We had a child through surrogacy. However, my wife developed a serious health condition before the baby was born and is unable to look after our newborn son. I feel torn between being there for my baby and for my wife. I have always wanted to be a father and have strong paternal instincts. Currently, my wife is with her parents as she needs a lot of physical care, and I am a full-time dad working from home. How do I deal with this going forward?
Life often catches us off guard. People try to look for the answers to their problems through religion, fate and often through luck as well. Every discipline attempts to calm its subscribers through something of an explanation but the world of psychology believes in nuance and circumstance. Unfortunately, there is no key that will magically open all locks that hide the treasured ‘universal solution’ to such unfortunate and dire situations in life. There is no need to choose between the ill health of your wife and the care a newborn child needs. Both deserve your utmost attention and vigil. When a person's resolve, patience and love is tested, they feel hung out to dry and cringe at the discomfort any unfamiliarities bring with them. To be honest, your newborn child is far more vulnerable at this point without access to his mother and without proper understanding of causality or what it will take to survive in this world. While your wife's situation is sensitive, she is under her family's care with you being there when needed. The inevitability of parenthood meets the vulnerability of being human and it's a match that can either light a candle of hope in your mind or set your mind ablaze with many ‘what ifs’. You will require the help and participation of a part-time nanny or a relative who can be entrusted with caregiver responsibilities till your wife’s health improves and your child is able to take care of himself.
My wife and I were in serious relationships before we married. Recently, she started chatting with one of her ex-boyfriends and also shares our private details with him. I am extremely uncomfortable with it but she stubbornly insists on going ahead with the ‘friendship’. I have not connected with my past and don’t even want to. Please guide me.
Your wife’s behaviour possibly stems from a place of immaturity and impatience where she feels the need to share private details of her life with her husband with someone outside the safe and private sanctuary of the home. It is also quite possible that old feelings may have resurfaced when she is connecting with an ex-boyfriend because she wishes to rekindle something between herself and him. Understandably, this may feel rather humiliating and odd. It may be helpful for her to reflect on what she prioritises at this point in her life more if given the choice between marital bliss or finding closure with or reconnecting with her past. While there's no short-cut to arm-twist someone into not sharing personal information, a negotiation through the participation of a caring elder or counsellor is possible. Your decision to not connect with your past can not be compared with your wife’s decision to connect with her past since a connection with the past is made for a variety of reasons. There is a price to pay for stubbornness in relationships. The man and the woman must put to the table many uncomfortable topics even when a consensus is unlikely and a midway route must be sought out. If she truly cares about what you want, she will listen and learn.
(Dr Aman Rajan Bhonsle, Ph.D, is a consulting relationship counsellor and youth mentor)