Marriage has always been a complex relationship. Two different people who found a common ground in a socially binding ritual called wedding live happily ever after, but surely with a few misunderstandings and disagreements thrown in. Our specialists answer a pertinent question this week on what we call one of the common issues that modern-technology brings into a marriage
Q: I am 35 married for 10years. I have two girls...a good paying job and I am financially secure. Since a year my wife has become friendly with my son's tuition teacher. Both of them are seen laughing and talking.
Ans: I can understand the anguish you are feeling particularly when you see the kids upset. In most long-term relationships… particularly good, peaceful ones... people somehow tend to take each other for granted.
We stop talking…by that I mean having conversations that are not about house, children and finances.
Life becomes routine and centered around children and work. Sometimes it so happens that we stop validating and valuing our partners.
Over time, the relationship stagnates. Though there are no fights…it reaches a dead end. Think back...when was the last time you spontaneously hugged your wife, or she hugged you?
When was the last time you complimented her…truly felt like seeking her company? Made each other feel special?
Long-term relationships are such…at some time we stop all the niceties and the courtesies. Please remember that these are just as important in a marriage even if you have been married for several years.
Now for the situation you have mentioned. Sit down and analyse if something has soured in your marriage and you were too busy to notice.
Were there signs of your spouse getting upset...irritable...depressed that the quality of your relationship has deteriorated? Also...would you consider a few flirty messages as a sign that there is something amiss?
Could it be that your own anxiety is turning into suspiciousness? Have the children told their mother that they are missing her? The best answer to this is a little soul searching and at talk with your wife.
Please don't ask the children about this and create ideas where none exist...Do have a frank talk with your wife...tell her how you feel.
Ask her about how she has been feeling of late. Don't accuse her blatantly. Listen to what she has to say. Make a pact together to bring the love and zing back into your marriage. Involve yourself more in the relationship. Make her feel loved and appreciated.
If you feel that the problem is deeper than what you have written, the seek professional help. Please remember that it’s too easy to accuse and be angry...it will only destroy the relationship further. Instead, work things out without hostility, ego and unpleasantness.
Love is a wonderful thing…bring it back into your life. Make proactive and sustained changes even in yourself so that you both can start on a fresh footing.
Don't be the jealous husband and try to warn the person involved...for all you know it maybe something harmless which got blown out of proportion.
If you both decide to take professional help, please make sure you follow the advice given and sustain therapy for as long as needed.
Falling down, erring is a part of life...Getting up, making amends, and moving forward...Now that is how life should be! Good luck on the cruise of your life.
-Dr Purnima Nagaraja Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist.
Ans: Dear Mr M,
We understand your distress. Clearly you love your wife so with understanding and effort your marriage could be back on track.
What is happening could be categorised as an ‘Emotional Affair’, where a person becomes emotionally dependent and is attached to someone outside of their marriage. There are many reasons or situations that may have contributed to this.
So, it is essential to take a retrospective look at your relationship with your wife and the relationship habits and some of the things that would have sneaked into your marriage. Every marital relationship ideally should provide physical, mental, emotional and social intimacy, requiring good amount of work to maintain a balance. Some points one needs to keep in mind are:
A marriage requires effort in terms of being emotionally present to the wife to just listen to her when she is sharing something, which may seem trivial otherwise, so that it is not just a transactional relationship.
Useful to remember that a woman requires a sense of romance even if she is the wife. Rekindle your romance by paying attention to the positives in her and paying compliments, acknowledging and appreciating her. Arrange to have some time for just yourselves.
Love should also be conveyed in what you do, such as affectionate gestures and touch, spending quality time, giving meaningful gifts, offering help, etc.
Take care with your personal care and appearance to make her feel important.
When these are missing a woman tends to be vulnerable to outside influence which makes her feel beautiful and valuable. So, to rebuild the relationship some other steps are equally important:
Reach out and ask what is happening and not accuse or interrogate. The fact that you love your wife proves that you both shared a good relationship before this.
This one incident should not bring distrust into your relationship.
Visit places, people and do things which carry your good memories as a couple.
Do not let children become complaint boxes.
Do not malign your wife with family and friends.
This could be just a phase, seek professional help if you feel the need. All the best!
-Dr Vasuprada Kartic,
Anthroposophic counsellor and Psychotherapist.
Do you have any relationship releated queries or issues with your friends, loved ones or family? For informed advice by professionals, send in your questions to features.thehansindia.com