Agony Aunt helps you to deal with relationship problems

Standing against sexual harassment

I am a 16-year-old recently joined college. Early this year we went on a holiday with a family friend and his family. My dad knows this man for the past five years, first through work and then through personal relations. On the trip, I got to know him better as he is very intelligent and interesting as a person. After we got back from the trip, my younger brother would flinch each time we would talk about this person at home. I noticed it prominently the other day when he refused to interact with him. I spoke to my brother about it and after a lot of coaxing he revealed that he was inappropriately touched by this man and he didn’t know what to do about it. I want to help him, please guide me how. 

Ans: The incident your brother has mentioned requires you to trust him and support him to start with. Assure him that you will be with him through the whole process and it is important to speak about this and discuss with parents. You could also begin by telling him that it wasn’t his fault and he shouldn’t be the one feeling afraid or scared of that person doing him any further harm. Rope in your parents and explain the situation to them and also your brother’s state of mind. This way if all of you are on the same page then it will be easier on to him as well to feel reassured and secure. The aim is to make your brother feel confident enough for him to speak up for himself and also take actions if similar situation arises in future.

Problematic relationship  

I am 35-year-old woman in love with a 27-year-old guy. He loves me back as well. We live in the city alone, so our parents don’t know about us. We are planning to move in together in few months, but I am worried as to what my parents would say if they know about the relationship. I have confided about this only to my sister and she isn’t very happy with this relationship. Her argument is that people would not be accepting and that it is going to be difficult for the two of us. I get torn between these differing views and end up unloading on to my boyfriend who is luckily very understanding. What should I do?

Ans: The clarity that needs to first set in is in your mind regarding this relationship i.e. whether you are comfortable with the idea of dating a younger person? If the answer to that is yes and that age isn’t a concern for the two of you then how others view the relationship hardly counts. Taking one step at a time, if you feel comfortable and secure with the relationship then that would be reflected in the way you introduce yourself to your parents as well. The societal concerns regarding whom to be in a relationship should not outweigh as to how you feel towards another individual. Your relationship with another individual is a private affair and thus what others have to say about it shouldn’t make you doubt your choice.

Spirituality vs. Atheism

My family is very religious in nature. They visit temples frequently and I used to accompany them as a child but as and how I grew up, I started to say no and be at home while they would travel around visiting the temples. I realised that I am an atheist by the time I turned 14. I am 24 years old now and my family still expects me to come around and be religious like them. I get too aggressive when such discussions take place at home and the environment is pretty tense all the time. How should I make them realise that I respect them and belief system but just not wish to follow it?

Ans: Being an atheist and explaining it to people theoretically is usually a challenge. You could start with a family member who is easy to talk to and explain your idea of religion and what atheism means. Gradually have shorter yet meaningful discussions with other family members rather than having a major showdown each time. This process may not result in all family members being understanding but at least it would be a start. the end result of any aggressive argument is unpleasant and hence fighting it against them may not be the best of ideas. Also, if you are doing certain things just to please them then evaluate your behaviour and work on it if it is contradictory.

Unwanted fantasies

Me and husband met through online matrimonial site and got married after knowing each other for 9 months. We have been married for 6 months now. The marriage got consummated in the second month of marriage due to his travel for work just after marriage. Things have been very good sexually between us but in the past one month or, so I have started noticing that he is being sexually too demanding and bordering to BDSM as well. I found his online search on the laptop once and saw that he has been searching for kinky stuff and also connecting with people who do so. I am not comfortable with this change. How should I probe into this?

Ans: Being in a consensual relationship entails both individuals being comfortable with each other. In your sexual relationship if things are not making you comfortable, raise this concern at the earliest with your husband so that he realises it at the earliest and both if you can work on deciding how to lead a healthy and comfortable sex life. Shying away from such conversations only leads up to complications for a later stage. You are an equal partner in the relationship and hence communicating your discomfort is essential.

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