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My Husband Loved Me Till I Was Not Ambitious

16 Mar 2017

Sonal was UPSET.

Is it too much to expect that her husband would behave like an adult and not like a tantrum prone child? May be it was what she deserved, having treated him like a child all these years. She sat there in the car, silently fuming all the way back home, while her husband Avik also drove on without a word. Today was the annual function of her company, and her husband was also invited. Sonal was newly promoted as an executive director and instead of being happy, all Avik did was to sneer at her and be sarcastic.   Sonal and Avik knew each other since the 12th grade. They held on to each other through college and got married soon after. Sonal was a working woman when they got married but it hardly mattered; she was not really a career woman. She knew that few years down the line they would have children and she would have to quit, so she worked diligently but hardly showed ambition until a crisis happened at her office.   Sonal worked in an event management company. She dealt mostly with the back end jobs, planning and arranging and was not into the venue management ever. On this day, i.e. the crisis day, their venue manager called off sick on the day of the event. There was no one to spare. Sonal stood up to the challenge and her impeccable management of the event made her superiors shift her job role. Now she managed the event on the venue as well, alone with her earlier work. She excelled in this role as well. With excellence came more responsibilities, and Sonal found herself enjoying the job. She played her A game every time and wanted to go higher. She loved the appreciation and wanted to give back more.   Unfortunately for Sonal, the more she got involved in work, Avik seemed more distant. He would often taunt in front of his friends that his wife is no longer a wife, rather a corporate woman; or that he now faced stiff competition in terms of career.

Sonal took them good naturedly initially, thinking that may be Avik was showing off his pride at her success this way. But soon she realized it was not so; her husband literally felt competed. He felt this was Sonal’s way of showing him that she was better than him, and that she cared more about the job now than him or the relationship. No matter how much Sonal tried to convince him neither was true, Avik simply wouldn’t budge.   Fights started happening daily. Sonal’s job sometimes required her to work in odd hours or in the weekends, and Avik would sulk those days. He would not eat and when she tried to placate him, he would throw sarcasms at her. Day by day he stopped communicating with her. He would not go out with her, or share anything as he used to.

Gradually he took to drinking as well. It hurt Sonal more than Avik could ever imagine and she tried to make it up by taking leaves, working from home, making impromptu lunch visits in his office etc. when nothing worked, she told Avik that she would quit.   ‘Why?’ he yelled when Sonal broached the topic one evening, ‘so that you can tell others how selfish I am? That I made you quit your passion?’ ‘Why would I say anything like that?’ asked Sonal incredulously, ‘I never even thought in those lines!’ ‘Oh really?’ Avik taunted, ‘no thank you. I don’t want your charity. I have seen your real face woman; you are nothing but a money hungry attention seeking corporate girl.’   They did not talk for weeks after that, until she was promoted and was asked to bring her husband to the annual function. Avik refused initially, and to be frank Sonal was a bit relieved. It was an irony that she wanted to stay a bit far from Avik now, because distance meant no fights. She was tired of the insane arguments he put up, and acted like a child who felt mother loved little brother more than him.

That was exactly how Avik saw her career, as a third person between them.   She was socializing and enjoying the party when suddenly Avik dropped in there. She was surprised to see him, but anxious about how he would behave there. Her fears came true; Avik made quite a fool of himself and her when he acted like this jealous kid who could not get enough attention. He was sarcastic with her colleagues, her boss even few of the clients who were there. He mentioned that he needed to come here to see his wife, for he rarely sees her at home as she is always working. Finally, Sonal called it a night and dragged him home. The ride back was coldly silent.   ‘We need to talk,’ Sonal told Avik the next evening. The talk probably would have led to a fight as usual, but this time Sonal was surprisingly cool. She did not let her affections or emotions get better of her. She wanted to make the relationship work and hence convinced Avik to come for couple counseling.   In the sessions it was evident that both Sonal and Avik loved each other very much, but handled the change in life very differently. While Sonal was busy, she never failed to take of Avik or his needs; but it was different with Avik. Since the time they met, he had been her priority; he was the major receiver of her attention. When Sonal’s career started flourishing, Avik felt her attention was being diverted, that he had to share her with something else. He felt she might not need him in future as she was comfortable being independent. It did not sit well with him and instead of talking to her about it; he fell into a sphere of negative thoughts and acted unfeelingly. He failed to see how the distance between them affected Sonal, nor could understand her love when she wanted to quit. We helped the couple vent their frustration and negative emotions out in the sessions, helped them see each other’s point of view. We created an open yet positive communication between them so that they felt free to share anything and everything between themselves as before.  

Sonal and Avik lives happily now. Avik is truly proud of his wife and her success, and Sonal gets motivated by his support. But more than anything, they got the love back, and that makes them most content at the end of the day.

 

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Tags: mariral issues, career, independence, jealousy, sarcasm, well being,