Trust me, I can take care of my child
29 Aug 2016
When women move into motherhood the feeling of nurturing and nourishing her child is paramount. I remember the 1st thing my child’s Paediatric told me, if you are unsure of what is best for your child and there are too many opinions coming in. The best way to filter it would be, go with your mother instinct. It can never cheat you.
Shobha 31yrs, was married for 4yrs now. Her baby boy was just 8months old. Shobha was an average woman with no super qualification or dreams. She had only one thing that she wanted to do well like most mother’s. Have a healthy life for her baby. Was that too much to want? Isn’t it normal with all women? But imagine being constantly questioned, mocked at and having people do just the opposite of what you expect them to do?
Yes, it can get extremely unnerving. However, Shobha was beginning to develop severe anxiety and was always stressed about the wellbeing of her child. The preoccupation was affecting her own health seriously. Severe stomach problems, weight loss and mouth ulcers.
Shobha lived with her in-laws. Her husband was very non interfering with how she looked into the child. He agreed that Shobha was capable of carrying this out. Shobha had a sister in law who lived close by and had a 3yr old baby boy.
Shobha appreciated her mother in laws concern for her grandchild. However, a constant instruction on what should be done and how it should be done was bugging her. Shobha could not even decide what she should make her child eat or what soup she could make for him, without asking her mother in law. If she did she would have to hear that she was incapable and did not know what a child this young needs.
It was her mother in law who would tell her what the malishwali should do, if her son has 103 fever should he be taken to the doctor or made to shower under a tap water to avoid the fever going on head. How long should she give him breast milk, when should she stop night feed, if she should take the child to the garden, is stroll a good idea and the list was endless.
To make the matters worse Shobha had her sister in law too contributing to what she did with her child. Moreover, she always contradicted to Shobha’s ways. Her every opinion from which brand of diaper she should make her child wear to which garden and activity she should do with her child was advised by her sister in law.
Shobha was feeling suffocated. She had started anticipating the resistance to anything she would want to do with her child, before she started it.
Shobha came to me at this stage. We helped Shobha to be assertive and stand up to the decision she makes for her child. She learnt to get rights to parent her child... Ofcourse elders and their opinions should be respected and also should be followed in many cases since they speak from experience. But that does not mean that anything and everything that a mother does is wrong!
Progressively being assertive starting from small matters to bigger issues helped her. This was coupled with anxiety reducing exercises too. Coping skills of Shobha too became better with no major adverse impact on her relationships.
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A wife's journey from India to Hell! A true Story
06 May 2016
Archana, 29yrs, PGDBA in Finance and had a work experience of 4yrs.
She got married on 5th Dec 2014 and moved to Australia after marrying Shekhar. Shekhar was a marketing head in a retail company in Australia. It had been 7yrs since he had moved there.
Archana and Shekhar had met in May 2014 through local Indian matrimonial. Both belonged to an upper middle class Tamil family. After matching their horoscopes their parents had given them a permission to chat online with each other.
Archana was impressed, Shekhar was a modern, self-made independent guy. Archana’s parents were conservative and thought that chatting 3times was enough to know about Shekhar. He was educated, self-made and settled in Australia. Their daughter was lucky to get such an excellent proposal.
A big fat Indian wedding and Archana and Shekhar were married off. Like all newly married girl Arhcnana was excited. Shekhar and his family had promised that she would study further and work like her husband in a big company.
She was dreaming of a good career and life for herself. Moving to a foreign land was a dream come true.
But this was not going to last her long. Bitter reality struck her in the 1st week of moving to Australia.
On the second day Archana got dressed and took to streets to see the nearby locality and purchase some grocery, while Shekhar was away at work. That evening, on the dinner table Shekhar and Archana were talking about how they spent their day. When Shekhar came to know that Archana had stepped out he got extremely angry.
At first Archana could not understand why Shekhar reacted to it. He hurled abuses at her and called her names.
She was shocked to learn that Shekhar believed that she had stepped out to impress the Australian men on street. His anger was not displayed in words but even in his actions. He broke glasses, threw all the food on the floor and even banged doors. Archana was petrified beyond words. She had never imagined that this could happen to her.
Soon this became a story of everyday. Archana would be locked inside the house while Shekhar would be away at work. She was not allowed to talk to her parents in his absence. She was confide to home and domestic chores. She was denied a will to even step out.
Her wish to study was a dream that would never come true. She was expected to cook new dishes every day. She was expected to keep the house clean.
Dress up before Shekhar gets home and be a nice wife to him. Agree to all his wishes even in bed. Her opinions were not even heard. Shekhar would take her out to purchase grocery every Saturday. She was not allowed to talk politely to anyone in the store. Such behaviour were deemed as inappropriate by Shekhar.
Archana was living in hell. After 1yr marriage Shekhar got Archana a laptop to order groceries online. Since he could not tolerate her going to stores. One day Archana came across our site while browsing on the net. She reached out to me on epsyclinic.com
At first she was hesitant but glad that she had got a chance to talk to someone. It had been a year she had spoken to anyone.
We helped her to get in touch with her parents. With their support she filed for a separation and moved back to India. Archana now is an independent working woman. With support and counselling she was able to start a fresh.
Through this post, I would like to request all parents of a daughter’s. Don’t marry your daughters off just like that and if you do, take responsibility.
Be sure of their wellbeing. Try to analyse the attitude and values of the family and the boy you are getting your daughter’s married off to. Job, money and looks can be deceptive.
If you are facing depression or anxiety, get in touch with us here at ePsyClinic.com
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Talktime with my husband is only Arguments and More Arguments!
20 Oct 2015
As a small girl I have always lived the dream of marrying and imagined spending my life with my spouse who would share with me life’s joy, happiness, pleasure, fears, worries, frustrations, regrets, and disappointments. Fantasies about marriage did set my expectations including how my married life and spouse would be. In addition, some of expectations were also set by observing closely the marital relationship of my own parents as well as by observing relationship array depicted in media.
Never have I thought dreams and reality of marriage could be so different from each other. Marriage between two people is more than nuptial vows taken at the time of rituals. Here, life’s vital transition begins when both man and woman begin the process of knowing each other closely and broadly in different areas of functioning i.e personal, social, recreational, financial, as well as professional. In others words, they try to perceive, understand, and interpret each other’s attitudes, beliefs, preferences, likes and dislikes, values, ideas, assumptions, and personality traits with their need to work with each other to achieve their common goal i.e. of fulfilment, contentment and happiness in marriage.
However, happiness in your marriage comes to a halt when you think that as a woman you cannot communicate to your spouse about your needs, wants and desires. You may perceive that a barrier has built between both of you and no communication could get across. The more you think about unhappy state of your marriage, the more thoughts related to whether you should stay in marriage or not strike your mind. The major hurdle you perceive in the smooth functioning of your marital relationship is the ineffective and hampered communication between you and your spouse.
Due to this hampered communication, you begin to develop rigid negative attitude about your spouse and your relationship with him. Growing disagreements related to everyday issues and inability to think and resolve these issues leave behind emotional marks which occupy your mind incessantly becoming the source of persistent stress, tension, fear, and sadness.
Often the causes of disagreement with the spouse may be related to differences in both of yours viewpoints. Differences in spouses’ viewpoints can be traced back to each spouse’s personality, family upbringing, values & beliefs, expectations and social learning.
Disagreements are often related to
v Your in- laws over involvement and interference (in daily matters)
v Best ways to parenting children (setting limits, disciplining and pampering them)
v Financial matters (saving and spending)
v Relationship of husband with ex (or with other female friends),
v Division of household chores (husband taking less interest in doing housework),
v Dividing work and home life (absence of husband from home, husband over involved in work)
v Hobbies/recreational activities (husband spending his time in solitary leisure activities –watching T.V, playing sports, going to parties)
v Sexual life (differences in romance, creating physical intimacy).
A disagreement on these issues is often perceived by your spouse differently than what it is intended to mean. When you communicate about your unfulfilled and frustrated wants and desires to him, he may react defensively and aggressively.
He may protect his own self (from experiencing stress and tension) either by justifying his actions/behaviour i.e. explaining you reasons behind his actions of not been able to meet your desires or may remain silent or show emotional distant behavior which may suggest that he does not want to resolve issues between two of you. This may make you more angry, frustrated, ignored and unheard.
He may aggressively react by labelling, criticising, blaming, accusing you for your actions. He may intend that you accept your mistakes. And in defense, you may react in a similar way carrying a similar tone which may start a vicious circle of arguments and fights between two of you, and deteriorating the dynamics of marital relationships.
Such unhealthy reactions by between both of you may create tremendous dissatisfaction, unhappiness, discontentment and grief in the relationship. It may strongly affect yours and yours husband’s willingness to change the relationship to become better.
Here are some Important tips to help you deal with your husband’s arguments and fights
Acknowledge that disagreements in viewpoints between two people could often result in defensive reactions. These are normal reactions. Accept them. Try to identify these patterns in your spouse behaviour and deal with these reactions.
Listen to your spouse when he is engaged with you in a verbal fight or argument. Listen to him rather than defend yourself or counterattack him.
If you think your spouse has calmed down to some extent, with some apologies, try to agree on the part you think is true about you, and explain your reasons, rather than react defensively. This will take heat out of the situation. Give reasons if you thinkfor what he is saying is invalid, this will help remove misunderstanding. Ask him specific behaviours that created disagreements and resolve the concerns related to specific issues.
Encourage your spouse to talk to you, when both of you are calmed down.
You need to work effectively in dealing with the problem situation. The issue is not who is right or who is wrong. The issue is about the differences in viewpoints. Become empathetic and try to understand each other’s perspective, wants and desires. Create solutions (win win solution) which will satisfy both of you.
Accept that when you prove him wrong and prove yourself right then it will often escalate the verbal fight and arguments.The same applies to him.
Try to focus on the main issue of disagreement rather than getting trapped in the vicious circle of arguments and fight. Learn and accept each other differences in viewpoints and negotiate your way so that both of you feel that you have been heard properly.
Treat each other with respect and regard.
Identify the verbal and nonverbal signs of your spouse becoming angry with disagreement. Emphasise his focus on the issue of disagreement and brainstorm solutions to resolve issue then making disagreement into heated fight.
Avoid criticising, labelling, blaming or accusing your spouse. Such unpleasant remarks are hurting for both of you. Focus on the issue which needs to be resolved.
If you are experiencing a troubled relationship with your husband and both of you need to resolve issues, our marital relationship experts can guide you through the process to better your relationship with your husband
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