Agony Aunt deals with questions of problems faced in personal life

Who cooks?

I got married a few weeks ago and this was an arranged marriage. My wife’s parents made it look like she is the perfect match for me and so I was convinced to marry her. However, two days after my wedding I found out that she does not know how to cook and I am worried now. I know how to cook, but then I do not want to be the house husband. I cannot afford to hire a cook and neither does my wife seem to have any interest in cooking. What do I do? How will my future be? How will my children’s future be? Did I make a mistake by marrying a woman who does not know how to cook at all?

Ans: ‘A man’s way to heart is through his stomach,’ is something that probably you strongly believe in and your wife doesn’t, prove this to her and she too will adapt your ideology if she truly loves you. Since you two didn’t know each other so there are many things you will still discover about her and may not be very fond of all the qualities, it doesn’t mean that you made a mistake, it just goes to say that you need some time to adjust in this new relationship. Yes it’s important that good food should be cooked at home, but treat it like any other shortcoming or else you will sound like a male chauvinist who is trying to get his wife to do the entire house work. Make it a fun activity that you’ll do it together, rather than one of you’ll taking the whole responsibility, help her develop the skill of cooking and letting her take one step at a time for making a new dish for you while you give her a positive feedback that will motivate her to continue the same. There is no need to have definite roles assigned for cooking at time you can cook and eventually she can take on the role.

A matter of dignity

I recently got married and I live with my husband’s joint family. However, I am finding it really uncomfortable to live with my in-laws. It is a small two bedroom house and we are ten people living. I feel that my father-in-law and my brother-in-law give me dirty stares and I have seen them pass their filthy comments on me. However, my mother-in- law and husband may never believe this. It is very awkward for me to live in a house where I know I am not being respected. What do I do? How do I tell my husband this?

Ans: It’s a question of your dignity and hence you have to take some action against it as soon as possible. You can probably look out for obvious signs and share it with your husband; he will believe you, as no woman likes to blame anyone at the cost of losing their shame. You give him concrete examples as to why do you feel the way you do and ask him for the help in a way that will be mutually agreed upon without making it a big deal or drama in the family, as they will otherwise hold a grudge against you. if you think your husband is not able to do the needful, seek help from your family, speak to your parents and see what they think is the right thing to do, involve them as this is not your fault and you have to do something about it before you are hurt, even if its emotional. Remember it has nothing to do with your shortcomings or your fault so you cannot be blamed for their misconduct. They should be aware of the fact that you aren’t someone who is gullible and someone who can’t stand up for herself and that they would have to pay for their wrong doings.

Anxious all the time

Hi. I am a 20 years old college student. I have been feeling very disturbed lately. The recent terror attacks and war going on around in the world and in India has left me feeling very afraid and being in a constant state of alertness. Some days I get scared to go to areas that are overly populated in fear that it may be bombed. I get anxious when my parents don’t come home on time and even lash out at friends who fail to tell me if they are running late. Every morning I wake up, I hear about some tragedy that has happened. This situation has caused me to be in a constant state of stress and is taking a toll on my health. I don’t understand how my friends can cope with this looming threat that we are faced with everyday. Please help me as I don’t know how to help myself.

Ans: You seem to be suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), along with sever anxiety. Seek professional counseling or treatment for the same. The treatment will include either pharmacotherapy that means appropriate medication will be prescribed or you can even opt for mere counseling session initially, where in you go through therapies that will empower you and help you to get rid of stress. You are feeling anxious due to all sorts of negative irrational thoughts that are catastrophic in your head and make you react with an escapist response. If you mind constantly alerts your body that there is a danger in your environment, you are bound to be anxious in order to avoid the danger and your body will react in an extreme tensed manner that is the reason your reactions are overt. You need to calm down and this is possible if you have thoughts in place. Talk to someone who can help you to the same.

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