Ask Therapist Tharshiga is TC's monthly column, sponsored by myTamilDate.com, where registered psychotherapist and founder of MindfulWe, Tharshiga Elankeeran, answers your love, life and relationship questions to foster healthy minds and lives in our community.
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I recently gave birth but even while I was pregnant I knew my husband was not right for me. He wasn't helpful at all. I want to leave him but people keep telling me it's postpartum. But he makes my life worse. I don't want the stigma of being a single mom but I also don't know how to continue living with him. Please help me figure this out.
Navigating the challenges of postpartum emotions while also recognizing the dynamics of your relationship can indeed be overwhelming. It's crucial to acknowledge your feelings and prioritize your mental and emotional well-being. I appreciate your courage in reaching out, and I want to emphasize that your well-being is paramount, both for your sake and that of your child. While I can provide general guidance, it's crucial to consult with a professional therapist for personalized advice tailored to your specific situation.
Choosing the path that aligns with your happiness and your child's welfare is of utmost importance. If staying with your current partner feels detrimental to your overall quality of life, it's essential to consider your options. Here are a few practical tips that could help guide you:
1. Self-reflection: Dedicate time to introspection, as the decision-making process starts and ends within you. Consider your feelings, concerns, and aspirations. Journaling can be a helpful tool to express your thoughts and emotions. Navigating difficult times can be challenging, and asking yourself thoughtful questions can be a helpful way to gain clarity and perspective. Here are some questions you might find useful: What am I feeling right now? Why am I feeling this way? Is this something I can control? What is within my power to change in this situation? What lessons can I learn from this experience? Who can I lean on for support? What self-care practices can I prioritize right now? What are my strengths, and how can I leverage them in this situation? What are my options, and what are the potential outcomes of each? Am I being too hard on myself and do I need to practice self compassion? What values are important to me, and how can I align my actions with them? Have I asked for professional help if needed?
These questions are meant to serve as a starting point for self-reflection.
2. Professional Counseling: Seek the guidance of a licensed therapist or counselor who can offer personalized support. They can help you navigate your emotions and assist in developing a plan for your well-being. Individual as well as couples counseling with a culturally sensitive therapist could make a huge difference at this time, as both parents are understanding and learning their new roles as parents.
3. Legal Consultation/Parental Rights and Responsibilities: Given the complexities of your situation, consulting with a legal professional can help. They can provide insights into the legal aspects of your decision, ensuring that your rights and the best interests of your child are protected. Understand your parental rights and responsibilities. Legal professionals can guide you on issues such as custody arrangements, visitation rights, and financial support.
4. Support Networks: Build a support network of friends, family, or community resources. Sharing your thoughts with trusted individuals can provide emotional support and practical assistance. Explore community resources that provide assistance to parents (married or single). These may include support groups, childcare services, and programs designed to empower individuals in similar situations.
5. Financial Planning: If concerns about financial independence are hindering your decision-making, consider consulting with a financial planner. They can assist you in developing a budget and exploring financial options. Financial freedom would help you make a decision for you rather than a place of fear of lack of financial resources.
Breaking free from societal expectations and stereotypes is a courageous step towards embracing your truth. Being a single mother does not define your worth; rather, your resilience and commitment to a healthy and supportive environment for your child do. Being aware of available supports and resources can provide a sense of community in times of solitude. Only you will know what is best for you, no external entity can tell you otherwise. Listen inwardly, be informed about available resources, and make the decision that is best for you.
Seeking professional advice and support during this time can be immensely beneficial. Connecting with individuals who understand the complexities of your situation and cultural impact, can provide valuable insights and guidance. Remember, your well-being matters, and making choices that empower you and create a positive environment for your child is a commendable decision. It's okay to prioritize your own happiness and take steps towards a more fulfilling life.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for general guidance and informational purposes only. It does not constitute professional advice or establish a client-therapist relationship. Every individual's situation is unique, and readers are encouraged to consult with a qualified professional for personalized advice tailored to their specific circumstances. The author and the online magazine disclaim any responsibility for any liability, loss, or risk, personal or otherwise, which may occur as a consequence of following the recommendations in this article. Readers should use their discretion and seek the advice of relevant professionals to address their individual needs and concerns.