|Heart TO Heart
For relationship advice and more, talk to your super-smart Sis.
Q: A few months ago, I fell for a very dishy young man and frankly, I flirted with him and won him over, although I knew he was going steady with another girl. But my happiness was short-lived since I soon learnt that the poor girl was so devastated by his betrayal, she suffered a nervous breakdown. I feel so guilty now that I have asked this guy to go back to her and leave me alone. This has made him furious; he accuses me of ruining both his and that girl's life with my false love. What can I do? I feel so depressed, I wish I were dead? Areeba Arshad, Karachi
A: There's no use crying over split milk. Your boyfriend's wrath is understandable. He too burnt his boats to come to you, and now you wish to abandon him! You need some time to think calmly and unemotionally. If you really love this man, do not leave him. After all, if he gave up the first girl, it is clear he did not care for her. He could have resisted your overtures if he wished to, couldn't he? If you however feel that he is not the man for you, you should break up with him, although it is not for you to advise him to go back to his former girlfriend.
Q: I am studying in class 8 of a good public school and have two very close friends in class. These girls feel that we should have no secrets at all from each other, and talk about family matters which are very private and personal. I cannot do that, I think some issues are not to be revealed to others. My attitude irritates them since I refuse to answer many of their probing questions about my parents and siblings. Please tell me whether I am correct or wrong. Damsel in Distress
A: You are right in keeping private matters which is none of the others' business, and is confidential. You girls may be friends today, but tomorrow, you may fall out, and your confidences could become public. Never disclose intimate private matters to others, since it could cause problems for your family. Your friends are unreasonable and irresponsible by demanding information from you. If they persist, it is high time to leave their company and look elsewhere for friendship.
Q: I am a 32-year-old woman married to a man two years older than I am. We have a 6-year-old son and I am very happy with my marriage and family except for one thing. My husband is an idealist and this often gets him into trouble. He will quarrel with people for the smallest reason with a driver who overcharges, a man who throws litter on the road, a colleague who sneaks away as soon as the boss leaves the office etc and now he has become involved with an NGO and I am terrified that he will lose his job because he keeps taking leave and going for rallies. Worse is the fact that he has begun to talk about giving up his job and becoming an activist. I work but my earnings are not enough to support the family. How can I convince my husband that he is being foolish? Ayesha, Karachi
A: Your husband is an idealist. Such people are wonderful and we need more of them but they make life very difficult for their families. You have two choices. You can nag, weep, bully and use your son to blackmail your husband and perhaps he will change and begin to accept all that he thinks is wrong with society but he may end up frustrated and bitter. Your second choice is to admire your husband for his idealism and to try and make the best of affairs and let him be happy. Also remember that many NGOs employ people like your husband and pay them salaries. The salaries will not be very good, unless the person has a degree in social work and is a professional, but will be enough to manage on. If you decide to support your husband and let him become an activist, your responsibilities will increase and you may have to become the main earner of the house.