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Advice: Bulldozing through life

June 03, 2012

Dear Agni,

This is the problem of my husband’s brother (let’s call him Mr X) and his wife. This is his second marriage but it doesn’t seem to be going too good. It seems like he is still not over his first marriage that failed although he never shares this with anybody. He doesn’t want to spend time alone with his wife and she becomes irritated and depressed many times. Although this is also her second marriage (she has a child from her previous marriage who stays with his naani). Mr X is quite mature, sensible and also educated with a good job through which he earns a good salary. It seems he regrets the decision that he took when he divorced his first wife (this was because of the insistence of his elder sister who was a widow). Mr X’s wife was beautiful, educated, skilled and also a working woman (beauty parlour), but he never allowed his ex-wife to pursue her career in the outside world. He is a little conservative and wanted his wife to be only a housewife. Well, things turned drastically bad and she asked him for the divorce, so he did it just for the sake of his ego. Now he seems to regret his decision although he doesn’t say that in front of anybody. But his deep thoughts and quiet behaviour gives this impression. Please help him by advising what his future behaviour should be for his new life.

Keen for help

Dear Concerned,

Thank you for being such a caring sister-in-law. Your brother-in-law was clearly not over his first wife and certainly not over the trauma of his divorce when the family rushed him into another arrangement. Sadly our society sees marriage as a solution to all manner of issues. Shadi kardo, sab theek ho jayega (Marry him/her off and it will be sorted) is a common refrain. And hence marriage is used as to ‘deal with’ mental, physical, emotional and financial issues. It is this naïve attitude that has led your brother-in-law to tie the knot when he was just not ready for it and now he has ended up in a loveless marriage where the wife has made a huge compromise (her son) and got very little in return.

Please don’t justify what he has done. This is what happens when your life is lead by your ego. Your brother-in-law is not mature and sensible. He is just someone who went to school and found a good job. Period. Mature and sensible people don’t bulldoze through life and make others suffer (in this case three people, his ex-wife, his current wife and her child). Is it any surprise that he has ended up unhappy and unfulfilled?

Your brother-in-law should try and make things work in this marriage. For once he should make the effort, because the wife has a very strong excuse in the form of her child to dump him.

Dear Auntie,

I am 17 and was enjoying my life a great deal. Then all of a sudden I met this girl in my college who was really very pretty.

We met each other and started to like each other and finally got into a relationship. We loved each other a lot. She cared and respected me the same way that I did her. I thought life was complete and loved the way it was. Then one ugly day, we were caught on a date by the school and our home was informed about this. I thought this little hassle wouldn’t spoil our relationship but sadly it spoilt everything. I can’t believe the way she’s acting. Ignoring me and all. I wonder if the way she acted with me earlier was fake? If not then what is this. I really can’t be without her and I can’t get over her. She meant a lot to me. I also gave her a nick name. If she reads this I wonder if she might realize how much I love her.

Hopelessly in Love

Dear Love,

I don’t know if the way your ex- girlfriend behaved with you was fake, but it is obvious that the incident at the school has had a bigger impact on her than it has had on you. What her family, the school and society expects from her is more important to her right now. And you don’t need to be a genius to realise that our society puts more pressures on women than it does on men. Women’s reputations are more fragile and often any spark that they demonstrate is snuffed out. Of course there are many women who are breaking societal norms and taking huge stands but right now your ex is not willing to do that. If you truly love her, understand that things are not easy for her and just let her go.

Auntie will not reply privately to any query.

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