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Heart To Heart

Monday, February 06, 2017

When you are not accepted by in-laws
My marriage with my husband was against the wishes of his family. For the first one year, I wasn’t allowed to enter my mother-in-law’s house and used to stand below the building while my husband visited my in-laws. Then due to my husband’s persuasions, I was finally allowed. But even today, I am not able to take the way my mother-in-law treats me. Whenever we visit her, she talks to me only when she has to complain about either my father-in-law or my husband. But what hurts me most, is she does not care about me and competes with me. Whatever I do, is not good enough. If my husband praises my cooking or anything I did, she chastises him. She always finds fault with everything I do and makes me feel guilty for being a housewife. She passes indirect remarks about how I am a burden on my husband. And she does all this behind my husband’s back, because he stands up to her if she says anything to me in front of me. It really hurts me. I don’t like to go to their place but my husband feels bad if I don’t. What should I do?

Your husband seems to be caught between trying hard to be the ‘good son’ and the ‘supportive husband’, and is placing an unrealistic demand on himself and as a result even on you, to create the mythical feeling of ‘one big happy family’. We are sure this demand is also taking a toll on him as his loyalties are stretched. You say that your husband stands up to your mother-in-law whenever she says anything hurtful to you. Moreover, the circumstances of your marriage are enough evidence to prove that the relationship between you and your in-laws cannot be an affectionate one, and at best can only be one in which you meet them on formal occasions and maintain a minimum amicable contact, with as few verbal exchanges as possible from your side. This fact needs to be clearly and constructively communicated to your husband, that while you are willing to have a minimum amicable contact with them, which is being sensitive to him, it is equally essential that he, as well as you, be sensitive to yourself and not subject yourself to avoidable hurt. The fact that he has made a decision to marry you and still stands up for you, demonstrates that a reasonable talk with him will show him the impossibility of the unreasonable demand he is placing on himself, you and his family to give him the ‘picture perfect family’. You of course need to understand that your mother-in-law has her own insecurity issues for which she obviously has very little resources to deal with, and you are a convenient place to vent. If you can find it in your heart to understand her insecurities, feel happy for the support of your husband, and keep minimum amicable contact with her, you can make peace with this situation.

First major challenge together
I am 25. I proposed to a girl (age 23) who is also interested in marrying me. In fact loves me too! She fears her dad may not allow her to marry me as he is "unpredictable". She herself was not able to understand him! So what can we do to go ahead and marry?

We presume that both of you have completed your academic education, well established in your respective careers and are able to financially support yourselves. Marriage is a serious commitment and both the partners must be ‘willing and able’ to shoulder all the responsibilities that come along with it. Therefore if both of you are ‘willing and able’ to take on the responsibility of marriage, then no one should or can come in the way. Of course, it is always better to have the blessings of the family. In this context you could arrange a meeting with her father to seek his blessings after she breaks the news to him. If he gives his consent happily it is good, if not, then both of you must emotionally prepare yourself to face your first major challenge together. Life is full of ups and downs and both of you need to be emotionally equipped to meet all that life doles out to you. Whether both of you can weather storms together successfully will determine the success of your marriage.

Sexual pleasure and episiotomy
What is Episiotomy? I am pregnant and my gynecologist told me that she will perform episiotomy on me. Will this procedure have any effect on my sex life after delivery? How long after episiotomy, I will be allowed to have sexual intercourse?

An episiotomy is a surgical cut (incision) made just before delivery in the muscular area between the vagina and the anus (the area called the perineum) to enlarge the vaginal opening to assist childbirth. The incision can be midline or at an angle from the posterior end of the vulva. It is performed under local anesthesia and is sutured closed immediately after delivery. It is one of the most common surgical procedures performed during childbirth.

An episiotomy can sometimes result in a scar that is tender and therefore can make intercourse uncomfortable or even painful. However it does not happen in all episiotomies. It is not possible to predict which episiotomies will result in a painful scar. If there is a painful scar, it can often be successfully treated with another minor surgery. It takes about six to eight weeks after episiotomy for a woman to heal completely. Sexual intercourse is permitted only after this period; that too after examining the status of the scar. Some gynecologists believe that episiotomy helps to maintain vaginal tightness after delivery for the enhanced pleasure during intercourse for both the partners.

Heart To Heart Counselling Centre runs Certificate courses in Counselling & Sex Education at 10 Jerbai Baug, Byculla (E), Mumbai-27.
Tel: 23755866 / 9821093902.

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We got married four months back. We are eager to
Dr. Rajan B. Bhonsle, M.D. (Bom)
Consulting Sex Therapist & Counsellor
Dr. (Mrs.) Minnu R. Bhonsle, Ph.D.
Consulting Psychotherapist & Counsellor
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Aries (Mar 21 - Apr 20)
Aries (Mar 21 - Apr 20)You need to be patient even if burdened with duties that take up most of your leisure time. Make quick decisions for good results. Listen attentively to the suggestions of others, though you may not necessarily agree with them. You will be able to bring others around to your way of thinking.
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