AM A VERY HAPPILY MARRIED WOMAN AND LIVE WITH MY
husband and my only daughter. While I have a large family–parents, three sisters, cousins, aunts, etc, my husband only has one cousin, but he is very close to him.
This cousin is much older than my husband and is more like a father than a cousin or brother. My husband lost both his parents very early and, since then, this cousin has been everything to him. The cousin too has not married and has hardly anyone of his own. So he is very attached, not just to my husband, but also to me and my daughter.
This cousin visits us at least twice a week and definitely spends every weekend with us. My husband looks forward eagerly to these visits but while I too used to do so a few years ago, I don’t now and neither does my daughter.
The reason for this is that the cousin is constantly lecturing and haranguing us about our health, telling us that we are overweight and almost ordering us to lose weight.
I agree that all three of us are overweight. In fact my whole family is overweight and even my husband’s parents were overweight.
Again, my daughter is now 16 years old and is being teased a lot by her classmates for being fat and I want her to be happy on the weekends. So I want her to eat all that she wants to on these days and she cannot do this while her uncle is looking on disapprovingly.
I have talked about this to my husband, but he doesn’t understand at all.
But I know that if our daughter knew that we felt that she was overweight, she would lose all her self-confidence. She needs to think that she is perfect as she is and I want to inculcate this feeling in her. Should I talk to our cousin and get his cooperation in this matter?
Your husband’s cousin may not be very diplomatic but there can be no doubt that he is very caring as far as you and your family are concerned.
Today, obesity is a major cause of ill health in young people besides affecting their self- confidence. Your daughter should certainly not let the fact that she is overweight make her feel that she is unattractive or keep her from taking part in school activities. But being overweight is unhealthy and you should discuss this with her and then get her on a diet that will see her lose weight.
You say that your daughter is already being teased for being fat – so why on earth do you want to make her put on more weight? Yes, food can be comforting and we all need this comfort sometimes, but all three of you need to lose weight and to keep it off. The fact that every member of your daughter’s extended families on either side, has a tendency to be obese adds to her problem.
AM A 50- YEAR-OLD WOMAN MARRIED TO A 53- YEAR-OLD MAN. Both of us have come up the hard way and now occupy good positions in the companies we work for. We both really struggled to get promotions and to see that our twin daughters did not go without anything that they needed or wanted. Today we should be reaping the results of all our hard work. But though we are comfortably off, we have no peace of mind and this is because of the very daughters for whom we have sacrificed so much for.
From childhood we have taught them to be self-reliant, both because we thought that that would make them strong and also because our busy schedules did not allow us to mollycoddle them.
But suddenly everything has come crashing down on our heads. The daughters we were so proud of are, we have come to know, into drugs, though they are not, thank goodness, addicts. They have completed their studies, but have not done as well as they told us they have. Worst of all, they both have got involved with unsavoury characters from various walks of life and are being watched by the police. In fact, it was a visit from the police (luckily when our daughters were not at home) that started us off on a journey of discovery.
Now we do not know what to do. For the last year or so, we have been searching for good grooms for our daughters, though they had only been laughing at us whenever we had raised the subject of marriage. Now my husband and I are quarrelling over this matter. My husband wants to hurry up and get both girls married as he is sure that when they settle down, both will stop all the “nonsense” they have been up to.
My thinking differs completely from my husband’s. I don’t think that getting the girls married, will solve any problem or make them realise how wrong they have been in so many ways. What do you suggest that we do? You, and not your husband, is right in this matter. You need to confront your daughters – something you do not seem to have done till now. You should get them to open up and find out how and why the girls got into such bad habits. This could be well because you and your husband didn’t give them enough time and attention and instead just presumed that all was well with them.
You, your husband and your daughters also need to consult a psychologist, both separately and together. You and your husband also need to talk to the police about the trouble your girls are in.