Questions and Answers

Q and A with Hara Marano



Depressed and Homesick

I have lived in USA for just three months and put on almost 15 pounds. I am depressed and homesick for England, where I was a departmental head in a big school and had an active social life. I married in July and had looked forward to coming here with my daughter aged 11. As I have no visa yet, I am not working and spend most of my time alone. The sniper business shocked me to the core and made me even more homesick. How can I get out of this spiral of overeating for comfort? My husband thinks I am making excuses not to be successful in life (I am a writer) and our relationship is in trouble as I don't feel attractive anymore and don't want to have sex.


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Adjusting to another culture takes time, but you have the added burden of instant change from active professional to invisibility. Hurrah for recognizing that overeating is an attempt at easy comfort-but only subverts your already challenged identity. Start reorganizing your sense of self by envisioning the life you hope to have and outlining the steps you need to achieve it. You have the power to create it, although that can be a scary prospect. Begin small, with a daily exercise program, perhaps a two-mile walk outdoors. That will energize you, make you more comfortable with your new surroundings and help you feel good about doing things for yourself. As for your new husband, consider the possibility that he may be upset by his own powerlessness to cure your unhappiness, a possibility neither of you planned for. Be kind to each other.

Other Women

I am a well-educated professional in my early 30's. My friends think I am loving, intelligent and attractive. I have been in a serious relationship for over four years, living with my boyfriend for over three years. He is nearing 50, well-established and travels frequently for business. In the beginning of our relationship, we often talked about marriage and family, but as he became more well-off he also changed. I discovered during the past six months that he sleeps with other women in other cities. When confronted, he told me these women do not mean anything to him, he merely likes the physical pleasure. Worse, he does not see anything wrong morally with sleeping around. I am hurt and depressed, having invested four years of my life, love and monies in this relationship. I am dependent on him now as I just started my own business.) What can I do to make a difference in my situation?

No name.

You have good reason to feel hurt and depressed about your relationship to a man who by virtue of his financial success or your dependence suddenly feels entitled to be warmly welcomed in every port. Sleeping around is not in anyone's definition of a good relationship. It's also a pure abuse of power, a really bad sign of character and a worse signal about what may lie ahead. Even if he feels threatened or abandoned by the attention you are devoting to your new business, that's cause for joint discussion, not extracurricular sexual activity. As for the monies you have invested in the relationship, now is the time to kindly ask for them back; use them to support yourself while you build your own business. In making you less dependent, such actions will help you feel like you are investing in yourself and a successful future that respects your emotional needs and moral standards.

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