Agony Aunt: My husband is cheating on me, but lied to my face

Victim of cheating

I am a 35-year-old woman, and I have recently discovered that my husband has been cheating on me since the past two years. When I confronted him about the same, he denied it and lied to my face about it. I don’t know what to do, I am no longer in touch with my family and I have no money which I can use for myself. What should I do?

Ans.  A lot of things can be done to help you in this case. Confiding into a professional about the current situation could be a start. The professional can work with you throughout the process in whatever you decide to do. Taking few decisions such as whether you wish to continue in the relationship or file for a divorce, looking for work options to be financially independent, possibility of reconciling with your family or at least having few close friends for emotional support are essential. In case you decide to legally approach this, then your lawyer could also be of assistance. In case, you are deciding to work it out with your husband, then making provisions for seeking marital therapy for better relationship with each other would be a primary goal.

Parting ‘ways’

I have a twin sister. We just finished with school and are applying to different colleges. I am more inclined towards the finance sector and she wants to pursue science. This would mean going completely different directions, different schedules, and different friends. I don’t know if I am confident doing it on my own. We have never been apart, be it kindergarten, school or summer camps. We have seen the world together and I believe there is immense dependency on both our parts. I am not sure how things will turn out from here on. What should can both of us do in this situation? 

Ans.  The fact that you are realising your fears and apprehensions is in itself beneficial to help talking about this with your twin sister as she might possibly be going through a similar turmoil. The change that is going to take place could also lead into helping you both develop an individuality in respective fields and also act as complimentary to a combined growth of you both as sisters. You could also speak to a professional about what your concerns are regarding the shift so that they could be dealt with effectively. In fact both of you could attend few joint sessions in order to understand the various transitional phases that are yet to happen and build a mechanism to deal with them as well in due course of time.

The Courtship confusion

I am a 35-year-old woman who is in the process of getting a divorce. I am dating a colleague from work who wants to tell everyone of our relationship. I am not sure if we should do that, because I am still finalising my divorce, and I don’t want to get a bad reputation. I do like that this man wants to make things official. Could there be some deep seated insecurity in me to begin with and that is playing a role and resulting in my reluctance? What should I do?

Ans. You and your partner both have an equal say in how you would like to talk about your relationship with others. Discussing your reservations with him and understanding whether you both are functioning from a space of fear or insecurity could help. In case waiting until your divorce finalises helps you in any manner to be less stressed then explaining it to him might work out. However, if there is any underlying insecurity as to what others will say if they know about you both dating then it could be detrimental. Thus, discuss at length with your partner about how you both can help each other in this process of becoming an official couple for the world to see and also handle the things that might be sent at you by those around both of you.

Family’s expectation

Agony Aunt: My husband is cheating on me, but lied to my face

I have a huge family, and three older siblings. They are all doing great in their careers and that puts a lot of pressure on me to do well. My family is supportive, but these unspoken expectations are frustrating. I can’t vent to my family either, as they really are quite sweet. What should I do? I recently also discovered that I might be soon having a talk with my siblings about how to go ahead with career as I am fast approaching my 12th grade. I am not sure what am I supposed to do in this situation.

Ans.  I can understand the immense pressure you might be experiencing with the family environment and high achievers in the picture. There comes a time when you might start identifying your own strengths and weaknesses and function accordingly. And this might be very different than your usual family norms. The unspoken expectations can be verbalised by you so that you can get clarity as to whether those expectations actually exist or are they simply your perceptions. Speaking to your siblings might open up few avenues and ways of thinking as well. They may mean well and not exercise their authority over you if you give that conversation a fair try. Also, being honest with them about how you view them and their success could also help in a smooth conversation.

(Dr. Anjali Chhabria is a Consultant Psychiatrist)

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