ASK ANU: ‘My husband kept insulting me’

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:

SS: Hi Anu, I am a 38 YO woman.
Personal issues – None. A loving and doting husband and a 4 yo lovely daughter comprises my immediate family. Relations with parents and in-laws are also smooth.
Professional issues – Too many. I never imagined myself to be where I currently am. I have never had a stable career nor a very good salary. I have had a good education but have not been able to make a professional mark for myself. I was ambitious and confident but now feel that everything is too overwhelming for me to achieve. I had dreams but probably never the conviction. For a long time I kept blaming the family for ruining my career but somewhere deep within I know that I responsible for whatever has happened in my life.
Today when I decide to do only what I wish to do or pursue, I find myself at a loss on account of lack of confidence to achieve it. Others around me seem to be more confident of my abilities and intelligence than me.
I also feel that it is too late now and instead of myself, I should focus on making my daughter’s life but somewhere I am still unsettled. I want to have a good, stable and a well earning career, even if it is for the next 10 or 15 years of my life. I have no personal complaints but professionally, I do not want to die without having the satisfaction of having lived a good professional life as well. It matters a lot to me, not for anyone’s sake but my own.
I am working right now but that is not my future. I have been able to manage jobs at different points of time in different industries but never a career. I haven’t lost hope but I simply know that my life isn’t right.

Dear SS,

Firstly, ask yourself:

1. What will a job/career bring to me?

2. What is it that I feel a lack of when I am devoted into my personal life?

3. Am I trying to search for an identity through a career?

These questions will give you a clear picture of what is going on in your mind.

Most often, we crave something and declare the path but don’t realize that we are actually embarking on the wrong journey; it’s also possible what we are searching for already exists with us, but we are not able to see it or feel it.

For example: If you are searching for your identity that already is with you and you have told yourself that only a job/career could give that to you, it may so happen that every job that you are in will stress you to create an identity which you already have. You are on the cusp of changes as your children are growing…

Sit down with a pen and paper and clearly outline what you want to create in your life and WHY!

When this is clear, you will be able to take the first confident step and you will do it for yourself and not prove anything to anyone. It becomes only about your space and how you can make it beautiful.

2022 brings in a lot of hope for everyone and you as well. Chin up and plunge into a confident self and get ahead. All the best!

GG: Ma’am I got married in 2017.
After one month problems started. My mother in law started creating problems by emotionally blackmailing my husband.
Now even after 4 years, nothing has changed. I have 1 year old son and a government job. But my husband always kept on insulting me.
He behaves as per his mood. I don’t know what to do. Pls help me.

Dear GG,

What is it that she emotionally blackmails your husband with? How does she do that? Also, why is your husband yielding to these blackmails by his mother?

The information that you have shared with me is incomplete and I will try my best to guide you.

If this is getting unbearable, it’s time to seek an intervention and I feel you can ask your family to step in and speak with your husband so that he can be in an empathetic place about you.

Be strong. All the best!

KBR: Dear Anu, over a period of 6/7 years we became close friends.
She was there for me through ups and downs.. always there .. showing me the right way .. but I became very dependent on her emotionally…

Then one day we had a disagreement.. I felt she was losing perspective and said so .. and bam! She simply cut me off..
I told her.. if I have hurt her, asked for forgiveness and pleaded to let bygones be a few times. No avail.
She said ‘I have always held your back.. no more!’

She just doesn’t want to know me.. I feel so rudderless

Dear KBR,

Can you respect what she has decided? You feel rudderless as you had placed all your emotional safety cords in her hands. Now that she has cut it, you feel all over the place.

Is it true that our emotional safety net is in another person’s hands?

If yes, then we are always going to feel disappointed. I guess she has made it amply clear to you that she does not want the connection to move ahead.

Time to let go as painful as it may feel now.

Channelise the pain into sports or hobbies and also make a big shift in the way you approach emotions.

Start to love yourself no matter what. Your emotions are yours and you deal with them. They are not toys to be given to others to play with.

Be secure with yourself even if it means taking time to create this new identity because once you feel strong from within emotionally, you will be unstoppable.

Take a breath, let go and move on…

All the best!

PS: Hi, Please guide me. I am into 10 years of married life with a son of 7 years, both are working…
It’s an arranged marriage, but we got 6 months to know each other, initially as usual everything seems to be of roses but then comes with reality check..
We both are extremely incompatible.. our views, thoughts, interest, choices never match.
He has the habit of pin pointing on everything I do, it’s hard to maintain my calm, as I have to manage school, my son, home everything. He helps in daily chores, we stand together in rough times but otherwise we can’t discuss any situation with each other.
My mother in law also emotionally abuses me by hurling cheapest meanest nasty comments.
My parents never listen to me, they expect me to compromise… I’m tired, frustrated.. could you help?

Dear PS,

After a few years of marriage, reality can hit hard and then you realize that there are no commonalities between the two of you.

But isn’t that something to celebrate?

We would not be very happy with someone who is just like us. The differences bring in newness and a fresh outlook every moment. So, instead of focusing on the fact that you have nothing in common, why don’t both of you fix your eyes on what is good in the marriage and what each of you bring into each other’s lives?

A marriage therapist can guide you as this is something that they do day in and day out; by bringing awareness to what is beautiful in each other…

And kindly focus on your marriage. Your mother-in-law is simply reacting to the environment in the house and does what she knows.

Sometimes elders do not know the right way to deal with things that they never experienced.

When she sees her son stressed, she might feel it’s because of you and hurl abuses at you.

Each one is dealing with the situation in their own way. I suggest you focus on your marriage that is obviously important to you.

Do remember, storms may lash, but the ones who truly believe in the power of the Sun to relieve them, not only survive but thrive.

So believe that you have the strength to grow out of this and create a beautiful life. And you have mentioned that your husband and you stand together in rough times, so he is anyway going to be with you in this as well. Simply confide in him and grow together.

All the best!

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