Ten years ago, I converted to Hinduism for my husband. I now feel he controls what I think, eat, and do. I tried to leave early on but he was so distraught that I stayed. Yet the more I followed his ways, the less respect I've received. He's even mocked my heritage (I have both Jewish and Catholic forebears) to my children.
I feel so trapped, with nowhere to turn because my insecurities and isolation have grown over the years.
I've returned to University for post-graduate studies. But I get feedback that I'm too visibly nervous (I was once confident, and strong). At 40, I fear I'll never gain the financial independence and strength to leave this marriage. And he's threatened to take our children to India.
A school counsellor recommended I take medication but I'm a healthy marathon runner and disliked how I felt, so I went off.
Nowhere to Turn
There IS somewhere to turn! Call your local distress centre immediately, when feeling hopeless. Trained people will offer resources needed right away.
Recognize your considerable strengths - back at University, running marathons. Your husband has bullied you, but you need to build confidence to make more changes, rather than run away and risk losing the kids.
Learn your rights as a mother and as a wife, under the family laws in your jurisdiction.
Talk to your husband about getting a job. When he sees your determination, he may adapt better than to threats of separation.
This will take time, but it'll give you the opportunity to develop your skills and your self-image so you can then make the best decision for your future.
My girlfriend's constantly checking my phone, emails, texts; if I get annoyed about it, she's sure I'm cheating. She's a wonderful woman otherwise, but feels she hasn't accomplished anything yet, though she's only 26. I'm 34 and tell her she has time. Those are our only issues - her snooping and poor self-esteem - that we end up fighting about. What can I do to convince her I'm faithful and proud of her?
It's her job to surmount her insecurities, through doing something towards her own goals, and exploring her roadblocks (counselling helps). Continue to encourage her, but know you're not responsible for making it happen.
Put your foot down on the snooping - it's demeaning to both of you and a waste of time. She may not be ready to get past this behaviour, in which case, you may have to re-think the relationship.
I'm a young-looking male, 53, whose girlfriend, 25, just ended our loving relationship. She met a woman who's chased her through emails and texts.
My girlfriend never had a good relationship with her mother. The last time we met, she cried, saying, "I think I'm supposed to be with a woman." She promised me that if things don't work out, she'll marry me.
She says she loves me. She's seeking counselling for her sexuality issues and the relationship with her mother. I'm still in love with her. Do I wait?
Do NOT present yourself as a husband-in-waiting. You don't want her to turn to you as second choice. Her sexuality issue is the prime concern for both of you. This may not be the right woman for her, but another could be. She needs to become sure of what she wants and needs.
Her mother-daughter relationship is her business. Don't use it as an excuse for why you think she's sexually confused.
I'm 18, in first year at university. I've met a fourth-year guy who's getting me involved in the school by helping him plan a trip. It's been a month and I really like him!
But I'm concerned at seeming too young in his eyes. I've never liked a guy like this ... feeling butterflies! I'd like to be with him, but it seems risky since we're associated in some student groups. Is there a sly way to learn if he's interested? I fear rejection, and also don't want to ruin any chances of a friendship.
It's too soon to even hint at any feelings. You don't really know each other. He may be Mr. Helpful to many on campus, or he may be a charmer who gets to the newcomers that way.
Developing a friendship is the best way to discover whether dating is still desired - on your part.
Tip of the day:
There's help available, if only you reach out for it.