The following days took the shape of earlier days with the kids going to their schools and the adults on their respective jobs.
But somewhere in the back of her mind Anahita was scared. Scared about what would happen at the next meet with the counselor. True she had grievances with their relationship but Ajay, he too might be having his own. Would he be able to accept his mistakes and she hers? After her talk with Suhani she had realized that she had been in the wrong too.
At the next session both of them were silent. Each one afraid of what might happen. Will their relationship break or will they be able to take it to a higher level. Living together for so long a person does get attached and dependent on the other.
‘Alright are you ready for today’s session?’, asked Dr.Indumati and before they could answer proceeded to say, ‘this will be a one to one session, meaning one of you will tell me the problems of your relationship while the other will go out and fill a questionnaire. So that you are able to communicate freely without any fear. So who will be the first to tell me?’
When both of them were silent, she asked Anu to be the first and Ajay stepped out to the adjoining room to fill the questionnaire.
‘Are you relaxed Anahita?’
‘So what do you think are the problems in your life right now?’
She had thought about this a lot. ‘Doctor Ajay does not take me as an individual with my own needs and desires. Neither does he respect me for what I am. Always nags and demoralizes which affects me mentally. I try to please him but the problem is he is never satisfied. Neither is he communicative either with me or with the kids. It takes two to run a family but he is always passive’, she concluded.
You mean to say he doen’t participate in any activity around the house, she asked.
‘Yes. I also feel he is jealous of my success or maybe his ego is hurt that I have achieved success while he has not.’
‘Has he evr verbally said so?’, the counselor asked.
‘Sort of. Whenever there are letters to the editor that my feature was done nicely, he would say things like only a stupid can like it or do they really know English, things like that.’
While this exchange was going on Ajay was filling out answers for questions like when was the last time you actually spoke to your spouse and when was the last time you held hands. ‘what sort of stupid questions are these and what conclusions can she draw form such questions’, he wondered.
After sometime he was called inside and Anahita sent out.
‘So Mr.Desai what do you think is the problem in your marriage?, the counselor asked.
‘the problem is we have grown apart.’
‘And why have you grown apart?’
‘Because of Anu. I mean she is so very busy with her work. She does not have time for us.’
‘But she works from home?’
‘Yes she does. She does her duties like cooking cleaning, attending PTA meetings. But no time to really talk or sit with us. At every given opportunity she tries to demean me.’
‘Demean you verbally?’
‘No, she has this superior demeanor and ‘I know it all’ looks. She will get these surprise gifts for the kids to show off that she earns well etc’
That was the beginning of their therapy. Broken communications had impaired their relations so much that it took a long time for each to realize their mistakes. But what helped them to recover was their hidden love for each other, the love for their kids and their need to keep their family intact.
Ajay finally admitted that his ego was indeed hurt that Anahita was a success. He was made to realize that his own failures were not because of ‘luck’ but because of his low self esteem and confidence. He was made to realize that his family, his kids needed him and he had to take an active part in the day to day activities.
And Anahita ; she was told that there was no need to be always perfect. Making mistakes was part of being human. She was told to delegate work and not to try to do everything by herself. The family could have fun in doing things together. Children do learn about planning coordination, managing if given an opportunity.
But most important was that both were asked to share. To share their joys and sorrows, their worries. To make decisions together, to live life together and not as single entities in a conglomerate.
Anahita did accept the editorial post. She started sharing. Her husband and kids became her friends. Ajay became a better person. Suhani is trying to make a balance between studies and dramatics and Sanket a happy boy.
But will they all find a way out of the maze of conflicting emotions, only time will tell.