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Challenges of surviving infidelity

A marriage can survive infidelity but it is important to remember that it will not be easy – there will be anger, tears, depression and volatility.

Challenges of surviving infidelity
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My best friend is shattered as she caught her husband cheating on her. I fear they will separate. Do you think their marriage can survive infidelity?

Name withheld

The marriage can survive infidelity but it is important to remember certain facts: It's not easy and there will probably be anger, tears and depression. It will take time to heal; longer than we imagine. It will take a decision to trust again. It will take the cheater taking responsibility and not blaming his/her spouse for the affair. It will take the "victim" also taking responsibility for underlying problems in the marriage. It will take courage and will require serious commitment from both the partners in the scarred marriage. It is likely that they will need professional help to process what has happened and fix the way forward. Wishing them good luck.

We have been dating for eight years and are in an open relationship. For the past few months, I feel distant but not sure whether to end this or not. Please help.

Name withheld

Attempt to reduce the stress in your life. Get yourself on stable ground so you can handle whatever comes your way. Devise a survival or backup plan to give yourself a better sense of control over your life. You may not ever have to use it, but it's good to have it anyway. If your physical or emotional safety depends on being separated from your partner, you must make that your priority. You may need some time away from each other to view your decision with more clarity. Getting away by yourself, even for a weekend, can help you sort things out. For many people, this is when something clicks inside and they know what to do. Whatever you decide to do should be well communicated to your partner. It is very important to be humane to people who had mattered.

My son is 23 and very lazy. What can be done to build a growth mindset?

Mrs Jyotsna Bose, Kolkata

I understand that as a parent you are worried. Here is what I think you should try: Make him believe that his efforts matter. People with a growth mindset believe that effort and hard work can lead to meaningful growth.

Encourage him to learn new skills. When faced with a challenge, they look for ways to gather knowledge and develop skills that they need to overcome the barriers.

View failures as learning experiences. People with growth mindsets don't believe that failure is a reflection of their abilities. Instead, they view it as a valuable source of experience from which they can learn and improve. "That didn't work" – they might think, "so this time I'll try something a little different". Focus on his strengths and be a friend. Don't get too hyper and chase him like a nagging parent.

I don't want to marry. I'm scared of the commitment. Is something wrong with me?

D S, New Delhi

Not at all. I know too many single, eligible and settled people who do not want to marry. Marriage isn't something that is mandatory. It's your decision. Whatever you want to do, is your choice. Get married only when you feel it with your heart, mind and soul. Be happy and enjoy your life.

(Send your questions to roopshashotm@gmail.com)

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