her and eventually fell for her. However, I had no inkling of the fact that she had a boyfriend. By the time I came to know of her, it was too late. Since then, I am trying very hard to get over her, but I am not being able to. It’s impossible to avoid her as we work together and each time I see her, my desire to be with her deepens. I haven’t told her yet as to how I feel but she feels there is something off in my behaviour for the past few weeks. Please help. 

Ans: It seems like you had invested a lot in your relationship with her emotionally and probably had some expectations from her in return; while she may be unaware of these developments in you. Hence, you may have unconsciously distorted your behaviour toward her after learning about her boyfriend. In any relationship to develop, it is essential that the involved people move forwards at similar pace or are at least on the same page as the other. Having a conversation with her regarding your feelings toward her would somewhere help in clearing the confusion and may help in normalizing your behaviour with her so that both of you are at ease and even though your relationship with her may not take a turn the way you want it. but would at least lead to a friendship if you are comfortable and open towards it.