My husband shuts himself up in the room everyday – what is he doing?

Dear Gulmohar,

 I have one problem I am sure you have never heard of. When my husband comes home from work, he goes into his bedroom for half an hour and locks the door. If I want something and try to go inside, he says come back later. I have tried asking him several times, directly and indirectly, what he does. I even asked if he watches porn and he said no. It is very irritating. What should I do?

 Frustrated Wife

Dear Frustrated Wife,

You’re quite wrong. I have heard of people who want to be alone before, and it’s quite common. First of all, think about why you’re so interested in knowing what your husband does. After a long day’s work, it’s normal to want to unwind, and different people have different ways to do it. So what are you worried about? That he’s lied to you about watching porn? That could very well be true – maybe he’s too embarrassed to talk about it, or maybe he’s afraid it’ll lead to a fight.

 I’d suggest that you let him have his private time until he opens up himself. But if it’s bothering you so much that you’re constantly thinking about it, sit him down when he comes out and tell him how you feel. Ask him why he feels the need for secrecy, and if he does tell you he’s watching porn, you could ask him why, whether he’s dissatisfied with your sex life and what you could do to help. Keep an open mind – it isn’t wrong to watch porn, but you could ask him why he needs to every single day. He might tell you he’s doing something else like reading or sleeping; give him the benefit of the doubt, though you could ask him why he needs to be behind a locked door for that. If he still doesn’t confide in you, tell him it bothers you, but you’ll leave him alone for the time being, and that if he ever feels like talking about it, you’re there for him.

 Love,

Gulmohar

Dear Gulmohar,

 My wife hates me. She didn’t say that, but last week, it was her birthday, and I had booked a trip to Pondicherry for the weekend with some friends. Last minute, the friends cancelled, and I told her I didn’t feel like going either. She cried for half an hour, but after that she’s been entirely normal. Not a mention of the trip, no talk at all about how hurt she was. When I come home, she has dinner ready, she asks me about work and tells me about her day teaching at school. Then we go to sleep. No sex, just sleep. I think she’s punishing me. I feel very guilty that I made her cry, especially because I was the one who insisted the trip be that particular weekend. I can’t bring it up by myself. How can I get her to ask for an apology?

 Guilty

Dear Guilty,

 You know the answer to your question, and you’re just looking for someone else to tell you differently so you can take the easy way out. Buck up! Don’t you see how selfish you’re being?

 I’m going to make this perfectly clear. You are at fault. Not so much for cancelling a trip she was really looking forward to – everyone deserves time off if they aren’t feeling up to it – but more because of the way in which you handled the situation. So don’t be a jerk. You can’t shy away from apologising to her; gather your wits about you and bring it up on your own. And set things right immediately. Ask her when next she’d find it convenient for a weekend trip, make arrangements and GO. On the other hand, all she might have been looking for is to spend some time with you, since both of you seem pretty busy during the week. If that’s the case, ask her if she wants to keep it simple, bring some movies home, order pizza, just be together. Perfect romantic getaways don’t always have to be beach houses. You could bring it home, right where you are.

 Love,

Gulmohar