BY RITA AGGARWAL :
Q. I am a 21-year-old girl student. My father has been drinking since he was 16 years old. My parents relationship is not working. My father was paralysed 5 years ago, but now he is right. My mother is the sole bread winner of the family. My father can work, but just doesn’t want to. My father needs money for his monthly medications and even my younger sister is studying. We are facing financial problems, even though my mother is trying very hard. On top of this, my father troubles my mother in every possible way. My mother is fed up and doesn’t want to stay at home. She always work overtime, but her health is deteriorating day by day. I am feeling helpless and don’t know how to handle all this. Please help me.
Ans. Your mother is right if she does not want to stay with your father at this stage because of all the problems you have mentioned about the behaviour of your father. She has every right to leave him and put her own health in order and take care of you. She works hard and he is of no worth at all. Every person has a duty towards himself and then the family. If he is a useless fellow and refuses to work and contribute to the family earnings and neither be helpful in the house she has the right to decide to leave him alone to fend for himself. He cannot take your mother for granted and misbehave too with her. He does not seem to be have any sense of gratitude towards the work she is doing for sustaining the family and deserves no sympathy. Let your mother decide what is good for her and it is your duty to support her and take her side. SP
Q. My wife died a few years ago and my children are married and well settled. They love me a lot but have their own lives to lead. I do not want to disturb them and want to be independent. I keep busy and have joined a few organisations but I still feel sad and depressed deep down. I feel lonely and desire a good company whom I can talk and share my problems. Is there a way out for people like me. I am not very old actually - just retired a few years ago.
Ans. I think you know the obvious solution to your life situation but are afraid of the repercussions of your would be actions. I am nevertheless going to suggest to you the obvious solution and that is to consider and re-consider the idea of getting married again. As I understand it you are young and healthy enough to enjoy many more years of good life and you have tried to explore many avenues of keeping yourself fruitfully engaged by joining organisations but still feel the vacuum of not having a partner. If you have enjoyed a happy married life you even more miss having a partner today. You may be feeling constrained by the thought of society’s disapproval or the pain that your children may feel when you bring in an unknown lady or you feel guilty of replacing the position of your wife with another (if you loved her a lot). This is a natural hesitation for many but being realistic and practical about it will help you. You have a right to be happy and to enjoy the rest of your good years and society’s reactions will not last forever. In fact some will be happy with the bold step you take for there may be others who suffer in similar situations but keep suffering in loneliness. So be bold and talk to your children about it and seek their support. I only hope they will see sense in what you say for that would help you settle faster emotionally. Having the children on your side will be a boon. In fact they may feel relieved if they knew you were secure and settled. Of course finding the right person may be a challenge and a task but may be worth the trouble. All the best to you.
RITA AGGARWAL (Consulting Psychologist) Your right to live The columnist can be reached on 9823073986, and 0712- 2220250. She can also be reached at [email protected] and can be visited at www.manodaya.org