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Agony Aunt helps you to deal with relationship problems

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Standing for oneself

I am a 51 year old woman married for 27 years now with two daughters in their twenties. I have always been a meek person by nature, being dominated by my brother and parents in my childhood. Life, choices and decisions were always about what they said. This continued on to after I got married with my husband charting the course of my life. Recently, the domination by my husband has reached a level where he has started putting me down in public. It is humiliating and I only realised it when my daughters began to point it out to me. I don’t know what to do about it as I have never known another way of life.

Ans: Often we resign to the way of life just because it has been that way for a long time and resist change as it “might” be difficult. However, change would seem unsettling only if it has been deemed to be difficult. You already have a realisation for the various factors that have led to you being meek and that you need to step out of that so as to fully realise your personality shaped by your efforts and not the environment. To start off with the process, gradually bring in changes that you have always wished for but put it aside saying someone in your family wouldn’t approve of it even though it meant a lot for you. Spend some time with your daughters as well to understand things from their perspective as well as they have pointed it out to you.


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Family fallout

My parents have been fighting for all the 20 years that I have been alive. The squabbles have reached such a height that family members and the police have had to be called on various occasions. Recently fed up, my father left home and it did not seem to make a difference to my mother. He came back after much persuasion by my older sibling only to be met with much drama by my mother who refused to let him into the house for the entire day. While the embarrassment and public display is huge, I am disgusted and have begun to hate my parents. More than that I have lost trust in the sanctity of the family unit. I just want to run away from home and cut all relations with my parents.

Ans: The home environment is something that would ideally bring about peace and absence of such an environment from the start would be quite a devastating experience. I understand your angst against this unfair scenario that you have to witness everyday and your need to escape all of this. That would seem like the only option as it will ensure you not facing the fights but at the same time, it seems an impulsive step. You and sibling could probably discuss as to how to bring about some peace in the house and whether it would take efforts from your extended family members then do involve them as well. Running away would be a temporary respite, however having a family discussion about the future course of all of you involved does seem likely to bring about some closures for the family.

Changing behaviour

I have always had a wonderful life with great parents, a comfortable upbringing, good at school and am in college at this time. However I have noticed in the last one year I have begun to become introverted, quiet and mellow. The low feeling does not leave me no matter how hard I try. What do I do?

Ans: The low feeling that has hit you in past one year might have an underlying cause to it that needs further exploration. You could begin the process by consulting a psychologist who can help you in identifying the possible factors and also work on how to deal with the low feeling. Repeated efforts on your end to try and “snap out” of this feeling might be frustrating and might trigger off a vicious cycle; timely help can definitely help you in resolving this conflictual state.

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Knocked by negativity

What do I do when I feel the whole world is against me? I feel my family and friends are always plotting against me. In addition I feel people are looking at me all the time and finding fault with me. I constantly need to be reassured that this is not the case but I can’t help but think this way. I am going crazy. Please help.

Ans: There seems to be something bothering you at a deeper level which is resulting in you feeling paranoid and need for validation at each step. You feeling as if you are going crazy might be stemming from the fear of not knowing what is happening at an emotional as well as thought level. Speak to a professional about this and get to the root of these feelings so that your thought process doesn’t vacillate between extremes and lead you to feeling crazy and things being out of control.