I am a 23-year-old girl, doing MS. I am good looking and boys often try to befriend me. I have been in love with the son of my father’s best friend, S, for a long time. He is very serious about me, but he is from a family where parents make decisions about their children’s marriage. S was also promised to the daughter of his aunt and he says he cannot break the engagement without breaking up his sister’s home, as it was a watta satta thing. However, in S’s family, most men have more than one wife, and taking a second wife is not considered bad. Now, he wants me to marry him because he says he can well afford to support a wife in the city from his income, but my parents are against this match. I did not know about S’s betrothal or I would have stopped myself from becoming serious about him. My mother says that I would not be happy with a guy who won’t be mine completely. She wants me to marry a guy from my dad’s side of the family. She said to me that even arranged marriages go wrong but we should look before we leap and should not fall through a fault of our own. I discussed this issue with a sincere and unbiased friend and she also said that my mom is right. When I told S to forget me, he threatened to kill himself. I don’t want S to die because I decided to end things with me. According to my mother I would forget him in time, but right now I love him. And, I don’t want him to die because of my refusal. Please help me.
Dear Crushed Gemini,
You are blessed with a sensible mother who has told you the pitfalls of marrying a married man. S should have told you about his betrothal right from the start. He played you till you became emotionally attached to him and now he is trying to exploit your feelings by threatening to commit suicide. Don’t pay any attention to such empty threats. He does not mean it one bit and you are under no obligation to continue your relationship. My dear, if you are still not convinced, tell your mom to talk to his mother and let his parents worry about the matter. Dear Girl, you are young, educated and good looking. Why should you settle for a man you will have to share with another woman? It is not easy to forget, but like your mother told you, time is the best healer and you will get over him soon. I think you should be given some time to get over this guy before your parents start talks with this other guy your mother told you about. Tell your mother that you wish to complete your studies and it is too soon to get into another relationship. If that guy is so good, he won’t mind waiting for you to complete your masters. Best of luck!
Dear Nadine Khan ,
I am a 30-year-old man. I have been married for eight years and have three kids. My problem is that about three years back, I became involved with a girl, N. I often went on dates with her, and talked on phone. One day, my wife found out about my affair. I promised her that I would not talk to my girlfriend again, but she was still very upset. All the while I was seeing N, I never treated my wife badly and took care of all her needs. So, I don’t know why she is so worked up about a little affair. I am only son of my parents. My mother died two months ago, and my father doesn’t interfere in household matters. Since my mother was bedridden, my wife has always been in charge of the house. She was a good daughter-in-law to my mother and has a warm relationship with my father. So, we were very happy in our married life before she found out about my affair. Throughout our married life, I have always upheld my wife’s wishes. I give her a substantial sum as allowance so she can buy anything she wants or needs. But despite whatever I have done, she refuses to forget my affair, as she is stubborn by nature. Since she found out about N, I have been giving her all my free time, but she is still not talking to me. I love her, so her silence is very depressing for me. I think she does not want to live with me, and is not leaving my house because of our children. She does not even realise that her behaviour has made the children tense. I don’t know how to make amends. She is too stubborn to forgive, so what should I do?
Just because you have been a generous husband, you think that your wife should forget about your affair, and act as if nothing happened? Marriage is mostly about trust and understanding, and you have broken her trust. Just because you have called off the affair, you feel she should behave normally. You have stated that that your wife was good with your parents and since you were happy in your married life, it goes without saying that she must have been good with you as well. Your wife is still grieving, and needs time to recover. She is a good mother if she is staying with you for the sake of your children. Had she been the one cheating you and you had found out, what would have been your reaction? Would you have compromised so easily, if at all? You call her stubborn because she is not acting like a typical eastern wife and forgiving you unconditionally. For your information, times have changed, and so have women.
Give her time and earn her trust. If she is staying with you for the sake of your children, she deserves your gratitude. Show her with your actions that you are sorry and would not cheat on her again, and hopefully she would thaw. As for trust itself, don’t expect the unexpected so soon. For your children, put in everything you have in your marriage and you just might win back your wife. Good luck!
Problems that need a solution? You can e-mail Prof. Nadine Khan at n[email protected]
Write to Prof. Nadine Khan, c/o Editor ‘You!’ magazine, The News, Al-Rehman Building (4th Floor) I.I. Chundrigar Road, Karachi.