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07 - 13 Apr , 2012
expertadviceHeart TO Heart
For relationship advice and more, talk to your super-smart Sis.

Q: My boyfriend is friends with girls and has had girlfriends in the past too. He still meets some girls and says they are just friends. What do I do? Ayesha
Relationships are based on trust and though it's normal to feel a tinge of jealousy when your loved one interacts with the opposite sex, you have to be confident of how he feels about you. Also, if you choose to believe uncomplimentary traits attributed to him, and think he is capable of fooling around, why are you with him? Go with the flow, and only if he gives you good reason to doubt him, should you worry.

Q: I am a 28-year-old woman, married to a 30-year-old man. We had an arranged marriage four months ago, but his friends are his top priority. He leaves for work at 9am and comes home at 9pm. Then he leaves for his nightly tennis session, followed by hanging out with friends. He returns home after 11pm, eats and goes to sleep. When I try to be close to him, he says he is too sleepy. He gets angry even when I try to hug him in the morning. If I tell him to come home EXPERT ADVICEsoon, he says it's my duty to wait for him. On Sundays, he watches TV and the evenings are booked for his friends. What could possibly be the reason for this behaviour? I am very upset, as he shouts at me when I raise this issue. What should I do? Please help. Sara, Karachi
Given that it is an arranged marriage, chances are that you're quite simply not his type. Or it could be that he is in love with someone else and is angry he was pushed into an arranged marriage. Communication is the key to creating compatibility and closeness, so I suggest that if talking to him is not fruitful, try a counsellor to see if some solutions can be found. If he refuses, talk to your parents and his parents too.

Q: I have been in love with a man for the past six years. Now my parents have decided to get me married to another person. My boyfriend still wants to stay in touch with me, even after we get married, without his wife's and my husband's knowledge. I don't know what to do. Nadia, Karachi
Please do not enter a beautiful institution like marriage with such a negative attitude. How awful to start a life with the father of your future children, a man who will be your life partner, with betrayal, emotional infidelity and half-heartedness. Can you explain to me why you would choose to live a compromised life and not just marry the man you love? I suggest you stay single or marry each other. Just because both of you lack courage to live your lives on your terms doesn't entitle you to destroy the lives and dreams of the two people that will enter your lives.

Q: I had an arranged marriage 12 years ago and have a nine-year-old daughter. I run my own business, where I met a man three years ago. He is divorced and has a child too. I fell in love with him; he is everything I want in my dream man. The problem is he is very ambitious and can't spare time for me. His business and family affairs are his first priority. He finds time for me once or twice in a month for only an hour. He doesn't talk much with me either. I am too depressed, especially since I found love after the age of 30. Should I quit this relationship?
How is he your dream man? He is a workaholic, has no time for you and clearly doesn't have great chemistry with you. If that's your definition of a dream man. I think you've set the bar way too low.

Dr Shah Hussain

Q: I have brittle hair that gets split ends in just weeks after a trim. Please suggest a solution? Fizza Ali, Karachi
Split ends occur when the cuticle is removed from the hair shaft and the soft keratin centre is exposed to trauma. Physical trauma to the hair shaft caused by vigorous combing, excessive shampooing, drying EXPERT ADVICEor brushing should be avoided. You must have a diet rich in protein and take supplements of iron and zinc to strengthen your hair. Use a mild shampoo.

Q: After getting my hair permanently straightened a couple of years back, the quality of my hair has changed drastically. Once my hair grew out, it became extremely dry and brittle. I have tried many deep conditioning treatments but nothing has helped. Please suggest a remedy. Bushra Hanif, Karachi
Any heat or chemical treatment over time will damage the hair shaft and make your hair dry and brittle. You need to include more protein in your diet in the form of egg whites, lean meat like chicken and fish, pulses, legumes, milk and soya. You can also take iron, biotin and zinc supplements daily to help your hair regain its strength. For the time being, use a baby shampoo to avoid drying out your hair further with harsher shampoos. Completely avoid heat styling like ironing and blow-drying your hair.

Q: I have a problem of dry lips. Whatever the season, my lips get dried out easily and the skin starts peeling off. I use a lot of petroleum jelly but I do have a habit of licking my lips. What do you suggest to solve this? Huma
You should stop pursing and licking your lips as this will dehydrate and chap them further. You could use a hydrating lip balm to keep your lips supple; some suggestions are Ceralip Repair Cream or lip balms. Applying ghee on the lips as often as possible also helps in reducing the dryness. Avoid matt lipsticks; instead, use those with moisturisers. Avoid unbranded lipsticks or those used over six months. Lactic acid peels, too, will help restoring the moisture of the lips.

Q: I want to get a piercing on my nose. During an earlier ear piercing, I had developed an ugly nodule near the piercing. What is this nodule and how can I avoid it this time round? Kiran Khan
The nodules that form near piercings are called granulomas. They occur as our body's natural defense to trauma to the cartilage. Take a course of antibiotics a day before getting your nose pierced. Apply a combination of a mild steroid and antibacterial cream such as Fudic or Fucibet cream immediately after the piercing in order to reduce the inflammation. In case the nodule still develops, you can just get it cauterised.

General Physician
Dr Sadqa Gul

EXPERT ADVICEQ: I was on medication for anxiety ten years. I am 7 months pregnant now and am feeling very anxious again with some of the physical symptoms coming back. Sometimes I feel I am going mad thinking about my health. It's like a vicious circle. Is the anxiety causing the physical symptoms or are the symptoms causing the anxiety. Qurat-ul-Ain, Lahore
Your question is a classic example of the chicken and egg question. Which came first the anxiety or the physical symptoms? There is a constant subtle interplay taking place between mind and body throughout the day therefore the answer to your question is not straightforward. Given the fact that you have a previous history of significant anxiety disorder and are currently in the final trimester of pregnancy it is more likely that your symptoms are anxiety related. Pregnancy can be an anxious time and anxiety levels can rise as the expected date of delivery draws closer. Make sure that you attend your antenatal classes because you are usually instructed in relaxation techniques in those classes. Relaxation exercises would be a practical help to you in your current situation.

If you want to discuss problems related to skin, hair and nails or if you have any health related queries that need to be answered, or if an onerous emotional problem is weighing you down, share it with us at askexpert@magtheweekly.com. Kindly mention your age and the column you have the question for in the subject line.

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