Dr. Gautham's

Neuro Centre

(Established in 1988)

A Neuro-Behavioral Medicine Clinic

Dr. Gautham's Neuro Centre
4/68 P C Hostel Road
Chetpet
Chennai, Tamilnadu 600031
India

ph: +91 98410 10197
alt: +91 44 4285 9822

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Married but loving another

Below is a question with Dr. Gautham's reply to it. Make your question as detailed as possible to enable an appropriate suggestion / direction that is specific to you. Include details of problem / symptoms, duration, details of associated persons / situations, aggravating factors if any, and relevant personal details

 

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Question:

My sister got married a year ago. It seems that she loved someone before marriage which she did not tell anyone. We came to know of this only when her marriage ran into problems. She and the person whom she loved decided among themselves that love marriage is not possible because of family situation. They sacrificed the love, it seems,  and she got  married to the boy chosen by the family. Her husband is working for a software company. He is highly motivated about his career and future. He missed out to show love to her, was concentrating on his work . They both stayed together for one month after marriage and then her husband went to US . Within the next two months he got a visa for her and she left to join him. In the the two months gap she was depressed and shared her plight with the guy whom she loved before marriage. That guy, apparently, gave some confidence to my sister.

The moment she reached US , she started reacting strangely, told her husband that she doesn’t like him and that she can’t live a life along with him. Her husband got in to a depression and called me, crying, and narrated things that happened over there. I went and met that guy whom she loved, and spoke to him. I made him understand that now she is married and reacting like this will do nothing. That guy realized it and stopped all the communication after telling my sister that he is leaving my sister because the family will suffer. From that instant she stopped speaking to us thinking that the family is only worried about the society , and nobody is worried about her happiness.

She wanted to leave her husband and come back to India. Whatever we say she immediately says that we all are forcing her. My brother-in-law loves my sister a lot. He understood the mistake that he did after marriage and tried to correct it. When her husband started showing love she accepted to stay there but still she thinks that she lost all her happiness. After we explained so many things she came down to a state that her life is only with the person she got married but she will be like a servant helping things like cooking etc…

She has got herself locked in to high depression. She says that she lost her happiness and life because of family. We are struggling a lot to get her out of that …Please we need some suggestion about this … if there is way to change her mind block.

Dr. Gautham's reply:
It's not uncommon for a woman to find herself attracted to a former lover, and wondering if things could work out with him.  Especially when there are problems in the marriage such as the husband focusing on his career and neglecting his wife, the woman begins to feel particularly vulnerable. It's a way of escape from an unhappy time and problems she's going through.  It is not wrong for your sister to want better things for herself. But by not being able to see that she is responsible for her own situation, and the effort put forth by her husband, she is getting herself into a negative thinking loop that is taking a toll on her.

 

Dr. Gautham's reply (Contd...):

Your sister's problems can possibly be fixed, but it's going to take some time and effort on both parties here.  And it is not something that's going to change overnight.  The important thing here is for your sister to ultimately figure out what she wants out of this marriage and life.  This will not happen as long as she sees herself being wronged by the family. It is, therefore.  important for you and your family to keep out of the situation and not advise her, as she sees you as ruining her life and will react negatively to whatever you tell her, and will become more and more firm in her stand. 

It is, therefore, important that you get your sister professional help.  Counseling can be a tremendous help when you have problems.  With counseling she will be able to realize that this situation was of her own making, and her own choice. That she could have informed the family about her love before her marriage was fixed. That her lover could have insisted on doing the right thing by her and asking your family for her hand in marriage. That the family was kept in the dark and hence could not have been responsible for this situation. That, the very fact that neither she nor her lover had the courage to disclose their love to the family and stand firm, is an indication that marriage to her lover is doomed, and that they would have been unable to handle the stresses of marriage. That her husband truly loves her and is standing by her through this period of extreme stress for himself. That, given Indian culture, the fact that her husband loves her, and the fact that her lover is willing to let her go, she can make a fresh life for herself.  That she should try to incorporate the love she feels for her lover, and introduce some of the things she enjoyed with her lover, into her husband. That over time, she can grow fond of her husband. That eventually the flame she had for the lover  will burn out. But, this realization will not come with counseling if her thinking is clouded with Depression.

From what you tell me it appears that your sister is depressed. Depression can cloud your thinking and prevent you from seeing things as they actually are. The good thing is that Depression is easily treatable with medication. Your sister requires medicines for her depression. The medicines will stabilize her emotions and clarify her thought process.  With medicines your sister will begin to open her mind and with counseling your sister and brother-in-law will be able to figure out how to get things back on track.