Heart to Heart with Malvika

Published On: February 14, 2017 11:40 PM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

Love yourself first!
Dear Malvika,
I am a 16 year-old girl and my father is an alcoholic. He is well educated and has a well paying job but his behavior towards me and my mother is bad. I can feel my family tearing apart and want to bring my family together. Please suggest me few ideas. 

An alcoholic can only let go of their habit if they themselves make the decision to do so.

And to take that first step, they need to accept that it is a problem. There must be something going on with your father to take up alcohol. As humans, we feel if we drown ourselves in alcohol we do not have to face our problems and are able to forget it. Drinking a peg or two sometimes is fine but when it hampers relationships like you have mentioned here then it is a big problem. If you have a relative who your father listens to, then reach out to them. Others perspective can also be a life saver. They can come and have an intervention and maybe convince your father in changing his ways.  If that does not work, then he has to go to a rehabilitation centre. Stay there for a few months and get the alcohol out of his system. This is a very difficult process and will be painful mentally and physically, but that might be the only way out. In rehabs, there will be counseling and story sharing. I know of First Step Rehabilitation Centre in Sukedhara where they take good care of such issues. 

Dear Malvika,
I have been married for 4 years now and have a 7-month old baby. I left my job to take care of my baby. I recently came back to my husband’s home from my home and feel like we are not close anymore. Few days ago, I heard my husband took a girl for night out. I even found out that they meet each other frequently. When I asked him about the girl, he told me that they are just friends but I didn’t believe him so he has started to ignore me. He even blocked me from his Facebook profile and has created a new profile now. I am really confused about what I should do next. Please help me.

First of all, congratulations on your baby! You have entered into a wonderful phase as a woman and mother. Having said that, I am completely against our Nepali culture of going to our parents’ house during what we call ‘sutkeri’ or maternity period. I believe a child should be raised by both the parents while they are infants. A man has to see and experience how difficult it is to do so. As a mother we have natural instincts when it comes to our babies. But for a man it takes some time to adjust and getting used to. I don’t understand here how men sometimes boast that they never changed their kids’ diapers. It is definitely not a joke. But if we do not have help then yes we have to reach out to our parents. Having said that, coming to your issue, I am mad, angry, and sad and annoyed all at the same time. I can imagine what you are going through. A baby changes our lives physically and mentally. We become so vulnerable with all the changes that are happening from pregnancy to giving birth. It is also not easy for a man to absorb all the changes that we are going through. But that does not give anyone the liberty to cheat- either mentally or physically. I believe in the instincts of women and I believe you. If you want this marriage to work, it is going to take a lot of hard work. Most marriages are never the same after baby and there is no shame in admitting this. Everyone goes through the same thing. The only difference is how we handle it. Communication is the main key to any relationship. You have put forward your issue and your husband has denied it. Even if it were true I doubt most people would accept such things. So let him be. Focus on your relationship. Go out on dates, request him to make time and plan things together. Love yourself; take some time out for yourself too. And think about getting back to work soon if you have the help to do so. Things will eventually fall into place. 

Dear Malvika,
I am a 25-year old girl and have been in committed relationship for 8 years. We both are happy. We both earn and we know we are made for each other. He comes from Newar community and I am from Brahmin community. Both of our families know about us. His family has already accepted me whereas mine are really strict and want me to marry someone who belongs to my community. I have been trying to convince my family but they are being stubborn. Knowing the fact that we both won’t marry someone else they are pressurizing me with the fear that I won’t be able to preserve their prestige in society. We are in a big dilemma so as to elope or try convincing my family. Please help convince my family to marry us because we don’t want to elope and have a wedding without blessing from both of our families.

Inter-caste marriages are never easy to convince. And I can definitely understand the dilemma that you are in. If you are consenting adults, working and can take care of each other, then I don’t see an issue as to why you have to have a ceremony to get married. If both the parents are present in the ceremony it does make it happier. I do feel that 25 is still young to be getting married. In your 20’s you should explore and travel, 30’s are for marriage and babies and work upgrade. But that is a personal opinion. Be strong about it, if you need your family then do wait for some time, otherwise the decision is all yours. As you have to live the life, and bear what happens afterwards. 

Dear Malvika,
I am 20-year old and a mother of 20 months old child. I had a dream of being a model while I was in high school. Then I found out I was pregnant and got married to my boyfriend. I couldn’t pass in a subject due to pregnancy issues. And I couldn’t even   re -take the exam because of post pregnancy problems. Now my husband is going to Australia for his undergraduate studies. And I am just stuck here with no hope and a baby to take care of. I don’t know what I want to do anymore, as being a model is way out of my league. It feels like everything is falling apart and while I smile for my husband and child, I don’t know where life will take me. This uncertainty is killing me, suggest me some ideas of what I should do.

I can totally understand what you are going through as mother and that too at a very young age. It is never easy making decisions about life with a baby. It took me few months to get back to work and get back to shape. And I am handling my child and my career both at the same time. Of course, the help I have from the family has been amazing for me to leave my son and go to work. If you have the same then nothing should stop you. If you are back in shape then you should model. Who says mothers can’t be models? Many international models are mothers and they are doing a fabulous job. Go ahead and turn your dreams into reality. Just because you are a mother does not mean that you forget about yourself and your dreams. In today’s day and world it is possible to have a baby and pursue a career. But you need to make up your mind and move on. 

Malvika Subba is a media personality, social activist and former Miss Nepal. She is also the CEO of Idea Studio Nepal.

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