heart to heart with Malvika

It takes two to make a relationship work

March 14, 2018 12:06 PM Republica

Dear Malvika,
I and my husband are both working professionals in a foreign land. Both of us make substantial salary to afford comfortable life but my problem is my relationship with my in-laws. I agreed with my husband to provide support to my in-laws for their maintenance but their demands are increasing unreasonably. My husband is very caring and family-oriented person but I feel my in-laws, especially my sister-in-law, is trying to take advantage of him as she keeps on demanding expensive gadgets for herself and her family. I am totally frustrated and I question myself on why we should bear the burden and give our earning to the capable ones? I am cool with giving occasional gifts and lending money in times of need but taking their financial responsibility is totally unacceptable. We also have shared dreams like every married couple does but because of all these, we have been compromising our comfort and lifestyle. Am I being unreasonable? How do we deal with this situation without ruining family harmony?

Helping a family and providing for them financially seems okay as a couple. We all do it and it is normal in our close-knit society. But I don’t understand why you have to constantly give in extra money for their luxury such as expensive gadgets. You are absolutely right in thinking the way you do. You see human nature has many parts, and being greedy and taking others for granted is one of them. And so it is in your in-laws’ case. Now if you say something in this matter you will definitely be considered a bad person. So let your husband handle it. Tell him outright that you refuse to give in to such demands all the time and that it is not necessary to do so. You both need to have savings for the future and that you will need that emergency cash when the time arises. Refuse to do it blatantly and let him be the one to tell his family that you guys can contribute some money but you don’t have the amount for other needs as per se. The more you continue to give the more they will expect. That is basic human nature. They might be disappointed and pissed but they will have to come to terms with it. Give them some time to digest that fact. He can mention that you are saving and need it for xyz investment or some loans. That is a good excuse in itself. Good luck. 

Dear Malvika,
I am 30-year-old married woman with one daughter. I had a love marriage out of my caste six years ago. We have a 10-year age gap between us. When we were in love, I felt like he was the one for me. Everything was great. But after our marriage, he started getting busy in his work. He actually was not a talkative and romantic person, however he did not seem as boring as this before marriage. He hardly shares his things to me. Hence, I decided to have baby thinking that my little one will be my support in his absence. Now we have one daughter but he is still the same. He loves his family and daughter but I don’t feel like he loves me. He is a good son, a good brother, a good manager, a good friend and a good father, but he is not a good husband. Therefore, I don’t want to stay in this silent relationship and can’t ruin this marriage as I know my daughter needs her father. I need to compromise my life for my daughter. Do you think this is normal in every relation? Should I live my life the way I have been living? Or is there any way that I can get out of the situation?

I am really sorry to read what you have written to me. And I will tell you this. You are not alone in this matter. Since long, we have been told in our society that we need to get married and have kids but we have not been told that marriage is work and that both the couple needs to make that effort. People say that after getting married everything will be fine. Then they tell you to have a kid and everything will be fine. But that’s not how it works. It takes two hands to clap and both you and your husband need to make an effort. If it’s only you that thinks about it and makes the effort, then it doesn’t work. Plus, I hear this time and again from most women so you are not alone in this regard. I would suggest you tell him frankly that this has been bothering you and you cannot live a life like this. And that he also needs to make an effort in this relationship. Try marriage counseling and see how that goes. It does work wonders too. Also if you do love him and want to make it work, keep yourself busy and happy. But in the end it is necessary for both of you to still be a couple despite having a child. Why should a child change the equation of your relationship? Gone are the days when only a woman has to compromise and bear the pains of the relationship. Men need to understand that it takes two to make it work. And the excuses that he is busy, and he has this and that responsibility also are just excuses. If a person wants to make it work, he or she will make it work. 

Dear Malvika, 
I am a 29-year-old woman. I have never had a love relationship in my life yet. I am lately been getting a proposal for arranged marriage. My parents had said that I shouldn’t mind even if the boy is a little younger than me. I started talking with him through the social media. We met several times and he found out that I am not more than a year older than him. After knowing the fact, we met once again and had a very friendly chat at a restaurant for many hours. I found him sweet and I gradually started liking him. But few days later, he said we cannot take this further because his parents have objections because I am older than him. He has stopped talking to me. Does one year really matter? Am I too old for marriage? I’m scared that I may never get married. Please give me your suggestions.

Oh wow. This is a very awkward and unwanted situation. My husband is a year younger than me. I know of friends who have married younger men. I know of guys who are with girls older than them. It definitely should not matter at all. If men can be with women younger than them, then why shouldn’t women be with men younger than them? Come on. That is just an excuse. If he has listened to his parents now on such a trivial matter then he doesn’t deserve you. It’s good that this relationship did not happen. If a man cannot make his own decisions now then I advise good riddance to such a person. Many women marry late in life. Who decides what is early and what is late? Women are having kids in their 40’s and that is fine. Do you want to be with someone who doesn’t respect you for who you are for the rest of your life just because you think it’s getting late to get married? Be strong about this. Since you haven’t dated before I would suggest keeping your options open. Talk to guys, be friends with them. Sometime when you least expect it, you might just find the one. 

Dear Malvika,
I am a 20-year-old boy studying in Bachelor’s level. I am recently disturbed by the unsettling disputes and quarrels of my parents. Both of them are educated enough to understand my situation and feelings in such case but they don’t seem to acknowledge that. I feel they have some issues with each other, which I have no idea about. I am tired of all this and don’t want to stay like this anymore. But at times I feel that I have to understand the problem on my own and make some effort to resolve this dispute. What do I do in this situation?

I know that you are at that age where you cannot handle situations like this especially when it comes to your parents. But you have to face the situation no matter what.  I will tell you that being an adult, sit them down and talk to them. Tell them openly that their behavior towards each other is bothering you and you cannot take it anymore. That it is disturbing and you might go into depression because of this. Tell them that they need to try marriage counseling and sort out their issues and that you cannot live in an environment where they are fighting all the time. And that it is also not healthy to do so. I do hope that they will listen to you and mend their ways. 

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