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!
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!
- ASK ANU: How to leave a toxic relationship
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:
S: Hi Anu
At the outset, thank you very much for your time to listen to my situation.
I am 50 years old, married to my lover (46 years now) and blessed with two daughters.
My wife comes from an upper caste with a poor background. She was my subordinate and got married in 2001 after dating her for more than 18 months.
Immediately after marriage, I lost my job due to my mismanagement of responsibility with no criminal action. I suffered for six months and relocated to overseas and lived there for the past 19 years.
With my hard work and commitment, my financial situation has improved considerably now. However, my wife’s attitude has consistently changed in line with my financial growth. She strongly believes that because of her luck and my daughter’s luck only I was able to earn that much and live comfortably. With my severe official commitments, I did not mind her attitude that much.
After the lockdown, I got the opportunity to understand the change and realised that she has constantly ill-treated me over the past 10 years. Also, I lost my parents a few years ago and my father gave his self-earned property worth a few crores to my elder brother and left nothing to me.
At the same time, my wife got her ancestor property worth a few lakhs. This incident psychologically weakened me as she consistently abuses me saying she got a few lakhs worth of property whereas I got nothing from my parents. Now, for the last two years, she is not allowing me to perform my parents’ annual death ceremony rituals. She consistently uses bad words against my (departed) parents and makes most negative comments for the donations I made so far and terms me as an Idiot and useless person. She also criticises me in front of my friends and relatives.
Her harassment gone to the extent of pushing me to commit suicide and for the sake of my daughter’s welfare, I managed to come out of that mindset on my own. Now, I am determined to live…. at the same time unable to absorb my wife’s harassment. I tried to explain to her in many ways and even begged her many times to stop ill-treating me. Instead, she is asking me how I am able to tolerate despite her ill-treatment for the past few years….
Our physical relationship got disconnected for the past five years as she lists out silly reasons for avoiding me.
She is refusing to come along with me to meet a psychologist. Also, she disconnected her long-term friends and created a new circle of friends in order to erase her past and maintain a high social image.
From your expertise, kindly advise me on how to handle this situation which will be of highest support for me as I am having sleepless nights for the past 2 years.
Kindly do not publish my name and request you to keep it anonymous.
It’s obvious that there is something that your wife is upset about or missing and you have been blindsided by it.
It could be lack of love, attention or simply family’s worth that she might feel from money situation.
It needs a discussion but from your letter/e-mail, it doesn’t seem like she is interested in it.
What I don’t have information here is in the 19 years that you were out of the country, was she also with you?
This is vital information as things might have gone South while you were away.
Even if she did accompany you, maybe the mismanagement of responsibility situation that you mentioned was something that had thrown her off gear and insecure.
This vital information is missing for me to guide you even more effectively, but I can surely help you navigate with what is.
Yes, it needs a counsellor or a marriage therapist.
Nothing justifies talking ill about family members but when the mind is awry and unsettled, it does not think rationally which is why she is possibly displacing some anger or lack of affection or lack of something that is manifesting itself in different ways.
- Where am I if I continue in the marriage?
- Where am I if I don’t continue in the marriage?
This reality check will act as a compass to the next steps of action.
As a coach, it’s always nice to see a relationship work but reality might say something else.
So, be true to your thoughts and feelings, set aside any feelings of spite towards your wife and see things for what they are and move forward.
All the best!
S: Hi Anu,
I’m here to let my feelings out. I’m 23 years old, working in IT. I have never been a person orientated towards studies not just now but even as a kid.
I never knew that this would take a toll on my life like this. I’m. Not happy with my job. I’m not passionate about it.
Clearly I’m not performing well. Neither am I trying to. It’s been a long time since I felt like I have things in control. Right now I can’t control myself, my feelings, my thoughts, my brain process.
After the lockdown began I have totally lost everything that I was left with. It’s been a very long time since I have been happy about what’s happening in life. I don’t know what to do. I was depressed for 3 years due to break up. I think meeting that person made my life upside down. It was a very bad influence on me.
He was a narcissist. Which is what has made like this today I guess.
I have nothing in control, I don’t know if I’ll be able to make things right in my life, if I’ll ever be better again. There’s too much confusion, fear, pain and sadness inside of me. I’m stuck in the same place for years now. I have no confidence to do anything. I don’t believe in myself, I cannot talk to myself in a good way.
If something wrong happens to me today, I accept it. I do not have the strength to fight against or for anything. I feel hollow.
I feel like there is absolutely nothing inside of me left. I feel like there nothing I can do to make my life better.
The solution to make this right for my family is to k*** myself. Because I don’t see hope. Even though I have dreams, I don’t believe in myself that I will be able to fulfil them. Because I don’t have the spark of life in me. Everything inside me dead. I don’t know what to do. I don’t even know if you’ll be able to help me. But I’m not able to deal with myself. The pity I have on myself. The disgust I have on myself.
It’s like being unsettled has become a way of life. And you haven’t become aware that what you are living with in terms of uncertainty is mostly self-created.
You are seeing it with academics, work, relationships. It’s a pattern which must be broken provided you wish to see a massive change in your life.
1. What do I seek from life?
2. Where do I see myself in the professional space?
3. What do I wish for in a relationship/partner?
Now, check if your thoughts and behaviours align with what you wish for.
For eg: If you are looking at losing weight, if your behaviour is no exercise and reaching out for a midnight snack, you will never get to what you wish for.
So, if you want to feel more certain and have a certain level of wellbeing and grip in your life, you need to come up with some sort of fool proof plan and stick with it.
If you haven’t been very fine with academics, surely you can still put your best foot forward in your workplace taking more initiatives and thinking about how to grow there.
With relationships, start asking yourself, how can I add value to my partner?
It’s time you took responsibility for your choices and its results. So, if you want massive changes in the results, change the way you think and do things.
Am I getting through to you here?
Nothing is dead; you just have to inspire yourself to think and do different.
So, self-pity isn’t going to get you anywhere.
If he was a narcissist, good things didn’t work out…time to move on rather than make more excuses for your life not going anywhere.
Do you know now what you must do? Just Step Up!
E: Hi Anu,
I am a 16 year old teenage girl who just a couple of months ago realised that she was a bisexual. When I was in seventh grade I made a friend, let’s call her A.
I started having feelings for her but just pushed them away because then I thought it was wrong to feel that way for the same sex.
I started crushing on guys too but in 10th grade I realised that I was actually in love with my best friend A.
I started accepting this and I have finally come to terms with who I am.
I haven’t come out yet because my family doesn’t support this. Coming to the point, towards the end of 10th grade I confessed to A and she told me that she saw me only as her best friend and did not feel the same way despite the fact that she was bi too.
I was broken. I started ignoring her completely.
When I saw her hugging her friends I felt jealous. I think I really love her but when I talked about this with our common friend she told me that it was just a phase and stuff but I know that it isn’t. I really love her.
So recently A told me that she felt that something was up with me and that I was not behaving in the way I used to. I told her that I was fine but she thinks that I’ll break this friendship of 4 and half years.
I assured her that I won’t and she is fine now. But the thing is that in the future when she gets a bf or gf, I don’t know how will I face them, meet them and see her with them. I feel awful. I can’t move on. I am not able to study well at all.
I have started daydreaming to just escape the truth that she doesn’t love me the way I do.
My dreams are beautiful but this reality sucks. And this is affecting our relationship. I feel that I don’t want to be just a friend anymore.
I also think that I don’t matter to her a lot.
Recently she asked me out for a movie. I told her that I wasn’t interested and that she and our common best friend could go and watch it. Since I didn’t wish to come she decided to invite one of her friends whom I find extremely repulsive due to her closeness with A. Now they are all going together.
This is my birthday month, I feel like the surprises have just started.
I don’t know what damage these surprises would have done to me by my birthday.
I really need your help. What am I supposed to do?
Usual periods of confusions start just before puberty and goes on for a few years thereon. And it’s also normal to feel confused and question your sexual orientation.
I feel you can surprise yourself by accepting your confusions.
Rather than obsessing over what your friend will do or should do, can you instead focus on exploring your mind and clearing your confusions.
You can seek the help of an expert to help you figure out your sexual orientation which will help you channelise your energies more meaningfully.
So instead of jealousies and insecurities, try to move into confidence and happiness.
This gap can be filled by focusing on easing the confusions in the mind. So, the birthday month can be a gift to yourself rather in a very useful way.
At 16, turn your friends’ circle into something more as a powerful tool rather than weaken your resolve.
Utilise your strengths to better yourself and move towards clarity to create the best life as yet!
All the best!
Anu Krishna is a mind coach, author and co-founder, Unfear Changemakers LLP.
She’s an NLP Trainer (National Federation of Neuro Linguistic Programming, NFNLP, USA), Energy Work Specialist (Institute for Inner Studies, Manila), Executive Member, Indian Association of Adolescent Health and Member, Quality Circle Forum of India.
She has authored the self-coaching book: The Secret of Life – Decoding Happiness.
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