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Woman's Era - - Con­tents -

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.

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