“Cultivate happiness”- 2 February 2019.


Q. I am a 37 year old married man with an 11 month old son. I need your help for below two issues. 1. We are 3 siblings and I am the youngest of them. As compared to my elder brother and sister, mentally and physically I am a weaker one. By nature, I am over-thinker and hyper-sensitive person. Since the age of 17, I am suffering from some or the other stomach related ailments like chronic constipation, stomach ulcer, stomach related infections, loss of digestive flora etc. While some of these are healed/ reduced in intensity now, these constant attacks never allowed me to have good mental and physical health. Overall, I have a low immunity and weaker stomach. During one of the conversations a few years back, my mother revealed to me that she did not want third child and went to hospital to abort me. However, the doctors advised her not to abort as the baby has already crossed certain months in the womb and it is harmful to abort now. My mother, however was desperate to abort it and also consumed some abortion pills. Despite all her efforts, the baby remained alive.  While I do not have any complaints regarding her decision about having/ not having a third baby, one question always haunts me. Is it because of these multiple attempts of abortion that affected me mentally and physically when I was in the womb? Is it the main reason that I am weakest and not as strong as my elder brother & sister. I also want to mention here that my mother also encountered multiple health issues after her 40s. I get very angry when my father and other family members point out about my weaknesses. I get a strong urge to ask them that they should have thought before taking a decision to have a child or abort a child. I feel that why this blame is entirely on me for what I am. I did not acquire these negatives in me from outside world. It was built in me from the very beginning of my life and somewhere they are also to take equal responsibility for this.  I keep on thinking like this but never said this to them. My parents have already crossed their 70s and I do not want to hurt them at the fag end of their life. My mother is almost bed ridden now. However, I am just not able to come out of this web of thoughts. 2. I got married in 2013 (arranged marriage). During the quest of my marriage, I was always insisting on talking to the girl and understanding her before I say YES to any proposal. I always believed in being honest & transparent before starting any relationship. Un-fortunately, one of the girls who I spoke to, used these to her advantage and her parents complained to my parents about me that I do not understand what to speak to a girl. She portrayed that she is rejecting me because of what I spoke to her. With these, my family members were hurt and expressed their dissent to me. Eventually, it was revealed to everybody that she used me to her advantage as she was already in a relationship and her parents still wanted to have her married to me. However, my family members were unhappy with me and they were feeling that their reputation was getting damaged because of my denials to the proposals and excessive honesty about while speaking. Though I was hell bent on my stand till now, I started giving up with this instance. I felt terribly guilty seeing that my family is suffering because of me. In a spate of emotions, I said YES to another girl without talking to her. As I got married, I am feeling that this is a biggest mistake of my life. I should have remained firm on my stand and should have talked to my wife. Now, every time, this thought haunts  me that why I did not remain firm on my stand, why I gave up, why I didn’t understand that family reputation was a temporary damage, why I made permanent damage to my life because of this…so on & so forth. This regret and anger towards myself is consuming me.  I am not able to find acceptance and peace within myself. I have spoken with my wife about all these and she told me that she is not ready for divorce as she still loves me.  I also do not want to spoil her life by divorcing against her wishes. But at the same time, even after 6 years of marriage, I am not able find that connection and companionship with her. I never enjoy the time I spend with her. I feel empty and alone. What should I do to come out of these thoughts of regret & anger towards myself.

Ans. The problem with you does not seem to be as serious as you perceive it to be. Your negative perceptions and attitudes make you angry. It is good you have written such a mail. You would be helped by changing your attitudes and perceptions of life. Happiness can be cultivated under any circumstances, however harsh they may be. A few sessions of therapy and behavioural training will transform your mind and life. You would need to focus on your mental health as a priority.

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