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Advice: For better or for worse

Dear Auntiejaani,

I am a 23-year-old woman who is suffering from low self esteem. I fell in love with a guy five years ago and now I am engaged to him for over a year. The problem is that I am a little chubby (only a teeny bit overweight) but my fiancé is quite smart. He wanted me to lose weight and I promised him that I will but somehow I find it extremely difficult to do so. I feel very low and miserable.

I know I am attractive and most people don’t even find me overweight. But my fiancé often calls me by names and makes me feel bad. When I get upset he apologises and we start talking again. My wedding is in a year and I desperately want to lose weight but I can’t stay consistent and end up having junk food. Once he said that he would wait for me to lose weight, but would not marry me while I look the way I do. I felt really bad. Sometimes I feel that I should leave him because he hurts me by his rude comments. Please tell me what to do with the situation and how to get myself to lose 8-10kgs. Please help me as I am struggling to get my self esteem back. I love my fiancé but he wants to see me just perfect which puts a lot of pressure on me that I end up doing nothing.

A Loser

Dear Winner,

You know that you have low self esteem. I hope you also realise that that’s a downright dangerous state of mind to be in when you are getting married. How can you want to marry a man who calls you names? Do you realise that by saying that he will wait for you to lose weight before he marries you, he is actually insulting you? If he truly loved you as much as he says he does, couldn’t he employ a bit of tact to let you know that you’re looking as cute as his favourite teddy when he was five? In fact if he truly loves you, he would be more concerned about your self-esteem than the fact that you’ve gained a few pounds.

You are letting this man walk all over you and confirm the negative image of yourself that you already have. Auntie says, if you can take a stand you would call off your engagement. Period. But if that sounds too drastic at the moment, try and at the very least, delay it. Then start working on your self esteem. Know that you deserve the best and slowly but surely start getting rid of people who don’t respect you. Auntie hopes your fiancé will be one of them. I promise you, your life will change. For the better.

Hello buddy!

I am a working woman with a son who is four. My husband is a well-educated person but can’t even afford his only child’s education. We have a rented house and have leased a car. I am working so that I can bear my own expenses. I have to purchase each and everything for myself, by myself, right from my shampoo to my clothes. The problem behind all this is that my husband doesn’t want to try and grow. He doesn’t make any effort for it and thinks however life is, is just fine.

I don’t want luxuries but don’t want to waste my child’s life. I want him to be better educated (don’t you think school has an impact on a child’s future?). I can do it myself but what on earth is he there for? Isn’t it his responsibility? I often encourage him in many ways but the result is zero.

Responsible Mommy

Dear Mom,

If you continue to ‘encourage’ him, you’ll be labelled a nag. We cannot make people ambitious if the ambition is not coming from within. We just make them resentful.

Realistically speaking though I don’t think anyone of us ends up with the person who matches us exactly. If he is the sweetest guy on earth who helps you around the house, he may also be happier being home at 5.30 perched on the couch with a bag of potato chips and the latest breaking news on the box. On the other hand if he is Pakistan’s answer to Donald Trump, he may take care of all your material needs and more, but you may need a formal appointment with him via the secretary to see him for a lazy lunch on a Saturday. Yes I am reinforcing stereotypes, but stereotypes are there for a reason.

Also you and I may think that schools have an impact on a child’s future, yet I could find you several people who think street smartness (which the child would pick up in the real world) will take them further. And the real world will show you hundreds of examples of the academically smart and the street smart, who’ve made it. But we’re digressing here.

If you can do it yourself, please do. You have the fire in your belly and you should use it to your advantage, instead of expending it on fretting when you see your hubby relaxing. Yes you’re losing respect for your husband, but you would have lost respect for him had he been a high flying executive who chose to attend a meeting rather than attending his son’s school concert.

Who knows, maybe seeing you work hard to give your child a good education and buy yourself small luxuries might become the spur for him to try harder.

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