Agony Aunt: We love each other as friends but something is missing in our marriage

Imperfect match

Ours was a recent arranged marriage. We really hit it off as friends and enjoyed each others’ company in the start. However, post marriage we both realised our ways of life and personalities don’t match up. We are very open with communication and have discussed this problem several times. We love each other as friends and wish to be in each others’ lives but there’s something missing in our marriage. Is

this just a phase?

Ans: Settling down in a marriage is hard work. Sometimes a little more in an arranged marriage though love marriages have their unique challenges. Either way it takes time, effort, patience, commitment and resilience to make a marriage work. The wonderful part is that you are able to be good friends and communicate. I would recommend going for marital counselling. Sometimes what is needed is hand holding and being able to see things from not just your own or your spouses eyeglass. Counselling will help you in discovering if its just a phase and teething challenges or if it is beyond just that.

Insecure mother-in-law

It’s been more than a year to my wedding. My husband and I recently moved out of our joint family into our own house, one level above my in-laws. Since then my mother-in-law has become very possessive of my husband and a little insecure with me. She’s a very nice woman and I have no complaints against her. But how do I make her feel more secure in her relationship with my husband?

Ans: The transition is a big change for your mother-in-law. For her, the son having gotten married seems to make her feel that she has to share him with you. In addition, the two having moved out even if a floor above is almost like the umbilical cord being cut for her. It may not seem like such a big deal from a third person’s perspective but for your mother-in-law is a new normal that she has to get used to. Her behaviour exhibits her insecurities, emotions and feelings. Try and put her feelings at bay by assuring her through your actions and that of your son’s actions. Keep going over and keep having her over. Assure her through conversation that nothing has changed. Give it time.

Agony Aunt: We love each other as friends but something is missing in our marriage

Future and the fears

I recently got engaged to the boy I have been seeing for two years. Two months have passed since the engagement and all of a sudden I have been getting anxious thoughts about my future. I keep feeling like this is the end of it all and that there’s nothing else I can do. I love him a lot and definitely want to be with him but the whole idea of marriage is scaring me. For some reason, I feel this is too big a label and maybe I’m not ready to give up my freedom yet. Am I getting cold feet? Why do I feel this way?

Ans: Marriage is a huge change. The prospect of marriage even if it is to the person one loves can be overwhelming. It is normal and natural to have the thoughts that you are having. However, what you must explore is the root cause of these thoughts. Is there any more truth in the thoughts than just pre-wedding jitters? Open communication and two way give and take with your fiancée is important. In addition, be honest with yourself about aspects that are causing you concern. It is important that you be able to be objective with yourself and are able to reason with yourself to know what are your real thoughts. Do not hesitate to tell your fiancée, if you feel you need more time. Speak to a counsellor and explore the aspect of pre-martial counselling.

To love or not to love

I’m a 23-year-old girl living in Mumbai. I have been single for almost three years now. I have been attracted to boys but I can never let them cross a certain boundary. I enjoy spending time with them but start to withdraw the moment I feel they are getting serious. I feel my security and balance in life will be threatened and I can’t entertain the idea of losing any sort of control. Sometimes I feel they are a waste of my time although deep down I do crave their presence. What should I do?

Ans: Please think about what is the boundary that you have and why is it that you would not allow a boy to cross it. Does the boundary come from a sense of protecting oneself and if yes, then protecting oneself from what? Do ponder over if you are commitment phobic and fear attachment or fear loosing after being attached if they/you/both get serious? It is possible to keep the reigns of one’s security and balance in one’s own control. A relationship does not mean giving away one’s control. You seem to be being hard on yourself and my sense is that the questions posed by you come from past experiences of life or from a relationship. I would explore with a professional.

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