In this weekly self-help series, mental health and life coach Anu Krishna tells you how to take control of your life.
Is your relationship causing you stress?
Are you feeling lonely, helpless, indecisive?
You are not alone!
As part of an initiative to help Rediff readers, mind/life coach, NLP trainer and mental health guru Anu Krishna wants you to talk about your problems.
Every week, Anu will answer your queries, address your concerns and offer expert advice on how you can take control of your life.
- Ask ANU: ‘I feel suicidal. What can I do?’
- ASK ANU: How do I deal with loss of a loved one?
- ASK ANU: Are couples fighting more in the lockdown?
- ASK ANU: Do couples have less sex after marriage?
- ASK ANU: How NOT To Talk To Your Teen
- ASK ANU: Stressed by online classes? Seek help!
Dear readers, if you have a question for Anu, please e-mail it to [email protected] (Subject: Ask ANU) for her advice.
Meanwhile, here’s the unedited excerpt from Anu’s latest offline session with readers:
RT: I have been married for 9 years now with 3 kids. But my husband negates everything I say to him thinking I want to hurt him.
When he says something and I try to see it the other way, he sees it as confrontational and also flares up during the conversation. He does not allow me to talk saying he already knows what is in mind. He complaints about everything in the house. In terms of sex, he does not want to know if I am tired or sick.
Even though we usually make love at least two times in a week, he talks as if he is denied of his rights. He says any time he wants, he must have it.
The main issue now is I’ve noticed he has locked his phone. I know he has a date with someone because he told me he has a concert to attend and won’t be coming home that night. When I asked if I could go with him, he said No. Now that I have also locked my phone, he’s accusing me of infidelity.
He’s playing the cool guy who wants it all and when doesn’t get it wants to act all hurt and instead of taking responsibility of his emotions finds it convenient to blame you and make you feel guilty for not fulfilling his emotional and physical needs.
How do you solve something like this? Kindly ask him to speak to someone who can make him see sense else all you will do is clean up the mess caused by his baseless emotions.
This will be the constant pattern until he realises that his self-esteem and self-worth are not something that others can create for him.
If he refuses external help, do ask a person close to him to drive some sense into his thoughts where he sees an alternate perspective.
To keep your sanity intact, dissociate from his emotions and start behaving like they don’t impact you; over time you will realise that he is just trying to be a child asking for your attention in an inappropriate way.
Take time our for yourself to indulge in a lot of self-care and self-love that will go a long way in managing your emotions and self-worth as well.
Depending on him for your sanity at this point in time is like hitting your head against the wall.
So, be right to yourself from this moment on and make sure that you spend a lot of time nurturing the children as much as you nurture yourself.
All the best!
Hello Anu ma’am,
I’m 30 years old female, working at an IT firm. I have been married for a year now. The marriage with my husband was arranged by our family members. I met him 2 months before we got married. We talked more during that period and the conversations were always pleasant and I felt care in them and finally made the decision that he is my match. Once we got married, things were good-to-okay in the first few months. I used to live with my in-laws and slowly noticed that he is moving away little by little. My connection with him started to feel weak. He and his mother would stop talking when I entered the room. I had to help more with house chores.
I tried quite a lot to keep up with in-laws, husband, and work but soon sensed that mother in law and son have teamed up against me and everything I did was never satisfactory.
The first thing that came up to my mind was to move out of the house with my husband and to start our relationship afresh. He didn’t like the idea and for my work reasons, I moved out and to the city where I work (which is a 3-hour drive from where he lives). This made the connection even worse. I used to go see him once or twice in a month but the relationship felt strained so I moved back within 3 months. Around this time he downloaded some dating apps on his mobile. When I asked him about it he said he downloaded out of curiosity and didn’t use it, but I can feel the change in him. Within 2 months I started to realise he’s being secretive with his phone or iPad and is spending a lot of time with them either texting or calls. I also noticed that he is talking to someone during the night while he is sleeping next to me. I felt betrayed and shattered to my core.
All the things I learnt for him, all the things that I have done for him and his family, all the time and energy I have spent felt useless. When I confronted him he never accepted it and says it’s all in my head. I gave him some time leaving it aside thinking he would bounce back once he is done with it. So I asked him to move in with me so we could bond and spend time alone.
We moved in together finally but things didn’t go as I expected. When I leave for work he would either go meet the woman or worse bring her home. He continued it and I ran out of patience. I talked about it with my family and his. My family supports my decision with whatever I would want to do and his family would back him up saying that they have brought their son up my utmost values and he wouldn’t do such a thing. So finally they have sent us back to our homes hoping things will be fine. He still talks to the woman every night and God knows how many times I cannot make it out in the day time.
I’m sorry it’s a long read for you but I wasn’t sure what to express and what not to, for you to help me with a suggestion.
I have tried to catch his act using technology but he is too clever to be caught. Trust me, I’m a tech lead at an IT firm and I have tried a lot of methods to catch him but all of them are valid-invalid proofs and he is quite a story teller to make them all look null.
I feel nothing inside most of the times and simply want to come out of this but not without showing his true form. For once, I want to win. Win huge this way.
If you can help me out I will be grateful for that. Please keep me anonymous if you could.
Thanks a lot for reading this.
Thank you for sharing so clearly; it certainly helps me guide in the best possible manner.
If you feel that he is infidel, the there is no necessity to go around looking for proof.
What will proving that give you?
Even if you showed it all to his parents what is the guarantee that they will not turn it around and blame you for it?
That you should not have moved out and that’s why he needed the comfort of other women.
Quit focusing on proving his infidelity and focus on more what you want at this point in time.
Do you want to continue in this marriage?
If NO, exit in the most graceful manner because the stress from all the pulling down or Win that you are looking for is strenuous and of no use. It will only appease your EGO which anyway is short-lived.
But of course, if you are in the process of negotiating terms during divorce proceedings; this proof maybe valuable to have a better WIN. I hope I have succeeded in differentiating both types of WINs so you get a clearer picture.
Now coming to how you must deal with your mind space is as simple as listing down what is important to you.
Is it dwelling on what he does or emphasizing more on what you can do?
When it’s the latter, you will think and act in a manner that looks out for you and how you can keep yourself in an optimum mind space.
So, start focusing on what makes you happy and stick to that.
When you are ready to move on, make it graceful and if there seems to be a problem with negotiation, the proof that you have collected with a sane sense of mind will come in handy.
I assume that there are no children involved but if there are, take into consideration how they will cope with any decision of yours.
Bottom Line: Learn to live your life and focus on what’s important. I am confident that you can do this NOW.
All the best for a beautiful mind space!
SD: Hi Anu, How are you? Hope you are doing well. So my situation is: I’m 23 years old. Due to my extremely toxic past experiences in relationships, I chose to be single to bring a balance in my life. I have been single for almost a year now. But last month I was on a sabbatical. I had travelling plans but I had to cancel everything due to the rise in the covid19 pandemic.
I joined a dating app (I swore that I would never use a dating app. But then this year I wanted to do something that I would never consider doing. So I decided to join a dating app just to see what goes in there). I wasn’t looking for any relationship or anything like that. I was mostly fine with my single life (except the physical intimacy part of course). Then I got matches with guys. But I had no interest in any of them. I chatted with a couple of them but got bored within minutes. I matched with a guy and started talking to him. He seemed nice from the start. I could connect with him very easily. We were on an equal intellectual level. But that was just day 1. From day2, he was not really into the conversation. He was only answering my questions, not really asking anything. But while talking, he clearly told me that he wasn’t into relationships or dating currently as he broke up 1 year ago and needed time to clear his mind space.
I didn’t really care about all this stuff since I wasn’t looking for anything at all. But his prosaic interview type answers were very irritating and I had to get back to my work too. So I deleted my profile without apprising him anything and by that time we already connected on IG. But after that conversation, he was kind of all over my mind. It was really difficult for me to focus on my work for the next 2-3 days. So I thought if I text with him for 2-3 days, I would be fine probably. But when I texted him on IG, he wasn’t surprised that I’d deleted my profile on that dating app without even telling him anything. Moreover, he was texting in a very formal manner. After a while, he stopped replying. I didn’t text after that. I was done with him.
Since that day, my mind has been craving for his attention. I know that he isn’t the guy I should spend my time with no matter how good I found him initially. But my focus and concentration is really getting affected by his thoughts. On VDay I thought maybe he was going to ask me out(because last month he made it conspicuous that he was going to meet me on V -day). But he is a ghost now. Please tell me how do I erase his thoughts from my mind totally so that I can focus on my work as I have piles of work to get done.
Ghosting of a high order.
Why exactly were you anticipating him to give you all the attention?
Why were you craving for validation from someone who you haven’t chatted or met with?
Why did you base so many emotions on a ‘connection’ that wasn’t one in the first place?
Dating apps are an ocean of people who have different needs to be met and distractions are heavy.
Every moment, the mind is seeking an association with a new person in the hope that he or she will be better than the previous one.
How did you expect him to feel the same way as you did at that very moment? Maybe it’s time to introspect what you learned during your sabbatical.
Did you pour enough self-love so that you wouldn’t wait for someone else to love you? If No, then time to step back and validate yourself for ONCE.
You must learn to look at yourself with a fresh pair of eyes, laud yourself and love yourself even more.
Fill yourself with so much care are love that the next time, you are on an APP, it’s for a very good reason and with a lot of confidence that you can hold your space and not get swayed by who is messaging or who isn’t!
Life offers you with so many opportunities to change from within; start right away and as far as this “Ghost Guy”, even if he is back, he will scout around for more greener pastures as far as an unsteady mind goes.
So you possibly might just be one of them. Investing so much time in all of this is straining.
Join groups that meet often and on a common theme and maybe you might find someone interesting and someone who has similar values and ideals as you.
Good luck to a new way of thinking and acting!
RR: Hi, Warm Greetings!! Myself Rushabh (30) and my wife (29) — she is an adopted child as her mother passed away while giving birth to her and her sister. They are twins with a minute’s gap and her father got married to another woman. Later in 2012, her stepfather died and she was living with her stepmother.
We both come from middle-class families. We being prospects for marriage our families were going through multiple biodatas every week. In this process, we shortlisted each other and decided to meet in person.
Initially, we both met only once where I was impressed with her personality, optimism, communication skills, her matured behaviour, and decision-making skills. Post the first meeting we told our decisions to our families. Then both the families met and they decided the next course of action, i.e., our engagement date.
In July 2021 we got engaged during COVID-induced lockdown.
Considering my job and the distance we lived at, we could only meet on Sundays and used to have 2 to 3 hours long phone calls every night. Either way, she barely spoke to me and made me speak all the time and I told her everything about me.
As she wasn’t speaking much, my family thought that she might be an introvert and a bit hesitant to talk so we ignored it.
We got married in November 2021. Now, it has been 2½ months since we got married. For the first 15 – 20 days we didn’t bother her and allowed her to get settled in her new life and new home. Then eventually my mom started giving her small chores, which she couldn’t perform, which is fine since she has not done any chore before. But now based on her behaviour I think she does not want a change or learn anything new. Honestly, we were not aware of her behaviour with her mom, nor of management skills and, her routine at her maternal home.
Her behaviour is not like any normal girl of her age. She behaves like a child and gets amused by silly and normal things. When the whole family is hanging out together she doesn’t talk at all. When we talk about general things she takes it negatively on herself, she doesn’t even eat properly, nor speak about her likes and dislikes in any aspect with even me.
She never expresses herself in any way and rather takes everything negatively, which has made us more cautious and worried as to what to speak in front of her or what to tell her. So we individually (I, my mom, dad and sister) started to confront her gently and guide her in everything from scratch (like we teach a toddler) but she is not responding at all.
We don’t know whether she is doing this intentionally or not. On top of it when she talks to anyone apart from the 4 of us she speaks in a very mature and practical manner that no one can ever second guess her behaviour with us.
Considering our ages, I am afraid that our relationship might be jeopardized because of her behaviour. She had thought multiple times to end her life or to call a meeting with all elders and get separated (she gave me an indirect hint). This is much worrisome for all of us as nobody can cope with the situation in the hand.
I will be able to explain everything in much more detail if we can connect over a phone call or we can meet virtually/in-person.
This possibly could be because of being emotionally cut off at birth from her mother.
Now, I am unaware of the relationship that she shares with her stepmother and the way that she was raised.
Was that relationship where her stepmother was emotionally always available to her?
Or did she feel cut off yet again?
Maybe this feeling of being cut off repeatedly explains why she might not want to develop very strong bonds with you and your family members for the fear of losing each of you and going through that pain all over again.
That’s why she might relate better to people that she isn’t close to as she has nothing to lose.
Time for her to resolve those unresolved emotions and the drama that flows with it; better NOW than later.
Can you speak with her and have her work with a therapist? It will help as it will set her free and recreate a new bond within your marriage.
Kindly reach out on an email, if you need my expertise.
Thank you and all the best!
VM: Hi, I am married and I have a one year old boy.
My husband and I were good friends before marriage. After the marriage, for the first few days, he was very loving and caring. But he was reluctant to have physical intimacy and always avoided me. Later on, he started to pick up silly fights whenever I approached him with love. Then fights became a routine in our life. He accused me of being doubtful, jealous and arrogant, but I simply tried to solve the issue with him. At a later stage, his parents and younger brother intervened in the issues and they also had allegations against me.
They even tried to picturise me as a mental patient, who intentionally creates troubles. I was actually feeling lonely when even my parents told me to go for counselling. The psychologist whom I consulted, laughed at their accusations and suggested my husband to consult a family therapist. Even though he was reluctant initially, he came later to see a family therapist. After that, he started to love me, and we lived happily for a few months. Problems started to rise once again, when he came to know that I’m pregnant. He accused me of cheating him and his parents even tried to abort the baby without my knowledge. I opposed abortion, but they intentionally created chaos even in the eighth month of pregnancy. After the birth of the baby, every day, he would shout at me to leave the baby there and go somewhere.
He always said, “I have a baby now, I don’t want to make love anymore, never ever ask me to have sex”. And the toxicity his parents are showing is also humiliating. I have 2 questions.
1. Why is my husband always reluctant to have a physical relationship?
He takes care of the baby well and showers love but neglects me and my needs often.
2. After all this toxicity, is it worth to stay with them? Narcissistic in-laws are making me violent and out of control, at times, harming myself. I am losing my self-esteem and falling into depression, nowadays. Please reply.
He is reluctant to have a physical relationship because deep down he has issues that he does not want to confront.
It could be emotional or physical issues that he is embarrassed to share as it might challenge his ‘manhood’.
Most people like to life in that false pride rather than solve the issue at hand.
So, he absolutely needs to go to a doctor or a therapist who can help him out of this issue and hence the two of you can begin to bond. Else today he accuses of cheating, tomorrow it will something else and then something else.
This issue is being beautifully masked by your in-laws who also possibly don’t know that their son needs HELP. So, it’s easy to blame it on you.
Staying with him or not is a personal decision that you must make. Ask yourself:
What is it that I am getting from being in this marriage?
What will I lose by walking out?
How will walking out impact the baby?
Do I have a support system that will stand by me as I choose to leave the marriage?
Evaluate your state of mind and focus on getting better by being happy and cheerful and reaching to those who can keep you in that state.
Whatever you choose to do, do not waste another moment here on wasteful situations and do what’s best for you and your baby which I am suer you can.
NF: My husband and I are a great couple.
We didn’t have any issue in our life other than childlessness.
One day I found out that he hired a prostitute when he was away on a work tour.
I felt like my life has no meaning and almost 13 years we spent together was fake.
I can’t live always with unpeaceful mind wondering what he will do in the future. Should I separate or continue??
Different people have different ways of dealing with challenges in their life.
Does he blame childlessness on himself and hence to prove himself, he went around with a prostitute?
You two need to have a deep conversation before you decide to separate or continue.
Drop down what your value system is and what is it that you hold onto strongly and what is it that you are willing to skim over.
This will give you an idea as to how to deal with your husband and your marriage.
All the best!
- Read all of Anu Krishna’s columns here!
Anu Krishna is a mind coach, author and co-founder, Unfear Changemakers LLP and Soulful Exploration LLP. She’s an NLP Trainer (National Federation of Neuro Linguistic Programming, NFNLP, USA), Energy Work Specialist (Institute for Inner Studies, Manila), Executive Member of Indian Association of Adolescent Health (M.I.A.A.H) and Member of Quality Circle Forum of India (QCFI). She has authored the self-coaching book: The Secret of Life – Decoding Happiness.
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