Sexolve 121: ‘Is My Relationship Falling Apart?’
Are these signs of us breaking up slowly?
Are these signs of us breaking up slowly?(Photo: iStockphoto)

Sexolve 121: ‘Is My Relationship Falling Apart?’

Sexolve is equal rights activist Harish Iyer’s Q&A space on FIT.

If you have any problems, doubts or queries regarding sex, sexuality or your relationship, which you can’t seem to deal with, or need some advice, answers or just someone to hear you out – write in to Harish Iyer, and he’ll try and ‘sexolve’ it for you. Drop in a mail to sexolve@thequint.com.

This week’s Q&As below:

‘Is My Relationship Falling Apart?’

Dear RainbowMan,

I have been involved with a guy for the past 14 years. We have been very much in love with each other and have never cheated or even felt the need to. We are almost like a married couple. We have never ever had a disagreement or a fight. He lives in another city so when he comes to my city, we have fun together. However, things have gotten rough in the past week. In the sense, we did not have a fight or anything, we didn’t speak to each other like we used to. Are these signs of us breaking up slowly? I would like to make amends right now itself if that’s the case. Please guide me so that I don’t end up screwing our relationship. What we share is rare.

Worried

We have never ever had a disagreement or a fight.
We have never ever had a disagreement or a fight.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Dear Worried,

Firstly, let me congratulate you on finding a loving partner. It is quite rare to find true love, you know, right? Also the fact that you maintained a relationship effortlessly and naturally is a thing we need to celebrate too. Congratulations on that.

At the outset, I don’t know your gender or your sexuality, and seriously it doesn’t matter. Every relationship goes through crests and troughs, and relationships that are not so common face extra challenges for being different.

Regarding your relationship, I guess since you have an open rapport with your partner, address the challenge with him. Please sit down across the table and ask him straight to his face “what is bothering you”. Do not make conspiracy theories in your head. Don’t tell a battalion of friends and family members. This is your challenge with him, you address it first.

It is sad that it is considered normal to be fighting and bickering and splitting, and weird to have compatibility and unadulterated affinity. But I am happy that you are the weird kind. Because you guys are kind and one of a kind.

Yes, sometimes relationships happen without fighting. I was also in a relationship with someone who I loved and he loved me too. We never fought, we never had any fierce disagreement, but we eventually split. Though I consider him to be one of the best parts of my life without awkwardness, it used to hurt, at times that we are not a “couple”. I am not saying this to make you paranoid, but I am appreciating you for realising that every relationship needs introspection after a few years.

Even mythology hasn’t had “happily ever after” examples in love stories even after 14+ years of loving relationships. And your relationship is a reality. Discuss and work on it, however, keep the faith and don’t get overtly paranoid.

Time for some optimism. Do not base your fears on the negative possibility, give power to the positive possibility instead.

Theek?
RainbowMan

P.S. Love wins. It always does.

‘I Get Tired, But My Wife Doesn’t Help Me’

Dear RainbowMan,

I am a hardworking and loving husband. We have been married for eight years now. I ensure that I look after my wife, I work full time, my wife works part time. She comes home in the afternoon and sleeps. I come back home and then wash clothes, cook, do the utensils. I even make the lunch box for the next day. She speaks about me very proudly to her friends and appreciates me for doing household chores. While very few people bully me, there are many who hail me as a feminist. I don’t do it for these compliments, however, I would be lying if I would say that I don’t feel great. But there in lies the problem, I can’t discuss with anyone because I am a victim of my own positive image. I don’t like the fact that my wife doesn’t help me. I get really tired at times and I have no one to help me. My wife is quite anal about cleanliness, regularly, on odd bad days, she’d also scream at me for not doing my job properly. I don’t know how to deal with this.

HomeMaker

 I get really tired at times and I have no one to help me.
I get really tired at times and I have no one to help me.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Dear HomeMaker

You are one. I will call you one – homemaker. There should be no shame in doing household chores. It has traditionally been gendered, it should not be now. I am glad for men like you who are an exception to the cancer of patriarchy and you deserve to be celebrated.

World over women are harassed, abused, raped and treated as a doormat in marriages by men. Thank you for being a welcome change.

Having said that, feminism, as a term might have a dictionary meaning, but we all choose to interpret and understand it as per our understanding, belief and experience. Speaking about the two most populous genders, in my opinion, feminism is about equality of genders. For me, it is not about women or men fighting a “who is superior” battle. IMHO, while we cannot make it appear as a norm, usually women are the ones who are subjugated, in this case, she is definitely acting too hoity-doit

Stop being a pleaser. Tell her off.

The answer to male chauvinism is not female chauvinism. The answer to male patriarchy is not patriarchy emulated by other genders.

Subjugation is not the way to retort to centuries of subjugation. What she is doing, (or rather not doing) is incorrect. Please don’t encourage this behaviour. Speak to her politely and start sharing responsibilities. Don’t start all of it all of a sudden. But do it slowly.

Again, thank you for doing what you do. And hopefully, she will slowly start doing what she should do.

Smiles,
RainbowMan

P.S. It is not equal till it is equal. Share the load.

‘I Want to Do My Bit for the Homosexual Community’

Dear RainbowMan,

I am a 19-year-old college going gay man. I want to help other gay men. I am out. Family also knows and supports. How do I do that?

Eager

Participants take part in a gay pride march in New Delhi, 2009.
Participants take part in a gay pride march in New Delhi, 2009.
(Photo: Reuters)

Dear Eager,

Hey, congrats on being out (and about). And thank you for thinking of others, now that you are out of the closet.

Your life is your message. The number of lives you will impact by simply being yourself shall outnumber all the welfare activities you do.

“Living your life truly and unabashedly, is the truest form of activism”

Besides being yourself, you could do the following:

Start a College Club
Create a club in your college for people to come and discuss about sex and sexuality. A word of caution though – do not call it anything that has the word “sex” or “sexuality”, you may feel like calling it something using words like “Gender” or even “Equality”.

Join Youth Groups Like Yaariyan and GaysiFamily
There are many LGBT youth groups in Mumbai. And many are mushrooming in other cities as well. Most of these are online groups so one could definitely be a part of these groups, even if they find it difficult to attend events. Yaariyah.hst@gmail.com , gaysifamily@gmail.com are their email Id. Drop them a mail.

Get Involved in Organising The Pride
Drop a mail to us at info@mumbaipride.in and start attending the pride meetings. If you need details of prides that are organised by other cities, drop me an email.

Get Your Parents Enrolled Into Sweekar
There is a parents group called sweekar. Look for https://www.facebook.com/SweekarTheRainbowParents/

Write to the parents and get them involved.

Speak To Your Local MLA/ MP
Tell them that we exist. Section 377 has been read down, however prejudice doesn’t cease to exist.

Be A Sounding Board
People sometimes don’t seek solutions, they seek ears that simply listen. Listen to LGBT friends without offering expert advice. Help them find their own paths and charter their own journey. Just share your story, and listen to theirs.

Mental Health
Keep numbers of mental health professionals handy. Given the prejudice that surrounds mental health, if they would rather speak to a non-professional, please feel free to write to me and I will be happy to be a listener to them or direct them to other listeners.

Welcome aboard, young activist.


Smiles,
Rainbowman

P.S. We need you.

(The text and the location has been edited to protect the identity of the people. You can send in your questions to sexolve@thequint.com.)

(Harish Iyer is an equal rights activist working for the rights of the LGBT community, women, children and animals.)

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