Continuing bad childhood habits

I never received love and attention as a child and in my growing up years from my parents. My father was too busy at work and my mother busy taking care of the joint family we lived in. I had to fend for myself in every possible way.  I think as a result, even though I am 22, I have the habit of sucking my thumb at night. In addition, I still wet my bed on days when I am emotionally stressed. I don’t know what to do.

Ans: There seems to be deep rooted concerns from the childhood which went unresolved and are now surfacing themselves in physical reactions such as thumb sucking and occasional bed wetting. this association between emotional stress and the reaction to it needs to be altered. Seeking psychotherapy for these issues could be a start to learn ways to handle stress in a better manner.

Lack of sexual experience

I am a 27-year-old unmarried boy. My parents have fixed up my marriage to a girl from my community. I come from a very conservative and orthodox family and as a result of the strict upbringing, I have never allowed myself to be sexually active. With my upcoming marriage, this lack of experience is causing me tremendous anxiety. While I know it all theoretically and from the internet, I am still hugely anxious.

Ans: I understand the reason as to why there is anxiety and as and how the idea is getting real it is also escalating the stress. One thing to understand here is that sexual intimacy is developed over a period of time between two individuals and thus can’t be exactly simulated on the basis of theoretical knowledge. To ease out a little, have few conversations revolving around your anxieties with your partner so that both could alleviate each other’s anxiety.

Insecure mother

I am an only child of my parents. Their world has always revolved around me. I recently got involved with a girl and am serious about the relationship. This has made my mother extremely insecure and it is playing out in her behaviour with me and my father. To the extent that she passes snide remarks when my girlfriend is over. This has been building up and before I burst and the damage is irreparable, I wanted to reach out.

Ans: Your mother might need a talk from your end which doesn’t have to revolve around you pointing out her passive aggressive behaviour but somewhere helping her realise that her behaviour of concern and care is being reflected as insecurity. You directly attacking her would make her defensive and possibly ignite dislike towards your girlfriend as well. Also, engineering situations where both your mother and girlfriend could spend time together and also you all as a family could spend quality time would automatically make a lot of difference in approach towards each other.

Relationship turmoil

I am a 59-year-old widow and a mother of 2 married children. I lost my husband when my children were 3 and 5. I have brought them up single handed, financially trying my best to provide them with the best possible love, care and attention. With my retirement and they are getting married and overseas, I have begun getting involved with various activities to keep myself busy. I recently met a man, who is widowed himself, 61 years of age at a fundraiser. We have bonded and have gotten friendly. When I shared the same with both my daughters, while one was supportive and encouraged me to go ahead and explore possibilities, the other one put me through a guilt trip calling me names and shaming me. I don’t know what to do and this is affecting my relationship with this gentleman.

Ans: There comes a stage in life where the decisions have to be made revolving around how you would end up feeling at the end of it rather than considering every individual feeling who aren’t directly involved in the equation. Your daughters could have differing opinions regarding your choice but what is essential is the fact that your feeling is given its proper due without you regretting anything. If you are certain how you wish to take further this relationship, your assertiveness would reflect the confidence and eventually bring about an understanding for your daughter as well.

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