Cou­ple needs coun­selling - fast

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - COFFEE BREAK - Q A

- I'm 26, from Asia, and in an ar­ranged mar­riage.

We’d spo­ken over phone or video chat for three months be­fore­hand. He was then liv­ing else­where.

I felt he was con­fi­dent and in­de­pen­dent, with sim­i­lar fam­ily val­ues.

There was lit­tle at­trac­tion but I thought spend­ing more time with him would de­velop it.

I met him ten days be­fore the mar­riage and then saw that he's ner­vous, al­ways gets flus­tered easily.

The more time I spent with him, I was los­ing in­ter­est. Then we got mar­ried. He told me things about him­self that showed his low self-es­teem and in­fe­ri­or­ity com­plex.

It's been eight months and I'm see­ing that he's a good guy and con­fi­dent in pro­fes­sional mat­ters, but I'm still not at­tracted.

We didn't even con­sum­mate our mar­riage.

I wanted to feel com­fort­able with him.

We’re think­ing of go­ing to fam­ily coun­selling, but ev­ery­one’s blam­ing me that it’s my fault.

My fam­ily thinks he’s a good guy and that's enough.

But I don't know how to see him as a ro­man­tic part­ner.

What can I do to be at­tracted to him? Is it my fault that I lost in­ter­est?

No Chem­istry

- Tell your fam­ily and your­self that “fault” isn’t what’s im­por­tant - it’s your life and his that mat­ters.

Get to coun­selling to­gether fast. You both may also need some in­di­vid­ual ses­sions.

Look for a “cou­ples’ coun­sel­lor,” and read my blog “How to Find a Ther­a­pist,” on www.el­liead­vice.com to learn how to make sure the pro­fes­sional you see feels like the right fit for your sit­u­a­tion.

Try to han­dle things just be­tween you two, de­spite the fam­ily’s in­tense in­ter­est.

Chem­istry is a funny el­e­ment in re­la­tion­ships.

It can be strong for the wrong rea­sons, and weak for the wrong rea­sons.

Through coun­selling, you’ll get to know this per­son bet­ter… and it may af­fect your feel­ings.

If not, you have a right to not re­main in a mar­riage with some­one for whom you feel no at­trac­tion.

TIP OF THE DAY

A mar­riage must mainly be­come the busi­ness of the cou­ple, not the en­tire ex­tended fam­ily.

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