I am Akanksha Saxena a 24 year old architect working in my father’s office. I separated from my husband Sanjay 1 year ago because he used to indulge in physical and verbal abuse every day (under the effect of alcohol). The problems had started after the first month of my marriage. I was married at an early age of 21 years and hence I did not have much of a judgment. At the moment, my life is a social mess. I cannot go out with any one for the fear that my husband will slap a case of infidelity on me. My grand-parents are insisting that I should try and adjust with my husband and try and reform him. Although my parents are very sympathetic and concerned about me, I am not very comfortable living with them now. I feel that they are feeling very guilty for getting me married to Sanjay. The friends with whom I used to move around are now all married and involved in their lives. I also feel a little odd going out with couples as I stick out like a sore thumb. I also have to be a little wary of the jealousies of the females regarding their husbands when I am with the couples. I am very frustrated and angry at the whole situation. What should I do?
It seems Akanksha that your problems stems from the fact that you are trying to pick up your life from where you left it before your marriage. Even your family members are feeling helpless about accepting the situation that your marriage has ended. You need to look into 4 primary matters. The first matter is about your own development. You may find that you have lost the 3 important years of your life. These are the years of life where an individual really matures into adulthood, determining the direction of relationships and career. Therefore you may need to pick up the threads of life from this stagnated developmental level and start again. For this, you may need to start studying again too. It may be an easy temptation to go into a low profile job and nurse yourself into oblivion but that may not help in the long run. The second matter may be about the way you relate to your family. There will be a variety of opinions about what you should do in the future. All these opinions stem from their perception that you are in a very vulnerable position and henceforth incapable of making decisions. Therefore in order to stop their interference, you may need to be reliant only on your judgment. You are now 24 years old; you need not fear any wrong decisions also. It is an illusion that all decisions can go right, so do not fear making any wrong decisions also. The third area is of the relationships with friends. Here you may find yourself in a precarious position. You will have to protect yourself from the vultures who want only to play with you and are taking advantage of the wounded self-esteem. At the same time, you will have to keep an eye open for the genuine friend who wants to have a relationship with you for what you are and not for what has happened to you. You may need to avoid situations where you are perceived as a threat because it may harm your already wounded self-esteem and introduce into your mind a concept of being unwanted; this can be disastrous for your other relationships. This area probably is the area of greatest uncertainty and vulnerability as you may not be sure of how to behave – to have the impudence of a 24 year old or the stoicism of a separated woman. You will have to combine both as both of them are parts of you. The fourth area is that of your relationship to your own self. You will be in turmoil as there will be a need to go into the society and enjoy its benefits against a restraint that comes from having experienced the relationship with the society as very harsh and cruel. But remember, this attitude comes from not having enough experience with the society and being thrust into a state of crisis of a failed relationship so early in life. Once your development takes place, you may find it easy to separate the negative from the positive experiences and enjoy life.