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Shivani Nath, MS, MFT, Eds, PhD(cand)Shivani Nath, MS, MFT, EdS, PhD (cand).
Marriage Counsellor

Shivani Nath is an expert in human relationships and specializes in Individual, Couple, and Family Therapy. Her areas of expertise are inclusive of sex therapy, anger management, and trauma/loss/grief/bereavement issues. She is a Professor of Psychology and Family Therapy at Kean University, New Jersey, and has private practices in New York and New Jersey. Shivani has been featured both in print and electronic media and has lectured nationally and internationally. Post your queries on Matrimony here.

Name:Julie  Age:33  Gender:F  Place:Canada

Q:Hi, I want to know what it means when an Indian man says to a woman: \“please, wait for me.\” I am a Canadian woman who met a very nice Indian man born in Canada. Ours was an instant connection. It is like we understood each other on so many right away. He is very smart, he has a beautiful soul and a very kind heart, and I like him very much. The attraction us is almost unreal. He told me he was not ready to enter into a relationship right now as he must sort out his thoughts. We are both single. We saw each other three times. He has not yet kissed me, even though I could see he to. He is much younger than me (him 26 and me 33), though nobody ever believes that I am older than 25. But this is a bit crazy to me and I tried many times to tell myself to forget about him. But every time I have these internal I feel that my heart is being ripped out of my body and I cry all the tears that I didn’t know I had. knows that I am looking for a serious relationship, that I want to get married and have children (for Canadians, it is quite normal marry so late). He wants the same thing. Since he was born in Canada, his family has no objections to him marrying a Canadian I am also very well-traveled and sensitive to other cultures. I want to learn Hindi and everything else I can to better understand who is. So, at the beginning of our third meeting, he said to me: \“please wait for me… we need to take things slowly right now.\” see, when a Canadian man says something like that, you cannot take it seriously because maybe he just wants you to still be available in case* he decides to be with you. But I have a feeling it is different when these words are said by an Indian I want to know your opinion on that (that\’s why I gave you such a detailed background) because if it is sincere, I will for him for as long he needs me to… Namaste, Julie

A:Julie,No matter what culture a man or a woman belongs to, clear thoughts and ideas can be revealed and stated in a conversation. I am not trying to negate your feelings for this man but 3 meetings aren’t a good enough time to consider someone as their life long partner. I don’t want to assume that He meant to tell you to take it slow, although that seems like a good option to me. Therefore to know what his take on your relationship is, you might want to ask him in a clear discussion and have him tell you his point of view. A good conversation always helps, especially in matters of the heart! Good luck.

Name:Hema  Age:26  Gender:F  Place :

Q:At the age of 22, I got married. But divorced in a short span of time because of the dowry problem. Now my parents are arranging for marriage. I am very much freightened to get married again. In my earlier case, I had sex. Now I feel that the whom I am going to marry now, will take that lightly. I am always doubting no one in the world will accept this

A:Hema,You might want to voice your thoughts and opinions to your parents about them arranging a marriage for you. If a prospective partner wants to marry you and also knows that you were married before– they shouldn’t have a problem with your sex life with your ex. It’s obvious and normal for 2 people to have sex during their marriage! Therefore your doubts about no one accepting that are baseless. You also might want to think hard before getting in this new marital relationship. It seems like you need some alone time to sort things out before starting a new commitment. Good luck.

Name:ravi  Age:28  Gender:M  Place :

Q:It has been 3 yrs since we have been married, we live alone and have no family members, on the smallest of issues we fight end up not talking for days inspite of staying in the same house, she is over possessive. I am coming to a point of divorce, we have tried talk things out many times, its still the same after a few days, Can u help?

A:The problem is “not talking for days.” You might want to communicate openly with each other about their thoughts, views, perceptions, on the marriage—where the challenges lie, and what could be done to overcome those challenges. Maybe that will be helpful. Couples therapy/counseling won’t be a bad idea too. You can get in touch with me for possible leads. Good luck!

Name:anna  Age:25  Gender:F  Place :

Q:I have been married for an year now. ours is an arranged marriage and after marriage I came down to London and am working ! My husband is a chain smoker and is very fond of drinking; he normally gets very drunk whenever he gets a chance i.e. at least once twice a week. My problem is that even though I knew before marriage that he smokes and drinks, I didn’t expect it to be this magnitude. Now, every other day we have a fight regarding these issues and he feels that I don\’t respect him, which maybe because everytime I see him drinking or smoking, I lose part of my respect for him. Please tell me what should I do now?

A:He needs help. Maybe you can bring that issue with him in a gentle manner. Can you speak with any common friends or family that could help you both? You could also consult a counselor/therapist in your area and find out positive means to seek personal help and help for him. The first step towards recovery is acknowledgement of the problem. He won’t ‘change” unless he feels that he has a problem.

Name:ranjani  Age:35  Gender:F  Place :

Q:I am married for the past 10 years. My husband is a doctor. His is big family and he is the eldest person. We are well settled and I have two sisters. My parents gave dowry and married me. Even though he has big family he told that he will go abroad and we thought he would settle in abroad, earn and let him get marry his sisters. But after marriage he told he could not go in the initial we had a financial problem because I was brought up and his family is middle class. In my final year of my college they got me married. After six months of my father in law passed away. So when I finished my studies I have to start a family. He was not ready stay in my parent\’s house. His sister was staying in his aunt\’s house. After my father-in-law death we started a separate family left my Mom\’s house and stayed with my sister-in-law Initially my mother got along with him but later both have become enemies now don\’t talk and don\’t want to face each other. During my ninth month I was fond of going to my mother house but opposed that became a bi! g family issue it has gone up to court and one on his friend tried to unite us. Meanwhile first sister in law got married. At that time my daughter was delivered he did not come and see my daughter also. We separated for one year and then we were united by his friend and he told he has realised his mistake. My father and mother use to support me financially and his financial commitment is so huge that I pester my parent each month for money. Meanwhile sister died due to my family problem, dad was suspended at that time and my parents were having a fight she just took insecticide to make them not to fight but she died. After this incident only we united by his friend after six months death of my sister. For my sister death also he did not come. This time we are staying in a separate house not with his My another sister is married and settled abroad. My husband is suspicious that I am having affair with my brother-in-law So many times have told him that he is just my sister\’s husband. I have a son who is six years. My family know that I am adjusting and living with him. Recently he was transferred to another place for a year during which time I was staying with my father and my father will look into my financial commitments. Recently we bought a flat for that initial deposit I borrowed my dad monthly commitment my husband is paying. After buying this new house he has spend so much that all his credit card exceeded limit he did higher education for paying the fees I sold my vehicle and father also supported financially for the studies. About five years he got married his another sister. He has another sister who is yet to be married. Another brother he only supported for studies and placed him in a job and hostel. Until his transfer I don\’t know how much he earns and how much is commitment but when he transferred only I came to know about his commitment his personal loans. al l the bank people will visit my house I ask him he will tell you have lots of properly manage with your daddy\’s help. When in such a financial situation he will travel by flight and say it is necessary to reach in time to that place. Even my parents are against with him they tell because I soft and timid nature he is taking advantage. Recently my father expired my mother and sister my brother in law from abroad to do funerals proceedings for my father My husband also got transferred to chennai Again he starting abusing me that I am having relationship with my brother-in-law and one bachelor was staying in the first floor of our house he got suspicious with that fellow also and abusing that my house is a prostitute house. Now I am shifted to our flat. My mother and my sister all left her delivery. He does not want me to talk over telephone to my sister or mm he start abusing the moment he sees speaking through telephone. Because of all his abusive words I started hatred towards my own family members. He wants his mother brother sisters and he resists me talking with my sister or mom. He told me not to visit my mother house also as there is no body to take care of that house I rarely once a month try to visit the house. My daughter has joined with her husband and told that I went to my mother\’s house that day a big quarrel happened and I was about to leave the house. Often he abuses me that I am a deviated person, psychiatric, I will go with any boy for money sake. He will ask my daughter where did your mother go and what did she do all questioning to my daughter whether my mother or sister rang up. I tolerating all this because of my dad sake and for my children but after my dad\’s death I have become depressed that to some I can tolerate when limit exceeds I try to retaliate at that time I want to get out of the house. Yesterday when husband was abusing, I told my children that I am doing so much sacrifice for their sake, you for which my daughter told her will take her if I leave them. At time I feel like committing suicide but I think my parent\’s family, and my children, I have no friends or well wisher\’s where I can pour my feelings. I want to stay in a hostel and do seva some organisation because he says that I am not a good wife or mother. I am unfit to be a wife. He nicely for his children take care of them but when any suspicious comes into his mind he makes us mad. His parents know this nature. HIs father used to be like that and his mother suffered like how I am suffering now. I can financially myself I have property and I am educated. I feel 10 years I have adjusted is this marriage worth continuing. He is possessive he don\’t like any male talking to me. He tells till your death we have to be united no body can us and he won\’t leave me but I am not interested of all his words because I ! am the person who suffers from all moods, fancies. If I retaliate if you have not done the mistake why you try to retaliate. At that time I feel like him. His suspicious nature is killing me and my family. Kindly suggest me how I could tackle this problem.

A:You need to leave with your children. You have seemingly gone thru a lot and this relationship isn’t worth it. I wouldn’t spend a single minute in thinking about “working towards this marriage.” Therefore, trust yourself, make sure that you want to live a life that is fulfilling and that your children get a positive sense of family. You need to contact friends/family or whoever you think will be supportive of your decision. Don’t waste your time. Good luck!

Name : r kapoor Age : 29 Gender : F Place : nj

Q:I HAVE been happily married for five years with a two-year old. My husband and I’ve shared a very open and supportive relationship throughout marriage and we\’re both very happy about that. I had a very intense relationship with my boyfriend from college days. We could not marry to familial and cultural differences and circumstancial reasons. He has been my best friend throughout the years. My husband was aware about us and three shared a friendly communication through phone and internet. We stay in different countries. I never could forget him and have recently met him after marriage. We both reconnected instantly. I’m very alarmed and confused about our strong feelings for each other which lasted though all these eleven years. I’ve been very candid with my husband who wants me to take time and have been extremely supportive. My boyfriend did not communicate about us with his does harbour insecure feelings. We would not be meeting again in future. Is it acceptable to keep in touch with him over phone? I\’m very and hurt about my own feelings which never died away for him. I love my family and husband very much and he wants to keep with my boyfriend. Is it okay to share a deep feelings for your first love and have a mutually fulfilling marriage? Please advice

A:I don’t think so. Your “deep feelings for your first love” will certainly create a lot of challenges in your marital life. Its got to be either/or situation. You cant have it both ways!

Name:Preeti  Age:25  Gender:F  Place:India, Delhi

Q:Good Evening Madam, I am 25and looking for a right match with my family. There are two problems :1- I have a boy friend who is0 2 yrs younger to me and of diff caste and financially not stable at all. We both love each other badly, though we have crossed our limits. He is the one whom I feel I can rely for my lifetime. He also loves me very much. He is also which my family will never like. He admits that we cant be one but we want to be in touch always till death friends. Now when I go to see any guy I first ask him that will he mind if i’ll talk to my friends (boys) always feel i’ll go in for a guy who will accept him as my friend. I am very confused do not know what to do. I cared him like a kid I cant leave him at any cost. I always pray for him 1st the day I get up in help me out to solve this problem. 2- I am a working girl, but I do not know how I have inculcated this feeling within me if someone asks for a working girl, I said I wont work and if someone ask for homely girl I say I will work. is true that I always want to be a good housewife than to work outside but still I feel this freedom should be with me whether I should work or not. My parents feel I reject to all proposals but I feel u can understand it and provide me with solution. Thanks a lot madam.

A:You need to do some reality checking. Are you ready for marriage? Would it be ok for you to go ahead with the marriage and still not “leave your boyfriend at any cost?” seems like your self-esteem has been impacted by these challenges. I would take some time to decide what I want and who I’d want to spend my life with. Working with a therapist/counselor wouldn’t be a bad idea too.

Name:Nirvana  Age:27  Gender:M  Place :

Q:Hi, I am from pune working with Software company as team leader. I have seen a girl which the proposal came from the relatives. After to her I started liking her, her maturity, open nature, understanding behaviour etc. She is also working with Software company as programmer. While finalizing things I asked here if she is ready to quit her job in case of family problems (My mother does not keep well) also having kids I am expecting my spouse to concentrate on family than career. But she is firm on her decision that she will not leave job in any case. I am with software field from last 7 years and I know the problems (like heavy stress, impotency, clashes) faced couples who both works in software. I like this girl but I am not able to decide whether I should take a risk or should wait for other girl.

A:Well, either respect her decision to have a career or ‘wait for other girl”. By the way, couples can feel clashes even if they are not working in the software industry. Very often problems happen due to financial concerns or just individual differences. Think about it….

Name:Yogesh Sehgal  Age:31  Gender:M  Place:New Delhi

Q:I am IT professional & presently working as Oracle Consultant, I know the pressures of the IT industry, should I marry a lady of the same profession or different profession, in fact what I am currently earning is enough for me to maintain descent lifestyle but after marriage expenses & that is why I am confused to marry a non-working girl or working partner. Do not know whether non-working girl will adjust with my habit of working late and all. Please advice. I stay with my parents in DelhI & am even planning to move to U.S if H1b gets through. There is tremendous pressure on me to get married & sometimes I also feel when alone on weekends that I should also settle down, once the week starts no such feeling comes. Please suggest what should I do.

A:If you think you are not ready for marriage, please don’t jump into doing so! As for adjusting to habits, you might want to tell your prospective partner about your lifestyle before marriage rather than her finding out after the marriage. Please be true to the other party as well as yourself. Good luck!

Name:Divya  Age:24  Gender:F  Place :

Q:I have been married for 6 months. My in-laws organized the wedding in India since I live with my parents in US. When it time for my parents to pay them for the wedding venue and the catering, they charged my parents twice the original amount. My parents trusted my in-laws and gave them whatever amount they asked for. But my in-laws took advantage of our trust. They did not even buy outfits for me which I was supposed to get from them in my marriage. When I confronted my husband about his family\’s greedy actions, and his parents blame my family for everything. He called me selfish and greedy. I used to respect him and his family like my own. Now I have lost trust in my husband because he lies to defend his family. I\’m very sad that my marriage was turned into business profit by his family. I feel so unlucky to have been married into a greedy, cheap family. My husband is still in India.. waiting his US spouse visa to be issued. I\’m not sure, that I trust him enough to sponsor him to the US because after what family did with us, I\’m afraid he can do that! with me when he comes here. I feel his family just used me as step stool to come to the US :( I used to think marriages are made in heaven which are built on a strong foundation trust but in my case I feel cheated and used. Please help me, am I feeling the wrong way about him? I\’m losing sleep this!!!!Please help me!!!!

A:It seems like you didn’t know the guy or his family at all before the marriage. Well, you might want to tell your husband about your feelings regarding this matter and seek some clarity. Open communication always helps. I agree with you that marriage is built on strong foundation but that comes with openness, a willingness to listen and to create change. Getting some counseling wouldn’t be a bad idea after all too.

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