Suggestion Column: The Uninvited Guest

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I wanted to start a column where readers can send a problem / situation they are facing, for others to provide suggestions.

Sharing the first email I have received:

Neha (name changed) is a working woman who lives with her husband and 2-year-old son who she sends to day care while she is at work. She has a hectic routine, managing home, work and a kid.

Recently, Neha’s husband, Ajay announced that his eldest sister’s daughter would be living with them for a year to attend coaching classes for a competitive exam. His sister feels that since this is the first time the girl would be living away from hometown, it is better she stays with family. A home environment would be more conducive for her studies than a PG. Ajay agrees.

Neha is irritated. She feels that Ajay should have consulted her, before committing to his sister. Neha tried to make him understand that she is already exhausted every day, and she has no patience to take responsibility of another person. They have a two-bedroom apartment and giving away one room to a girl would make it very congested. Everything that she had dumped in the other room would not have to fit into her bedroom. She also feels that their privacy would be gone.  Neha has lived in hostels / PGs all her life and she does not understand why the niece cannot do the same. Ajay believes he cannot disrespect his sister. He tells Neha that had it been someone from her side of the family, he would have happily agreed. Neha has been upset, but she is not able to convince him. They end up fighting to the point that Ajay says that he is earning more than her, and he can invite whoever he wants. If she is unhappy she can leave.

Neha’s mother has told her that there is no point creating such an issue. It is a matter of a year. Not worth ruining her relationship. Neha feels like she has no say in the decisions in her own household.  She does not know what to do. 

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