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Anu Krishna  |626 Answers  |Ask -

Relationships Expert, Mind Coach - Answered on Jul 04, 2022

S Question by S on Jul 04, 2022Translate

Hi. Please keep my identity anonymous.
My elder sister has been married for 20 years and she has had turbulent times with her husband. During the first few years of marriage, she did all she could to please him and get his attention. She went out of her way to keep him happy. But her husband always chided her for her looks. She was lean initially but put on weight after pregnancy.
Unfortunately her husband had a playboy nature and she caught him red handed committing adultery thrice. Last time he went physical with his young cousin who was brought up in my sister's place as their own . She went into depression when she found out and was on the verge of committing suicide and killing her daughters but relented. Although she forgave him for the first two times, this time she could not control herself. We had to toil hard to counsel her not to take extreme measures.
While this incident happened few years ago, from outside things appear to be normal as before. But deep within I feel she is leading a fake life. She says she has to put up a brave face for her daughters’ sake.
I know that she has a lot of anger and frustration inside which can burst out any moment. She doesn't want to talk about the incident despite me advising her to seek psychiatric help. I want to seek your opinion on what I can do as a brother? I sometimes feel I am worthless seeing her suffer silently.


Dear S,

It’s unfortunate that relationships outside of marriage seem to be used as a way of escaping something that is deeper.

Your sister’s children I presume must be older where they understand what is happening to the mental health of their mother. It might be wise for your sister to relook at her life in a new light.

Children have grown up and now she can think for herself; even if she is financially not independent, things can be sorted out.

She needs to take the decision to what that change else as a brother no matter what you try, it will not work as your sister is used to living life as a victim and this possibly offers her a roof over her head and that of her children.

Also, it isn’t easy to live life as a single woman and hence she might have never allowed herself the thought of being independent.

Give her a lot of love and support her, but tell her that giving up on her life only will mean that her husband would have achieved a clear path to do more of what he already has.

Set up an environment for her to flourish, maybe she can study something or start working.

It will empower her to take strong decisions for herself and her children.

Enable her to do the right thing for herself.

Best wishes!

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Anu Krishna  |626 Answers  |Ask -

Relationships Expert, Mind Coach - Answered on Jul 07, 2021

Ma'am, I am a 42 old male educationist by profession, a non-smoker and non-alcoholic. I got married late at 40 through a matrimonial site after almost one year of chatting with a girl from another district aged 33 who otherwise is sweet and is 2nd among four sisters. Before marriage they told me that after marriage she would get transferred from her government teaching job in her own locality to my home district. But after marriage she stays in her own house, comes once a week on Saturday and leaves by Monday morning. Worse, every day her sister calls up more than six times and spend 15 to 40 minutes over phone. I unconsciously feel cheated being as single as before. She has clearly told she won't leave her job nor can do anything about transfer. My parents' repeated requests to her father (an education officer) has fallen into deaf years. Now without physical and emotional intimacy I get provoked. Arguing for every word she says makes matters worse. Recently in anger I threw her phone away and now things are out of control. Her younger sister warning me has made things worse. Ma'am either I will commit suicide or go mad.
Ans: Dear DS, firstly, suicide is never an option.

So there is no necessity to think of it as challenges are a part of everyone’s lives and how we respond to these challenges define our entire lives.

Why does she choose to stay at her parents’ place?

I don’t see the reason in your write-up. Did the two of you have an argument?

Why is it that her parents don’t talk to her about settling down in a married life?

Sometimes, it need not be one reason but many to break down a marriage.

It mostly starts with assumptions, and we start to believe that this is true.

Her sister calling her 6 times in a day is just something that you choose to be irritated with which maybe in a happy marriage you might have made fun of.

Right now, every single thing associated with her, is what you choose to think of as a reason for the way the marriage is.

It takes two to make a marriage. I would like you to ask yourself: Have I in anyway contributed even a little to create this situation?

What this does is, helps you focus on what you can also change and that may help her understand you better and possibly make room for a discussion between the two of you.

Also, at 33, she possibly has been leading a very independent life and suddenly expecting her to change and settle into a marriage might take a while.

Be loving and caring without expecting and things can start to change.

But I know that she refuses to stay with you but when she does over the weekend, instead of arguing, simply unconditionally love her without asking for anything in return.

Love breaks down a lot of anger, resentment, and any assumptions that she maybe carrying.

Maybe talking to her sister gives her some sense of comfort and by pointing that out, might anger your wife and her sister which is what has happened.

Try something else; simply love as hard as this maybe.

You have married at an age where both of you have led a fairly independent life and to bring both your lives together, some amount of work has to go in.

If this fails, ask an older member of your family to step in and talk to her parents. Seek help when you think this is required.

Create a happy life.


Anu Krishna  |626 Answers  |Ask -

Relationships Expert, Mind Coach - Answered on Jun 09, 2021

Dear Anu, I've been married to my wife for 10 years. In the last 2 years or so I find it difficult to understand her. Once every 2 or 3 months she goes into depression, and brings up old conversations between my mother and sister. It is not that they are perfect; however they have already moved on. She blames I didn't support, if the conversations happened in front of me then I can support but didn't happen. Also, my mother and sister they don't talk to me anything about those conversations. I love her and I have asked her to seek medical help but she doesn't want. I want to help and at the same time I need help.
Ans: Dear A, my first question to you is: how do you know that it is depression?

Has she been clinically diagnosed? Most often, I find people throwing this word around loosely without knowing what depression truly is.

For all you know, she may simply be low or upset over something that comes and goes frequently.

Assuming that this is case from what you have stated in your email, what is the reason that you feel she brings up these conversations from the past?

What triggers it? Is there a reference to your mother or sister in any current context?

Is anyone praising them currently and she doesn’t like it? Is she being compared to them in any manner?

Has she lost or given up anything in the past because of them that is impacting her now?

Do a reality check with her or if you know the answers to these, you will know what exactly is going on in your mind.

Questions like these can point you in a direction that will enable you to help her rather than see her as a problem.

She may not be willing to go to a professional for help as most of us think that it is NOTHING.

Stress and sadness are real and over a period of time, it can rob us of even the smallest of joys that we deserve.

It's easy to say: Forget the past; one cannot forget the past or what happened there BUT one can only change the way they feel about the past.

Replaying what happened means she is reliving the same experience over and over again and feels the reality of this even now which must be dulled and faded away.

Why does she hold onto this is because it perhaps gives her the solace of not doing anything about it now and it’s easy to play the blame game?

At times, we seek refuge under phrases like: My life is a living hell because of this or that. This could also be hiding away from opportunities and blaming the world for it.

What I am sharing here is based on what information that I have got from you.

I suggest start with the reality check questions first and see how it goes as this will give you vital information on what’s going on in her mind.

Most importantly, reiterate to her to be grateful for the things and people in her life right now.

Gratitude as an energy can liberate us from mundane occurrences and can keep us sane and calm.

Best wishes to you and your wife for a wonderful life.


Anu Krishna  |626 Answers  |Ask -

Relationships Expert, Mind Coach - Answered on Sep 28, 2022

Hi Anu, I'm a 50 year old male married for 10 years. This is our second marriage for both of us. We live abroad. Since Day One my spouse was suspicious of me linking me with anyone on the street. She says I'm sighting girls. She suspected that I am interested in my elder sister-in-law since marriage. She never told me this for three years. Due to this we never had any relationship (and no child). Because of this constant fighting I lost my mother (I apologised to mother since I was not able to take care of her and I was unhappy. She died within a month of my apology.) I never told anyone either of our relatives about our problems. My father is 90 and alive. I don't want to cause any problem to him. During these 10 years her father never bothered to check if any problems. I hardly slept 1-2 days a week during these years.My spouse never changed a bit during these 10 years. Her position reached a stage where I had to admit her to hospital for psychosis. She got discharged in 2 months because her parents were adamant on discharge on the condition that she will travel to India. But once discharged, she refused to travel for nearly 10 months. Her father supported her. When her mother passed away in December 2020, due to Covid her return tickets got cancelled. In December 2021 she was again in hospital for 20 days in India for similar psychological issues. In April 2022 I visited her house in India and gave her father a 4-page document detailing her behaviour during these 10 years. He simply said she has done unknowingly. He is adamant on trying to send her back to me. While I am struggling to live, her father lives a happy life with his pension. As a father he never corrects his daughter and instead tries to push the problems to me.I have asked for a divorce but she is not willing to give and starts shouting hysterically. Please let me know how to proceed.

Dear S,

If you have decided that divorce is the only option to consider, then yes, file for divorce legally by hiring a lawyer who has specialized in cases where the spouse is unwilling to let the divorce happen.

In short, if it’s not a mutual consent, it might drag on for years, so get a good skilled lawyer to take up your case.

On the emotional side of things, I urge you to be patient and empathetic towards your wife. With her mental health condition, she possibly has no control over her thoughts and subsequent actions are a result of an impulsive reaction.

Yes, it is unfortunate that the marriage went through a lot of low phases but do remember she is a human who is going through a challenge which is not easy to fathom by people who don’t have a mental illness.

I realise that this might be a little difficult to do, but in the long-term scheme of things, it will be a good ally as a sound and calm mind helps you through challenging times.

This point of view will help you through the divorce proceedings where you will be able to be fair and just to make sure that she is also taken care of.

All the best for a better journey ahead!


Anu Krishna  |626 Answers  |Ask -

Relationships Expert, Mind Coach - Answered on Oct 14, 2022

Dear Anu,Hope you are doing well!I happened to read few of your articles on family issues hence thought of seeking advice on a very complicated family issue of mine.This is going to be really big email... sorry I badly need help!My elder sister is married for close to 8 years now.It's an arranged marriage and she is married to very big family of three sisters and two brothers....My sister's husband been the last one in the family...Since Day One of the marriage her sisters-in-law would interfere in every little thing that happens in my sister's and her husband's life. Literally everything and her life is miserable now...These three ladies never let his elder brother's wife as well to stay with her husband and now she lives separately fearing his sisters. And it's the same with my sister's life as well.It is an arranged marriage with an age gap of 10 years between my sister and her husband... Since Day One he would pick up silly fights with my sister and emotionally blackmail her... I'm not sure if he was really into the marriage.... He always complains about my sister, ill-treats her and constantly keep asking her to divorce him.He listens to his sisters and humiliates her.My parents have been looking after my sister's needs even after marriage -- phone recharges, dresses and even sanitary napkins. He has never spent money for my sister's basic needs.She has to do all house chores like washing, mopping and cleaning.... And his sister will just cook and leave... they have never let my sister to cook but complain to everyone that she doesn't want to do house chores.I have seen my sister (when I stayed with her for two days just see what was happening in the house) she wakes up at 4 am to sweep the garden mess which is close to half an acre. Then mop the house, wash vessels and clothes. She will be exhausted by the time she finishes all the work and when she finally sits to eat, the in-laws will taunt her and she has starved without eating for days.When she discussed this with her husband, he'd ignore or argue with her not to say anything bad about his sisters.Our upbringing back home was very different. We grew up around house helps who helped us with chores but my sister didn't complain about that as well. She said ‘in laws’ house is way different than mom's place.' It hurts to see my sister this way.All his three sisters rarely stay at their homes, instead they prefer staying at my sister's place and cause troubles between the husband and wife.He treats my sister like a slave.If she doesn't do what he asks her to do he says 'sign the divorce papers and leave.'According to him, my sister should never visit her mom's place. If she has to visit, she has to seek his permission and he will decide whether she can go or not and for how many days. If she stays back a day longer, he would pick up a fight. Even if he is in a different city she has to stay at her in-laws place.He works in army as a subhedhar. We have huge respect for people in the Army, that's the reason my sister was married to him despite the difference in age.And when my sister first gave birth to her son he said the most cruel thing any man could say. She had a C-section so he said, You are lame, you haven't done anything big or great, you had an operation, you easily cut open and gave birth. What pain do you think you have when you give birth in anesthesia?He would humiliate her in front of family members and friends, colleagues...We have advised her to leave him, find a job, to look after herself and the kids. We will support her. But she is not confident enough. She is so used to being dependent that she is scared of taking the big step fearing her kids’ future.She has been tolerating him more than any human can tolerate also because she is financially dependent on him.She has two kids, aged six and three.If she divorces him, she is worried about the kids’ schooling.As he is in the Army he will be moving to different cities every two years.In these 8 years of marriage, they have hardly been together for a year or more.He never took her to any deputed locations. She has to stay here in Kolar with her in-laws and he would visit her annually. My sister has to bear the brunt of the entire family.He will call my sister only if his sister permits, otherwise he will stay without calling her for months.My parents were also bearing all of his attitude for a few years until things went out of hand. Even after having 2 kids his attitude didn’t change.So my parents had to intervene.This pathetic man would find millions of ways to torture my sister mentally and physically.She was a silent and reserved kid in our family. Now she is so used to his behaviour that she is okay to live with him just for the sake of her kids. We are not that well off. My dad is a retired official who gets very little money as pension. So my parents are worried who will take care of her and kids after them if in case we file a divorce. Will alimony work here?There is no peace in our family.My parents are old and struggling with their health issues. And now there is so much of mental pressure due to all of this.After so much struggle and arguments, he finally took my sister with him to his current deputed location for 6 to 8 months. Again upon his sisters’ insistence he left his 6 year old kid with his sister and family and forced my sister to come with him or sign the divorce papers.And my foolish sister who didn't know what to do left her 6 year old kid with his sister in law family and went with her husband taking the another kid. Now she is crying day and night thinking about her kid.I went on with a huge argument with him asking what is the need for a child to leave his parents and study at his aunt's place. Since he is in the Army, changing schools should not be so difficult; he is your own kid and blood. How can you leave him alone there? He said, ‘My son will study wherever I ask him to.’When I asked him why he forced my sister to come with him leaving the kid with his sisters, he used cuss words and asked me to mind my own business. I lost my cool and said that he is acting brainless. He reminded me that he is the Army and no one can do anything to him. He said I could raise a complaint and cut the call.Now he has set rules that no one should visit or see his son. When my parents went to visit their own grandchild recently, his sisters did not allow them.I have been telling my parents to lodge a complaint against this man. But my parents feel that he is their son in law. Anything we do would affect my sister's life and brushed it aside. They’d rather convince my sister and send her back to live with the pyscho.Now they have realised and are repenting for not complaining about him earlier.Please advise us how to move further because whoever we consulted regarding this told us that we cannot complain about this. Only my sister can complain. She is scared of him and fears to lodge a complaint. She is in a different city now and wouldn't be able to do so.Is that right? Can't a grieving parent, grandparent or sister like me who is worried to the core about her sister's and cousins life complain against this saddest man?Is divorce advisable in this case or are we overdoing it? Should we lodge a police complaint? Can we write to his superior?It is possible that he might file a defamation case against us?I literally have no clue what to do or where to seek help. Please help me save my sister from this pathetic marriage.Awaiting your response.

Dear ST,

If you and your parents know what has been going on, why did you not think of lodging a police complaint against your sister’s husband and his family for mental harassment?

What exactly are you waiting for?

Your sister has become used to this misery and sometimes this misery is familiar, and women are willing to put up with it for fear of societal backlash and being a burden on parents.

Which family separates a mother from a child?

Which family entertains the interference of sisters-in-law so much? I am unable to still understand why they would do such a thing.

And to top it all, our country has a huge mass of parents who believe that a daughter once married is the property of her husband. Which only means that he and his family can ill-treat her the way they wish, and the parents cite an excuse of being old and having no money to take care of her if she comes back.

Please, my humble appeal to each parent who have daughters crying out for help…bring them back home; at least they will have a chance to live and live a dignified life. She is still your daughter.

What if she wasn’t married? Would your parents throw all their children out saying that they are poor?

The reason your sister is hesitating to leave the man is perhaps she feels like a burden to your parents.

The first step is to become her strength by welcoming her back; society and her husbands’ family can be taken care of.

Hire a good lawyer who can take care of legal matters if it goes the divorce way.

Divorce or not is your sister and her husband’s decision.

Let her have some time away from her husband and his family. It might help her gain some objectivity and make a wise decision.

So, first you and your parents welcome her back…the rest can wait.

All the best!


Anu Krishna  |626 Answers  |Ask -

Relationships Expert, Mind Coach - Answered on Oct 09, 2023

Hi Anu...I dont want to be named but want to share my issues here with you to guidance. Im married and live with my wife and 2 year old son in Noida and my parents lives in some village in UP approx 500 Kms afar. My initial upbriging was done by my Grandparants at separate place till age of 10 so never got any chance to get along with my poarants very well as lived with them for only 4 years then shifted Noida. now the issue issus is my sister who is 5-6 years younger than me has been living with paranets since birth and became very arrogant and irresponsible in life as my parants never tried to correct her instead they always push me to get along citing Im older..she never even accepted my wife and even tried to conspire against my baby boy by filing my mothers mind for years. my parents married her 4 years ago but she dont spend even a month continuously at her inlawa and dont get along with them...she want to sta with my paranets as nobody bothers her in what she wants to do... when anybody try to make her realise that she is wrong she start threating them by saying that she will harm herself...actually she never does. My parents are getting older and dont want to see them suffer mentally and financially anymore but them cant come with me as they have take care of my Great Grandparents..she is too proud to say sorry to me for things she has done but my parents emotionally blackmailing to to talk to her....what should I do...
Ans: Dear R,
Obviously your parents have no clue that their over indulgence in your sister and her life is causing her misery. Their relationship is unhealthy and they are unaware of it...things are sure to go downhill until one of them pulls back...in this case, the ideal thing would be for your parents to pull back and cut financial and emotional support till she starts behaving like an adult and become accountable for herself and her life.
Some people just don't want to grow up...and that is because they have parents or parent figures who fill in their every need and fulfil their every want.
This becomes a habit and when they don't get what they want, they will threaten just like your sister does...she basically likes playing the 'child' and hence your parents are never out of their responsibility of parenting...make them aware that it is enough and a tough stance will set her right and help her build her life.
A grown up must be one and just keep the child alive in them...but here your sister just wants to be the child and keep happily playing thar role as the parents are allowing it...kindly intervene and help your parents understand and do the right thing for their daughter...

All the best!
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