|Heart TO Heart
For relationship advice and more, talk to your super-smart Sis.
Q: I am a 60-year-old widower. I lost my wife 20 years ago, but I never felt lonely in the years that followed since I remained busy bringing up my three daughters. But now, my daughters are all settled and involved with their own lives and while they are very caring towards me, they are not able to give me much time. I have also begun to worry about being alone in my old age. A year ago I joined a club where I met a spinster a few years younger than I am who had spent her life caring for her parents and two aunts. Now, she too is alone and lonely. Now, this lady and I have decided to get married, but my children are shocked and angry. They say that they will be embarrassed. What should I do? Arif, Karachi
A: You should go ahead and marry your lady-friend! This is what is best for both you and her. But talk to your girls and try and make them understand your feelings and fears. Talk to your sons-in-law too since their support will be of great help in winning over your daughters.
But also talk to your friend and make sure that besides loneliness, you have interests in common.
Q: I am 22 years old and work in the same company as my best friend. I have the better job and earn the better salary and so my friend expects me to pay for everything whenever we go out together. This is nothing new since when we were in school and college, I got more pocket money than she did and then too she expected me to pay for everything. But now it has begun to bug me because she takes it for granted that I will always shell out and doesn't even offer to pay occasionally. What should I do? Break up with her? Zehra Salman, Lahore
A: The ease with which you say that you will break up with her makes it seems that either she is not really a very good friend or that you are really annoyed with her! But to some extent the present situation is your fault. You have allowed you friend to take advantage of you for so long that she now takes it for granted that she'll always get a free ride. But it isn't too late. Tell her casually and jokingly that you both should share expenses when you go out and that you don't want to pay all the time. If she's a true friend she will get the message. If she isn't, she will sulk and drift away. But then you are ready for that, aren't you?
Q: I am 25 and I live in a joint family and am expecting my first child soon. My husband's sister lost her first baby in childbirth in a private hospital and so my in-laws are against my having my first delivery in that hospital. They want me to give birth at another local and small clinic where I am not comfortable, but I am terrified by the very thought of this, especially since my doctor has told me that since I have narrow pelvic bones, I should be prepared to have a Caesarean. My husband and parents too are against it but do not have the courage of speaking to my in-laws. What should I do? Tehmina, Karachi
A: You and your husband can put the blame on your doctor and tell your in-laws that she recommends a hospital delivery since you will probably have a Caesarean. But speak to her first in case your in-laws ask her about home births. She'll definitely advise a hospital delivery.
Women in small towns where medical services are not easily available still give birth at such places, but when good medical facilities are available, one should use them, especially when there is the possibility of an operation.