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Advice: Between a rock and a hard place

June 23, 2013

Assalam-o-alaikum aunty, I am a student of physics and vowed not to fall in love since my parents’ marriage is a complete disaster. However, here I am in love with my class fellow. He’s smart and scores the highest in the class. He cares for me. The problem is that I am a Canadian citizen and he is not. My sister married a person who went for only her citizenship.

He offered to marry me and I said yes, on the condition that he waits six years and applies for citizenship. He promises to wait for me. How do I know whether he’s marrying me for my dual nationality or just because he loves me? He plans to marry me in Italy. I believe he’ll become a great physicist.

It’s my mom’s and sister’s marriage that is haunting me. He’s not handsome but I’m not Marilyn myself. I think I’m in love too and the best part is that he helps me to study. He makes my life easier.

Please help me. I read your column every Sunday and know how you give great advice. Waiting for your reply. Madly in love

Dear Sane, It is true that in countries like ours where life can be a challenge for most people one has to be a little wary when it comes to foreign nationality and marriage. Auntie would still like to be optimistic and suggest that many people are good and would not want to scam you into marriage.

Still there is no harm in evaluating your relationship for signs just in case your friend here is trying to scam you.

One of the biggest signs is that the man will try to rush you into marriage. This is something one shouldn’t do under even what are fairly normal circumstances. To top it, your radars should go up if he makes you feel guilty because you say you need time to take a decision. Needing time is a perfectly valid thing and you are entitled to it.

Another thing to check for is whether he lies to you or to others on a regular basis? Did he say his father is a GM, when in actual fact he was a manager? Does he keep changing his stories? Do you often receive unpleasant surprises from him?

You say that he helps you study, which makes me think that perhaps he does love you as helping each other is something that people in love will tend to do. Other things that a person in love would do is to call you a lot and talk to you for long periods of time and generally be affectionate. However even if he claims to love you, does he just say it or show it through how he treats you?

Also listen to your friends about their opinion of your bf. Often when we are blinded by our feelings friends tend to see through situations and people. What do your friends think about how this man is with you?

On the other hand, try also to gauge whether he is ‘too’ into you. As in, is he promising you the moon, praising you to the skies and buying you too many presents in trying to sweep you off your feet? Be wary if he is.

You could put him through a few tests. Try suggesting that you want to live in Pakistan forever and see his reaction. Does he get upset? If he does, then baby you are just a part of the grand plan, rather than the grand plan itself.

While these little tips are not fool proof clues to whether he loves you or not, they should hopefully help you catch any suspicious behaviour.

Hello Khala, I am a newly married man with a loving wife. We are having a lot of fun and are on the course of cementing a strong relationship. She is quite understanding and is very concerned about me. But I feel there are some tense lines between her and my mother. She doesn’t complain about this, but honestly my mother wants to be a control freak. It happens that my mom complains that I am in a metamorphoses process and I am giving too much time to my wife. She also complains about money matters as she thinks that she is losing her front role in my life.

As it is a start, I want to make a strategy that both the traditional rivals remain cool and both feel equally important and no one’s ego gets hurt. Please help. On a tightrope

Dear Son and Lover, Respect is key to walking the tightrope that men often have to walk when it comes to their mother and wife. Each woman is playing a different role in your life. One brought you up and the other will be raising a family with you. Secondly your mother will love you no matter what, which is something your wife may not always do. However one thing is for sure, both these relationships require considerable time.

Do you and your mom have a regular tradition such as giving her a hug in the morning or taking her out for a meal once a month? Try continuing those traditions with her to ensure that your mother has no reason to feel insecure with your wife around. How about asking your mother for advice on how to ensure that your wife settles in well in her house? This will make your mother feel like she’s taking an active part in settling her bahu in.

There is no need to praise one in front of the other for little things that they do for you, if it offends the other. Instead appreciate and encourage your mother or your wife in private with words or other little gestures.

Avoid badmouthing one to the other even in private. Similarly do not tell the other if one has said something nasty about her. And never, ever lose your temper at your mom in front of your wife and vice versa.

Just set boundaries for each woman in your life. Communicate to your mom that your wife is able to decide most things herself, such as how to raise children, how to spend money and about what to wear, etc. if you have a problem in any of these areas with your wife, sort it out in private without getting your mother involved. Similarly make it clear to your wife that you intend to spend quality time with your mom and that that is one aspect of your life that she should not interfere with.

Auntie will not reply privately to any query. Please send concise queries to