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By You Desk
Tue, 05, 22

I am afraid that if I give in now to my parents, I will regret my decision. What should I do?

Letters

Dear Nadine Khan,

I am a 33-year-old doctor, and am the only daughter of my parents. My problem is that I am single and my parents want me married ASAP. I have received many proposals, but I have not liked any one of them. I am not a shallow person; I realise that looks and wealth are good in a prospective proposal but not the only requirement. What I seek is someone I can share my thoughts with, someone I can really talk to. My parents don’t understand this and think that if a guy is sufficiently well-settled I am nuts to say no. Some weeks back, I got a proposal from a 37-year-old guy who was good-natured and settled, but I could not have any conversation with him. I refused his proposal but my parents are forcing me to re-consider. They say that I am lucky that the guy wants to marry me despite my advanced years, and I should just accept it. I am confused and don’t quite know what to do. I am not a burden to my parents financially, as I earn very well. I don’t know why they think I need a husband to protect me. The world as they knew has changed and girls are more independent and capable of looking after themselves. Why should I limit my independence for someone who does not have the qualities I seek in my partner? I am afraid that if I give in now to my parents, I will regret my decision. What should I do?

Annoyed Doc

Dear Annoyed Doc,

The world has indeed changed a lot in the past few decades. Educated young women earn as well as men. With women empowerment, the social fabric of our society has undergone a change as well. Girls now have more freedom than they had previously, but that has not changed some hard realities females in our country have to live with. Marriage is still considered a must for girls and parents try to get their daughters as soon as possible because they understand the importance of age for the mothers of prospective grooms. My dear, just because you are financially independent doesn’t mean you can live without getting married and be fine in our country. Your parents realise how cruel our society can be to single women, and let’s face another reality: your parents will not be there for you forever. They want your future secured before they pass on. Try to understand their anxiety, too.

Having said that, I totally agree that a partner with whom you can talk is stuff dreams are made of. Mental compatibility is very important in a marriage and without it marriage often becomes a compromise. People make it work for the sake of their children and families and seem to have a fine life. Do you know why? It’s because once married, people automatically develop common topics of discussion. And, once kids arrive on the scene, lives of parents are transformed. Dealing with issues of their children and household matters and problems make nice topics of conversation. So, if you can find someone you feel comfortable to talk to among your colleagues you should go for it, but in case you cannot you have to make some compromises. You can live alone, but being lonely is not a thing anyone could want. You are not a burden on anyone financially, but coming to an empty home is not what anyone could look forward to. Think carefully before taking any decision. Best of luck!

Dear Nadine,

I am a 32-year-old woman, and I got married about a year ago. I got married a bit late, as my father died rather suddenly and my brother was in his first year of engineering at that time. I had to work till his graduation to support my family. I resigned when my brother got a good job, as he wanted me to get married. My husband is a 39-year-old accountant in a small firm. He was married briefly, but his first wife died in childbirth. He is very loving and caring and is like a friend to me. My problem is that my husband's workload at his office is so much that he comes home after 9pm daily, and sometimes even later than that. We don’t have kids as yet and passing time alone is very difficult for me. My husband has to work even on Saturdays and Sundays; he has no off days. He’s not up to mischief, and I know that for sure. I have fought with him, begged and pleaded with him to tell his boss that he needs to give time to his family as well. Every time we have this argument, he promises that he would sort it out with his boss, but I don’t think he has talked to him so far. He says his boss wants him to work late as our house is quite close to the office. The other thing is that his friends come over very often, so even when he comes home at 9pm, I hardly get any time to spend with him.

I have realised that I can’t do anything to change him. I just want myself to not care whether he spends time with me or not. I want to have kids, so that they can become the focus of my attention, but so far I haven’t been able to conceive. My life is miserable and lonely, and I don’t know what to do to make things better. What should I do to make my husband give time to me, and how can I get rid of his friends who occupy all the spare time my husband has?

Lonely Soul

Dear Lonely Soul,

Normally, I would say that you should trust your husband, because trust is essential for the success of any marriage. But, for the life of me, I cannot understand why an accountant is being called even on Saturdays and Sundays and that, too, on a regular basis. My dear, your husband works in a small firm, which means that the workload should not be enough to require his attendance on off days. Even 9pm is a little too much in normal firms. True, there are periods when accountants are extremely busy and may return late and even work on off days, but not throughout the year. So, first you should try to find out what keeps him away from home daily. If his office has a landline, you could try calling him after regular hours. His timetable is just a bit fishy, and needs to be investigated.

You used to work before you got married. Have you thought about finding a job since you have so much time at hand? It will take care of your loneliness issue.

You should also convince your husband to curtail his friends’ visits. He is a married man and has responsibility towards his wife, and he should make his friends realise this. You say he is very caring, so it is possible that once he realises the effects of his work timings and friends’ visits on you, he may do what he can to change things.

Finally, I think you should consult a gynaecologist. You haven’t been married that long, but since you are keen to have children there is no harm going to the doctor to ensure everything is all right.

Good luck!

Problems that need a solution? You can e mail Prof. Nadine Khan at nadinekhan_34@yahoo.com

Write to Prof. Nadine Khan, ­c/o Editor ‘You!’ magazine, The News, Al-Rehman Building (5th Floor) I.I Chundrigar Road, Karachi.